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Where to go in New England? Jay Peak? Or Elsewhere?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:


Some years the USA have had much worse snow (even in the fabled Utah resorts) than Europe, some years they've had epic snow!!



The last 9 years the lowest snow fall in a single year for Snowbird (Utah) has been 783cm, with most years being around 1000cm or more. Most European resorts would be very happy with 783cm, whereas there it was a bad year. Of course nothing is certain about weather and certainly Europe outperforming certain areas of n America this year. However, the vast majority of the time n America gets way more snow than Europe - some of the resorts *average* over 1000cm per year which is way above European resorts.

Of course Japan is a better choice than both for guaranteed deep powder


total overall doesn't really tell the full story, especially if it all arrives late in the season....

as an example of early season lack of base this year https://unofficialnetworks.com/2017/11/28/utah-is-experiencing-one-of-its-worst-early-seasons-in-history/

Agree on Japan for a trip of a lifetime!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I first started skiing when living in NY, moved back to the UK and in recent years have been skiing in Italy and Banff (staying with friends in Canmore).

Much as I'd certainly try to fit in a few days skiing back in Killington if I were to visit NY again, I really would not recommend the East Coast for a skiing holiday unless visiting NY or Boston was a draw in its own right. In general it's a lot icier than you'll get if you head further West.

If you are open to heading further West, might I suggest thinking about Banff. The headline daily ticket prices last season were 109CAD + tax, but if you bought a "Sunshine Super Card" and skiied for 7 days then you would have got about a 30% discount. They have not announced prices for next season yet, but it looks like there will be some sort of multi-day discount.

Direct mid-week flights in early March (early enough in the season so that the snow would not get damp in the day) are currently going from £550 for a 10 day trip. The fact that Banff is primarily a summer resort and that you're paying in CAD (1 GBP = 1.7 CAD) help.

Although Banff is a (free) bus ride from the mountain, it is a town in which you can walk from hotel to bar to restaurant, and back again.

Yes, it will be more than a trip to the East Coast, but IMO much better value for money.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Very true, but Calgary is no NYC or Boston
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Mike Pow wrote:
Very true, but Calgary is no NYC or Boston

Quite!

As a city, even Salt Lake City is more interesting than Calgary.

Beyond the east coast, about the only cities that are worth a cross-pond flight are probably San Francisco, LA and Vancouver. (Chicago and Toronto are both great cities But there're no mountains there)
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
New England ski resorts are weekend, day resorts in my opinion. Killington is the biggest, Stowe is quintisentially New England and offers some very challenging piste skiing. Sunday River is my Favourite. Really beautiful and relaxed.
Conditions are often cold and icy or rainy.
If you're in the area worth a ski but certainly not worth.crossing the pond for unless you're touring and doing the other delights like Boston and Quebec City.

Colorado and Salt Lake city, however, offer something worth the trip. The big difference is the frequency and quality of powder skiing.

North America offers nothing to compare with the mega resorts of Europe, except Whistler which, in my opinion is the best resort in the world, when conditions are good - which is a gamble.
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I haven't read through the whole thread, but let me offer this: Skiing in New England is its own thing, and has many charms to offer if your only goal isn't to rack up big mileage on the biggest slopes.

How about spending a week in the Mad River Valley of Vermont? https://www.madrivervalley.com/; https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/travel/vermont-skiing-mad-river-valley.html

You've got Sugarbush and MRV, two iconic resorts. Others like Stowe are within driving distance. Plus New England villages, good food, great scenery, not too crowded.

Find an airbnb or condo at Sugarbush, rent a car in Boston, and have fun. There will be enough snow in Feb/March.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
MRG sounds like the very worst place on earth for the OP's party given their ski wishes. AIUI it is all about getting down n dirty in the trees and the bumps.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Pasigal wrote:
I haven't read through the whole thread,
...
You've got Sugarbush and MRV, two iconic resorts. Others like Stowe are within driving distance. Plus New England villages, good food, great scenery, not too crowded.
.

You've read too much out of the travel brochure! "not too crowded" and MRV do not go together. Not on weekends anyway.

