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Jay Peak vs. Sugarbush?

gregnye

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Hello again!! I decided to stop back into Alpinezone now that winter is here!! :grin:

And now I have a question: Usually I go with my family and friends to Jay Peak on Martin Luther King jr. Weekend. I have been going on that weekend for many years! However, with the recent lack of expansion and focus on base-area development--and me getting tired of Jay, I have been looking into going to Sugarbush instead!

So how does Sugarbush compare? Terrain-wise? Crowd-wise? Glade-wise? (I don't care about the nightlife or terrain-parks lol). Is it the same atmosphere as Jay?

Thanks!! :lol:

EDIT: Sorry I meant Sugarbush not Sugarloaf. Been a long day--should have figured I'd make that mistake lol
 
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ScottySkis

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Sugarbush has glades and great terrain, not as much natural snow as Jay but no one gets that much snow. Snow making at the Bush is kind of weak so after rai+ it might take longer for them to repair, I haven't skiied Jay since I was 10 so can't tell you to much. Of North Vermont places I love the Bush.
 

deadheadskier

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On a holiday weekend I would go with sugarbush over jay. You can avoid midday crowds by skiing over on mount ellen
 

canobie#1

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I am confused on weather or not it's Jay vs Bush or Loaf vs Bush but either way Sugarbush wins it for me!
 

crank

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Sugarbush has much better trail skiing and some very challenging , classic New England style trails on Castlerock and also Paradise. These runs are Steeper with a longer sustained pitch than anything at Jay. Also if you have never skied Rumble... A good amount of trees and glades but no one in VT can really equal Jay in those areas. I am guessing crowds/lines would be about the same. More lodging, dining and drinking options around Sugarbush as well.
 

Cornhead

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I skied in Vermont for years before finally skiing the Mad River Valley, Sugarbush, and MRG. I say go for it, it's a really cool area. If your family is all skiers, a day at MRG is great. Despite its "Ski It If You Can" reputation, it's a great family mountain. The line at the single may be a bit much on a holiday weekend however. They are virtually right next to each other, 3 miles from Mt Ellen, I believe.
 

thetrailboss

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Sugarbush has much better trail skiing and some very challenging , classic New England style trails on Castlerock and also Paradise. These runs are Steeper with a longer sustained pitch than anything at Jay. Also if you have never skied Rumble... A good amount of trees and glades but no one in VT can really equal Jay in those areas. I am guessing crowds/lines would be about the same. More lodging, dining and drinking options around Sugarbush as well.

+1

I was a Sugarbusher for many years. It's got more variety and more vert. I'd say ski Ellen Saturday, LP Sunday, and whichever you want Monday. If there is enough snow, laps in the woods of Slide Brook is always a treat.
 

goldsbar

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Sugarbush is awesome and ranks right up there with some of the better Western resorts if you're into the narrow bump trail and woods thing - when it's in. Problem is, it's VT, so it can be great 2 days before and half melted out by MLK weekend. Last year was a partial disaster. Big crowds but lifts on wind hold. I'm no expert on the place as I only go 1 or 2 times/season, but they seem super conservative on wind holds and lifts seem to somehow break down a lot. Did I say a lot? Sugarbush - hello. Overall crowds aren't bad at all when everything is open but add in wind holds or limited terrain and it's a bit agonizing.

That said, when it's good, it's great. The flatbread pizza place is well worth the wait.
 

thetrailboss

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Sugarbush is awesome and ranks right up there with some of the better Western resorts if you're into the narrow bump trail and woods thing - when it's in. Problem is, it's VT, so it can be great 2 days before and half melted out by MLK weekend. Last year was a partial disaster. Big crowds but lifts on wind hold. I'm no expert on the place as I only go 1 or 2 times/season, but they seem super conservative on wind holds and lifts seem to somehow break down a lot. Did I say a lot? Sugarbush - hello. Overall crowds aren't bad at all when everything is open but add in wind holds or limited terrain and it's a bit agonizing.

That said, when it's good, it's great. The flatbread pizza place is well worth the wait.

I agree that Sugarbush does have a lot of windholds, historically, but not as many as Jay. And as for the lifts the problems come and go. Some seasons I was there we had no problems. Other times it seemed that North Ridge, Super Bravo, both or other lifts would have problems. It just happens.

