One of the best in the East

by: skifrench - Mar 17, 2009

  • Overall Rating 4
  • Family Friendly 3
  • All Mtn. Terrain 5
  • Terrain Park 3
  • Nightlife 1

    Pros: Tons of terrain. Spreads the crowds. Great glades.

    Cons: smaller verticle. base areas can get crowded.

    Recommended For: Family Friendly

    Date Visited: Jan 1, 2009


Full review

Overall a great mountain with a huge variety of terrain! There are some really amazing trails on this mountain if you can find them. Your best bet is to go off exploring and see what you can find - I'll give some good pointers here, but I'm not going to divulge all my secrets. It's a large and spread out mountain, but you can traverse the entire thing in two or three runs without trouble. Whitecap offers up the infamous White Heat which is a great run to bomb down with it width and pitch. If there's enough snow and you're up for a challenge Chutzpah glade is a ton of fun and offers up some small ten-foot cliffs, tight turns and steep pitch! Locke Mountain is often overlooked, but this peak boasts some of the River's best. If it's your first time here make it a point to save several runs for this peak. Barker has the surprisingly fun Three-Mile Trail (get off the main path and shoot through some of the side trails people have carved out for a fun diversion!) and Lazy River. Off of Lazy River is Last Tango which is an fairly open and huge glade. Lots of stuff in there to keep you entertained. American Express and Risky Business are both classic trails off of Spruce Peak and are well worth checking out. Bummer: Barker and Spruce Peak can get tracked out quickly because of the accessibility to the main base lodges. Double bummer: Unless you're taking lessons avoid the South Ridge area!!! This area gets jammed packed with young kids and families and you definitely need to go slow and use extra caution around this area. The only reason to get even close to South Ridge is the North Peak Lodge. If you enjoyed the swill a little too much at the Matterhorn the previous night and need a little pick-me-up in the morning definitely head this mid-mountain lodge for their awesome freshly made waffles!!! You can thank me later for that tip. On the right side of the Mountain there are Aurora, Oz, and Jordan. All three of them have good things to offer and these areas are rarely crowded. Oz is a great section if which is left to Mother Nature to do with as she wishes - so it's really hit or miss. Celestial glades on Aurora are my favorite part, but Northern Lights is also an enjoyable trail. Jordan has the fun green trail Lollapalooza which is like skiing down I-95 with it's huge width!!! The terrain parks at Sunday River are average, but to be honest I'm not much of a park rat and I usually only do a run or two a day in the park. The biggest draw back about the River is the lack of night-time activities. If you're looking to have a good time in a bar the only one I've found worth checking out is the Matterhorn. This is located on the left hand side of the access road as you drive toward the mountain. They have good pub fare here as well if you want to eat first. If you ask people at the mountain, they'll probably tell you to hit up Foggy Goggle. Foggy Goggle is a waste of time unless you're 50 something and looking to get drunk while your kids are in the arcade. And guess where it's located! That's right South Ridge. I was serious before when I said to avoid this area. The Shipyard Brew House at the base of Whitecap is a pretty good spot for post skiing drinks and they have an outside fire pit which is enjoyable as well. I've never checked out Sliders or Barker Pub, but they could be OK. Sliders is way over in Jordan Bowl so unless you staying there it's out of the way.

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