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Paradise > Goat > Face Chutes

Tonyr

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We had a great time skiing in VT over MLK weekend and into the week. Having been to Mad River Glen, Stowe, and Jay Peak during the trip (and amongst other challenging runs) I was able to ski Paradise at MRG, the whole Goat trail at Stowe, and the Face Chutes at Jay Peak. Since those trails are considered three of the hardest inbounds runs in the east I figured I'd share my opinion on each run.

A lot of trail difficulty depends on conditions, I skied Tuckerman's Chute at Jay last April when the trail was melting out at the top of the run and had a hell of a time dropping in. This time was much easier as the top part was full of snow. With that being said, MRG overall was exceptionally challenging this weekend. It rained so hard there the previous weekend that they had to close the mountain for 3 days, then on Thursday the snow Gods answered and delivered 16 inches of snow. When we got to the mountain on Saturday the snow looked great but below all that great snow was a sheet of ice. You pretty much slid on ice after every hard turn even through the deep snow. It was my first time skiing Paradise so I don't have much of a gauge on how conditions normally are but it was the toughest run that I've skied in the east. We were just in Breckenridge over Christmas and this run was harder to ski than anything directly off the E chair at Breck. 20200118_095957.jpg20200118_100457.jpg20200118_100606.jpg20200118_100722.jpg20200118_100842.jpg

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Tonyr

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Our first day out at Stowe was Sunday, it snowed the night before and all day for the most part on Sunday. As the day went on they started opening the upper sections of the front 4 runs. I've skied the middle section of Goat many times but had never been at Stowe when the upper and lower sections of the trail were open so I anxiously hit the run. The upper part is very steep, rocky, and had thin cover. Most people ski upper Goat by edging down the skiers left side of the run. It got crowded while I was on the trail so I jumped over to the right side of the run which was pretty rocky and steep, you definitely don't want to fall there.

In any event once you get down the top part the rest of middle and lower Goat is a sea of moguls (I think around 2k vert of bumps) which has a decent pitch. The run doesn't stay as steep as Paradise does which had a constant pitch the whole way down but it does blow your quads and lungs out with all of the moguls! I would say that from top to bottom it's the second hardest run in the east.

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Tonyr

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The Face Chutes were closed last April when we visited so I was excited to get a chance to ski them this trip. The run is steep but very short, the face wasn't filled in very well so I had to watch getting tripped up on branches on the way down but once you got onto the face it felt like open bowl sking you'd see out west. It was a cool experience but certainly not one of the hardest runs that you'll ever do. Tuckerman's Chute is a better run in my opinion but the hardest trail to ski at Jay is the Staircase glades. It's a steep narrow run through the woods that's stands up to anything you ski inbounds at any resort in my opinion. Rumble and the Paradise Woods at Sugarbush along with the Staircase glades at Jay would be more of a fit within the top 3 hardest runs to ski in the east. I will say that the Face Chutes give you absolutely breath taking views at the top!20200122_115908.jpg20200122_115919.jpg20200122_120022.jpg20200122_120240.jpg20200122_120337.jpg

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bdfreetuna

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Finally a quality post. Nice job getting all three. Especially with this "mediocre" season so far you're really making it happen! I've never skied Upper Goat, I'm not sure if it even been open on my rare Stowe days. Saving it for a "soft snow" day, maybe it'll happen this late March/early April when I'm up there.

Have you ever skied Freefall at Smuggs for comparison? That's another one of my bucket list but it looks about as steep as it can get.

Paradise I've skied on days where it was "easy" and other times had to be careful with every turn.


Staircase is pretty tough (as is top of Everglade).. but Pumphouse chute off the ridge feels steeper and tougher to me. Maybe it's the lack of being surrounded by trees adding to the exposure factor.
 