As for the "great scenery", I've seen better out my window. (though I think the scenery is actually better in the summer than in the winter, for an area known more for skiing rolling eyes )
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Quote:
Skiing in New England is its own thing, and has many charms to offer


Let's be honest skiing on the east coast is pretty much inferior in everyway. Nobody is travelling from out west to ski the east coast, on the other hand many from the east coast ski holiday out west.
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Ive been to Killington twice in the late 90's. Very different to Europe, shorter runs and at time more sanitised. Had a few days at Pico which I think is on the Killington lift pass, also had a day at Sugarbush. Really enjoyed the skiing and the whole "American style customer service" experience. Getting from area to area at Killington some times meant skiing/traversing across mountains. Even in March it was cold and one year VERY cold, snow was good, natural and man made.
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Apologies, not been on for a week or so as been away with work and not able to get internet access. Thanks all for the very helpful responses. We are going to sit down and chat about what we want to do now, there is a lot to consider!
Will post back when we make a decision.

Thanks again to all.
Mark
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And some more apologies... I realise I never came back to update this thread.....

So in the end we went to Killington. Loved it! Would definitely like to go back there. Really enjoyed the resort, ski conditions were brilliant (end Feb/early March) - Jesus it was cold!. Actually stayed in Rutland which was cheaper and more to do in the evenings. We had a (big!) car (Escalade) so could get about quite easily (did spend a couple of evenings in the local bars around Killington). Flew into NYC so stayed over in New Haven on the way up there. Also now know that they do an "end of season" season pass from mid March which costs about the same as 2 1/2 days regular passes. so we know we can do it much cheaper if/when we go back.

Spent a long weekend in NYC afterwards, went to see the Blue man group, midnight screening on release day of Captain Marvel (not my choice Happy ) and did many of the touristy bits.

All in all a very enjoyable holiday - so thanks to all on here who gave advice.
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if your going to the trouble to go that far, you may as well keep going & end up somewhere decent.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@YetiManMark, thanks for reporting back - many don't.

How did you find the anywhere inbounds nature of the skiing?
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Mr.Egg wrote:
if your going to the trouble to go that far, you may as well keep going & end up somewhere decent.


See - this is the kind of statement that made me wish I had never asked in the first place. Comes across as condescending whether you intended to or not. "going somewhere decent", not offering anything like where and why, rather just dismissing what was suggested.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Layne wrote:
@YetiManMark, thanks for reporting back - many don't.

How did you find the anywhere inbounds nature of the skiing?


To be honest I felt a bit guilty when I realised I hadn't reported back.

We stayed mainly to the marked trails, but we did do an amount of hopping between trails which was fun. And to be honest, the drive up through New England was interesting - seeing the rural side of America - I've only really been to the big cities before (and yes, I know there are many more rural and striking areas - which will get done at some point) as well as the just being in the states side of things for some of us!


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 31-07-20 16:15; edited 1 time in total
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@YetiManMark, Egg is like that, pay no heed. 95% of posters on here are sound and after a while the 5% are easy to spot. For the record the most common are Gerry, stanton, Whitegold, oneglove.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@YetiManMark, Glad you had a good time and ignored our advice which probably would have given you a different experience. Not that US skiing is on the cards again until there is a vaccine...
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
@YetiManMark, Glad you had a good time and ignored our advice which probably would have given you a different experience. Not that US skiing is on the cards again until there is a vaccine...


I wouldn't say we ignored the advice completely wink just mostly Toofy Grin

But, yeah, there is that issue with going back! We were just discussing whether to get booking for 2021. It's all very uncertain at the moment. We absolutely will go back to the States - maybe to some of the bigger resorts mentioned here - but certainly not this coming season.

We added Flumserberg to the list for the second trip last year, but on the regular trip to Bulgaria, we kept running into the same (very friendly) stray dog - which one of the girls in the group decided to adopt. It's now back in Wales with her (a very long and painful process) - so we need to make sure this year we go somewhere that can't happen!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
YetiManMark wrote:
Mr.Egg wrote:
if your going to the trouble to go that far, you may as well keep going & end up somewhere decent.


See - this is the kind of statement that made me wish I had never asked in the first place. Comes across as condescending whether you intended to or not. "going somewhere decent", not offering anything like where and why, rather just dismissing what was suggested.


Not at all, but maybe it should give you the umph to look why nobody recommends east coast and instead ask where to go mid usa or west coast, etc. Or canada or japan or even argentina! Im not here to spoon feed you, but apart from felling underwhelmed if you spent good money to go east coast, you could maybe look instead elsewher a bit further. Canada air usually has good flight deals and banff is a good starting location to ask why banff & not xyz.
Why east coast when you go to the superior alps instead....
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Mr.Egg wrote:
Why east coast when you go to the superior alps instead....

Give the guy a break, he answered that question numerous times in the thread.

