Powder is a terrible thing to waste.
Home
Jay Peak
14 posts from 6 users
Updated 27 days ago
799 views
Jump to Newest Post
Denis - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

i tried to post this on the Jay thread but it would not accept my post.

Jay gets approximately half it’s skiers from Quebec, and is easily accessible from Montreal.  One hears as much French as English.  It is also surprisingly easy to access from Boston or Manchester, NH.  I-91 runs straight up the Connecticut River valley which forms the NH/VT border.  Therefore interstate almost all the way from either of those airports.  From Boston; I-93 to I-89 in concord, to I-91 in White River Junction, then straight N to local roads for the last 10 miles or so.  The trip time from either is about the same as Stowe. It’s an excellent mountain once you’re there, with a few drawbacks that are intrinsic, not their fault, cold and wind.  In any midwinter week the tram will experience 1-2 days of wind hold.  Sometimes a few hours, rarely all day.  Also on rare occasions it has ambient temperatures below -40 but there’s never wind when it’s that cold and often warms up to 0 by noontime.

‘In the pre 9/11 years the border was unguarded on the small local roads.  There’d be a sign directing you to the nearest station where you could register that you had entered Canada.  Day skiers simply ignored it.  We used to go to Mont Sutton in Quebec, 45 minutes away, if it looked like an all day windhold at Jay.  Sutton is very well sheltered from wind and has great tree skiing.  Jay took (or used to) Canadian money at par, so we’d drive across and get Loonies from an ATM.  Now you have to show a Canadian drivers license to get that deal.  They have an even better deal for holders of a VT drivers license.

jay is locally famous for the ‘Jay Cloud’ which hovers over the peak almost all winter dropping a dusting to half a foot of light dry powder every day.  It leads the northeast in snow every season and once 20 years ago led the lower 48 with 600 inches.  There are several big dumps every year.  There are extensive glades, some great, some over thinned by management.  There are 2 peaks with a saddle in between, the tram side and the jet side.  There are just 2 ways off the rocky exposed top of the tram, Montrealer and Vermonter.  Once down to tree line there are entrances to glades everywhere.  There is a long, much criticized, runout to get back to the lift.  The jet side has better wind shelter, more glades, and consistent vertical top to bottom.  

Trusting my memory on all the above.  It has been almost 20 years.  So fact check before you go.

one month ago

Good memory Denis!  Bought a camp down the road from JP almost 20 years ago. Moved here 2015.  Update:

  • about 1/2 hour off I 91 in decent weather
  • often wonder if mid-week windholds are labor related
  • weekends, holidays, powder days - be at tram 1/2 hour before opening or, wait until 11am;  skinning’s huge - don’t be surprised if best lines tracked out before you step off tram; Montrealer much easier than Vermonter
  • Owl’s Head .. 20 minutes into QC .. Laurel Mtn-like quaint … fantastic easterly views
  • oft-overlooked Burke, Stowe, Smuggs about an hour
  • 6” fresh, add 20 mph winds = knee+ stashes all over the hill; midweek - take the low-hanging fruit on lee side of trails before venturing to usually untouched woods
  • no apres but, great eateries w/in 10 minutes both sides of hill
  • Boutins MiniMart - 15 minutes east .. best pizzas, craft beer selection in VT
  • Border Ski Rental - 1 mile past Boutins … always tuned rentals for groomers & pow;  gear ready to go upon arrival when you reserve by text/email/phone;  after hours reservations great for families, small groups;  1/2 price (no blackout) ticket vouchers available!

Jay Peak definitely a must visit!  And, don’t overlook Burke if you think you ski fast.

one month ago

and …. decent indoor water park, climbing center, full size ice arena, theater, arcades, etc … really help weatherproof family vacations

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

56fish wrote:

and …. decent indoor water park, climbing center, full size ice arena, theater, arcades, etc … really help weatherproof family vacations

Have you ever looked to see how crowded Jay is during Christmas week?  Sounds like making the trek to Jay from NYC/NJ with school-age kids would be worth the effort over joining the crowds at Mt Snow (soon to be Epic) or Stowe (Epic), or Killington (Ikon partner).

