Best Resort In VT?
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snow1214
December 6, 2003
Member since 09/28/2003
16 posts
Ok here it is. I posted this question over at epic too but I want to see what you guys think too!

In feb what resort would be the best for two couples and no children (a little break!) to go for some good skiing? One is an advanced skier looking for some good glades and the steeper the better for me..and the hardest part, the resort needs to have a quality first timers program. Would prefer slope side lodging but needs to be somewhat reasonable, good aspres ski and some nice shops! It took us long enough to finally get the wives on the slopes. Wouldn't go near them while living out west..!

Oh yea it will be on a weekend friday to maybe tue or wen...

[This message has been edited by snow1214 (edited 12-06-2003).]

Roger Z
December 6, 2003
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Snow 1214 I'd say go to Stowe. A little pricey but maybe the best skiing in the East; proves you don't need 500 runs to be a top-tier ski resort. Something for everyone. Good apres ski. Plus the first clear day you see Mansfield you will feel like you are in Austria.

If you want to get slope side lodging try the other side of Mansfield at Smugglers Notch-- also renown as a "family" destination (good with or without kids, good introductory program) but something for everyone there, too. I think it's a little less crowded and less expensive than Stowe also. If you can't decide, you can ski in-between the two resorts in February and try both.

gatkinso
December 6, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
Killington has it all hands down terrain, nightlife, off slope activities. Big and somewhat aloof, but that is the price of success.

Suicide Six is a net little rresort - very friendly and mellow despite the name.

snow1214
December 6, 2003
Member since 09/28/2003
16 posts
Thanks for the input! What about snow quality at the resorts?
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Roger Z
December 7, 2003
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Snow quality-- well, natural snow wise the further north you head the better, but Vermont is colder than here and they get more snow, so even Mount Snow in southern VT wouldn't be terrible. Don't know about artificial snow much though.

If you're browsing around and you think of going to Sugarbush, you've GOT to go up by yourself for a day to Mad River Glen. That is the definitive ski hill for expert skiers. Might be worth going to Sugarbush just so you can split off on your own for a day or two to MRG.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 8, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
"If you can't decide, you can ski in-between the two resorts in February and try both."

Stowe closed that trail. There's a big flat section that goes past a lake. Also, the Big Spruce Double doesn't run in winds so Smuggs people often got stuck at Stowe if the winds picked up in the afternoon.

(Anonymous)
December 8, 2003
I would say Jay Peak has become one of my favorite resorts over the years, just based on snow cover and terrain alone. However, it is in the boonies for sure and a little farther north than most people care to drive to in VT.

I would concur that Stowe is one of the best. Stay at the Inn at the Mountain for slopeside access. They have condos, townhouses, and hotel rooms, all a stones throw away from the Toll Road access chair. If you are going in February, book now.

Killington is a bit too New Jersey for my tastes.

lbotta - DCSki Supporter
December 8, 2003
Member since 10/18/1999
1,526 posts
A little something for everyone. Skiing is a culture in New England and although with exceptions, each ski center has its own assiduous clientele.

If you're a nature boy and the granola graciously spills out of the open sides of your Wrangler, try Mad River Glen (by the way, a cooperative not unlike Cabot Farms). I agree with Roger Z that Mad River is one of the "must try" experiences in skiing if you're interested in the uniqueness of the sport. And you will be doing it to the tunes of Grateful Dead, Neil Young, John Prine, and the latest in protest music... :-)

If your testosterone level is significantly higher than your bank account, or if you're a college sophomore, love the Osborns and don't mind finding old vomit in the restrooms, try Killington. It is huge, brash, trails out the wazoo, with a young, brash, party crowd. Even the little kids act like little Bart Simpsons... However, expect excellent conditions and massive natural and artificial snow due to its snowbelt location. The other thing is that you can access it before even getting to the resort, one of the gondola systems starts about 10 miles from the resort. It is the Wal-mart of New England resorts.

