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Jay Peak 3/6-8

JimG.

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Hopewell Jct., NY
Had to get up to Jay this season so I booked 3 days at the last minute after seeing that the recent snowfall would be compromised this week. Did not get any new snow, but the mountain was 100% open with spectacular packed powder conditions everywhere. It was cloudy and seasonably cold Wed and Thurs but sunny and bluebird in the low 40's on Friday. I really could not ask for more.

I got to know Jay pretty well after 3 solid days, inbounds anyway. Great mountain. And after driving 8 hours to and from Sugarloaf for the summit, the 6 hours each way this trip went by fast. Jay is now on my yearly list for a visit.

Instead of trying to describe each descent, I'll list my 5 favorites, not surprisingly all tree runs:

5) Vertigo-nice cliff at the top which is easily navigable (or avoided) which drops past the Tram tower and into steeply pitched gullies filled with large trees. Not terribly tight, but quite steep with some big bumps and drops. A fun rollercoaster type of run.

4) Deliverance-I referred to this run as Everglade Junior. Steep, tight, and relentless top to bottom. Just as you start to wonder when it ends it does. More narrow slots through trees than it is a glade. Exhilarating.

3) Staircase-I thought this was the most entertaining tree run on the hill. Great character with a variety of terrain all in one run. Steep, tight slots at the top likes its' neighbor Everglade, mellower and more open about halfway down, then opening into a perfect hardwood stand at the bottom. I think this was my favorite and I skied it alot.

2) Everglade-what a rush! Steep and tight from top to bottom and LONG. We skied it from the very top at the first drop in. Just a kick ass run. Kudos to the rippers who can go T2B on that bad boy. My best effort required 3 stops.

1) Face/Tuckerman Chutes-first time I've seen them open. Face Chutes looked pretty sketchy at the top. Decided to try Tuckerman Chute first. Steepest run I skied last week by a long shot. Narrow and rocky too. Not a good place for a fall and slide. I probably skied it like an uncoordinated robot, but I linked turns and had a sense of great accomplishment at the bottom. It was enough for me. Watched 2 skiers (of the very few) pick their way down the Face and decided to leave it on my list of to do's for next season.

I am enjoying the bigger mountain feel of places like Jay and Sugarloaf...getting bored with smaller hills. This season I have been able to manipulate my schedule to make last minute choices about where to ski and when. It has paid off handsomely with excellent snow conditions whenever I made plans and I enjoyed several great powder days. It is my new strategy.
 
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