Reminds me of Snowshoe for the DC/NoVA families, which is Alterra and Ikon.

one month ago

The non-ski activities available …. may also be used until early day lift lines subside a bit …. 

The other resorts you mention are absolute zoos compared to JP and, car/shuttle is necessary for non-ski alternatives 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

56fish wrote:

The non-ski activities available …. may also be used until early day lift lines subside a bit …. 

The other resorts you mention are absolute zoos compared to JP and, car/shuttle is necessary for non-ski alternatives 

If someone was traveling from the southeast or Mid-Atlantic, would flying to Burlington or Montreal and driving to Jay late Dec or early Jan make any sense?  Or still better to fly out west?

I’m thinking about a trip that has to be planned well in advance, say at least a couple months.  The deadline for discounted resort lodging at Jay is Oct. 2.  Have seen lodging deals for Ikon resorts out west that have to be booked by late Oct.  The best Stratton deals end in late Sept.

Denis - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

I have never been a fan of laying down money on lodging and airfare months in advance, anywhere, any time in the season, east or west.  I’d rather pay more and have flexibility to jump on good conditions.  Take that under advisement; I’m a powder snob who avoids groomers whenever possible.  

For Jay you pretty much need to stay at the mountain.  Burlington is ~2 hrs. Drive but mostly on secondary roads.  Road conditions could make it much longer.  Manchester is about 3 hrs. But mostly interstate.  Daily commuting from either is out of the question IMHO.

burlington is a small airport with not a lot of flights, especially at convenient times.  I’ve experienced cancelled flights there frequently.  Manchester is much bigger and more reliable.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

Denis wrote:

I have never been a fan of laying down money on lodging and airfare months in advance, anywhere, any time in the season, east or west.  I’d rather pay more and have flexibility to jump on good conditions.  Take that under advisement; I’m a powder snob who avoids groomers whenever possible.  

For Jay you pretty much need to stay at the mountain.  Burlington is ~2 hrs. Drive but mostly on secondary roads.  Road conditions could make it much longer.  Manchester is about 3 hrs. But mostly interstate.  Daily commuting from either is out of the question IMHO.

burlington is a small airport with not a lot of flights, especially at convenient times.  I’ve experienced cancelled flights there frequently.  Manchester is much bigger and more reliable.

Most of my trips out west involve friends who are either working or have kids, so planning well in advance is a given.  For driving around the northeast for a solo ski safari, I’m much more flexible but the general dates are still based on non-skiing events involving other people.  That’s one reason I never made it to Jay.  Just a bit too far north.  Especially since I’ve been driving my NC minivan that isn’t set up for snowy roads.

But my questions are more to tease out why Alterra would seriously consider purchasing Jay.  My impression is that the target metropolitan market would be Montreal more than NYC/NJ or Boston.  Alterra got Snowshoe, Stratton, and Tremblant as part of buying Intrawest.  Killington/Pico and Sugarbush are Ikon partners, plus the three Boyne resorts that are a straightforward drive from Boston.  Without VR going after Peak Resorts, would Alterra still want to take on Jay?  Hard to know when Alterra visited Jay.

Denis - DCSki Supporter
one month ago

marzNC wrote

But my questions are more to tease out why Alterra would seriously consider purchasing Jay.  My impression is that the target metropolitan market would be Montreal more than NYC/NJ or Boston.  Alterra got Snowshoe, Stratton, and Tremblant as part of buying Intrawest.  Killington/Pico and Sugarbush are Ikon partners, plus the three Boyne resorts that are a straightforward drive from Boston.  Without VR going after Peak Resorts, would Alterra still want to take on Jay?  Hard to know when Alterra visited Jay.

interesting questions indeed for the industry.  I’m just a skier.

