• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Is powder/tree skiing in the east overrated?

crank

Active member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
1,004
Points
38
Location
CT
Jay Peak consistently delivers above expectations and while they may be slightly exaggerating a 400"+ season total, it can't be by much.

Let's be honest about where we'd be skiing if it weren't in the middle of nowhere...

Half of my trips to Jay involve plowing through mostly untouched + deep snow to the tune of 2000+ vertical feet of it.

The other half are in the spring when they are still 99%+ open when everyone else is closed, and April powder days aren't really a rarity either. I was up there 4/9 last year for the ***best conditions and best day of the season including prime season + pow days @ Tahoe and fresh snow @ Telluride***. The only reason I don't count that as a powder day is because the 2 feet of snow technically fell the day before.

I have decided to focus my financial and energy resources towards more vacations at Jay, Quebec and so forth instead of heading West, based on last season.

We really do have it good out here except for the unpredictability sometimes. When my newborn daughter grows up a bit I'll go back to traveling more, just for her sake.

I love Jay Peak and have been skiing thereat least a few days per season since 1985. It often does over -deliver as mentioned above. However it is also hit and miss and if you are following a thaw/freeze it sucks as hard as anything. I also think as it's popularity has grown everything just gets tracked out a lot faster than it used to.

Having said that, I fondly recall white knuckle drives up to Hotel Jay or the old Snowline Lodge and waking up in the morning to a shitload of fresh. More than once it was a complete surprise, stars out most of the way up through VT, get close to Jay and it's snowing like #$$%.
 
Last edited:

BenedictGomez

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
10,765
Points
48
Location
PRNJ
I would say that tree skiing is overrated unless there is still powder to be found there after a good storm. I'll ski trees for as long as they are not overly tracked out. When they are, it's just bumps with trees.

I love, "just bumps with trees".

I also think as it's popularity has grown everything just gets tracked out a lot faster than it used to.

Oh, big time. After it became a destination for the Montreal crowd, it's never been the same in that regard. :sad:
 

SkiFanE

New member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
1,260
Points
0
Location
New England
Yes, it's is harder to get powder time in the East compared to the West. Out west there is never any rain, the snow is drier, and there are huge expanses of powder filled bowls above timberline.

But. If you're willing to do the drive, if you're willing to take the time, if you seek out powder on skins under powerlines, unplowed CCC roads, closed ski areas, you will get the goods in the East. Pico for instance is tracked out on some trails even before the lifts open on Thursdays. Why? All the tele folks were skinning up Tuesday and Wednesday. Too much effort? I'm sure it is for some people, but I'm going to disagree that you can't learn to ski powder well in the east. You just need the dedication.

Bumps on the other hand are there almost all the time. There is almost never a line to ski them. Early on they get better over time, not worse. Having done a lot of both, I think bumps are harder to ski well than powder, but you get the chance to practice on bumps far more often.

I've had epic powder days when all you do is ski fresh tracks. You get so spoiled that when you see a trail with 10 tracks on it you say, "well that's ruined, let's move on to the next one." Any other day you'd bleed to ski that trail with only 10 tracks. So yes, after a while you do get your fill. Your legs are half baked, or worse, so you get picky. But the next storm you are at it again.

For me, powder skiing is quiet, it is soft, it is ever yielding, it is the one time you dictate the path free of moguls and ice patches (well, not always) and you are moving in a 3 dimensional fluid, not sliding down a surface. For those reasons, it can't be boring. It is almost a different sport, or different in the same way tele is different.

You are correct - you can work hard to find that eastern powder - but in my life - I can't go to those lengths. And I suppose I don't crave it (going back to my lack of ability and understanding of the thrill lol). Since I never go west, I feel it's best that way. I'm happy every weekend in the east and don't need to know what I'm missing. I don't know long fluid runs in pow could ever beat a spring day on Superstar :)
 

kingslug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
5,551
Points
63
Location
Stamford Ct and Stowe
i skied an 18 inch powder day at okemo last season. i would have gone to magic but i was with a big group who got a house at okemo. it was an amazing day. first chair at Jackson gore and ~5-6 runs over there with untracked lines to ski on the trails, before poking into the woods the rest of the day. they definitely are lacking for pitch but i absolutely had an "enjoyable" day there in fresh deep snow.

