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What is the most challenging glade trail here in the East coast?

Tonyr

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I just started skiing glades this past season and love the extra challenge of trees in the way. I was wondering what the most challenging glades are from the experts here in the Northeast. I've skied close to all the marked glades at Killington, Jay, Stowe, and Sugarbush along with some unmarked stuff which was mostly at Stowe. I've found the trees to the skiers left off of Paradise at Sugarbush to be the most challenging followed by the trees off either side of Bypass at Stowe. In any event I was wondering what is considered the toughest glade run in the east?

Tony
 

bdfreetuna

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So I guess stuff like the woods between Paradise and Church that is not exactly on the map but well known enough counts. Stuff like Cannon's Bear Gut or MRG 3 Cliffs etc which aren't on maps and involve mandatory cliff drops I'll leave off the list because then we can just start listing biggest cliff drops and that's kind of another scenario. Backcountry that requires a walk / shuttle I'll leave out too

In no particular order...

Cannon + Jay: Wicked Haaard (on map), lower 1/2 of the trail is a narrow staircase reminds me of the top of Everglade/Staircase at Jay except goes on longer and you probably have less powdery snow. Never had a chance to ski Kinsman Glade I hear that's got a pretty steep section, but others say it's overrated. Back to Jay, anything off the top of the tram/ridge/chutes would qualify.

Bolton Valley: Devils Playground has a few chutes with some tight turns and very steep for a relatively short section. Lost Girlz (to the left past the entrance of Lost Boyz) is very difficult to actually ski due to steep/tight factor but not super long. The most extreme thing at Bolton is Centerline chute but I'm breaking my own rules with that one..

Smuggs: Woods next to Freefall and Black Hole should qualify easily

Killington: Bottom of Julio is steep and rocky but otherwise not too much on that level, maybe Devil's Den

Magic: Wardrobe has a couple steep technical sections, also whatever they call the woods to the skiers right of Red Line up top are pretty tight and steep with a nice optional rock drop. I'm sure at least a couple other woods zones there would qualify too.

Stowe, you already know the unmarked stuff, it's easy to find and well mapped(unofficially). I find woods right off Chin Clip (well before Angel Food starts) to be pretty narrow and gnarly. Tomba's Chute is pretty steep for a bit at the bottom, nice warm up run.

Pico: Busted is right next to Poma Line and might even be the hardest one on this list. It's pretty ridiculous and beyond narrow.

Whiteface: Do you call The Slides a "glade"? Some are more than others. Never had the chance to ski them myself.

Sugarloaf: There's some shots off the backside snowfields that qualify as Eastern extreme, or practically define that term. Good luck figuring your way in and out of there.

Mad River Glen: Paradise and especially anything unmarked beyond Paradise. I'd also say there's a couple shorter shots off the double chair that would be worth checking out.


For #1 the surprise winner is "BEAST" at Berkshire East. Pretty darn steep and narrow but the kicker is, you're guaranteed to absolutely shred your skis on rocks even if they have for some rare reason dropped the rope.
 
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p_levert

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I think off-the-map should not be discussed. Off-the-map, you can find things that are uber-challenging. I think there's some crazy stuff at Stowe that you don't know about.

For on-the-map tough glades, I have to vote for Killington: Julio, Anarchy, Growler and Centerpiece are all difficult classics.
 

bdfreetuna

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Julio, Anarchy, Growler and Centerpiece are all difficult classics.

Reminding me of last season getting first tracks on Julio and Anarchy on a 30" powder day. Difficult was the last word that would have come to mind. I felt like Kirby in Dreamland :lol:
 

Tonyr

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Yes I have skied all of those runs at Killington. The Bear mountain glades and especially Anarchy & Julio are outstanding trails. I think Killington is so underrated as far as their glades go. I had just as much fun in the trees at Killington as I did anywhere else.
 
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Tonyr

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So I guess stuff like the woods between Paradise and Church that is not exactly on the map but well known enough counts. Stuff like Cannon's Bear Gut or MRG 3 Cliffs etc which aren't on maps and involve mandatory cliff drops I'll leave off the list because then we can just start listing biggest cliff drops and that's kind of another scenario. Backcountry that requires a walk / shuttle I'll leave out too

In no particular order...

Cannon + Jay: Wicked Haaard (on map), lower 1/2 of the trail is a narrow staircase reminds me of the top of Everglade/Staircase at Jay except goes on longer and you probably have less powdery snow. Never had a chance to ski Kinsman Glade I hear that's got a pretty steep section, but others say it's overrated. Back to Jay, anything off the top of the tram/ridge/chutes would qualify.

