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Old 12-31-2011, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best resorts in New Hampshire & Vermont?!

So I live in Southern Ontario but I go to school in New Hampshire. This year my roommate and I decided to take real advantage of the area we're in and go boarding at the best up here in the Northeast. I am aware of the resorts in New Hampshire and our school gets really good deals for us, but what about Vermont? We know of them but we don't know which ones are better. We are both intermediate riders and I'm definately advancing a lot this year, so I'm very excited to hit up some new locations. Any advice on the best mountains? Oh and neither of us are park riders; we are mainly freeride and all mountain. Thanks a lot!!
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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So what part of VT are you closest to?

Many people seem to like Killington. When I went early season years ago, the conditions were sh+t and it was way crowded so I didn't love it. I had a lot of fun at Okemo the last time I was there, also years ago.

Have you looked through the Northeast Regional threads yet? There's Jay Peak...haven't been yet but seems like a place to check out, too.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So what part of VT are you closest to?

Many people seem to like Killington. When I went early season years ago, the conditions were sh+t and it was way crowded so I didn't love it. I had a lot of fun at Okemo the last time I was there, also years ago.

Have you looked through the Northeast Regional threads yet? There's Jay Peak...haven't been yet but seems like a place to check out, too.
Killington SUCKS for snowboarding. Too many flat areas between the six so-called "mountains," which are actually just bumps along the same ridge. And the people there are 90% New Yorkers, mostly the rude kind yelling at their spooled brat kids for not having enough fun. They lie about their trails and their snow...yes, every mountain uses "marketing speak," but Killington is by far the worst, claiming tiny crossovers as trails, and saying they have a foot of powder when it's likely raining. Oh, and they don't have the most vert, either, unless you count unstrapping your board to walk across a parking lot to pick up a flat snow-shoe trail down to the Skye Ship base.

Stowe is awesome if you want to advance your skills. Very long trails, and some of the steepest in the east when you're ready to test how big your balls are. Plus, there are two distinct mountains, Mansfield and Spruce Peak. Your lift ticket covers both, and there is a gondola to take you back and forth between them. It can be spendy, though. Look for a ski club deal.

Best place for a great weekend is Jay Peak (no "s"). Like a mountain out west, with lots of glades for all ability levels. They just did tons of expansion, including a huge indoor water park with a FlowRider (stationary surfing wave) and one of only two loop chutes in the country -- you literally drop straight down for about 50' before doing a loop like on a roller coaster. Open till 10:00 pm, so you can board all day, then hang out in the water, the two combined are cheaper than a one-day ticket at Stowe. BUT, you can't go wrong with either. Both Stowe and Jay Peak have awesome terrain. Stowe is actually a town, a miles-long strip with lots of motels, bars and eateries. Jay Peak is a big, self-contained resort with a couple of hotels, a pizza joint, a few restaurants and bars, even a surf shop and mini market, miles from civilization.

You can't go wrong at either, IMHO. Further down the list, depending on where you are, hit Stratton or Sugarbush. Bolton Valley isn't bad, either, especially with good snow. BV and Sugarbush are all in the same general area as Stowe, so if you get a cheap room nearby for a couple of days, you can take in a nice variety of terrain. In Southern Vermont, Mt. Snow can be fun -- it's not super tall, but there's lots of terrain, nothing seriously steep, good party vibe. But go mid-week. Because of its proximity to CT/NY, it gets crazy-crowded on weekends.

Last edited by surfinsnow; 01-01-2012 at 10:30 PM. Reason: Typed "Burke" but I meant "Bolton Valley."
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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we definately are willing to go for a longer drive for the best. interesting info about killington. thanks so much to both of you.

my roommate and i are definately both intermediate but we love long runs and steep (depending on how steep).
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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we definately are willing to go for a longer drive for the best. interesting info about killington. thanks so much to both of you.

my roommate and i are definately both intermediate but we love long runs and steep (depending on how steep).
Something I should have mentioned about Bolton Valley; it's not really in the same league as Stowe, JP or Sugarbush, resort-wise. Which is part of why I like it. It is literally owned by the local town folks, not a big resort chain, so it keeps a very local feel. Small lodge and base hotel, limited services, but I think the mountain has some of the funnest terrain out there, including some great long cruisers. But there's nothing in the way of nightlife. That's why I suggest making it a part of a multi-day trip with Stowe and/or Sugarbush.

I just got back from a weekend that started at Stowe, then we drove up to Jay Peak...they're not too far apart, either, but it's all little farm roads, and can be treacherous if the weather is bad. (BTW, Jay Peak cost us less than $100 a person for a nice room in their brand new hotel and INCLUDED lift tickets and water park passes).

Also, I am sure you'll see others post here defending Killington. For some reason, it has a loyal following. I have a couple skier friends who love it, but for a snowboarder it's just a million very short trails with lots of flat transitions between different parts of the mountain. I always feel like just when I'm hitting my stride and really start charging it, boom, the trail ends, more often than not on a flat area requiring stepping out of the bindings for a walk to the lift. It's especially bad for groups...one wrong turn -- easy to do there -- and you'll find yourself at a whole different base from where you started and you won't meet up with your friends again for an hour.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Surfinsnow gave a great assessment of my favorite VT areas.I ride all those resorts.
I get a season pass to Bolton Valley every year, for the reasons he mentioned.They get more powder than any VT areas except Jay Peak.
I would highly recommend that whatever mountain you go to, get there early, meaning before the lifts open.
Stowe has a lift that opens at 07:30 on weekends.
Smuggler's Notch would be another good one,but watch out for flat areas! Take the shuttle, instead of trails If moving from Madonna and Sterling peaks to Morse and back.......No quad lifts at Smuggs,which makes the lift queues longer, but helps keep the trails less crowded .
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks guys! We're looking into Stowe right now. We'll probably have a look at Jay Peak as well. Those 2 & Killington are all about the same distance from us. It looks as though Killington is out of question now.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Don't completely squash the Killington Idea. Personally, I dig Killy.... better than Stowe. Proximity is key, though. I'm no NY DB, but I do like to be able to roll-into Killy on a shorter drive. If you know where to ride at Killy and hit it on a stormy day it can just be silly fun. If you have the same distance, you'll be fine with Jay or Stowe or Killy. That being said, try to avoid the urge to just book a trip. If you have the flexibility, watch the storms and wait till they roll in. Hit the mountain the day the storm hits and stay for a day or two. You won't regret it.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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When I lived on the East coast I used to like Wildcat a lot in New Hampshire. Not fancy and not crowded. Also Sugarloaf in Maine. You should try as many different places as you can.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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All 3 of those mountains are the same distance from us. We are definately doing one of the Vermont hills. I think we've found the best deals so far with Stowe but we havent counted any of them out. Whatever ends up being better for us moneywise and closer to the time of the travel will be the one.
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