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Sunday River or Stowe?

marymack

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
For those of you who ski New England, which resort do you favor between Sunday River and Stowe and why?
In my opinion
StoweSunday river
-On the Epic Pass-On the New England Pass
-Can feel exclusive (ritzy or high level skiers only)-More casual, all levels welcome family feel
-Lots of nightlife options in downtown area, lots of great restaurants-More laid back in the evenings, limited night life and restaurants
-Good grooming-Great grooming
-Gets very crowded-Gets crowded
-Early main lift opening to get the morning sun, Main mountain goes into shadow by midday.
-I could ski Blind Ambition (mellow glade) all day
-Generally more challenging terrain, some greens would be blues at other resorts, many blues would be blacks. -Skiing is very podded- e.g. the Oz terrain is mostly natural and challenging, but Jordan bowl and North Peak are very mellow.
-Possibly more natural snow? Or at least that is the perception I have.
-Parking can be tough, if you aren't staying on mountain, try to stay where you can use the free shuttle.
 

skinnyfootskis

Angel Diva
In my opinion
StoweSunday river
-On the Epic Pass-On the New England Pass
-Can feel exclusive (ritzy or high level skiers only)-More casual, all levels welcome family feel
-Lots of nightlife options in downtown area, lots of great restaurants-More laid back in the evenings, limited night life and restaurants
-Good grooming-Great grooming
-Gets very crowded-Gets crowded
-Early main lift opening to get the morning sun, Main mountain goes into shadow by midday.
-I could ski Blind Ambition (mellow glade) all day
-Generally more challenging terrain, some greens would be blues at other resorts, many blues would be blacks.-Skiing is very podded- e.g. the Oz terrain is mostly natural and challenging, but Jordan bowl and North Peak are very mellow.
-Possibly more natural snow? Or at least that is the perception I have.
-Parking can be tough, if you aren't staying on mountain, try to stay where you can use the free shuttle.
Wow, you are awesome! Thanks
 

lisamamot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I grew up in VT and have only skied Stowe a couple of times. It was always considered exclusive, but that has been upped by multiples - from the lodge it feels like a mini upscale western mountain. Skiing may be great, but I can’t speak to that as I preferred Bolton, Smugglers and Sugarbush. I love the Sunday River vibe and it is now my home mountain.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
I definitely prefer the more laid back vibe at Sunday River. I’ve only been to Stowe a few times, but have always felt the more uppity undercurrent all around there.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Sunday River stretches out left and right as you look at the trail map, stretches a looong way. If you ski from one side to the other in a day, you'll feel like you covered some territory. Each area has significant terrain variations. Not all parts of the mountain are open early season. Mid February should have the whole place open in a good year.

Stowe terrain is divided into three separate areas with their own summits. The one on the right as you look at the trail map is the easier area, by far. The two others have terrain from moderate to quite challenging. If you are seeking genuinely challenging terrain, you'll find it at Stowe. The whole mountain may be open sooner than Sunday River, but that's just my gut feeling. It's dependent on the weather. The storms that hit Vermont do not always travel to Maine and happen drop snow there as well. And vice versa.

The town of Stowe is terminally charming in a Vermont kind of way. The Von Trapps settled there; yep, that's right, The Sound of Music family. The real one. Ben and Jerry's mothership is near by. Last time I was up there you could take a tour. Not sure if that's still an option. The access road is quite glittery at night.

Sunday river has nothing close to the charm or glitter of Stowe. Newry is the town near Sunday River. It's quite small, no sparkle, but has places to stay. There are shops on the access road to Sunday River, but not densely packed like at Stowe. Sunday River's skiers appear more middle-class than wealthy.

Stowe feels upper crust. You'll see more Bogner at Stowe.

Go to both!
 
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marzNC

Angel Diva
I've skied Stowe and Sunday River about the same number of days. Two trips each that involved meeting up with Divas. My daughter was in school in upstate NY or near Boston so that was the main reason I drove north during ski season.

I was using Ikon or the MCP (before Stowe went to Epic). I stayed close by, but not slopeside. Ignoring the travel time factor completely, I would rather go back to SR for a ski vacation lasting 4+ days. I liked the different pods/peaks of SR for variety. For the weekends, didn't seem hard to fine areas without long lift lines with a little planning. I don't care about apres ski so only having a few places to gather afterwards or for dinner doesn't matter much. YMMV
 

ski now work later

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I've been lucky enough to ski Stowe for a couple of midweek days for once a season for about a decade. DH took a continuing education course up there so lodging was covered by his employer, we got discounted lift tickets (before Vail Resorts purchased it), so it was affordable. I love the mountain, but would never go on a weekend or holiday, must be insane. I like to ski the smaller mountain after a storm, it's so incredibly fun and most folks stick with Mt. Mansfield.

I've only skied Sunday River once so I have no real feedback except that I find mountains like Sunday River, Killington, and Breck confusing because the areas are spread out in a row with lots of crossings. I think it's a nice Main vibe, different than Stowe though Stowe is pretty mellow mid-week. We don't do nightlife in Stowe, we typically get a room with a kitchen and bring our food up for most meals. Dining out is overpriced and the food is nothing special.

Both mountains are worth visiting, Stowe will be pricier.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
I love both, but I agree that the town of Stowe has a lot more charm appeal than Newry. Plus you could also hit Mad River Glen, Sugarbush, Smuggler's, or Bolton. None of them is that far away. That said, Sunday River is loads of fun, too. You won't go wrong with either.
 
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BackCountryGirl

Angel Diva
I have worked at Sunday River for years and it's a great mountain. Great snowmaking and grooming--wonderful intermediate cruisers and woods. But it lacks the elevation of Stowe and that elevation offers sustained vertical and a better and more reliable natural snowpack.
 

MagicForest

Diva in Training
I've never been to Stowe, but I was very impressed with Sunday River when I skied there once last season. It's huge! It felt like the Vail of the East to me. I loved it.
 

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