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Updated 2 months ago
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2 months ago

We are thinking of taking and extended weekend (Thur-Sun) ski trip.  It needs to be driveable from Northern VA.  We’ve done Snowshoe and 7 Springs before.  I was thinking Mount Snow which is 7.5 hours away so we could get 2 good days of skiing.  Kids and I are intermediates and my wife stays on easy greens,  Anywhere else I should consider?

I got good advice on here 3 years ago when we went to Squaw Valley. Thank you.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

What kind of lodging would you like?  Slopeside or is a 20-30 min drive okay?

Mt. Snow is a full blown ski resort.  The issue can be windhold for the upper mountain.  Okemo and Stratton are also popular with intermediates and perhaps slightly less crowded since they are a little farther from NYC/NJ.

The Catskills ski areas are a bit smaller, but closer.  Belleayre added a gondola last season that makes the mountain better for intermediates.  I gather with the new trails and lift, Hunter may be better on weekends than recent years.

I really like Jiminy Peak, especially when staying ski in/out.  Very good night skiing on the entire mountain.  Not all the trails but some trails for every ability level.  The lift tickets are by time (4-hr, 8-hr, night skiing starts at 3pm) so don’t necessary have to start out first thing.  When I went to chase a powder storm midweek last season, I waited until about 10:30 because the snow was expected to start at lunch time.  Skied under the lights with fresh snow on an empty mountain.

Jiminy Peak has a detachable 6-pack to the summit to reaches 80% of the trails.  Runs a quad to the second peak in the morning and then a second base lift in the afternoon/evening.  Nice blues and greens on one side, blues and blacks on the other.  Good family mountain.

If staying at Jiminy Peak and want to try something different to avoid the Sat crowd, Berkshire East is an hour away.  BEast is a locals ski area.  Slow lifts but good terrain for intermediates.  Good ski school for beginner/intermediate lessons.  I know a woman who learned to ski at BEast starting a few years ago … after age 60.  She skis Killington blues now.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Hmm, Thu-Sun … could drive up to Scranton.  Ski Elk on Friday, Plattekill on Saturday, and Montage on Sunday since it’s closer to VA.  But that would only be fun for a family really into skiing and willing to get up early to do some driving in the morning.  These are small mountains but all have good intermediate terrain, less crowds than the average Mid-Atlantic ski area/resort on weekends, and completely different vibes than resorts like Snowshoe and 7Springs.

2 months ago

We did the same thing last season to Mt Snow, and didn’t have time to do that over New Years this time. So opted for the Catskills, which was a couple hours shorter drive than Mt Snow. 

2 months ago

marzNC wrote:

Ski Elk on Friday, Plattekill on Saturday, and Montage on Sunday

That is my hope for the weekend after our local season ends. Though hadn’t thought of Montage. It looked pretty good driving past it. What an odd view that is.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

camp wrote:

marzNC wrote:

Ski Elk on Friday, Plattekill on Saturday, and Montage on Sunday

That is my hope for the weekend after our local season ends. Though hadn’t thought of Montage. It looked pretty good driving past it. What an odd view that is.

The advanced terrain at Montage is not visible at all from I-81.  Base lodge and parking is at mid-mountain.  Black trails are go down from the parking into a drainage that is hidden from view.  White Lightning is so steep that it requires a winch cat at the lower end.  I only skied Montage once during early season before any bumps had formed.  Met up with friends who live in Philly and have a season pass to Montage over other places in the Poconos.  Current management seems to have found the right niche.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

camp wrote:

We did the same thing last season to Mt Snow, and didn’t have time to do that over New Years this time. So opted for the Catskills, which was a couple hours shorter drive than Mt Snow. 

Where did you ski?  Have you skied Windham?  I haven’t skied there but have stopped by to look at the base during off-season.

2 months ago

marzNC wrote:

Where did you ski?  Have you skied Windham?  I haven’t skied there but have stopped by to look at the base during off-season.

Belleayre, Windham, and Platty. The vertical and variety was good and similar at them all. 

