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Next East Coast Trip - Jay Peak for Intermediates?

Bonnie2617

Certified Ski Diva
#1
With the ski season over for me, I am naturally starting to plan for next year. My family does one trip together, so I am wondering what our next destination should be. We are mostly mellow skiers who are happiest on long green and blue groomers. We have done trips to Okemo, Killington, Stratton and Mt. Snow.

We have a few non-skiers in our group, so I have been considering Jay Peak because of the water park. However, I came across an article that said there aren’t many groomers there to keep intermediates entertained. Can someone speak to this?

Any other recommendations for our next east coast mountain? We typically go for 4-5 days mid-week, so crowds aren’t an issue and we are looking to stay on the mountain.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#2
Any other recommendations for our next east coast mountain? We typically go for 4-5 days mid-week, so crowds aren’t an issue and we are looking to stay on the mountain.
Sounds like you drive. Starting from where? Would Tremblant be too far? While Jay has a waterpark, if the non-skiers are willing to do a little driving there is plenty to do in Montreal.

A stay at Lake Placid is always good for non-skiers. But it's a steep mountain with good blue groomers but not much for those who stick to beginner trails. Also, there isn't any on mountain lodging. Same issue for Gore.
 

Bonnie2617

Certified Ski Diva
#3
Sounds like you drive. Starting from where? Would Tremblant be too far? While Jay has a waterpark, if the non-skiers are willing to do a little driving there is plenty to do in Montreal.

A stay at Lake Placid is always good for non-skiers. But it's a steep mountain with good blue groomers but not much for those who stick to beginner trails. Also, there isn't any on mountain lodging. Same issue for Gore.
We’re on Long Island and yes would be driving. Tremblant would be too far - its 8.5 hr drive. Jay peak is 7hrs and that’s probably the farthest we would go.

It would of course be great to find some place that checks all the boxes, but the most important to us is to find a mountain that will keep the beginner and intermediate skiers happy for 4 days.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#4
We’re on Long Island and yes would be driving. . . . but the most important to us is to find a mountain that will keep the beginner and intermediate skiers happy for 4 days.
Although it's a much smaller mountain than the destination resorts you've mentioned, Jiminy Peak in the Berkshires is quite a nice little 4-seasons resort that's relatively close to NYC. The main lift to the summit is a detachable high-speed 6-seater that accesses perhaps 80% of the terrain. There are green, blue, and black trails from the top. Also have lights for a variety of terrain. There is slopeside lodging by Jiminy Peak Resorts and Wyndham Bentley Brook. The nearby towns of Pittsfield, Williamstown, and North Adams have museums and shopping.

I wrote notes about Jiminy Peak in the Berkshires 2017-18 thread, including comments about an early March snowstorm. I had another reason to be in the Boston area. Ended up flying in a couple days early to make sure I made it before Southwest started cancelling flights. Had a good time skiing fresh snow midweek.

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/i...ny-peak-and-berkshire-east.22139/#post-354792

A very common answer for slopeside lodging a group that includes beginners/intermediates in Vermont is Smuggler's Notch. The town of Stowe is about an hour's drive during the winter (can't drive over the pass).
 

BlueSkies

Certified Ski Diva
#5
Mid-winter most of the intermediate trails are groomed, but some of them are only accessible from expert trails (some of the ungroomed intermediates too). The glades that are listed as intermediate glades will have a narrow groomed path through them once the snow is deep enough, the paths being very easy, but narrow with opportunities to go off path. Early and late season more of the trails are left ungroomed. Looking at today's report I see at least half a dozen that are usually groomed were not groomed for today.
 

elemmac

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
We have a few non-skiers in our group, so I have been considering Jay Peak because of the water park. However, I came across an article that said there aren’t many groomers there to keep intermediates entertained. Can someone speak to this?
Jay has a little bit of everything, but is mostly known for its glade skiing and ungrounds terrain. I think there are better choices for beginner/intermediates. There’s also nothing else around the mountain, so unless your “non-skiers” want to cross-country ski, winter hike, snowshoe and use the water park...there’s not much around the mountain.

Any other recommendations for our next east coast mountain? We typically go for 4-5 days mid-week, so crowds aren’t an issue and we are looking to stay on the mountain.
You’ve hit many of the places I’d recommend (Okemo, Mt Snow, and Stratton)...but I’d look into Bretton Woods if you want something new.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#8
I’ll echo @elemmac above, I think Bretton Woods could be a fun option for both skiers and non-skiers alike. The North Conway area is beautiful and has lots of things to do.
Agree that Bretton Woods and North Conway would be a very good fit. However, much closer for folks in the Boston area than the NYC area.

