• 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!

Jay Peak and I are not BFFs.

VTKilarney

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
5,410
Points
38
Location
VT NEK
I skied Jay Peak today for the first time in about 25 years. After skiing it today, I don't really get the hype.

I appreciate that they get a lot of snow, and I may be missing something since I'm not a glades skier, but I felt much more frustrated with the mountain than impressed.

The lifts are absurdly ancient. How can they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on hotels and a waterpark but still have such slow and old lifts? The high speed quad that goes almost to the summit was closed today. My opinion might have changed had that been open.

The tram is a terrible lift. It moves VERY few people up the hill and the ride itself isn't so great. Once you get up there, you quickly realize that the upper tram house was put in a really lousy spot.

I also got the feeling that the mountain itself wasn't an ideal mountain to build a ski area on. One example is the runouts. Holy cow can they be flat!

I want to like Jay, and I am going to go back and try to figure out what I did wrong today. I have a feeling that I just had an off day, and that there is a decent mountain for me to uncover. But I have to admit that I am more excited to go back to Burke. I thought it would be just the opposite.
 

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
28,569
Points
48
Location
NEK by Birth; Alta/Snowbird by Choice
Lifts: yes, they are old. It's kind of hard to use EB-5 money for new lifts. I think they anticipated an increase in other revenues to justify the new Bonnie Six Pack that was supposed to go in two years ago, and then last season.....

Why was the Freezer...err...Flyer not running? Wind? Must not be since the Tram was running.

And why do you say that the Tram should have ended somewhere else?

I find that if you don't ski the trees, you are going to find Jay either steeper than hell or a lot of traversing across the fall line. Stateside has some of my favorite terrain there because there is good consistent pitch. Hence why that's where the ski area was first located.

They do get a ton of snow and some of my best east coast days were there...
 

dlague

Active member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
8,789
Points
36
Location
CS, Colorado
The jet chair would be more to your liking as well as flyer. The tram I agree does not buy you much unless face chute and tuckerman chute are open. The core appeal to many are the glades though. Bonnie also has some good runs like powerline. Northway sucks for sure and some of the cross trails are pretty boring. Jay Peak IMO shines on powder days! Some of the beat trails are closed right now.

Give it a late February chance!


Sent from my iPhone using AlpineZone
 

Quietman

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Messages
681
Points
16
Location
SW NH
The Flyer (aka Freezer) being closed really makes a big difference, kind of like Wildcat's HS quad being closed. When we were at Jay, I only took the tram once, and didn't miss it the rest of our trip. The glades are also a big part of the experience at Jay, but I still enjoyed the rest of the mountain. The amount snow is also a big part of the equation, as they get more powder days than most other areas in the east, but they can have bad days like any other area. A high speed quad or six-pack from the stateside base is in the plans and should be a major priority, but I would still say to give Jay another chance. Hopefully the drunken idiots that you ran into today(from your other post) will not come back for your next trip.
 

VTKilarney

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
5,410
Points
38
Location
VT NEK
I think the fact that the Flyer was closed was probably the issue. If it had been opened, I would have ridden it all day. My family isn't quite ready for Stateside, so the closest we got was taking the quad from Stateside base up to the main mountain.

The Flyer was definitely not closed due to wind. I think it was just a late-season midweek money saving issue.
 

abc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
4,360
Points
63
Location
Lower Hudson Valley
I skied Jay Peak today for the first time in about 25 years. After skiing it today, I don't really get the hype.

I appreciate that they get a lot of snow, and I may be missing something since I'm not a glades skier, but I felt much more frustrated with the mountain than impressed.
I'm not too impressed with Jay's groomers, except on a powder day. Even then, it's only a few hours after the dump. The snow don't last long, probably due to the high wind blowing them all into the glades.

As such, I only go up to Jay during or immediately after a storm, and spend much of my time in the trees.

Each mountain has its strength and weakness. If you're not into glades, I don't see why you "want to like Jay". Just because some others like it doesn't make it a good fit FOR YOU!
 

