by: Ryan - 20th November 2007

  • 5
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 5All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 4Family Friendly
  • 1Aprés Ski
  • 4Terrain Park
  • Overall Value
GREAT Terrain, Glades, Lots of Snow
Nothing to do at night

Full review

If you love to ski then Jay Peak should be your next destination. If you would rather talk about how much you like to ski, you should go elsewhere. Jay Peak has a lot to offer if it is an unparalleled skiing experience that you are looking for. With over 300” of annual snowfall it snows almost every day; so you can always find some of the soft stuff somewhere on the mountain. There is a little something for everyone here, but this place is really for intermediate to expert skiers who want to challenge themselves a bit. The “Beginner” glades (Buck Woods, Bushwacker) are a great place to give tree skiing a try, and the advanced glades range from tranquil (Beaver Pond) to heart pounding (Everglade, Valhalla). If you are used to skiing in the Poconos then you will need to keep in mind that the trail difficulty designations are not the same as you are used to. Some trails that would be marked black or double black in the Poconos with trees and moguls are marked as green or blue at Jay Peak. Also Jay Peak does not waste time with the “Double Black” designation. Some of the single black diamond trails like Green Beret, and the Face Chutes are truly expert only terrain where a fall could easily result in serious injury or death, while other blacks are typical black diamond terrain. The only down side to the skiing experience at Jay Peak is the cold and wind. The wind blows so hard near the summit that the paint is missing from the windward side of many of the upper lift towers, yes you read that right; the wind blows the paint off the lift towers. This wind reveals bullet proof ice on many of the connector trails near the summit every day, even in a blizzard. Proper attire for Jay Peak includes several layers of coats and pants, good gloves/mittens as well as a face mask (not kidding), good goggles, and a good helmet. Don’t skimp on the helmet. Although it is still “not cool” to wear a helmet in places like the Poconos, it is standard attire at Jay. In fact skiing at Jay without a helmet is akin to skiing in your best pair of blue jeans elsewhere. Keep in mind that there is no night life to speak of at or near Jay Peak. If you are interested in partying and shopping then this place is not for you. If you ski like you should during the day then you will be in bed before 9pm. If you are driving to Jay remember that they stop plowing Vermont Rt 242 around 9pm every evening so if you plan to arrive after that time you will need either four wheel drive with snow tires, or snow chains. It does not matter if there is no snow forecast for the North Troy area, it is always snowing at Jay Peak. If you are a die hard skier then this place is worth the trip. My family makes the 500 mile drive from our home outside Philadelphia several times a year just for a weekend of good skiing.
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