I'm not sure I'd compare it with skiing out west though. That is not really a fair comparison.

And the previous comment about snowmaking is accurate. They aren't really fast nor do they have the capabilities of Sunday River. But they generally covered things pretty well and the grooming was usually pretty good.
 

steamboat1

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However, with the recent lack of expansion and focus on base-area development--and me getting tired of Jay, I have been looking into going to Sugarbush instead!
Well if lack of expansion & a focus on base area development is your criteria you'll find pretty much the same thing at both areas. If you're just tired of Jay then try something different.
 

Zand

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It ultimately depends on what kind of skiing you like. If you enjoy good trail skiing and don't mind a reduced chance of having good snow for the trip, Sugarbush wins. If you enjoy the woods and want about a 95% chance of having good snow, Jay wins. When I was at school at LSC, I had a Sugarbush pass the first year I was up there, then after that I wondered why I was stupid enough to not just go with Jay from the beginning.
 

BenedictGomez

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I hit Sugarbush for the first time in years last year (WM ticket) and was actually quite impressed with their tree skiing.

No, there's not anywhere near as MUCH glade skiing as there is at Jay Peak, but I thought it was more of a natural tree skiing (i.e. often harder) experience IMO. And I didnt even get to hit the Slide Brook woods due to time constraints, and I hear they're great.
 

xlr8r

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Go to the Bush IMO. It is my favorite place to ski in the east, i just don't get there as much as I would like. It has more terrain and more variety than Jay, and some of the best classic natural New England style trails anywhere, just not the same caliber of glades.

The construction at the base of the Bush is much more restrained than Jay in size and scale, but not everyone loves the farming theme. It has become a very nice and well layed out base area at Lincoln peak, where Glen Ellen is a lot like what Stateside at Jay used to be. Even if there are a lot of people there, Glen Ellen is always uncrowded
 

HowieT2

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I'm always at sugarbush, but only skied jay 4 days last year, so take this for what it's worth.
I think there is more open gladed tree skiing at jay, but sugarbush is more spread out, and slide brook can be a fun adventure.
jay has the waterpark and great base lodging. Sugarbush has waitsfield with more good food/beer

mlk weekend is dicey weather wise.

if you have any questions about sb, don't hesitate to pm me.
 

dlague

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Sugarbush is certainly bigger! There are certainly more people which seems to lead to scraped of trails. Jay Peak has many Canadians and that Monday is more than likely lighter at Jay Peak as compared to Sugarbush since there will be no Canadian factor since it is not a holiday for them.

I think it depends if we get a January thaw. We go to Sugarbush that weekend since it is the RSNE two fer Saturday tour stop and then hit Jay Peak with a 2 fer on Sunday.

Last year was weird at Sugarbush and the conditions not very nice due to unusually warm temps (50 degrees), there was an inversion 30 at base 50 at summit.
 

powdahbonz

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Jay Cloud

I like everything about Jay, the town, proximity to other areas if you want to jump the border to Mt Sutton, Owls Head, lotsa pros/less cons


Sugarbush is certainly bigger! There are certainly more people which seems to lead to scraped of trails. Jay Peak has many Canadians and that Monday is more than likely lighter at Jay Peak as compared to Sugarbush since there will be no Canadian factor since it is not a holiday for them.

I think it depends if we get a January thaw. We go to Sugarbush that weekend since it is the RSNE two fer Saturday tour stop and then hit Jay Peak with a 2 fer on Sunday.

Last year was weird at Sugarbush and the conditions not very nice due to unusually warm temps (50 degrees), there was an inversion 30 at base 50 at summit.
 

dlague

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I like everything about Jay, the town, proximity to other areas if you want to jump the border to Mt Sutton, Owls Head, lotsa pros/less cons

+1 I grew up on Jay Peak, skied it, hiked it and even made snow on it - many years ago! Good point about proximity to Owls Head and Sutton
 

gregnye

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Thanks everyone!! And sorry that I didn't respond earlier--I've been quite busy lately :???:

I have convinced everyone in my family to go to Sugarbush instead of Jay! So mission accomplished! What are particular trails that stand out that I shouldn't miss (preferably black diamonds and double-black diamonds). From the map, I really like the look of the trail "Lower F.I.S." which seems to go all the way off into nowhere (my kind of trail!). Is this one natural snow only? How is it?

Thanks everyone! :spin:
 
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