Then there's Stowe... If you like to take your Hummer or Land Rover on long trips and miss the refinement of Europe, have a craving for Beef Wellington and Chateau Latour, don't want to see little Bart Simpsons stepping on your skis, but instead enjoy kids on their vacations from Choate or Fairfield Prep, then Stowe is the place for you. Well, think about it this way, when the Trapp Family had to split from Austria, they chose Stowe as their new home. There is a quiet dignity to Stowe along with excellent skiing in what I can only describe a Continental flare. If there is enough snow for the double-fall-line Goat or the rest of the Front Four, you can have a workout. And if you want excellent cruisers, the Gondola-accessible Trails of Strerling or Main Street are a pleasure. Take the family to Lunch at the Cliffside Restaurant at the top of the gondola and feel like you're in Switzerland or Austria. No fast food, no hamburgers, just exquisite continental cuisine with service. I will acknowledge Stowe is only second to Zermatt as my lifelong favorites. There are dozens of outstanding places to stay, from the large Commodore or Snowflake Inns complete with hot tubs and cross-country, to the convenient Inn at the Mountain, to the historical Trapp Family Lodge, to the small intimate B&Bs. Another plus: as you said that you needed a first timers program, Sterling, separate from the rest of Stowe, is an awesome beginner's mountain, same lift ticket, nice bunny hill, and once they get their ski legs, loooooong cruisers that can accommodate different proficiency levels.

In the middle of these, there are numerous other excellent resorts which are family-oriented. Bolton Valley is off-the-road and has some excellent skiing, lodging, and food. Smuggs, as Roger Z said, is an excellent family resort.

If snow is what you're after, Jay Peak takes it. Over 400 inches a year. The Northeast Kingdom is not a place for luxury, although the towns surrounding Jay Peak, such as Montgomery Center, have undergone some significant gentrification. The quality of Jay Peak is indisputable... if you can wear layers upon layers of clothes and skiing at 20 below doesn't bother you...

My take: if you have two couples with no kids and want to have an optimum place for both skiing and pleasure, go to Stowe. Smuggs is a close second.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 8, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Lou hits the nail on the head with regard to Stowe. It's one of the best resorts in North America--that's right, North America.

Why?

1 Superior terrain. Don't be alarmed by the fact that the resort only advertises 48 runs. Most of them take advantage of the full 2,360 foot vertical of the mountain. Skiing ten runs on this mountain per day is an achievement--especially if one or two of those runs are on a "Front Four" trail. But don't be alarmed if you are not an expert, this mountain offers loads of great intermediate trails: Perry Merrill, Gondolier, Lord, Standard, North Slope, Smugglers, Steerling, etc. It also offers some decent beginner terrain including the 4.5 mile long Toll Road trail.

2. Natural Beauty: Mount Mansfield is a 10! It's a beautiful mountain with very little slopeside development and views forever.

3. Lodging: Great cheap hotels like Innsbruck Inn and many finer venues such as Top Notch and the Trapp Family Lodge.

4. Food. Great food ranging from Pie in the Sky (pizza, low end) to Miguel's (mid-range Mexican) to top quality cuisine (main dining room at Trapp).

5. Natural Snow and off-piste. It's not unusual for Stowe to get 8 inches of lake effect a day for weeks on end in January.... This makes for perfect conditions and great off-piste.

There's a good strand on Stowe on Epic:

http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=005259

(Anonymous)
December 8, 2003
For Deer Valley type service, superb ski lodge food ,the highest elevation in southern Vermont and avoiding the long drive to Stowe, you can't beat Stratton. It's a bit pretentious, however, there is a large population of snow boarders who a starting to make the resort a little more hip. They have great grooming and for cold days you can't beat the gondola.
DC_Skier
December 8, 2003
Member since 01/2/2003
56 posts
lbotta, Killington = Walmart? While I agree it's a ZOO on weekends & holidays, it has a LOT of great terrain for all abilities and gets good snow. If you have a week and don't want to spend the $$ for plane fare, I would seriously consider Killington. During the (non-holiday)week it is a totally different mountain.

Stowe is my favorite, but I rarely get there due to the extra two hours from S.Vermont.

Lietmotiv
December 8, 2003
Member since 12/31/2001
113 posts
lbotta & lbotta,
you summed up my entire Stowe trip 2 years ago. I have to second Stowe as one of the best resorts I've ever been too. While I love Alta and some of the other Utah resorts, Stowe is a place I could consider retiring to in 30 years and they are also in the correct time zone (EST)!. I won't go into much detail because it's already been covered it but if you go to Stowe stop by Ben & Jerrys for the cheesy tour and some local's only flavors. I stayed at the Trapp Family Lodge too. Great experience!

