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The "Sugarbush Thread"

thetrailboss

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djspookman said:
The only affordable stuff are one bedroom condos, unless you are moving from out of state, because cost of living in VT isn't proportionate(sp?) to income. So, because of this I am forced to rent.. yippee... ugh..

dave

Yes, this is true. The idea was to tax the rich land owners, but what is happening is that the folks who are native and own their houses/land are being over taxed.
 

ctenidae

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I was on the Bubble Bandwagon for a while, becasue it sure looked like one, but the fundamentals are supporting more of a solid, permanent change. The boys over at Bridgewater (who know a thing or two about things) are saying that soon the US will be where Europe was 20 years ago, with 45% of income going to housing, and married couples living with their parents for many years before buying their own home. It's at 20% now, so that leaves a lot of room for price expansion.

Of course, that has nothing to do with Sugarbush, so I'll leave it at that.
 

Tin Woodsman

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House prices - real estate is currently selling at a multiple to rents that is higher than seen in US history. Houses are increasingly unaffordable as a % of income all across the country, and especially on the coasts. Whomever told you that we're going to morph to the European model sounds like a snake oil salesman to me. This is a lovely bubble we are in now, and people are going to get hurt badly before too long.
 

Strat

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So we have a sugarbush thread... now what do we do?

Here's a thought-provoker: 2 foot dump last night, let's say it's midseason so you're fully in shape and everything. You hurry up to Sugarbush (North or South, your pick) to get first chair. Which trail/glade do you hit first? Keep it on-map, makes it a bit more challenging...

Me, I say Paradise. No, I've never ridden it, but I've only heard great things, especially on pow days.
 

Tin Woodsman

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Also, I'm kind of bummed that I missed the opportunity to ask questions in this thread, b/c SB is my home mountain. That's what I get for not looking at AZ for a few days. What the heck - I'll throw some out anyway and see if JJ can get to them.

1) I've seen plans to replace the Valley House double with a high speed quad while extending the base terminal downhill to where the rental shop has been. Clearly the goal is to increase the out of base lift capacity so that the Super Bravo and Gate House quads aren't overwhelmed as they usually are on busy weekend/holiday mornings. But this plan concerns me for two reasons. First, the current intersection with the Valley House traverse and the top terminal of the VH lift is a disaster. The traverse gets scraped down to bare ice by 10:30AM and I see multiple collisions and near misses every day I'm there. Aren't you concerned that a quad would exacerbate this problem? Second, the trails in that pod are already quite heavily used, especially Spring Fling and Snowball/Racers Edge. Why would you want to double lift capacity for a pod with two crowded snowmaking trails, and four expert/upper intermediate natural trails that can't handle many more skiers as it is? Throw in the fact that half of Spring Fling is often closed and you really are setting yourselves up for a diminution of the skiing experience. Lift lines are, by and large, not a big problem at SB. Why go for the sexy marketing coup at the expense of the skiing experience?

2) Has anyone considered cutting a traverse from the top of Middle Earth down to the base of the North Lynx triple? Such a trail would have multiple benefits for SB. First, it would help overcome the current single point of failure which exists in accessing the North Lynx and Slide Brook chairs. If Gate House goes down, there's no way to get theah from heah. While a traverse from Castlerock wouldn't be optimal, it would at least be the start of a solution there. Furthermore, when one wants to go from the Castlerock/Heaven's Gate trail pods to North Lynx or back to Mt Ellen, they must go through the already-crowded base area and queue for the Gate House lift with the beginners who would probably appreciate shorter lift lines.

3) Any plans to expand Allyn's Lodge? That place gets crowded, especially on colder days. Not only can you not find a seat on those days, the line for food becomes intolerably long. You really should do something more with that fantastic building.

4) Any chance for a warming hut at the confluence of Gate House, North Lnyx, and SBX? Again, it's about keeping people out of the base area during the day and maximizing the use of Gate House for beginners who are the key to your future.
 

awf170

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Strat said:
So we have a sugarbush thread... now what do we do?

Here's a thought-provoker: 2 foot dump last night, let's say it's midseason so you're fully in shape and everything. You hurry up to Sugarbush (North or South, your pick) to get first chair. Which trail/glade do you hit first? Keep it on-map, makes it a bit more challenging...

Me, I say Paradise. No, I've never ridden it, but I've only heard great things, especially on pow days.
the unmarked glades of paradise or the the trail paradise
 

Strat

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Tin Woodsman said:
Also, I'm kind of bummed that I missed the opportunity to ask questions in this thread, b/c SB is my home mountain. That's what I get for not looking at AZ for a few days. What the heck - I'll throw some out anyway and see if JJ can get to them.

