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Old 09-01-2014, 01:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Backcountry at Jay Peak?

Since I have already booked my 3 day trip to Jay in January, I'm wondering if can do some backcountry snowboarding over there. Can anybody share your experience on that? thanks

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Old 09-01-2014, 11:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Most of the backcountry there is on Big Jay from what I understand. Which you can access from the top of the ski area. I know there isn't a lot of avalanche danger. I think most east coasters don't even carry basic avalanche gear, which sounds crazy to me. I would at least carry a beacon, shovel, probe. Lots of other scenarios where that stuff can be handy. Anyway, you do want to go out there with at least a partner. Being all forest and that sort of thing. If there is an injury, you may need help getting down, or even a S&R group to come get you. It usually doesn't happen, but anytime you are out there it can.

Mysticfalcon is the Jay Peak local on the forum here. He hasn't been coming around much as of late, so you might want to PM him to ask about the scene there. He does do backcounty and slackcountry around the ski area.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Plenty of backcountry at Jay from what i am told. I have been wanting to go but it is like a six hour drive. Definitely going there or Sugar Loaf this year. I believe both suggest the 3 and 3 rule. Don't go into the backcountry without a group of 3 or more and don't head into the backcountry after 3 pm.

While it is not impossible, avalanche danger is pretty low most places in new england. Hard to even find a place to take avy courses. Worth looking into. There is an ice climbing place in New Hampshire that also does avy courses.

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Old 09-01-2014, 09:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Is there enough snow in January for BC/SC at jay? I've never been
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Do a some searching on the "The Dip" off the east side of the mountain -access via the Jet lift. That is a lot of fun and will at least give you an indication of what you are in for as far as terrain is concerned if you want to do Big Jay.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What im really concernd with is if the backcountry trails marked in any way or do they have a map? I don't want to wander off in some unknown direction. Obviously I'll have a compass with me but I will need to know where im going and riding.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have no experience there but what i recall from looking at trail maps it seems like on big jay, facing downhill, left is inbounds, right is out of bounds, far right is lost in the forest. I could be wrong though. Don't base your plans on my memory of a trail map.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No, nothing is really marked. The Dip drops you down onto 242 and is accessed right off the Jet. Big Jay also dumps you off on 242, but further down. You can either hike up BJ from 242 or hike over from the Tram. A splitboard is preferable for BJ. BJ is longer, steeper, and the trees are tighter, so the dip is a good primer for what you can expect.

For the dip, we usually park a vehicle or two along 242 in the morning or after lunch. If it's good we meet around 3:00 and get two runs before the lift closes. For either BJ or the dip, I recommend doing it with someone with experience first. I'm usually up there with the Jay meet crew at the end of February/ beginning of March, so there tends to be plenty of snow for this stuff.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't have a split board nor exprince with Xcountry skiing. But I can definitely use snowshoes. I know they have Nordic center over there, but will they rent snowshoes?
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You don't cross country ski with a splitboard, you skin. Which is basically more efficient snow shoes with some very basic ski skills. It is pretty easy.

Anyway, I am not sure on the snow shoes thing. They do work and might be useful for getting in and out. Just depends on what the local ethic is really.
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