Bolton Valley: Devils Playground has a few chutes with some tight turns and very steep for a relatively short section. Lost Girlz (to the left past the entrance of Lost Boyz) is very difficult to actually ski due to steep/tight factor but not super long. The most extreme thing at Bolton is Centerline chute but I'm breaking my own rules with that one..

Smuggs: Woods next to Freefall and Black Hole should qualify easily

Killington: Bottom of Julio is steep and rocky but otherwise not too much on that level, maybe Devil's Den

Magic: Wardrobe has a couple steep technical sections, also whatever they call the woods to the skiers right of Red Line up top are pretty tight and steep with a nice optional rock drop. I'm sure at least a couple other woods zones there would qualify too.

Stowe, you already know the unmarked stuff, it's easy to find and well mapped(unofficially). I find woods right off Chin Clip (well before Angel Food starts) to be pretty narrow and gnarly. Tomba's Chute is pretty steep for a bit at the bottom, nice warm up run.

Pico: Busted is right next to Poma Line and might even be the hardest one on this list. It's pretty ridiculous and beyond narrow.

Whiteface: Do you call The Slides a "glade"? Some are more than others. Never had the chance to ski them myself.

Sugarloaf: There's some shots off the backside snowfields that qualify as Eastern extreme, or practically define that term. Good luck figuring your way in and out of there.

Mad River Glen: Paradise and especially anything unmarked beyond Paradise. I'd also say there's a couple shorter shots off the double chair that would be worth checking out.


For #1 the surprise winner is "BEAST" at Berkshire East. Pretty darn steep and narrow but the kicker is, you're guaranteed to absolutely shred your skis on rocks even if they have for some rare reason dropped the rope.

Thanks for the great insight! I plan on skiing MRG this year and have heard not to go to far off into the woods on the Paradise trail as there as some pretty big cliff drops out of bounds.
 
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Tonyr

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I think off-the-map should not be discussed. Off-the-map, you can find things that are uber-challenging. I think there's some crazy stuff at Stowe that you don't know about.

For on-the-map tough glades, I have to vote for Killington: Julio, Anarchy, Growler and Centerpiece are all difficult classics.

Julio is my favorite trail at Killington. I thought Centerpiece was the most challenging.
 

bdfreetuna

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Recommend doing the woods off Upper Antelope at MRG before going past Paradise. 19th/20th hole. After a couple turns up top there's a pretty obvious entrance. Top is very narrow singletrack and bermy, then there's a few open steeper sections, then you head back left toward Lower Antelope and go straight across that trail through more short woods right to the lift.

See where it says "Top of UFO Bowl" ? good zone

MR Corp Land.jpg
 

machski

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No one tends to like putting these in, but SR has some great glades that are difficult on map. HardBall and Chutzpah off Whitecap are fun with multiple lines, some of which require mandatory air. Poppy fields are tight lines, the routes furthest to the right are the best. Tight, narrow lines, reminds me of some woods at Jay. Blind Ambition, if you enter on the double diamond entrance is tight and steep at points as well.

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The Sneak

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Beast is ridiculous. I climbed up and out of it going nope nope nope nope and I’m not exactly a terrible skier.

Berkshire East does have some fun more mellow trees though...getting older I find myself enjoying stuff like the trees off green line and the Hallows at Magic, beaver pond at Jay etc


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deadheadskier

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Not on map, but I'd put Ossipee chute at Wildcat up there with anything I've skied in the East. Steep as hell, very tight in spots, 8-10 footer with a sketchy landing. You can take your skis off and hike around it, but there's no way to ski around it. I've probably skied it ten times and only had the balls for the drop twice when the base was deep and plenty of fresh on top. Even without the drop, I haven't skied it in a couple of seasons. I haven't been in good enough shape the past couple of seasons to trust my skills in there.

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Zand

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Don't laugh, but the toughest time I've ever had getting down an on map glade is one of the ones off the summit at Sunapee. Coverage was awful and the terrain was surprisingly steep and tight. Shock to the system considering the mountain you're on.

I've skied Kinsman quite a few times and didn't find it overly difficult. The first time I skied it I expected it to be like tramline with trees but it's surprisingly friendly in comparison. Very long with no bailouts though so don't commit until you know you're ready to ski it. Ultimately it's really up to the coverage. Good snow makes tough glades easier than easy glades with terrible snow. I love Julio at Killington, but oftentimes the hardest part of the entire run is navigating the skating rink that Flume usually turns into. Paradise at MRG is another good one, but I first skied it like 6 years ago so I never went down it when I would've considered it over my head. Everglade, Staircase, Vertigo, etc at Jay are steep and tight but the snow is usually so good up there that they're easier to ski than if the same trails were at Cannon or something.
 

p_levert

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Upon further reflection, if I had to pick a single on-the-map glade, I would go with Paradise at MRG. It's usually pretty icy and there's the frozen waterfall at the top. And it's steep and stays open for a good part of the season. So if I had to pick one toughest on-the-map glade, that would be it.