1) I've seen plans to replace the Valley House double with a high speed quad while extending the base terminal downhill to where the rental shop has been. Clearly the goal is to increase the out of base lift capacity so that the Super Bravo and Gate House quads aren't overwhelmed as they usually are on busy weekend/holiday mornings. But this plan concerns me for two reasons. First, the current intersection with the Valley House traverse and the top terminal of the VH lift is a disaster. The traverse gets scraped down to bare ice by 10:30AM and I see multiple collisions and near misses every day I'm there. Aren't you concerned that a quad would exacerbate this problem? Second, the trails in that pod are already quite heavily used, especially Spring Fling and Snowball/Racers Edge. Why would you want to double lift capacity for a pod with two crowded snowmaking trails, and four expert/upper intermediate natural trails that can't handle many more skiers as it is? Throw in the fact that half of Spring Fling is often closed and you really are setting yourselves up for a diminution of the skiing experience. Lift lines are, by and large, not a big problem at SB. Why go for the sexy marketing coup at the expense of the skiing experience?

2) Has anyone considered cutting a traverse from the top of Middle Earth down to the base of the North Lynx triple? Such a trail would have multiple benefits for SB. First, it would help overcome the current single point of failure which exists in accessing the North Lynx and Slide Brook chairs. If Gate House goes down, there's no way to get theah from heah. While a traverse from Castlerock wouldn't be optimal, it would at least be the start of a solution there. Furthermore, when one wants to go from the Castlerock/Heaven's Gate trail pods to North Lynx or back to Mt Ellen, they must go through the already-crowded base area and queue for the Gate House lift with the beginners who would probably appreciate shorter lift lines.

3) Any plans to expand Allyn's Lodge? That place gets crowded, especially on colder days. Not only can you not find a seat on those days, the line for food becomes intolerably long. You really should do something more with that fantastic building.

4) Any chance for a warming hut at the confluence of Gate House, North Lnyx, and SBX? Again, it's about keeping people out of the base area during the day and maximizing the use of Gate House for beginners who are the key to your future.
Good questions Tin, though I'm not sure he'll get to them - hopefully, like many AZ Challenge responders, he'll come on here after... a few thoughts of my own:

1) In my opinion, having a more accessible lift going to that part of the mountain will in my opinion cut down on much of the traffic on the Valley House Traverse, and thus, at least partially solve the ice and traffic problems up there now. Those who want a quick ride to Stein's/Snowball/Eden/what have you are now going to have an easy, fast option to get to those trails, instead of the pain in the @$$ shlep that it is right now to get there. They won't even need to traverse over from bravo. Those who want to access trails on the bravo side will just ride bravo. Because of this, I think that actually will help the problems of the intersection at the top of the current VH, by splitting the traffic to different sides of the mountain. Valley House Traverse will become much less used, though I think that Reverse Traverse will see more use, by people who didn't want to wait in the Bravo lines who still want to get over to that side and access Heaven's Gate/Castlerock. However, seeing as the VHQ will get less traffic than Bravo, and thus, shorter lines pretty much all the time, it seems unlikely that the same principle would work in reverse, that is, people doing the current option of taking Bravo and traversing over. In regards to overloading trail capacity on that side of the mountain: yes, that could be an issue, but I just don't see people flocking to that side of the mountain just because it's easy - it's just as easy to go up Super Bravo, which accesses much more terrain. I think that there will really be the same amount of people coming to the Valley House side of the mountain as there are now, they'll just be able to get there a little easier, and without the traffic problems that currently plague the top of the Valley House. So I think an HSQ for the Valley House is actually a good idea: the problem with congestion at the top of the lift is solved, and people have an easier and more enjoyable time getting there - I just don't see the name as applicable anymore, seeing as there will no longer be a Valley House.

2) Just pointing out that a trail from the top of Middle Earth to the North Lynx base would be far from a traverse - that would be quite steep in places. However, a much shorter, flatter option would be parallel to the upper portion of Castlerock Connection, just a bit above it; a small bridge would probably be required, as it would cross a stream. Such a trail would involve funneling more people through Castlerock though, where many people don't want to be, and would only solve the problem of only one way existing to Slide Brook/North Lynx for Castlerock skiers.

3) I agree, Allyn's Lodge could definitely use expansion, though that might require knocking down a portion of it; unfortunately, that's kinda on the back burner at the moment, seeing as what they're busy with now...