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Tonyr

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Finally a quality post. Nice job getting all three. Especially with this "mediocre" season so far you're really making it happen! I've never skied Upper Goat, I'm not sure if it even been open on my rare Stowe days. Saving it for a "soft snow" day, maybe it'll happen this late March/early April when I'm up there.

Have you ever skied Freefall at Smuggs for comparison? That's another one of my bucket list but it looks about as steep as it can get.

Paradise I've skied on days where it was "easy" and other times had to be careful with every turn.

Upper Goat only opens when there is a bunch of snow coming down. The top part is so steep and rocky that it doesn't hold snow well so there has to be a lot of it, you really need to be there on a lucky snow day to ski it. Upper Liftline is even rarer to see open while it is not as challenging. If the snow gets too deep they will will close Upper Liftline so you don't get hit by people coming up on the lifts. I've only ever seen that run open once!

Smugglers Notch is on my list to ski and really is the only main VT ski resort that we haven't been to yet. The lodging and infrastructure are very old at Smuggs which is why we haven't visited the resort yet. I may be in the minority here but I'm kind of hoping Vail buys it, upgrades the lifts, and connects the mountain to Stowe but that's a long ways off if it ever happens.

In any event I can't give you a comparison between Upper Goat and Freefall but if you've skied Paradise a number of times than you can ski anything inbounds here in the east. I've been on Needle's Eye at Breckenridge and the Wipeout Chutes right under the chair at Mammoth which both have areas within the runs with near 45 degree pitches coming down and my experience on Paradise last Saturday under the conditions I skied it stood right up to those runs even though Paradise is not quite as steep.

Tony
 

Tonyr

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Staircase is pretty tough (as is top of Everglade).. but Pumphouse chute off the ridge feels steeper and tougher to me. Maybe it's the lack of being surrounded by trees adding to the exposure factor.

I didn't include runs off the ridge because they are not considered on the map trails but they are certainly the hardest areas of Jay to ski. Most of that ridge isn't even skiable this year due to the lack of snow.
 

Zand

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Upper Goat only opens when there is a bunch of snow coming down. The top part is so steep and rocky that it doesn't hold snow well so there has to be a lot of it, you really need to be there on a lucky snow day to ski it. Upper Liftline is even rarer to see open while it is not as challenging. If the snow gets too deep they will will close Upper Liftline so you don't get hit by people coming up on the lifts. I've only ever seen that run open once!

Smugglers Notch is on my list to ski and really is the only main VT ski resort that we haven't been to yet. The lodging and infrastructure are very old at Smuggs which is why we haven't visited the resort yet. I may be in the minority here but I'm kind of hoping Vail buys it, upgrades the lifts, and connects the mountain to Stowe but that's a long ways off if it ever happens.

In any event I can't give you a comparison between Upper Goat and Freefall but if you've skied Paradise a number of times than you can ski anything inbounds here in the east. I've been on Needle's Eye at Breckenridge and the Wipeout Chutes right under the chair at Mammoth which both have areas within the runs with near 45 degree pitches coming down and my experience on Paradise last Saturday under the conditions I skied it stood right up to those runs even though Paradise is not quite as steep.

Tony

Disagree that one could ski anything inbounds if they can ski Paradise. Obviously depends on conditions but IMHO Paradise is the easiest of the three listed here on an average day. Sure it's steep, rocky, and narrow, but not nearly as steep, rocky, and narrow as Face Chutes or Goat. Not to mention it holds much better snow than the other two. I'd even put it below Freefall, Liftline, and Robins at Smuggs in terms of difficulty.
 

Tonyr

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Disagree that one could ski anything inbounds if they can ski Paradise. Obviously depends on conditions but IMHO Paradise is the easiest of the three listed here on an average day. Sure it's steep, rocky, and narrow, but not nearly as steep, rocky, and narrow as Face Chutes or Goat. Not to mention it holds much better snow than the other two. I'd even put it below Freefall, Liftline, and Robins at Smuggs in terms of difficulty.