He listened to all the advice and made a decision.

You might not like it or agree with it but last time I looked it was a free country.
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@YetiManMark, cracking that you had a cracking time. My perception is that the Eastern resorts, of necessity, spend enormous amounts of money on maximising guest enjoyment. And it is a beautiful part of the world.

And you can ski boilerplate ice in e.g. BC or Utah ... just not generally as frequently he heh heh Twisted Evil
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mr.Egg wrote:
YetiManMark wrote:
Mr.Egg wrote:
if your going to the trouble to go that far, you may as well keep going & end up somewhere decent.


See - this is the kind of statement that made me wish I had never asked in the first place. Comes across as condescending whether you intended to or not. "going somewhere decent", not offering anything like where and why, rather just dismissing what was suggested.


Not at all, but maybe it should give you the umph to look why nobody recommends east coast and instead ask where to go mid usa or west coast, etc. Or canada or japan or even argentina! Im not here to spoon feed you, but apart from felling underwhelmed if you spent good money to go east coast, you could maybe look instead elsewher a bit further. Canada air usually has good flight deals and banff is a good starting location to ask why banff & not xyz.
Why east coast when you go to the superior alps instead....


Wow. Just wow. Get over yourself fella.

Was not underwhelmed and had a great time. Plenty of people on here gave their opinions and recommendations which I thank them for - you on the other hand can kindly stop responding to this thread as you have added nothing constructive and I am not interested in your opinion thanks. Frankly I wouldn't want you "spoon feeding" me if I had no arms and was starving.
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I'm glad you had a good time. While Mr.Egg comes across quite brash I tend to agree with the sentiment, the skiing out west is considered superior by pretty much everyone.
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@boarder2020, to be fair there are people on here telling us (in regard of Europe) the skiing is superior in Austria/France/Italy/Switzerland (delete as appropriate) is superior, just like people telling us the skiing in the States is superior to Europe and vice versa. I spent one day in Les Deux Alpes and have no particular desire to return but some people love it. It's all about sharing thoughts, opinions, ideas in my opinion - not pre-judging individual preference.
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They ignored the advice for good reasons like the lure of NYC was strong and a purpose for the trip while let's face it places like SLC and Denver are not iconic places worth spending a lot of time in as a tourist destination. And they had good snow and enjoyed the skiing so I don't know why there's any need to be churlish.

I wouldn't do the same but then I don't really like big cities and don't mind driving longer distances
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Quote:

to be fair there are people on here telling us (in regard of Europe) the skiing is superior in Austria/France/Italy/Switzerland (delete as appropriate) is superior, just like people telling us the skiing in the States is superior to Europe and vice versa.


You can make a reasonable argument for all those examples based on personal preferences (e.g. Europe is far superior to usa for someone wanting to rack up miles cruising pistes, n America is far better for someone wanting to ski off piste without the hassle of avalanche danger etc.). However from a purely skiing point of view east coast skiing compared to out west is not even comparable. It would be like saying Bulgaria is better for skiing than France. There is a reason most east coasters try to do a ski trip out west once per season and those out west never go the east coast to ski. This really isn't a controversial statement everybody knows it. It's a big part of the iKON and epic sales strategy.

Quote:

the lure of NYC was strong and a purpose for the trip


He said "We were planning to take in either NYC or Boston for a couple of days either before or after the skiing. Some of us have been stateside before, others not. This is not a deal breaker though." I would hardly describe that as a strong purpose.

I'm not knocking small resorts. They can be a lot of fun. But if you are flying transatlantic with the emphasis of the trip being skiing east coast is not the best choice. That doesn't mean you won't have fun skiing on the east coast, but 99% of the time it will be even better out west.

I always find it a bit strange about the idea if you are going to North America you should combine skiing with something else (e.g. visiting NY). Nobody ever says the same for Europe. I mean if you ski the dolomites Venice is right there and just as iconic as new york, but nobody mentions it. If you want to get off the beaten path and are not bothered about sacrificing the ski side of things a little there are some great possibilities for city/ski trips around the world; Beirut, Tehran, Beijing, Seoul, Almaty...
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Quote:

I mean if you ski the dolomites Venice is right there and just as iconic as new york, but nobody mentions it