BenedictGomez

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
10,768
Points
48
Location
PRNJ
Jay is for glades skiers. If you dont ski in the trees, there are MANY better ski options (and probably closer) for most. I dont even bother going to Jay Peak if the glades arent in play.
 

Savemeasammy

New member
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
2,538
Points
0
Location
S. NH
I'll be going to Jay with my wife sometime within the next week. First time for her, first time for me in 25 or more years... Hopefully she has a better time than this! I've suggested we go on Easter b/c of the forecast, but I don't think she will agree. If the flyer is down midweek, it will probably detract from the experience for her...

Jay regulars: is it common for the flyer to be down for low crowds?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

VTKilarney

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
5,410
Points
38
Location
VT NEK
There was a maintenance chair that was attached to the lift. It was used for a few minutes in the afternoon. I'm not sure if this is why it was closed. I had assumed that they were taking advantage of the lift being down since nobody seemed to be doing much.
 

kingdom-tele

New member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
618
Points
0
Location
Newport Center, VT
it is normal for them to decrease the lift options, its not the end of the world, if the flyer is down that means the tram probably isn't running fully loaded either.

if your going somewhere expecting a bad time then chances are...

nothing wrong with staying at Burke, it has a lot to offer that J doesn't, J is just another mountain, did you enjoy the views, did you stop to notice all the things you could see besides the problems and things it lacks for you, how were the turns, maybe work would be better :)
 
Last edited:

VTKilarney

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
5,410
Points
38
Location
VT NEK
it is normal for them to decrease the lift options, its not the end of the world, if the flyer is down that means the tram probably isn't running fully loaded either.

if your going somewhere expecting a bad time then chances are...

nothing wrong with staying at Burke, it has a lot to offer that J doesn't, J is just another mountain, did you enjoy the views, did you stop to notice all the things you could see besides the problems and things it lacks for you, how were the turns, maybe work would be better :)

The trams were fully loaded, but with only a few people who would miss the cut.

I was not expecting a bad time. It was just the opposite.
 

crank

Active member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
1,010
Points
38
Location
CT
For the life of me I just don't get why people ski Jay unless it has fresh powder. It is far. It is isolated. It doesn't have the greatest lift system. The trails are mostly just OK (half dozen really nice trails I admit). But to me Jay will always be about powder and trees. And not tree skiing with marginally better conditions than the trails. TREE SKIING UNTRACKED POWDER. This is what Jay is all about and it has always been and will always be hit or miss.
 

from_the_NEK

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2006
Messages
4,575
Points
36
Location
Lyndonville, VT
Website
fineartamerica.com
I think the fact that the Flyer was closed was probably the issue. If it had been opened, I would have ridden it all day. My family isn't quite ready for Stateside, so the closest we got was taking the quad from Stateside base up to the main mountain.

The Flyer was definitely not closed due to wind. I think it was just a late-season midweek money saving issue.

Did you ski Stateside of the Jet Triple at all? There are Intermediate trails (Montrealer to Angel Wiggle, Hells Crossing, Paradise Meadows) that provide nice long runs.
 

mister moose

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
971
Points
18
Jay is not such a bad place, but it does have its share of compromises. I think the biggest reason for your dissatisfaction is the fact that you were there in mid April. When the snow gets slow, the run out on the north side of the mountain goes from no big deal to a royal pain. You should ski there in mid winter when the snow is good to get a taste of how Jay skis then.

Also, the blue trails at the very top of the mountain tend to stay buffed from exposure to wind. That's another Jay fact of life, along with winds, low temps, and huge snowfalls. Some of the aspect of the teeny town has been mitigated by the new hotels, ice rink and water park, but it still is a small town feel.

Jay is likely the most unique ski area in the East. It has both pros and cons that no other area has. No other area has the snowfall, the extensive glades, the international character, the water park, or the small friendly feel for such a big mountain, and no other mountain has a lift nicknamed "The Freezer", the length of the drive, or the isolation Jay does. There's a reason you need to be "Raised Jay". If you don't like the trade-offs (most of which will not change) then Jay is not for you.

And if your day is ruined due to fixed grip lifts, Jay is most definitely not for you. Don't bother with MRG, Magic, Smuggs, Castlerock, the North Face, or Snowdon either.
 

