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SB, MRG & Smuggs next week

Old Duderino

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I live in the DC area and have MC this year. I knew I was going to get a window to cut out of work and get some skiing days from next Wed through the weekend so the options I considered were catching a flight to Denver and hitting A-Basin or fly or drive to SB. I love AB but I've done it many times and will probably hit it again someday so I was leaning towards SB as I've never been there. The weather forecast was going to be my deciding factor and since it still looks good for next week I've pretty much decided to go for it and drive so I have the flexibility to get more ski days in. My local hills went Epic this year so I'll do that next year on so this may be my best chance to hit SB.

After using my 2 free days at SB I was thinking of hitting MRG and possibly Smuggs but I remember reading here that Presidents Day week, not just next Monday, are holiday weeks in the NE where if conditions are as good as it appears they'll be crowds can be on the level of X-mass & new years weeks. With that in mind I'm hoping someone can fill me in on what to expect and what modifications, if any, I should make to my plans.

I know both Smuggs & MRG have old and slow lifts that when combined with holiday level crowds are recipe for s***show so at least SB has more uphill capacity with their HSQs. I'm more intrigued by MRG than Smuggs so if anyone has any suggestions for which day between Wed-Sat would be best to hit MRG I'd appreciate it. Also, if anyone has reasons for suggesting either Smuggs or fewer days at SB because the uphill capacity of SB isn't as much of an advantage as I think it is I'd appreciate that as well.

My skiing preference is anything and everything. I'm in my mid-50's so I don't do all day gnar exclusively anymore, I'll mix in some cruisers.

TIA.
 

tumbler

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Saturday and Sunday are a zoo. Crowd lets up Monday and Tues-Thurs are relatively quiet. Crowd picks up a bit again on Friday. School vacation in NH & VT are the following week.
 
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Edd

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The zoo starts this Saturday, with Mass school vacation week, to be clear. I’m no VT ski area expert, but NH and Maine get hammered with crowds during Mass school vacation.


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Smellytele

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Right where I want to be
The zoo starts this Saturday, with Mass school vacation week, to be clear. I’m no VT ski area expert, but NH and Maine get hammered with crowds during Mass school vacation.


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Then nh vaca week is the following week into March. It is mellow that week. Mass vaca week sucks for skiing!


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tumbler

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It's not as crowded as Xmas and New Years because not everyone has vacation at the same time. Public school different times in different state and private school is mid march. I actually enjoy the midweek with less crowd and higher sun.
 

Tonyr

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I've skied Presidents week the last 3 years in VT, the weekend will be busy but from Monday on the crowds won't be that bad. Sugarbush has some of the best terrain in VT your going to love it there, when the snow is good SB is a spectacular place to ski. MRG really has 2 main lifts, the double is very slow the single chair is a little faster than you'd think but aside from that it's just a very cool experience. You aren't going to mind the 12 minute ride up to the top at all. MRG is a historical place to ski, if your going to Sugarbush you'll definitely want to stop by MRG for a day and experience it.

Smuggs is one of the few places that I haven't skied yet in VT but it's on our list for later this year. Stowe is on the other side of the notch and will be closer than Smuggs, the terrain at Stowe is outstanding too if you haven't been. Jay Peak is also one of my favorites and is in striking distance of Stowe & Smuggs I'd highly recommend it there as well. It feels like your in another world skiing off of the top of the tram, the place is one big glade. Stowe, SB, and Jay are my three favorite places to ski in VT for whatever its worth.

In any event if you hit some combination of the mountains mentioned above you are going to have a fantastic time if the conditions are good. I would ski MRG or Jay on a weekend and SB or Stowe during the week, I cant give you advice on Smuggs since I haven't been there yet but I don't think it's as busy as SB or Stowe. We were at MRG on Saturday during MLK weekend and the crowd was fine. SB and Stowe were zoos that day.

Tony
 
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kingslug

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The double chair at Stowe will help with crowd management..at least for me. Good conditions throughout the area..all will be crowded.
 

jimmywilson69

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The double chair at Stowe will help with crowd management..at least for me. Good conditions throughout the area..all will be crowded.