-Doug

[This message has been edited by Lietmotiv (edited 12-08-2003).]

lbotta - DCSki Supporter
December 8, 2003
Member since 10/18/1999
1,526 posts
Gee, DC_Skier, seems I hit a raw bone... My comment on the Wal-mart (and that's a curse word in VT, by the way) stems from my experience with the resort since I went to College not far away from it all the way back to the early '70s to last year. Yes, K'ton has awesome runs, which I acknowledge. I also said it had great snow. Unbeatable in the East. However, there is a lot more to a ski vacation other than the terrain and that's what I wanted to show the nice person who started the thread. He wanted good apres and shopping. In the overall department, and besides its unbeatable terrain. K'ton is the mountain for the Animal House, rowdy College crowd. and believe me, I know from personal experience... The mountain road looks as squalid as Bragg Boulevard in Fayetteville NC (anyone did time at Ft Bragg?) and the row of interminable strip malls up the mountain is really not Vermont, but a sad commentary on how a resort should NOT develop... In short, I feel at K'ton like I feel at a Wal-mart... lots of bargains, lots of stuff, but not much else...

I went to K'ton last year and the year before and the year before, and all the way back to my college days in Colchester VT. But going to K'ton, one knows that one goes for the skiing, period. At my age and as my tastes have changed, I look for skiing and for the ambiance that goes along with the overall experience. So K'ton is great for a workout weekend, but if I am going on vacation, it would be the last place I would stay.

And one more absolutely wonderful thing about Stowe... There is one, repeat, one Wendys or some other fast food chain in the entire Stowe area, left over from the '70s. And the townsfolk are doing everything possible to kick it out of town. No McDonalds, no Burger King, no Pizza Hut, even not a Starbucks... Yes, plenty of coffee houses, but all original. That in itself is worth the trip.

[This message has been edited by lbotta (edited 12-08-2003).]

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 8, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
"The mountain road looks as squalid as Bragg Boulevard in Fayetteville NC (anyone did time at Ft Bragg?)"

I almost took a civilian Army job at FayetteNam, but my Army friends (yes, I do have one or two) convinced me that it was not a wise move--especially for a skier. Go Navy!

DC_Skier
December 8, 2003
Member since 01/2/2003
56 posts
Lou,

No raw bones here ! I just meant that it deserves its propers as a great skiing mountain. It is not my favorite by a long shot, but when it is on it is really on.

Yeah no question the road up is depressing, no pawn shops though. (I did an 8 week stint at Bragg in '87) If you're talking about the whole experience as representative of Ye Olde New England its definitely the pits.

I generally go to other mountains if I only have a weekend. Bromley is worth a look, as is Magic Mountain and Okemo.

Roger Z
December 8, 2003
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
I was going to venture that Stowe was one of the best resorts in America but was afraid of getting shot down. But I'll enthusiastically second Johnfmh on that one. The skiing there-- forget even the apres-ski experience-- the skiing is fantastic. Gondolier is one of the best intermediate runs I have ever been on, and Goat alone will keep you entertained for a full day with its various fall-lines, twists, and snow conditions (fyi it's open right now with moguls). There are some glades off of Bypass that are phenomenal and spill directly into the Nosedive glades. If you can hook up with a local they can show you some of the non-marked terrain that is supposed to be incredible (I never found it). It also has a separate beginners area with, if I remember right, 900 feet of vertical at the base of Toll Road (which is a wonderful novice trail off the summit) and fantastic views of Mount Mansfield, so even a new skier will get that "Austria" feel skiing there.

The downside is price and crowds. The lines can get pretty long on a weekend. Smuggs seems to have a little less of these two problems, but I haven't skied that place in a L-O-N-G time so can't confirm.

Again, these are only "all around resorts." If you were going to be skiing advanced by yourself it really comes down to two places: MRG and Jay Peak.

(Anonymous)
December 8, 2003
Killington's nickname is ironically, K-Mart amongst locals, and I think Ibota described it pretty succinctly.

It is crowded, lots of soccer moms, Bart Simpsons, and big hair.

Stowe, on the other hand is more Vermont. Despite the Obermeyer and Bogner ski suits, there are real people at Stowe. They can be found at the Matterhorn and Rusty Nail (two great apres ski spots). If I had a week to spend (and indeed I do 12/29 through 1/04) you would find me taking the extra 2 hours up I-89 and hitting Stowe and all of its off mountain and on mountain splendor.