4) I agree about the warming hut too - put that giant trail map and tables inside there, give people a place to chill (er, warm up). Even a yurt would probably suffice. That seems like a much easier point to address than Allyn's.
 

awf170

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is that you strat :wink:


i need a snazzy new avatar :D
 

awf170

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awf170 said:
Strat said:
So we have a sugarbush thread... now what do we do?

Here's a thought-provoker: 2 foot dump last night, let's say it's midseason so you're fully in shape and everything. You hurry up to Sugarbush (North or South, your pick) to get first chair. Which trail/glade do you hit first? Keep it on-map, makes it a bit more challenging...

Me, I say Paradise. No, I've never ridden it, but I've only heard great things, especially on pow days.
the unmarked glades of paradise or the the trail paradise
ohhh i see, you saw on map so your talking about the trail, oh ya it is sick... didnt seem to get any pics of it.
 

Tin Woodsman

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Strat said:
Good questions Tin, though I'm not sure he'll get to them - hopefully, like many AZ Challenge responders, he'll come on here after... a few thoughts of my own:

1) In my opinion, having a more accessible lift going to that part of the mountain will in my opinion cut down on much of the traffic on the Valley House Traverse, and thus, at least partially solve the ice and traffic problems up there now. Those who want a quick ride to Stein's/Snowball/Eden/what have you are now going to have an easy, fast option to get to those trails, instead of the pain in the @$$ shlep that it is right now to get there. They won't even need to traverse over from bravo. Those who want to access trails on the bravo side will just ride bravo. Because of this, I think that actually will help the problems of the intersection at the top of the current VH, by splitting the traffic to different sides of the mountain. Valley House Traverse will become much less used, though I think that Reverse Traverse will see more use, by people who didn't want to wait in the Bravo lines who still want to get over to that side and access Heaven's Gate/Castlerock. However, seeing as the VHQ will get less traffic than Bravo, and thus, shorter lines pretty much all the time, it seems unlikely that the same principle would work in reverse, that is, people doing the current option of taking Bravo and traversing over. In regards to overloading trail capacity on that side of the mountain: yes, that could be an issue, but I just don't see people flocking to that side of the mountain just because it's easy - it's just as easy to go up Super Bravo, which accesses much more terrain. I think that there will really be the same amount of people coming to the Valley House side of the mountain as there are now, they'll just be able to get there a little easier, and without the traffic problems that currently plague the top of the Valley House. So I think an HSQ for the Valley House is actually a good idea: the problem with congestion at the top of the lift is solved, and people have an easier and more enjoyable time getting there - I just don't see the name as applicable anymore, seeing as there will no longer be a Valley House.

2) Just pointing out that a trail from the top of Middle Earth to the North Lynx base would be far from a traverse - that would be quite steep in places. However, a much shorter, flatter option would be parallel to the upper portion of Castlerock Connection, just a bit above it; a small bridge would probably be required, as it would cross a stream. Such a trail would involve funneling more people through Castlerock though, where many people don't want to be, and would only solve the problem of only one way existing to Slide Brook/North Lynx for Castlerock skiers.

3) I agree, Allyn's Lodge could definitely use expansion, though that might require knocking down a portion of it; unfortunately, that's kinda on the back burner at the moment, seeing as what they're busy with now...

4) I agree about the warming hut too - put that giant trail map and tables inside there, give people a place to chill (er, warm up). Even a yurt would probably suffice. That seems like a much easier point to address than Allyn's.

I see your point on #1, but I'm not sure I agree. HSQs are sexy marketing beasts for a reason - they draw traffic. Even if the lift-line is so long that an adjacent fixed-grip lift provides a faster ride to the top, people will still pile into the HSQ line b/c of the perceived benefits. I believe that while you'd a decrease in traffic from people coming over on the VH traverse, you'd see a lot more in that area in general, probably taken from the SB, GH, and NL lifts. Most of the people drawn to this lift won't the the experts who already love that pod for its classic New England trails and bump lines, but beginners and intermediates who think the HSQ is sexy and want to access Snowball/Spring Fling more easily. I think those trails will become a disaster while Moonshine, being the only other intermediate trail in the area, will get over run with people in over their head on a trail that skis a lot harder than mot blue squares. Even worse, I could see this leading to the installation of snowmaking on Moonshine, Twist and the Mall, which would really ruin the quality of skiing on those fantastic natural trails. They can be boney at times with their low elevation, but when the snow is decent, there are few better trails on the mountain.