No comments on off-the-map stuff.
 

GregoryIsaacs

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Of my experience I'd say any of the chutes off of the jay tran take the cake for being the most extreme/challenging but I do have to give a mention to the Plunge at mount snow which is next to Ripcord. Short run but has multiple cliffs and is probably steeper than the cut trail itself. Those glades need to be trimmed again though... Do AZ'ers have a name for those annoying whip plants you get at lower elevations?
 

Zand

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Of my experience I'd say any of the chutes off of the jay tran take the cake for being the most extreme/challenging but I do have to give a mention to the Plunge at mount snow which is next to Ripcord. Short run but has multiple cliffs and is probably steeper than the cut trail itself. Those glades need to be trimmed again though... Do AZ'ers have a name for those annoying whip plants you get at lower elevations?

All the times ive been to mount snow and I never knew that existed till you just mentioned it. If I ever ski there again I'll,have to check it out
 

Sirbannedalot

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Is this glade skiers right near the top, drops down around the backside somewhat and comes into the lower glades the furthest to skiers right on the map?
Not on map, but I'd put Ossipee chute at Wildcat up there with anything I've skied in the East. Steep as hell, very tight in spots, 8-10 footer with a sketchy landing. You can take your skis off and hike around it, but there's no way to ski around it. I've probably skied it ten times and only had the balls for the drop twice when the base was deep and plenty of fresh on top. Even without the drop, I haven't skied it in a couple of seasons. I haven't been in good enough shape the past couple of seasons to trust my skills in there.

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ss20

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Devil's Den at Killington gets my vote. It's a crazy 5-15 foot wide skiable "chute" with impenetrable brush on either side. Air is not mandatory but it's available. I don't think patrol has opened it (the top part) in the past couple of years.

The trees to the left of Sugarbush Paradise are probably harder but I don't venture too deep in there knowing I could get myself in big trouble really quickly.


Really though this is all relative to what you think makes a "challenging" glade. For me, the challenge goes up as I have less and less options. That's why Devil's Den gets my vote- once you're in there are many spots where you have two routes down to point your skis and that's it. The reality is in many tree skiing areas unless you get "cliffed out" you can navigate down as long as you've got snow...unconnected turns, sideslipping, traversing.
 

Tonyr

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Devil's Den at Killington gets my vote. It's a crazy 5-15 foot wide skiable "chute" with impenetrable brush on either side. Air is not mandatory but it's available. I don't think patrol has opened it (the top part) in the past couple of years.

The trees to the left of Sugarbush Paradise are probably harder but I don't venture too deep in there knowing I could get myself in big trouble really quickly.


Really though this is all relative to what you think makes a "challenging" glade. For me, the challenge goes up as I have less and less options. That's why Devil's Den gets my vote- once you're in there are many spots where you have two routes down to point your skis and that's it. The reality is in many tree skiing areas unless you get "cliffed out" you can navigate down as long as you've got snow...unconnected turns, sideslipping, traversing.

Devils Den is probably my 2nd favorite trail at Killington after Julio but I thought Centerpiece (which I skied the same day as Devils Den) was a little more challenging. Maybe it was the line I took. In any event, the woods off Paradise at Sugarbush are steeper and in some areas tighter than anything on the map at Killington.
 

Tonyr

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Of my experience I'd say any of the chutes off of the jay tran take the cake for being the most extreme/challenging but I do have to give a mention to the Plunge at mount snow which is next to Ripcord. Short run but has multiple cliffs and is probably steeper than the cut trail itself. Those glades need to be trimmed again though... Do AZ'ers have a name for those annoying whip plants you get at lower elevations?

I have to agree with you on the chutes off the top at Jay. The face chutes were closed the days I was up there but I did get a chance to ski tuckermans chute and it's one of the most challenging runs that I've ever been on. I'm not sure though that I'd consider it a glade trail. It does have trees in the way but there is open terrain on it as well.
 

Tonyr

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Upon further reflection, if I had to pick a single on-the-map glade, I would go with Paradise at MRG. It's usually pretty icy and there's the frozen waterfall at the top. And it's steep and stays open for a good part of the season. So if I had to pick one toughest on-the-map glade, that would be it.

No comments on off-the-map stuff.

I haven't been on Paradise at MRG yet (I plan on skiing MRG for the 1st time this year) but the videos I've seen make it look like the trail has quite a bit of open terrain with some trees in the way so I'm not sure that Paradise would be considered a glade trail. A colleague of mine skied it a number of times this year and said that the trees to the skiers left of the trail were much more challenging than the actual trail itself.
 
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