Also, the family side of Stowe is called Spruce Mountain, not Sterling. Also an excellent option for kids and wives with no skiing experience.

JohnL
December 8, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Re Stowe:

When I ever get around to replying to JimK's article on best cruisers, Gondolier will be on my top 10 list.

Base lodge is way too tiny and overcrowded @ lunch. The expert terrain is not well segregated, so you'll get stuck in long lift lines, even when skiing the tough stuff. Lift lines are real bad on weekends. The expert terrain and labelled glades do rock.

Very scenic, even by Vermont standards. Nearby town is classic Vermont. The nearby Trapp Family Lodge is pricy, but the scenery and service are outstanding. You can't go wrong with Stowe. You are also a relatively short drive to Mad River Glen, Sugarbush and Smuggler's Notch. (Direct road from Stowe to Smugg's is closed in the winter.)

>> If you were going to be skiing advanced by yourself it really comes down to two places: MRG and Jay Peak.

Have to disagree with that one, there's plenty of excellent terrain in Vermont beyond those two areas. The big downside with MRG is that on a weekend with good snow conditions, expect a wait of 30-45 minutes on the single chair.

Smugg's has the only "trailed" terrain in Vermont (non-woods or non-cliff jumps) that is truly scary and truly steep. Even by KT-22 standards, there are a couple of runs off the Madonna Lift that will make you think twice before you ski down them (Liftline and Robin's Run). The frozen waterfall on Paradise in MRG is tame by comparison. Depending upon your line, Liftline has a series of 10 foot rock jumps on a >35 degree pitch. If you don't land one, you'll tumble down several hundred foot vertical over rocks, tree stumps and between lift poles. As an added challenge bonus, don't expect much snow on Liftline. Goat @ Stowe is technical and can be a hazard to the bottom of your skis, but Liftline can be a hazard to you. Fortunately, there are several other trails next to Liftline/Robin's Run which are challenging in a safe sense.

Castlerock Mountain @ Sugarbush also has some great expert terrain, with the great advantages of having it's own uncrowded experts-only lift and being some-what sheltered from the wind. However, because of it's sheltering and exposure, you can expect spring-like conditions at the bottom of Castlerock, even in the dead of winter.

Any area in Vermont north of Killington will have some great tree skiing if you're willing to look for it.

[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 12-08-2003).]

(Anonymous)
December 8, 2003
Stowe is nice, but it has priced me right out in recent years. However if you have the money, Stowe is a great town and has great terrain. Smuggs and overlooked Bolton Valley (which is only 2nd to Vermont in terms of powder and snow) are close by.

The town of Stowe is nice, I personally like Wendys McDonalds etc, but I guess elitist type skiers may be too good for these establishments. Stowe is becoming very similar to the posch ski towns in Europe where movie stars and the royal family ski.

An often overlooked destination is Magog just over the border in Quebec. Its not far from Jay, Orford and Sutton. If you're worried about snow and want to save a buck, this is the destination for you. Sutton is on the small end in terms of vertical drop but it does have a lot of trails and glades. Orford has been neglected for many years, but has great terrain and a better snow record than Jay Peak. Its lift line trails are as good as your gonna get in the East. They have added a heated gondola which will be a nice complement to their terrain. Then the almighty Jay is on average the best day of skiing in the East. Glades, powder, cruisers, moguls, and making your own lines is what its all about.

Kmart is awful, unless its a nice midweek day as the variety is somewhat nice.

JohnL
December 8, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
>> but I guess elitist type skiers may be too good for these establishments.

Carefull. I don't think I'd label any of the regular posters on DCSki as elitist. Far from it. Plus my butler posts for me most of the time anyway, and he's a regular chap.

Vermont is very refreshing in the lack of billboards, chain restaurants and stores and suburban sprawl (South Burlington excepted). When most of the places you vacation to start looking like where you live, Vermont is a nice exception. Plus nearly every rural gas station has a deli counter for cheap eats on the fly.

lbotta - DCSki Supporter
December 8, 2003
Member since 10/18/1999
1,526 posts
There is absolutely nothing wrong with NOT having McDonald's and the rest of the fast food garbage in a town. I take pride in having marched on the Esssex Junction VT McDonald's back in 1973, protesting their use of styrofoam. Haven't been to a McDonald's since, will go hungry before I enter one, and I take great satisfaction that many Vermont towns prohibit that type of commercial development.

