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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by deadheadskier View Post
    Oh and Smuggs should be worth a look as well.
    +1 $569 unlimited season pass to Smuggs. Plenty of great terrain and they get lots of snow each season. If you don't mind slow lifts I think Smuggs is a great choice.
    Plus, the savings vs a Stowe or Bush pass would allow you to spend a few days over there each yr.



    Another hybrid type option could be a Mt Ellen pass ($559) + Smuggs Pass for $1138 and get 2 great mtns for less than a Stowe only pass.
    You could also consider pairing a ME or Jay pass with a Bash Badge at Smuggs.

    lot of options for you....
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  2. #22
    I'm going to buck the trend here and recommend the Stowe pass if you can afford it. I've actually considered it. I might have gone with it if I wasn't so far away. They open their lifts at 7:30am I think? So getting there for first tracks would just require an asinine alarm for me. From Burlington, you could set a 6am alarm and make first chair no problem.

    Jay has a slightly higher seasonal average. But in reality, both mountains get pretty similar amounts and Stowe has less wind issues and better cruising terrain when the natural isn't good. Stowe has the best lift accessible BC in the east and great top to bottom vertical. Sure, it costs a ton, but you are paying for and getting the best the east has to offer.

    Smuggs is certainly worth a look though you'll have to deal with longish lines most weekend due to the resort nature of the place and the doubles. Certainly the best bargain and value price and a short drive from Burlington.

    Jay is certainly worth it as well. A little longer drive but highest natural snowfall in the east and tree season opens at Jay earlier than any other mountain. Additionally, Jay goes long. That is a negative against Stowe, they'll close with top to bottom skiable terrain.

    Bush also goes long, which is nice. Bush isn't as expensive as Stowe but they are second highest in the east, I believe. They have the Mount Ellen pass available on the cheap.

    A Mad Card to MRG might be a side option. Don't forget Smuggs offers the Bash Badge which lets you go there on the cheap. These are two cheap ways to ski these mountains as a side diversion if you get a pass somewhere else.

    If I were you though, I'd go with the Stowe pass. At least if you are interested in powder, trees, a slackcountry. If you are down for groomers and bumps, Bush would be the best of NoVT short of driving to Burke. Jay gets you a long season with the most pow but the place can blow when it is hard pack. Or at least, after you ski enough powder there, you can become very snobish about conditions... that is the better way to look at it.
    -Steve
    TheSnowWay.com "Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs

  3. #23
    One more thought:

    If you are asking, I wonder have you skied all of NoVT? Maybe you should take a season to play the field and find out where you like the most?
    -Steve
    TheSnowWay.com "Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs

  4. #24
    Last thought: you can also add Burke to Jay for an extra $50ish. At an hour and a half, not terribly close to Burlington. But aside from Bush having two mountains, it is the only multi-mountain pass in the area for adults.
    -Steve
    TheSnowWay.com "Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs

  5. #25
    steamboat1's Avatar
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    Cochrans is the closest to Burlington with a season pass @ $206.70 including the 6% state tax. If your only going to ski there 10 times or less I'd pay the $20 all day rate or $14 1/2 day rate instead. They do offer lighted night skiing on Fri.

    Bolton Valley which is the next closest place to Burlington is $569 for a season pass. Bolton also offers night skiing Wed.-Sat. which might work for you on those powder weekday evenings after work. Bolton can be a powder day secret since it is high elevation (by VT. standards), gets it share of natural snow & has some pretty good terrain, conditions permitting of course.

    But I'm sure you already know this.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by riverc0il View Post
    I'm going to buck the trend here and recommend the Stowe pass if you can afford it. I've actually considered it. I might have gone with it if I wasn't so far away. They open their lifts at 7:30am I think? So getting there for first tracks would just require an asinine alarm for me. From Burlington, you could set a 6am alarm and make first chair no problem.

    Jay has a slightly higher seasonal average. But in reality, both mountains get pretty similar amounts and Stowe has less wind issues and better cruising terrain when the natural isn't good. Stowe has the best lift accessible BC in the east and great top to bottom vertical. Sure, it costs a ton, but you are paying for and getting the best the east has to offer.

    Smuggs is certainly worth a look though you'll have to deal with longish lines most weekend due to the resort nature of the place and the doubles. Certainly the best bargain and value price and a short drive from Burlington.