I take it you where there for that monster storm that shut the roads down. Me too. Since it was pretty empty I bet we passed each other many times. J Gore was a blast, the chair there is rather nice. You can rip that place top to bottom at full speed.
 

KustyTheKlown

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2013
Messages
2,564
Points
63
Location
Brooklyn
I take it you where there for that monster storm that shut the roads down. Me too. Since it was pretty empty I bet we passed each other many times. J Gore was a blast, the chair there is rather nice. You can rip that place top to bottom at full speed.

yea it was that one late-ish season monster storm. per my ski tracks, it was... April 1. 18" on April 1, lol. sweet.
 

Bandit2941

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Messages
245
Points
18
Location
Between the Catskills & Shawangunks
Yes, it's is harder to get powder time in the East compared to the West. Out west there is never any rain, the snow is drier, and there are huge expanses of powder filled bowls above timberline.

But. If you're willing to do the drive, if you're willing to take the time, if you seek out powder on skins under powerlines, unplowed CCC roads, closed ski areas, you will get the goods in the East. Pico for instance is tracked out on some trails even before the lifts open on Thursdays. Why? All the tele folks were skinning up Tuesday and Wednesday. Too much effort? I'm sure it is for some people, but I'm going to disagree that you can't learn to ski powder well in the east. You just need the dedication.

Bumps on the other hand are there almost all the time. There is almost never a line to ski them. Early on they get better over time, not worse. Having done a lot of both, I think bumps are harder to ski well than powder, but you get the chance to practice on bumps far more often.

I've had epic powder days when all you do is ski fresh tracks. You get so spoiled that when you see a trail with 10 tracks on it you say, "well that's ruined, let's move on to the next one." Any other day you'd bleed to ski that trail with only 10 tracks. So yes, after a while you do get your fill. Your legs are half baked, or worse, so you get picky. But the next storm you are at it again.

For me, powder skiing is quiet, it is soft, it is ever yielding, it is the one time you dictate the path free of moguls and ice patches (well, not always) and you are moving in a 3 dimensional fluid, not sliding down a surface. For those reasons, it can't be boring. It is almost a different sport, or different in the same way tele is different.


Quoted for truth. Very well written Mr Moose.

I'll add a line from a ski buddy of mine: "The more you do it, the better you get. And the better you get, the more you want to do it." It's a great cycle!!
 

SkiFanE

New member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
1,260
Points
0
Location
New England
Quoted for truth. Very well written Mr Moose.

I'll add a line from a ski buddy of mine: "The more you do it, the better you get. And the better you get, the more you want to do it." It's a great cycle!!

That quote refers to sex, duh.
 

fbrissette

Active member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
1,587
Points
38
Location
Montreal/Jay Peak
I love, "just bumps with trees".



Oh, big time. After it became a destination for the Montreal crowd, it's never been the same in that regard. :sad:


??????? The Montreal crowd has always been there. Jay Peak was owned by a Quebec company for the longest time,as you know.

The increase in skier-day is the result of all of the non-skiing resort improvements, attracting additional Quebecers for sure, but also a shitload of Boston and New-York people. Being there every week-end, I can tell you that MLK, President's week and New-England ski breaks far outnumber skiers than during Quebec school break. This has particularly been the case the past three years with the exchange rate.

Nowadays, a ski week in BC or Alberta ain't much more expensive than a week at Jay Peak once you factor in everything.
 

BenedictGomez

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
10,765
Points
48
Location
PRNJ
??????? The Montreal crowd has always been there. Jay Peak was owned by a Quebec company for the longest time,as you know.

Not in anywhere near the numbers that they are now. It's exploded in that regard in the last 10 or 12 years.
 

crank

Active member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
1,004
Points
38
Location
CT
Jay's consistent marketing of the Jay cloud over the decades and build up of facilities has attracted more folks from north and south.
 

The Sneak

New member
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
640
Points
0
Location
SK, RI
There's little doubt that social media / ski the east / TGR -esque hype promotes a certain culture or identity.

Whatever.