The lack of these McBusinesses is one of the best draws of a town like Stowe. As far as it "becoming" a town like one or the other, Stowe has been Stowe before Stowe was cool. Besides the great skiing, the way of life is particularly New England, definitely tolerant, and quintesentially civil.

As far as price, there are still very good deals in town and that includes the myriad of B&Bs around the place, you just have to do some homework.

Lou

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 8, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Ok, I have to agree that Stowe can get crowded on weekends--especially Saturday. On almost every trip I've made, I've gone midweek because it was so cheap (ski and stay packages at Innsbruck Inn).

Also, there's certainly more to VT than Stowe. Killington, Jay, the Bush, MRG all have a lot to offer experts. For intermediate skiing only, add Okemo, Bromley, Stratton, and Mt. Snow to the list. There are others that I've left out by accident or design but you get the idea.

Part of Stowe's charm is its lack of a slopeside village and the natural terrain on Big Spruce. Little Spruce is the family and learning area, but it connects with Big Spruce--an interesting natural snow area with some great cruising terrain (Sterling just to name one). Don't confuse the Sterling trail with Sterling Mountain (one of the mountains at Smugglers Notch).

All this will change as Stowe begins building a slopeside village at Spruce Peak. AIG, the owner of the resort, basically gave the community an ultimatum: allow us to develop Spruce or we are going to bail (the resort has run in the red for years). Surprisingly, the community said ok to the development. In 10 years, Stowe will be a different mountain. It will have all the modern conveniences of Stratton or Sunday River (more high-speed lifts, more snowmaking, more grooming, etc). That's not to say that Stowe will be blasting on the Front Four to make those trails flatter nor will it eliminate some of the backcountry secrets like the famous Bruce trail (you will not find it on the map JohnL). In short, Stowe is a mountain in transition so I STRONGLY encourage people to ski the old Stowe before the new Stowe arrives.

PS: I forgot to mention that it can occasionally get cold at Stowe.

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 12-08-2003).]

(Anonymous)
December 8, 2003
Just as an FYI, the McDonald's in Stowe is no longer there (in case anyone cares)!
JohnL
December 8, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Lurker,

As a shot in the dark, does your ski gear include some green plaid?

(Anonymous)
December 8, 2003
Nope..but I know all about them
Seriously...I live up here in VT and discovered this forum by accident a while back. I'm not familiar w/skiing in the Mid-Atlantic at all, but will try and chime in if anyone needs VT advice. I probably should create an account...just being lazy tonight! Back on the topic of this thread...everyone here is right on. Go for Stowe. Lots of other great places too such as MRG, Sugarbush (Mad River Valley is beautiful), Smuggs (kind of isolated-it's a long way around to Stowe), Burke & Jay (both really isolated, little shopping, nightlife etc but great skiing) ..Stowe seems to fit your critereia the best.
Have a great trip wherever you end up!
snow1214
December 9, 2003
Member since 09/28/2003
16 posts
Great info!

Well after looking at all the great replies we are going with stowe! The problem I ran into is every place I look at is booked! It just one thing after another. I'm going to keep on looking and researching but does any one know a good place to look up for lodging at Stowe?

jimmer
December 9, 2003
Member since 11/25/2003
53 posts
snow1214,

I'll email my sister today. She lives in Stowe & works at the mountain. I'm sure she can tell me where to find a place to stay. What kind of price range are you looking for - or will any place do?

jimmer

lbotta - DCSki Supporter
December 9, 2003
Member since 10/18/1999
1,526 posts
Agree the development in Stowe will forever change the skyline, but probably not the ambiance. I am actually considering purchasing there and making it my retirement home. Will consider that this early Feb when I go back for my annual pilgrimage to Stowe to ski and Colchester VT back to my Alma Mater.

Development isn't necessarily bad. If the village includes the additional facilities that are both environmentally supportive and sustainable, as well as provide the expanded services that could make Stowe an almost perfect place, so be it.