    Jay is certainly worth it as well. A little longer drive but highest natural snowfall in the east and tree season opens at Jay earlier than any other mountain. Additionally, Jay goes long. That is a negative against Stowe, they'll close with top to bottom skiable terrain.

    Bush also goes long, which is nice. Bush isn't as expensive as Stowe but they are second highest in the east, I believe. They have the Mount Ellen pass available on the cheap.

    A Mad Card to MRG might be a side option. Don't forget Smuggs offers the Bash Badge which lets you go there on the cheap. These are two cheap ways to ski these mountains as a side diversion if you get a pass somewhere else.

    If I were you though, I'd go with the Stowe pass. At least if you are interested in powder, trees, a slackcountry. If you are down for groomers and bumps, Bush would be the best of NoVT short of driving to Burke. Jay gets you a long season with the most pow but the place can blow when it is hard pack. Or at least, after you ski enough powder there, you can become very snobish about conditions... that is the better way to look at it.
    Rivercoil thanks for the thoughtful response here. The dilemma continues. Stowe does sounds like the best option for me. I'm after the powder and trees and CCC trails on the western side of Mansfield but I can always skin up from Underhill.

    Lift lines are long anywhere on a decent weekend at most resorts. Are the lines at Smuggs really worse?

    The MT. Ellen pass is kinda tempting but I think I would feel cheated out of some great terrain on the other side of SB.

    Jay has long been my favorite mountain in VT and the price is way better but those wind holds are rough sometimes. The longer drive is a factor I guess but I've been used to driving for hours to chase storms.

    A lot to factor in here!

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by riverc0il View Post
    One more thought:

    If you are asking, I wonder have you skied all of NoVT? Maybe you should take a season to play the field and find out where you like the most?
    This might be a good idea as well. I haven't been to all NoVT...just Jay, SB, Stowe and Killington.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by steamboat1 View Post
    Cochrans is the closest to Burlington with a season pass @ $206.70 including the 6% state tax. If your only going to ski there 10 times or less I'd pay the $20 all day rate or $14 1/2 day rate instead. They do offer lighted night skiing on Fri.

    Bolton Valley which is the next closest place to Burlington is $569 for a season pass. Bolton also offers night skiing Wed.-Sat. which might work for you on those powder weekday evenings after work. Bolton can be a powder day secret since it is high elevation (by VT. standards), gets it share of natural snow & has some pretty good terrain, conditions permitting of course.

    But I'm sure you already know this.
    I have looked at BV a bit. It looks decent although not a ton of challenging terrain when I look at the topo. Looks like they get a lot of snow and that is key for me.

    Cochrans isn't going to cut it for me. Too small and low elevation but I didn't even know about it until you mentioned so thanks for alerting me. =)

  9. #29
    One thing about the Stowe pass, it's so expensive you could buy a pass elsewhere and still ski X number of days at Stowe with the left over money. And X could be a significant number depending on the price of the other pass and Stowe discounts. Of course physcologically it might be hard to go spend the "Stowe money" once you have a pass elsewhere. I guess a lot depends on how many days you plan to get in. And of course who knows what the weather will do. Personally I've stopped buying a Mount Snow pass due to the short early/late seasons and all the other discounts they offer. I've definitely enjoyed being a "free agent".

  10. #30
    WWF-VT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck_It_Baby View Post
    Rivercoil thanks for the thoughtful response here. The dilemma continues. Stowe does sounds like the best option for me. I'm after the powder and trees and CCC trails on the western side of Mansfield but I can always skin up from Underhill.

    Lift lines are long anywhere on a decent weekend at most resorts. Are the lines at Smuggs really worse?

    The MT. Ellen pass is kinda tempting but I think I would feel cheated out of some great terrain on the other side of SB.

    Jay has long been my favorite mountain in VT and the price is way better but those wind holds are rough sometimes. The longer drive is a factor I guess but I've been used to driving for hours to chase storms.

    A lot to factor in here!
    Weekend lines at Smuggs are 20-30 mins plus a SLOW chair up the hill. Stowe is a great option but also has congested times for the Forerunner Quad. Sugarbush gets 10 minute lines for Super Bravo Quad and longer waits (but usually worth it) for the Castlerock chair. The beauty of Mt Ellen is that there are never lift lines and there's a lot of open terrain to explore. Woods are really under rated at Mt Ellen and there are a lot of natural snow only trails. If cost is a factor - an option is the Mt Ellen plus pass that gets you five days at Lincoln Peak and allows you to ski Lincoln Peak after Mt Ellen closes.

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