Jay Peak: All the Way

Few things compare to sharing a cabin in the mountains with friends. When the call for an early season trip came, I had to answer. The mountain was Jay Peak and it’s been on my bucket list for too long.

Jay Peak tram line

The weather looked ominous, but I’d caught Face of Winter earlier in the week at the Stanley and I was more than a little hyped to get up to Vermont. After five hours in the car we found ourselves in the “Fun Haus” complete with wood-fired hot tub and Mardi Gras deer head above the toilet.

It was hard to sleep. Friday morning we drove 10 minutes to the mountain, getting glimpses of the Jay through the trees. Several inches of snow had fallen during the week and warm temperatures meant the snow would be soft.

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Tales from a NYC Ski Bum: North for Powder

As a Northeast skier, I’m used to variable conditions. Soft slush beneath a falling wintry mix? I’ll take it. Groomed granular over icy hardpack? I’ll hit it while it lasts. Week-old packed powder? If it holds an edge, I love it.

But there’s only so long a snow junkie can go without a fix of the untouched and pure stuff, so I loaded up the Jeep and made my way to the far north last week, where the forecast called for six inches at Jay Peak, and a foot at Mont Tremblant. The promise of fresh pulled me north.

Skiing in Canada isn’t a day trip for those of us who live at the bottom of New York State, so I worked in a couple of stops along the way. I skied Hunter with Icecoastchef on Wednesday, and ripped groomers solo at Okemo on Thursday.

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Deep into a Steep Vermont December

In December 2016, on an early-season trip to Killington, our group planned to visit Okemo on the second day. Conditions in the region were typical for December—the snow was hard, crusty, and mostly manmade with a slick layer of ice hiding underneath. When I saw the next morning that Jay Peak had landed nearly two feet of surprise snowfall, I headed north in search of powder, with or without my friends.

I arrived to waist-deep powder runs on some of the steepest trails and glades in the northeast, making the day trip well worth the five hours of extra driving. That was my first day as a “powderhound,” obsessively checking the weather and allowing Mother Nature to steer my Subaru to the mountains I would visit.

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