I must of had it on a tough day then because Goat and the Face Chutes were not nearly as hard as Paradise was to ski last weekend.
 
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bdfreetuna

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Hey Zand I've never skied Robins Run (looking forward to it though). Looks similar to Rumble which is my favorite "trail" at Sugarbush. Harder though?

Like I would head down Robins Run without thinking twice on a decent snow day but Freefall I'd have to be in the right mood and feeling like I'm having a really "on" day
 

Tonyr

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I must of had it on a tough day then because Goat and the Face Chutes were not nearly as hard as Paradise was to ski last weekend.

Btw, the pitch on Paradise and Upper Goat are around the same at 36 degrees. The pitch on the Face Chutes, which is a very short run, is 38 degrees. Freefall has a pitch of 34 degrees, Robin's Run is 27 degrees, Upper Liftline at Smuggs appears to be the steepest at 42 degrees.
 
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urungus

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Great report ! I first skiied those 3 runs last season (although not in the same trip) and it is a great feeling to have made it down those tough trails. The “bowl” after the Face Chutes was great back then too, nice soft bumps even though it was icy that day on the groomers.

A couple other trails that I have heard rank right up there (have yet to ski any of these):

DJ’s Tramline - Canon
Black Hole, Upper Liftline, Freefall, Robin’s Ron - Smuggs
Rumble - Sugarbush
Magician - Magic
 

bdfreetuna

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Rumble IMO is semi-easy if it's not icy. There's no mandatory drops just a couple rocks that stick out. It turns back and forth a lot and there's zero "exposure factor" (as opposed to Lift Line). There's probably three "steep sections" but they just take a few turns to get past.

Semi-easy is a slight exaggeration but I actually find skiing Steins more challenging, or Paradise proper(steep moguls). Or any trail that's icy, windblown and skied off.

Also if conditions on Rumble aren't great you can ski the woods directly to skiers left.
 

p_levert

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What is the E chair at Breckinridge? There's no chair with that name on the map, although I'm guessing it's the Falcon Super Chair.
 

Tonyr

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What is the E chair at Breckinridge? There's no chair with that name on the map, although I'm guessing it's the Falcon Super Chair.

The E chair is on the far right of Peak 9 if your looking at the map. Tom's Baby and the Windows are on each side of the lift. The terrain in that area of Breck is very steep.
 

kingslug

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Goat is my favorite run so far but the top is almost never open..when it does on a weekend it gets crowded..same as upper Starr...upper liftline does not get crowded as the exit to middle is a bit hairy..
Upper national..midlle and lower are fun if done all in a row
 

urungus

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Rumble IMO is semi-easy if it's not icy. There's no mandatory drops just a couple rocks that stick out. It turns back and forth a lot and there's zero "exposure factor" (as opposed to Lift Line). There's probably three "steep sections" but they just take a few turns to get past.

Semi-easy is a slight exaggeration but I actually find skiing Steins more challenging, or Paradise proper(steep moguls). Or any trail that's icy, windblown and skied off.

Also if conditions on Rumble aren't great you can ski the woods directly to skiers left.

That’s encouraging, I have made it down Steins and Paradise without much trouble, but haven’t yet made it over to Castle Rock. Definitely high on the to-to list once I recover from my broken arm.
 

Tonyr

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That’s encouraging, I have made it down Steins and Paradise without much trouble, but haven’t yet made it over to Castle Rock. Definitely high on the to-to list once I recover from my broken arm.

The Castlerock area is the best part of Sugarbush, Rumble is a very cool run. I've notice that the lift hasn't been open much if at all this year though at Castlerock, you've had to hike to the terrain.
 

bdfreetuna

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Steins is pretty much a straight steep shot with icy moguls..a bit if a rocky entrance..it aint Goat..

That's essentially what makes it difficult if it's icy and the moguls aren't well formed (or none). Straight steep shot, if you aren't getting an edge it's a long way down.
 
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