Rubbish. You've obviously not spent much time round the Birthday Bash threads. And places like Briancon, Aosta, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Annecy, also get more than the occasional mention. American skiers who ask advice on Snowheads about their European trips almost invariably - and understandably - want to get more out of their holiday than just bashing up and down the pistes.
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You know it makes sense.
I'm sure you can find examples where it is mentioned. If somebody asks "where should I go [random dolomite resort] or [random french all resort] I doubt any replies would suggest doing the dolomites so you can also visit Venice. This is snow heads though so 50% of the replies would probably answer the question with Austria anyway snowHead

Quote:


Briancon, Aosta, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Annecy,



Are these not just bases you can commute to ski from? Maybe I am just used to north America where staying in resort is uncommon and the norm is people stay in the closest town/city and commuting to and from the resort each day. I mean if you are in NYC the drive up to Vermont is like 5 hours, in which time you could fly to SLC or Jackson (the flight takes about 5 hours too, but you actually land 3 hours after take off due to time difference so maybe a better option). So even if you want to go to NYC it doesn't seem that you should have to limit yourself to east coast skiing.

Again I'm not saying you can't have fun skiing on the east coast or there are not plenty of reasons to visit, but from a purely skiing point of view west is far superior.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
pam w wrote:
Quote:

I mean if you ski the dolomites Venice is right there and just as iconic as new york, but nobody mentions it

Rubbish. You've obviously not spent much time round the Birthday Bash threads. And places like Briancon, Aosta, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Annecy, also get more than the occasional mention. American skiers who ask advice on Snowheads about their European trips almost invariably - and understandably - want to get more out of their holiday than just bashing up and down the pistes.

Some people CAN understand others who have different priorities than their own. Others can't.

As an American who goes to Europe ski every few years, I ALWAYS combine the trip with a city visit. So I can understand the OP's preference well, even though as a New York based skier I wouldn't recommend skiing the northeast US. The OP has a different priority that makes for an enjoyable trip.

The notion of Salt Lake City comparable to Killington in access is ludicrous. The flight alone is nearly 6 hours. Add in airport access, waiting around and hiring cars. It easily takes 8 hours! It's NOT exactly "comparable". Mover over, the drive from NYC to Killington provides view of ordinary countryside in the states. It's far more pleasant than 5 hr inside a metal tube and staring at the seat back!

The skiing is far better at Utah. But is it a better HOLIDAY?
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Poster: A snowHead
Gosh, don't know how you can even contemplate it without an EHIC card.
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Read my posts. I am saying from a purely skiing perspective west is far superior. I accept that different people have different priorities. Honestly I would say based on OP priorities Europe was a far better fit than USA anyway.

Quote:

The notion of Salt Lake City comparable to Killington in access is ludicrous. The flight alone is nearly 6 hours.


The flight is 5 hours. But you land 3 hours later than you set off due to time difference. Take the 7am Delta flight and you could realistically be in park city by noon. Very comparable in terms of access. Seems like a no brainer, you even say you wouldn't recommend skiing the northeast. Worse skiing by every conceivable metric (less snow, less vert, less acres, Killington doesn't even have alpine) in exchange for a nice 5 hour drive seems hard to justify, especially when the majority of days are skiing not doing that drive.

Also do we have to keep ignoring the fact that OP clearly said they could "take or leave" visiting a city. This wasn't a case of some people want to visit NYC and do a bit of skiing on the side. It was a ski trip first and foremost. Like I said there are plenty of great places I would fully recommend for someone wanting to do a city trip with some skiing on the side (beijing, Tehran, Beirut, Almaty, Seoul etc.).
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You seem to be totally ignorant of the fact the OP had a cracking HOLIDAY!

Go right ahead and keep on insisting YOUR version of "best" by all means.

Broken record comes to mind.
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Broken record is you actually not reading what I'm saying. I said you can have a good time skiing on the east coast, but west is superior in every ski metric you can find.

I also said I'm not against picking a place that has inferior skiing in exchange for other benefits. I have done it myself (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, I also planned Iran but in the end sacrificed snowboarding there completely to do other things). It's just this case doesn't seem like OP had to sacrifice the skiing side of things. I mean they could have had the new York bit and then flew to somewhere considerably better than Killington.

As much as you say comparing access to those other resorts is "ludicrous", you are simply wrong. Leaving NYC you can be in any of the SLC resorts by noon, same for i70 Colorado resorts. Unless you are saying the drive from NYC to Killington is that spectacular and those 2 days of great driving balance out with numerous days of lower quality skiing. Remember this was a ski trip first and foremost and op said they could "take or leave" visiting a city and made no mention of wanting scenic drives.

