Stowe/Jay Peak/Burke 3/11 - Day 1 Stowe

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  1. #1

    Stowe/Jay Peak/Burke 3/11 - Day 1 Stowe

    Booked a couple nights at the Hotel Jay and decided to hit Stowe on the way up, and Burke on return south. First time to all three areas.

    Arrived at Mansfield Lodge underneath the legendary front four at about 11 am on Monday the 11th and the parking lot was practically empty. Maybe because it was a cold blustery day with forecast of sleet. With all the talk of the luxury slope side lodging at Spruce, was pleasantly surprised at how old school the Mansfield Lodge was. Sign outside listed date of 1941. Suppose it’s only a matter of time before it gets “upgraded”. Only a handful of people inside enjoying the fire or at the small bar.

    Warmed up with a trip up the Mountain Triple, then down Sundance and Chapel Lane to get a view of the stone church. Very nice conditions, a light covering of new snow over the groomed surfaces. Then Toll Road/Lullaby Lane/Crossover over to the Gondola. Wait time for gondola car was less than 5 minutes. In the gondola car were me, my 11 year old son, two women, and two teenaged snowboarders. As soon as the gondola doors closed the teenagers turned on their MP3 player at maximum volume and began blasting profane rap music. I hate to be Debbie Downer, but I finally asked them to turn it off and they seemed surprised that it would be bothering anyone. But they did turn it off, without really apologizing but no outright hostility. Welcome to Stowe! I thought it was supposed to be classy, LOL

    Took a couple runs down the legendary (but altered, I know) Perry Merrill and Chin Clip trails. Perry Merrill was groomed and winding but did have a fair number of other people to contend with. Chin Clip had nice bumps and sense of isolation. Bottom of the gondola pod has a lengthy run out which gets particularly dull after you pass the Miidway Lodge.

    Then on to the main event, the Forerunner Quad up to the top of the front four. The traverse back from the from the Midway Lodge was unpleasant but there does not seem to be a way to avoid it when coming back from the Gondola pod? Very windy up at the top with snow swirling around. Started off with a run down Lord to peer over the edge, and then down the wide Hayride. Was getting scoured off towards the top but improved as you went down. Then my first tip down one of the front four! The top of Liftline and Goat were roped off (and realistically I wasn’t going to start with Goat) so that left Starr and National. Starr looked pretty steep, and I couldn’t see much over the crest except the tops of some huge moguls, so National it was. Started by taking the narrow bumpy Lord Loop into the even narrower National Drop In, which converged to a steep icy chute at the bottom that I wiped out attempting to navigate. Then crossing over the Haychute trail, National becomes much wider. Despite the far right looking more promising, the only break in the ropes was at the far left, which was pretty steep and scoured down to boilerplate by the wind, with a few patches of smooth rock for good measure. Managed to immediately lose an edge and thankfully only slipped a few feet after falling over. Was a bit of a challenge to regain my feet on the steep smooth surface but eventually I managed. About halfway down to where the trail crosses Liftline, the conditions improved and there were nice bumps on the remainder of National. The trail ends back over at the base of the gondola, so the traverse is a again required if you are doing laps or (like me) returning to the Mansfield Lodge.

    Made it down one of the Front Four for the first time ever! Although wiping out twice in the process. Took a quick walk through the village at Spruce before heading out, and although luxurious seemed kind of generic.

    Next up Jay Peak...

  2. #2
    Edd's Avatar
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    Good for you asking them to turn down the tunes. Sounds like an awesome trip!


    Sent from my iPad using AlpineZone

  3. #3
    Blasting music seems to be the new world order. I've seen people do that at the gym and out walking during lunch.
    SoVT

  4. #4
    I don't believe they can alter the Mansfield base lodge much if at all. I believe it is registered as a historic building.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using AlpineZone mobile app

  5. #5
    kingslug's Avatar
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    The tops of liftline and Goat are very steep and rocky..You would not want to fall...Starr as well.
    Lets go!
    I'll drive.

  6. #6
    Usually I am going ultra slow on the top of runs like this, so falling on a bumpy run like Starr might actually be better for me. Very top of Upper National was wind scoured down to boiler plate, so getting back up my feet was a bit of a challenge.

    National’s steepest part is steeper than Liftline or Starr, according to http://ski-degrees.synthasite.com/vermont.php

    D62FCA2F-3F76-405C-AB2F-AEFC4EA099CF.jpg
    Last edited by urungus; Mar 16, 2019 at 9:19 AM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Nice report.

    Waiting for more from your subsequent stops.

  8. #8
    kingslug's Avatar
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    Just be careful..conditions are are a bit sporty now.
    Lets go!
    I'll drive.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2015
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    North Attleboro, MA
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    I was at Jay Saturday and Sunday, once the wind died down and the Jet and Bonnie spun, Saturday was fun...with freshies!

    Sunday all lifts ran, Jay did a solid job with significant help from mother nature/the Jay Cloud. There were certainly spots that were "interesting" but after the freeze, not nearly as bad as I thought. Lower glades were great! Blue Bird today!

    Ski it like you stole it!

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