I for one enjoy the chopped up stuff, the crud, the leftovers, and semi tracked out trees more. Growing up in SNE and day tripping to ski boilerplate for half your life damages you inside, I guess :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

bdfreetuna

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Messages
4,300
Points
0
Location
keep the faith
Totally tracked out / spring snow tree skiing with good base depth is a close 2nd to straight up powder.

Can turn into a real rollercoaster ride depending on the terrain.
 

Hawk

Active member
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Messages
1,077
Points
38
Location
Mad River Valley / MA
Sugarbush has seen an increase of woods skier over the last 10 years also. But one thing I can say, you can still go out 2 or 3 days after a storm and find fresh tracks. There is so much area between Lincoln Peak, Mt Ellen and Mad River Glen that the options are basically limitless. And if you know where you are going and don't mind a good skin you can go off the back or off the sides. You can basically lose your self and ski in peace away from the crowds. It is truly special and I am glad that most people have not figured it out.
 

makimono

New member
Joined
Nov 13, 2010
Messages
491
Points
0
Location
Framingham, MA
I love skiing trees in all conditions, except if it's icy.
I love skiing powder, especially in a steep wide open cirque.
If there's powder in the trees, then I love skiing that too.
And, I love skiing soft bumps on a sunny spring day.

:snow:
 

tnt1234

Active member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
1,223
Points
38
Powder skiing in the East is the best skiing there is, if we're talking MRG Stowe Smuggs Jay Sugarloaf or any of the other resorts known for epic tree skiing and steep terrain. Magic also qualifies although not usually quite as blessed by snowfall.

Yeah, I haven't been out west in decades, so maybe not a fair judge...but I agree - my god, what is better than Stowe after 12"? Jesus, that's fun....Goat with fresh snow? Hard to think of anything better.

I remember Jay with my wife and kids after and during a crazy snow cycle....like 16">4>6"....absolutely nuts fun even though it was 0F and blowing every day. K-ton after so much snow the resort restaurants ran out of food - they didn't factor for people not being able to drive to other places for dinner! So much fun!

God, what blast...soft snow, great New England trails, narrow, with roll, and character....glades, tight, wide, who cares! You're skiing in fucking trees!

And again, I don't care how you're doing it. And please don't care how I'm doing it. Just be glad to be doing it....
 

KD7000

New member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
332
Points
0
Location
Central MA
Goofing around in the trees with my daughter last season was a ridiculous amount of fun. Take a break from the busy trails, listen to the quietness. I suck at it but absolutely love it.IMG_20170219_100304684_HDR.jpgIMG_20170129_112315120.jpg
 

chuckstah

Active member
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
1,207
Points
38
Today was fun. Not a day for your A skis. But fun. That's what it's all about.


Sent from my LGMS345 using AlpineZone mobile app
 

abc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
4,223
Points
48
Location
Lower Hudson Valley
How many people waiting in a lift corral on a powder day for the lift to open can actually ski powder well? I would argue less than half. So the question is how many of these people are sucked into the powder hype when they would actually enjoy a groomed trail more? The same goes for the off map tight trees. How many people who guard these so secretly can actually ski their own stashes well? Again, I think a small percentage.
The "powder hypes" are entirely worth it!

Those who don't enjoy skiing powder are either 1) on terribly wrong equipment (poorly fit boots, ski too short etc) or 2) don't have the skills to enjoy it.

Now, the 2nd part can be further split into two types. One, whose skills are simply poor on the groomer to begin with, powder simply makes it shown more. The 2nd type, those who can ski reasonably well (in balance, which is the key ingredient required) but never got much chance to practice in powder. Maybe they had a couple of "chowder" days but never been in 3' fluffy powder, or vice versa.

For the last group, they should go into powder, however much they suck! They will improve in powder and they will enjoy it more and more.

The rest of us who had drank the powder Coolaid, we'll keep on drinking it to feed our habit. How we look to onlookers is not our worry. The time others spent pondering whether we "ski it well", we'll take another lap in "our secret stash". :D

Powder is intoxicating. I'd rather there're less hype and less people. But if I'm honest, I will tell my true friends how good it really fell. And only to strangers on the internet that it sucks. I'm selfish! ;)
 
Top