I literally don't understand why people wait in a 15-20 minute line for the 4-runner when the double is constantly ski on and you only miss about 300' of vert. Its an easy level skate to be able to ski all of the Goods, without any loosing any of their vert.

I'd much rather sit on a chair than stand in line
 

drjeff

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I literally don't understand why people wait in a 15-20 minute line for the 4-runner when the double is constantly ski on and you only miss about 300' of vert. Its an easy level skate to be able to ski all of the Goods, without any loosing any of their vert.

I'd much rather sit on a chair than stand in line

Just be glad that there's enough folks out there who don't grasp the basic concept that say a 6 minute high speed lift with say a 15 minute line actually translates into less runs than a similar 10 minute fixed grip lift with say a 2 minute line.... :roll::roll::roll:

Kind of like how people think that a high speed quad has more capacity than a fixed grip quad, when the reality is that if they're both loading/unloading a chair every 6 seconds, the capacity is exactly the same, and the only thing that is different is the amount of time you're riding the chair for (as well often as waiting in line for
 

urungus

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I literally don't understand why people wait in a 15-20 minute line for the 4-runner when the double is constantly ski on and you only miss about 300' of vert. Its an easy level skate to be able to ski all of the Goods, without any loosing any of their vert.

I'd much rather sit on a chair than stand in line

I have never taken the Double, it looks easy to get to Haychute / Upper Starr / Upper Hayride, but not so easy to get to Upper Nosedive, National Drop In, Upper Goat, Upper Liftline.
 

Old Duderino

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Thanks for all the replies. I mainly wanted to get an idea of how bad the crowds would likely be after the holiday weekend and from most replies it sounds like it shouldn't be that bad.

I haven't finalized my lodging but will probably Airbnb it somewhere around Waterbury. I'm ruling out Stowe on this trip because I don't have an Epic pass this year but plan to get it next year. I guess the only other question I have would be is there any good reason to pick Smuggs over MRG on my non-SB days?
 

granite

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Thanks for all the replies. I mainly wanted to get an idea of how bad the crowds would likely be after the holiday weekend and from most replies it sounds like it shouldn't be that bad.

I haven't finalized my lodging but will probably Airbnb it somewhere around Waterbury. I'm ruling out Stowe on this trip because I don't have an Epic pass this year but plan to get it next year. I guess the only other question I have would be is there any good reason to pick Smuggs over MRG on my non-SB days?

I would ski MRG, it's more of an iconic-one of kind place. Be sure to ski SB North (Mount Ellen) too while skiing SB, it won't be crowded there at all. By skiing SB-SB North-MRG, you are skiing from one mountain to another to another-all in a row along mountain ridges.
 

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BenedictGomez

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I guess the only other question I have would be is there any good reason to pick Smuggs over MRG on my non-SB days?

Smuggler's Notch is a significantly better ski resort than MRG, and I like MRG. And for the sort of skiing you like doing, Smuggs is probably 100% better than MRG. The downside is, if you're staying in Waterbury it's probably going to be almost twice as long to Smuggs than MRG, but if you're there a week it's a no-brainer to hit Smuggs. Hit em' each once & check them both out.
 

Tonyr

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Smuggler's Notch is a significantly better ski resort than MRG, and I like MRG. And for the sort of skiing you like doing, Smuggs is probably 100% better than MRG. The downside is, if you're staying in Waterbury it's probably going to be almost twice as long to Smuggs than MRG, but if you're there a week it's a no-brainer to hit Smuggs. Hit em' each once & check them both out.

Good advice, ski them both if your up there long enough.
 

tnt1234

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Thanks for all the replies. I mainly wanted to get an idea of how bad the crowds would likely be after the holiday weekend and from most replies it sounds like it shouldn't be that bad.

I haven't finalized my lodging but will probably Airbnb it somewhere around Waterbury. I'm ruling out Stowe on this trip because I don't have an Epic pass this year but plan to get it next year. I guess the only other question I have would be is there any good reason to pick Smuggs over MRG on my non-SB days?
I think MRG would be a shorter drive. And it's MRG...
 
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