I said I'm glad OP enjoyed it and they shouldn't care what I have to say. My advice is simply there for future readers of this thread that might be planning their own trip.

Quote:

You seem to be totally ignorant of the fact the OP had a cracking HOLIDAY!


I remember the first time I experienced a powder day thinking it was the greatest thing ever. In reality I was riding about 5cm fresh snow on a groomed piste. When you have nothing to compare it to calling something great is very relative.
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boarder2020 wrote:

As much as you say comparing access to those other resorts is "ludicrous", you are simply wrong. Leaving NYC you can be in any of the SLC resorts by noon, same for i70 Colorado resorts.

Yeah, right! From someone who had lived in NYC for how many months total? And had taken such trips how often???

Yes, you can be at SLC by noon. If you "Leaving NYC" before 3 am!!! Leaving at that house, I can be at Killington by first chair!!
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The idea that East Coast skiing is no good is just that...an idea.

We used to live near NYC and we took the opportunity to ski all over the East.
We NEVER had boilerplate and all the other things that we are constantly told about. We skied just about all the Vermont, Massachusetts, NY State places and always had a good time.
Killington is a big ski area, very big. It is at least a big and challenging as many out West and Europe.
The local towns, and Vermont in general, are really nice too.

Every fekkin time my colleagues at work would say "why did you go there, you should have gone West?"
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Quote:

Yes, you can be at SLC by noon. If you "Leaving NYC" before 3 am!!! Leaving at that house, I can be at Killington by first chair!!


5am leave house
5:30am arrive at Newark
7am flight departs
10am (local time) flight lands.
Let's be generous and say an hour to get through the airport and pick up rental car, then an hour from airport to ski resort.

I'm just saying that by no means does wanting to visit NYC need to limit you to east coast resorts.

Quote:

Killington is a big ski area, very big. It is at least a big and challenging as many out West and Europe.


Skiable acres:
Killington 1500
Park city 7300
Vail 5300
Even the "smaller" resorts (e.g. arapahoe basin or Loveland) out west have similar acreage to Killington, but the bonus of being surrounded by other resorts of a similar size so most people will ski a couple of places. European resorts are way bigger in terms of land size, but as it's not all avy controlled it's not really directly comparable.
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East Coast is fine IF YOU LIVE THERE. For someone flying in the logic still holds that for the relatively small incremental flight time there will be incrementally better chance of better snow in the West. I don't particularly hold with snobbery that only resorts A-D are worth skiing and X-Z should never be contemplated. Everywhere is worth skiing on its day (and even not on its day there is a certain character building value to be had from falling in burns at Glencoe or blown off a T Bar at Cairngorm).

In this case the OP's bet paid off, but I think generally it's right that if you are planning a special trip to the US to ski you might as well set your sights higher than the East Coast.
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boarder2020 wrote:

5am leave house
5:30am arrive at Newark

That's a clear indication of someone who never did it!

Quote:
Skiable acres:
Killington 1500
Park city 7300
Vail 5300

For a week, yes. But for "a few days", the size doesn't come into play.

Condition? Yes, way better out west ON AVERAGE.

But keep in mind, that superior "condition" out west comes with its own risk. It's the amount of snow that makes for such superior condition! Flight can be delayed or cancelled due to winter storms, BOTH WAYS. Avi control may close the resort for up to 24 hrs (or roads for half a day). All that is tolerable for a week of skiing. But for a short "few days", it may work out to be ZERO DAYS!

Unlike a drive up to Killington, your flights are typically committed, BOTH WAYS. You can't just say "We're not going because condition is horrible, or the roads are too treacherous" and just sit back for a few extra days of museums and bars.

Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
I don't particularly hold with snobbery that only resorts A-D are worth skiing and X-Z should never be contemplated.
Everywhere is worth skiing on its day (and even not on its day there is a certain character building value to be had from falling in burns at Glencoe or blown off a T Bar at Cairngorm).

Well saidi!
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Quote:

That's a clear indication of someone who never did it!


Well my experience was just under 30mins. I can imagine when traffic is bad it can be much longer, although I would have thought at 5am there wouldn't be much?

As I keep saying I'm not against choosing inferior skiing for a better/different overall holiday experience. I've done it myself, including completely skipping my planned snowboard day in Iran to do other things. I'm just of the opinion that for somebody visiting north America, the vast majority of the time you get a superior ski experience out west. I'm also saying just because you want to visit NYC you don't have to be limited to east coast skiing, west is accessible from NYC.
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