Another possibility would be to consider a couple others places in NH. Waterville Valley and Loon come to mind of the places I've checked out in recent years.

Waterville Valley is especially good if the non-skiers have any interest in nordic skiing. WV is a major nordic center. The "town" in the valley has plenty of lodging options, with free bus service around the town and to the slopes. With the addition of Green Mountain, there is a fair amount of variety for a small mountain. It's fun to take the poma at the summit when it's clear, which serves wide blue runs. The vibe is very family friendly. The town of Plymouth is not too far away and has a few good restaurants.

Loon midweek could be good too. Lincoln is not as big as North Conway but is okay for a short stay.
 

MissySki

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
Ah yes, I admittedly have no experience driving from NYC to any ski areas up here, but when I did a google maps charting it seemed to actually be a quicker drive to North Conway than Jay by a little bit. Of course in practice that could be much different depending on when you hit different traffic pinch points and timing of the trip.

Loon is definitely another good option for midweek days, they have great grooming and beginners and intermediated would find plenty to keep busy on there. There is also still the potential to explore up to North Conway if the non skiers were into shopping etc., a bunch of good outlets etc. and it’s just a little under an hour away. There are certainly other things to do in the Lincoln area too though.
 
#10
Ah yes, I admittedly have no experience driving from NYC to any ski areas up here, but when I did a google maps charting it seemed to actually be a quicker drive to North Conway than Jay by a little bit. Of course in practice that could be much different depending on when you hit different traffic pinch points and timing of the trip.
One advantage of driving up into New Hampshire from NYC is that more of the drive would be on major highway. Getting to northern VT from NYC involves a fair amount of 2-lane road, no matter what route is used.

Loon is definitely another good option for midweek days, they have great grooming and beginners and intermediated would find plenty to keep busy on there. There is also still the potential to explore up to North Conway if the non skiers were into shopping etc., a bunch of good outlets etc. and it’s just a little under an hour away. There are certainly other things to do in the Lincoln area too though.
Another point in favor of Lincoln is that it's a short drive to Cannon if a group includes advanced skiers. Assuming there isn't a snowstorm in Franconia Notch or high winds putting Cannon lifts on hold.

A relatively new attraction in Lincoln is one of the Ice Castle sites. I didn't get a chance to check it out in March but seemed like a fun family activity. It's open well into the evening so doesn't conflict with skiing.
 

Bonnie2617

Certified Ski Diva
#11
So many options! I guess I don’t have to worry about running out of new mountains. I think you have convinced me that there are better options than Jay Peak for our group.

I’m liking the trail maps for Bretton Woods, Smugglers and Loon. Good thing have like a year to figure this out...won’t be easy.

Thank you for all the info!
 

Marta_P

Certified Ski Diva
#12
Hi Bonnie, +1 for Bretton Woods. My daughter and I spent the majority of our ski time there this year and last and have really enjoyed how approachable the mountain is. There are so many nice long intermediate well groomed trails, plus long beginner and black too for the outliers in your group or less/more adventurous days. I'd say the only downside for Bretton Woods is the lack of restaurants (mainly just the Mount Washington Hotel and one other at the foot of the mountain), but as others have said, North Conway is a quick drive. FYI, I prefer Bretton Woods to Loon as the trails are a little more gentle and all empty out to the same base, where as Loon has several different bases, which can be confusing for those that want to take the lifts up together, but ski different level trails down. In addition, because Loon is so close to Boston, and right off the highway, it gets ridiculously crowded on weekends/school holidays!
 

Bonnie2617

Certified Ski Diva
#13
Hi Bonnie, +1 for Bretton Woods. My daughter and I spent the majority of our ski time there this year and last and have really enjoyed how approachable the mountain is. There are so many nice long intermediate well groomed trails, plus long beginner and black too for the outliers in your group or less/more adventurous days. I'd say the only downside for Bretton Woods is the lack of restaurants (mainly just the Mount Washington Hotel and one other at the foot of the mountain), but as others have said, North Conway is a quick drive. FYI, I prefer Bretton Woods to Loon as the trails are a little more gentle and all empty out to the same base, where as Loon has several different bases, which can be confusing for those that want to take the lifts up together, but ski different level trails down. In addition, because Loon is so close to Boston, and right off the highway, it gets ridiculously crowded on weekends/school holidays!
That sounds perfect for us! Love the idea of only one base. We went to killington this year and spent a lot of time texting and waiting around to try to meet up.
 

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