2 months ago

NE mountains can get really crazy on Holiday weekends, and check when Mass and other schools are closed for a week on Feb, essentially to permit family ski trips!  Crazy crowded

MorganB 

aka The Colonel

Denis - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

The Colonel wrote:

NE mountains can get really crazy on Holiday weekends, and check when Mass and other schools are closed for a week on Feb, essentially to permit family ski trips!  Crazy crowded

MorganB 

aka The Colonel

ah yes.  I grew up in Massachusetts and had forgotten this.  It was a state law that kids could not be compelled to go to school for more than 10 consecutive weeks without a week vacation.  Very civilized idea IMHO.  Therefore we had a February vacation and an April vacation.  Typically the February one contained washington’s Birthday.  Washington and Lincoln birthdays were celebrated separately in those days.  My daughter and family lived in VT from 2000-2015 and that tradition is still alive in New England.  The dates of the February vacation may vary according to the NE state and school district.  It could be anytime in the last half of February or first week of March.  It’s worth checking.  My daughter coached the 8-12 yr. old division of the kids free ski team at Mad River.  My 3 grandsons are graduates of that program.  They all ski Squaw Valley now.  

 

2 months ago

Many good ideas above, but your number #1 consideration should be “where is the snow”.  I was at Bromley and Mt. Snow last week.  The southern Green mountains have had anough early season snow and cold snaps to power through the crazy low pressure rain systems.  They both were 60-70% open, and there is a big dump in the forecast for next week.  Unfortunately the Poconos and Catskills (and even Berkshires) missed out on the early season snow, and it looks like most areas are less than 50% open (some significantly).

Of course the problem becomes: millions of skiers in PA ,NJ, NY and CT also know the best cover is in VT.  My take on crowds in southern VT: avoid Okemo at all costs.  Mt. Snow can absorb a lot of people but you need to have some familiarity and a game plan.  Bromley is usually pretty civilized but the lodge will be stuffed.  Believe it or not Killington can be pretty manageable once you are parked and on the snow, but again, some familiarity needed.  Three aces in the hole: ski out of the Sun Bowl at Stratton (which means you miss out on the village experience if you are into that kind of thing); Pico has 2,000 vertical and is never over crowded; and Magic finally has their new green chair open (but check their snow reports, they have the least snowmaking and will need the new snow).  Have fun!   

2 months ago

Skied Magic, Bromley, Stratton, Mt. Ellen, Stowe and Smugglers last week.  Of the southern Vermont mountains Magic had the least coverage.  Bromley and Stratton both had good conditions - most of the runs in the Sun Bowl area at Stratton were not open last week (although the lift was and I assume the lodge was open).  The town of Manchester is close to those mountains and is very nice.  Mt. Ellen (Sugarbush North) doesn’t get very crowded and was fun.  Stowe was busy and had good coverage.  Smugglers was nice but pretty far for you.  Just a warning while the conditions are ahead of the Catskills they haven’t had much snow in awhile so things get pretty skied off by noon.

2 months ago

A great choice is Gore Mtn in NYS. It is never crowded. It is easier to get to than SVT as it is 20 miles off the highway. The mountain has loads of blue skiing, a gondola and 2 high speed quads along with many other lifts. The town of North Creek has less going on than SVT and Gore does not get as much natural snow as SVT.  There is 95% snowmaking, but they have less pumping power than the big areas of SVT (Mt Snow, Stratton, Okemo). The housing is less expensive than SVT. I was a homeowner at Gore for 25 years.

https://www.goremountain.com/

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

x10003q wrote:

A great choice is Gore Mtn in NYS. It is never crowded. It is easier to get to than SVT as it is 20 miles off the highway. The mountain has loads of blue skiing, a gondola and 2 high speed quads along with many other lifts. The town of North Creek has less going on than SVT and Gore does not get as much natural snow as SVT.  There is 95% snowmaking, but they have less pumping power than the big areas of SVT (Mt Snow, Stratton, Okemo). The housing is less expensive than SVT. I was a homeowner at Gore for 25 years.

https://www.goremountain.com/

From what I’ve been hearing, there are some issues with snowmaking at Gore this season.  A lot of new infrastructure was installed.  But trail conditions are not making ORDA passholders happy in recent weeks.  Of course, the warmth and heavy rains haven’t helped.

I like Gore but have only skied there a couple of days during early season.  A friendlier mountain for intermediates compared to Whiteface.

2 months ago

Okemo. (period)

2 months ago

http://forums.alpinezone.com/forumdisplay.php/10-Northeast-Skiing-and-Snowboarding-Forum?s=1146df578b4865af0048690bdef5f244

Post ur ? above.  No Mt. Snow wknds - maybe 1st 2 days. Magic - weekend. Stay in Brattleboro. Easiest drive to SVt. 🍺

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