Tin

Active member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
2,992
Points
36
Location
ZooMass Slamherst
People should know about their "wind holds". They have great terrain, lifts, services, etc, but I'm all set with how they run the place.

I tried getting in touch with a few people at Jay (including someone on here), since months have gone by without a response I might as well share. My last visit when I asked some staff about wind holds a ski patrol member and an instructor told me how they avoid running upper mountain lifts on weekdays or when there isn't enough people there, and how they have BS wind holds to save money, never heard a thing back. Some of the exact quotes were "Ever notice we have more wind holds during the week than the weekend?" , "There just are not enough people to run the Tram today.", and "Some days they will only run Bonnie and the Jet to freeze people into the water park". And of course you're paying full price. I'm all set with Jay. Wasted about $600 and 5 hours of driving to ski off the Jet and Bonnie for a few days with a bunch of roped off trails and glades that were listed as open on the trail report.
 
Last edited:

dlague

Active member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
8,789
Points
36
Location
CS, Colorado
I think expectations are being set too high for this time of year! If someone is expecting mid winter conditions then you will be hard pressed to find that anywhere. Likewise, I think that spring skiing is more about just getting out there and taking what the mountain gives you! I took my wife to Sugarbush last year and we skied Stein's Run and she did not like it very much. As a result she knew what she needed to work on to prepare for this year. Now she is excited for it. The best thing to do is not go off others points of view but to create your own. Look at the trail map and you will see where the cross overs are and plan accordingly. If Flyer is down (maybe it was for trail preservation?), Bonnadventure chair has decent trails like Can Am, Canyonland or Powerline or for something a little easier then head down Northway (yes it is flat in the beginning) but it leads to many intermediate options. The Whole Jet chair area is also fun to ski IMO.

I would hope that people here are not a one and done. It took my wife three tries at Jay Peak before she liked it. We are already at two tries at Smuggs and are going to give it another whirl next season. Negative bias can be detrimental, like wise positive views by some do not necessarily play out the same for others.

I will give you that fact that the chairs are slowish (Flyer is ok, as well as the tram) - unfortunately, EB5 funding does not really allow you to spend money on such infrastructure - unless it can produce more jobs. If people keep complaining, hopefully it will lead to changes there!
 

MadMadWorld

Active member
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
Messages
4,082
Points
38
Location
Leominster, MA
If by wrong mountain you mean it should have been built on Big Jay then yes. Otherwise I think it was a great choice. The mountain is unquestionably for tree skiers that's not hard to see. But the snow is usually great if you know where the wind blows. It's a mountain where 2 people can have 2 completely different experiences from a snow stand point. Groomers can be one big wind scoured ice skating rink while the trees have drifts. It can really be very hit or miss. When it's great it's epic and when it's bad it is awful.
 

VTKilarney

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
5,410
Points
38
Location
VT NEK
Jay is not such a bad place, but it does have its share of compromises. I think the biggest reason for your dissatisfaction is the fact that you were there in mid April.
And if your day is ruined due to fixed grip lifts, Jay is most definitely not for you. Don't bother with MRG, Magic, Smuggs, Castlerock, the North Face, or Snowdon either.

The snow was actually quite good. It started as packed powder and only softened up somewhat later in the afternoon. And there was plenty of it.

I honestly don't mind slow lifts, if they are in proper context. I don't expect a Plattekill to have the fanciest of everything. But Jay is different. They have dumped countless millions of dollars into the place, but the lift system has not benefited from this. Knowing this is somewhat maddening. Trailboss has a very good point about EB-5 funds not being able to be allocated toward lifts, but it nonetheless leaves a bad taste in your mouth. And I am never going to like the tram. I recalled not liking it when I was last there 25 years ago. My main gripe with the tram is that it moves so few people up the hill. I really wish they had a gondola instead. But it is what it is.

Understanding that I'm not a tree skier, my non-lift gripe was that I didn't do nearly as much fall line skiing as I would have liked. Since I was with my family, we stuck to the intermediate trails, so perhaps the problem seemed worse to me than it should have.
 
Top