The other thing is that the new village is not geared towards the same clientele that would frequent Killington (or Massanutten for what matters). Stowe, and Vermont in general, IS a way of life, a little bit of Europe in America. Yes, it is marketed, but they don't need to. People will come to Stowe because it is Stowe. Its proximity to the other ski areas is a draw, and so is its near location to Burlington, constantly rated as one of the ten most livable small towns in the country.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 9, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Lou:

In making that last post, I did not mean to imply that I am opposed to the new Spruce Peak development. I'm reluctantly in favor of it. I realize that to survive and flourish in the future, Stowe must modernize and improve its aging facilities. The only way this will happen on a grand scale is if the mountain can develop some residential and commercial real estate at the base of Spruce Peak. For skiers, this development won't be the end of the world. There will inevitably be more groomed slopes on Spruce but there will also be more high-speed lifts (both at Spruce and on Mansfield). In other words, no more freezing cold rides on the Big Spruce double-a 15-minute ride that can only be described as torture in the middle of the winter.

Out of curiosity, how much are small condos going for in the new development? My brother, a Boston area realtor, thinks that Stowe is one of the best ski investments in region. He claims that the resort does as big of a business in the summer as in the winter. In other words, there is a huge demand for summer rentals. The resort offers some of the best hiking and biking in the state and is also just a hop skip and a jump to Burlington in the summer when the Smugglers Notch road is open.

If you have not read these articles already, check them out:

http://www.skimag.com/skimag/features/article/0,12795,327085,00.html

http://www.skimag.com/skimag/features/article/0,12795,410146,00.html

PS I've dreamed of living in Stowe my entire life. I sincerely hope you can make it a reality just to prove it can be done.

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 12-09-2003).]

JohnL
December 9, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
>> the famous Bruce trail (you will not find it on the map JohnL)

Won't find it on a trail map, but you will find it on other maps. Top of Fore-Runner Quad to Stowe XC Center? It's on my ever growing to-ski list. Have you skied it?

I've only skiied Stowe 3-4 times, and I've never been to the Spruce side of the road (maybe once my first time @ Stowe looking for the main parking lot). How much development is on that side already?

JohnL
December 9, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
>> There are some glades off of Bypass that are phenomenal and spill directly into the Nosedive glades.

Roger, care to share some more info? As I recall Nosedive Glades are pretty open and easy to spot, but what about the other goods?

Tres Amigos Glades (on the trail map) has some fun steep stuff, but you have to hit it before inexperienced snowboarders do. They have a bad habit of skidding sideways through a tight spot, taking all the snow with them, and leaving a steep bobsled run behind. Not good for speed control.

Roger Z
December 9, 2003
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Snow1214-- good luck finding a place! I think you and your fellow travellers will enjoy Stowe quite a bit!

JohnL-- Bypass Glades. Basically you ski onto Bypass off of Nosedive. When you come to the drop you ski into the woods and come to a nice semi-open, spruce covered pitch that you can ski all the way down to the official glades on the lower part of Nosedive. I wasn't the first or only tracks into it so I don't mind sharing-- it even seems like a ski run but is not marked on the maps. Didn't get to hit Tres Amigo but was disappointed with the Lookout Glades there.

jimmer
December 9, 2003
Member since 11/25/2003
53 posts
Here is her reply...

If they have dogs: the 2 Dog Lodge, the Northern Lights, or the Commodores.

If they don't have dogs: Try the Inn at the Mountain: There's a great package called the "Breakaway" that includes lodging Sun-Thursday night, 5 day lift ticket and 5 lessons for $599pp, and that's Slopeside! There are other properties in town offering the same package starting around $400 per person. Tell him to check out the following link: http://www.stowe.com/lodging/breakaway.php If he still can't find anything, tell him to call the friendly folks at the Stowe Area Association 800-24-STOWE. They're the central res office for the town.

Also, I have some friends that just purchased an Inn in Waterbury Center (15 minutes from Stowe) their site is here:
http://www.hungermountaininn.com/the_innkeepers.html

JohnL
December 9, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
>> Has anyone ever skied the frozen waterfall below the gondola top station?

I've heard about it from one of the ski mags; I think it's even on the trail map now. I thought I heard that the jump was in the 30 to 50 ft range - that's best left to the guys/gals who appear in movies. Every time I remember to take a look at it the gondola windows are too fogged up or the weather is so nasty up top that I want to start skiing right away.

Sounds like you were lucky enough to catch a Burton photo shoot. Sometime I'll have to post about my first trip to Squaw. Palisades was open (didn't know what it was at the time) and some of the "locals" were jumping off it or figure 11'ing down it. I remembering thinking, these "locals" are pretty good...

(Anonymous)
December 9, 2003
check out www.meatheadfilms.com for an in depth look at getting the most out of Stowe.