2) I see your point regarding a possible Castlerock/North Lynx connector - my muted route would be way to steep. Regardless, some sort of connector, be it lower down on Middle Earth, or terminating higher up on Birch Run, would have value. I would prefer the latter option b/c if you can start the traverse before ME makes that right turn down the fall line, you are essentially avoiding the toughest parts of that trail. And, as you point out, it would help address the problem I raise. It would probably draw more people to Castlerock at the margin, but that's not going to make a huge impact b/c the lift has so little capacity anyway. Regardless, it would be nice for some who has come over from North to be able to get to and from Castlerock, SB's signature terrain, more easily than at present, before returnign from whence they came.

3) I don't think you'd necessarily have to knock down portions of the current Allyn's Lodge to expand it. Why not add space downhill of where the ski patrol room is? Modification of the roof would be needed for sure, but I don't know if you'd have to do a great degree of damage to the beautiful existing structure to add space. Make it shaped like a "T" or "L" with the additiona oriented N to S and encomassing the area where the ski racks and back deck are. Also, why not expand the part of the deck that faces South for a grea lunch spot in Feb and March?
 

Lostone

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1) I think a HSQ is going to be terrible to that side of the hill. There will be way too many people on Snowball. It will become an ice rink.

b) I ain't riding Castlerock to ski North Lynx! :wink:

III) There's some room for expansion out back, but my biggest wish for the lodge would be better food service, which is already started, but needs to be improved.

I think the size of it limiting the crowd is a good thing. It is nice to have a cozy oldge, and when it is too crowded, there are others. I'd rather have to find them at times than hurt the ambience of what we have.
 

thetrailboss

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Tin Woodsman said:
Also, I'm kind of bummed that I missed the opportunity to ask questions in this thread, b/c SB is my home mountain. That's what I get for not looking at AZ for a few days. What the heck - I'll throw some out anyway and see if JJ can get to them.

Yep, important to keep an eye on things :wink:

Luckily I've been so busy lately that I have yet to send the questions out, so I can add them for you :D
 

noski

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SB/MRG joint passes

skibum1321 said:
JimG. said:
thetrailboss said:
Good question! I figure they'll tell you what they've said to us all along...'we offer a great product, blah, blah,' and not consider this deal. MRG is not up to their standards and Stowe is their main competition.

Yes, I would not ever look for SB and MRG to do anything jointly. 2 completely different ski areas regardless of geography, and 2 completely different clienteles that do not see eye to eye on anything.

Personally, I think it would be a bad thing and would prefer they stay separate.

Actually, after the Big Pass there was the Huge Pass which included Jay, MRG and the Bush. It was a college deal yet again.

Actually MRG & SB do offer a joint Ski The Valley pass, that also can be used at Ole's. However it is meant to drive midweek overnight stays, so can only be obtained as part of a lodging package....
 

Tin Woodsman

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Luckily I've been so busy lately that I have yet to send the questions out, so I can add them for you

Thanks trailboss. Good show.

Lostone -

I wouldn't ride Castlerock to get to North Lynx per se. There are two situations where I'd make an exception. First, if I was skiing in the Castlerock pod already and wanted/needed to get to North Lynx/Slide Brook Express/top of Gate House, why would I want to ski to the bottom of Castlerock and the runout, hoof it over to Gate House and then wait in that line before riding the lift? That's a 20-30 minute trek. Or what if Gate House is closed due to mechanical reasons? Happened once that I recall on a busy weekend this year. I wanted to hit North Lynx area for a few runs (others needed to get back to North) and I was SOL. I could have made it over there via Castlerock. Sure it would have taken a good 30-45 mins by the time I got up Super Bravo and down then up Castlerock, but it's better than sitting around or waiting in line for the shuttle to North.

Regardless, I'm of the opinion that the more people you can keep on the upper mountain, the better off you'll be in general. The only lifts that see crowds consistently are Gate House and Super Bravo - why not try and alleviate that to the greatest degree possible while improving mountain circulation and convenience?

And as for Allyn's - yeaa, it's a space issue as much as it's a food service quality issue. That one person up there gets overwhelmed with everyone seeking shelter from the cold on those brutal Jan/Feb days. Then the food runs out fairly quickly and everyone gets upset. My girlfriend waited in line for 30 minutes one Saturday last year. For a wet sandwich and a banana. That isn't acceptable under any circumstances for a busines that is in the hospitality industry and not named Disney.
 
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