 

one month ago

I think that depends on your tolerance. I lived in Burliington for years. We always day-tripped Jay and never had a problem, even on snowy days, as long as you get out of the bed & get moving early. St. Albans is also a good spot to stay for folks who don’t want to trek the 30 miles or so down the interstate to Burlington.

I mean, I wouldn’t attempt it in a Corvette on a snowy day, but otherwise no worries.

Denis wrote:

For Jay you pretty much need to stay at the mountain.  Burlington is ~2 hrs. Drive but mostly on secondary roads.  Road conditions could make it much longer.  Daily commuting from either is out of the question IMHO.

 

one month ago

marzNC wrote:

56fish wrote:

The non-ski activities available …. may also be used until early day lift lines subside a bit …. 

The other resorts you mention are absolute zoos compared to JP and, car/shuttle is necessary for non-ski alternatives 

If someone was traveling from the southeast or Mid-Atlantic, would flying to Burlington or Montreal and driving to Jay late Dec or early Jan make any sense?  Or still better to fly out west?

I’m thinking about a trip that has to be planned well in advance, say at least a couple months.  The deadline for discounted resort lodging at Jay is Oct. 2.  Have seen lodging deals for Ikon resorts out west that have to be booked by late Oct.  The best Stratton deals end in late Sept.

1st week of Jan usually slow. Montreal.

28 days ago

Tolerable place (depending on your level of tolerance) in a nice little town with provisions and basic dining, 15 minutes from Jay

 

 

I have loved prior comments as well.  I don’t have a lot of experience with Jay but it was so much more crowded and more quickly tracked out this year than when I first visited just five years ago.  It is an exceptional mountain but it is chewed up fast by it’s aficianados.  still awesome.  Denis and 56fish are right on and clearly know it better than I do.

I will also second the shout outs to Burke and to Sutton in Quebec, smoothest fastest groomers EVAH at burke and exceptional trees which are quite neglected.  Sutton’s trees are better known but by to few it seems, that place is a gem

 

 

27 days ago

=Unless you like bashing the bark, I wouldn’t schedule a plane trip to Jay vs out West. But if conditions are right, worth the long drive from DC.

I ski Jay every four years or so. Last hit it NYE weekend two years ago when rest of VT got 8 in or so and Jay got 40-50 over a few days. Place was slammed though, so no untracked days later unless you went BC.

Random musings.

Denis is correct, Jet side has better consistent vertical, though less of it.

The most miserable spot of any ski area on earth is when the Flyer - aka Freezer lift goes over the last Crest. The full force of Hudson Bay is blowing in your face. The blue black groomers up there often have severe wind scour down to rocks and if your lucky, a river frozen in place. Get below the wind, and things can be sweet. Don’t believe easier way down signs if you don’t duck into the trees.

Some of the easiest and some of the toughest trees I’ve ever skied.

I think I have the trail correct - Powerline is the longest stretch of double fall line I’ve ever skied - maybe 1k or so? Not a real tough trail, but you’ll walk in circles after it.

There are two slot trails in what is I think labeled Deliverance. There are also some open-ish trees also to skiers left. Not giving away state secrets, they are obvious from the lift and I think they have signs. If you like tight trails with decent extended vertical and they snow is good, hit them. Only 10 feet wide in spots.

BP and BBP are generally not too steep and not the most vert, but a lot of playful terrain in there. 

 

27 days ago

Never been to Burke, but heard good things about it. But for skiing fast on steeep groomers, Allen and Ross at Middlebury Snow Bowl. One of the top NCAA ski teams trains there. I know about Burke Mountain Ski Academy - the very best go to Olympic team and the next tier ski in NCAA.

But I remember before blasting and regrading when both trails could hold up to most of MRG….

 

 

Ad: Massanutten Resort

Speak truth to powder.
If you'd like to share your own comments, please log in to DCSki.
Don't have a profile? Create one here.
Page load time: 0.22 seconds