The pictures section is the most telling. These guys do it all. The cliff line trail off Nosedive, Balls Falls below the Gondola, Kitchen Sink, etc.

JohnL
December 9, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
This was posted by BKEZRider on a Blue Knob thread:

>> I read many praising posts about Stowe in another thread and I'd just like to add that the front four , with the exception of goat use to be much more difficult and narrow. National use to be one of the most difficult fun trails in Vermont, and then they widened it and even groom it sometimes.

I've only skied Stowe in the past 10 years. The Upper Liftline and National intersection area is very wide and looks like it has been widened. Even so, it can be a zoo-y section. Has Starr been widened also? I haven't skied Starr (always been closed) but I thought it was as narrow as Goat?

All this talk of Stowe is getting me pumped. I'll be spending 3-4 days of skiing in VT after Xmas, so Stowe will definitely be one of the days!

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 10, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Hey JohnL:

There's a lodge at the Little Spruce base area but nothing at the bottom of the Big Spruce Double. That double is your ticket to some interesting terrain, including the now closed passage to Smugglers' Notch. Nothing except Sterling is groomed and it's the place to go for face shots 2 days after a big storm. This area gets very little traffic because it is only served by 1 ancient, slow double, which is often closed midweek. I love this part of the mountain but all will change with the development.

Has anyone ever skied the frozen waterfall below the gondola top station? This would be a good playground for Canaanman....I once saw some riders from the Burton Company huck the falls--pretty impressive sh*t.

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 12-09-2003).]

snow1214
December 10, 2003
Member since 09/28/2003
16 posts
Well finally got it all set up. Does Anyone know anything about the Innsbruck Inn? We booked a 2 bedroom eff there for 5 nights. It looked cool and the guy on the phone was really cool too so we just went with that, and plus the price was pretty darn good!

Thanks for all your guys help and I will let everyone know how it turns out!

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 10, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
I've stayed at Innsbruck Inn. It's a good, mid-range hotel with big rooms. The hotel has a small breakfast room and bar in the basement, but does not offer much in the way of other ammenities. What I liked about Innsbruck , besides the prices, were the big rooms (great for all my gear) and its location on the mountain road. Innsbruck is about 3/4 of the way to the mountain from the town. It's also fairly near some of my favorite restaurants:

Miguel's Stowe Away (Mexican)
Trattoria La Festa (Italian)

It's also not far from Matterhorn--the main apres ski bar at Stowe.

If you want a day spa and a big apres ski scene, you need to book somewhere pricey like Top Notch, but if you are looking for simple convenience, Innsbruck will work fine.

jimmer
December 10, 2003
Member since 11/25/2003
53 posts
Don't forget about eating at Gracie's also. Very good burgers & fries kind of place.

I have to 2nd (or is that a 3rd or 4th) on the Matterhorn for apres ski. That's where many of the mountain employees go to have a few.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 10, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Ski Magazine just ranked STOWE as the 9th best resort in the World. It probably does not deserve this accolade but it's certainly a great resort. BTW, this is it. I will not gush anymore about Stowe.

PS Thanks Jimmer for the tip on Gracie's. I will be sure to check it out next trip.

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 12-10-2003).]

snow1214
December 10, 2003
Member since 09/28/2003
16 posts
Thanks for the insight John...Although I don't think that the innsbruck inn would like it..Just switched to the stoweflake...not that MUCH more! But I thought that the topnotch spa was apart of the innsbruck because of how it's set up on there website...thanks again for helping out!
Roy
December 11, 2003
Member since 01/11/2000
609 posts
With all this talk of Stowe, I went and visited their website. While there, I decided to check out the trail map. What I found was probably the coolest internet trail map I've ever seen. This is the first "Interactive" Trail Map that really is interactive and informative.
ICEHOCEY77
December 11, 2003
Member since 12/11/2003
17 posts
Yep, I just checked it out as well, very cool...
(Anonymous)
December 12, 2003
Excellent choice! You are gonna LOVE the Stoweflake! They just did a 50,000 sq. ft. addition to their spa, and I can tell you first hand that is it spectacular! I was just there last night. It totally blows Top Notch away! Everything is first class.

Make sure you top into Charlie B's (their pub with a very extensive wine list) and say hello to my favorite bartender, Ed. He is the king of wines. He won't steer you wrong on a recommendation. Have a great time on your vaca, and maybe we'll see you on the hill!

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