Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jay Peak in 48 hours: a guest report

Here is the first "guest report" on the RJPSR, I hope there will be more. Will, Duper and Jer are three lads from Huntsville, Ontario who went to Jay for the first time earlier this week. Clearly, they have now  been stricken with the Jay Peak bug. Duper was on skis, Will and Jer the single plank. This is their story, as told by Will:

With two days off and snow in the forecast for the east, the only thing left to do was pack up the car and hit the road. Thanks to the trusty advice from the Great El Gordo (editors note: that would be me), we found ourselves heading to the hills of Vermont.

This must be the place.
We checked into Grampas Grunt's Hostel at about 10pm, Sunday, Feb. 13. Even when checking in you could sense that this was a place of history, a place of legends and with tales of the mountain to suit. Gramps got us checked into our room and informed us there would be no breakfast the next morning as he had a poker game to get to that night.

We woke the next morning bright and early and headed to Jay. We parked at Stateside, as this was the first piece of advice given to us from Gord. We knew that this was the side of the mountain to go to for the true "local experience." Little did we know that’s exactly what we were in for.

Standing eagerly at the bottom of the Bonnie, waiting for the lift to open, we met up with a fellow Gramps resident. Ed, aka VW, has been coming to Jay for over ten years. The story has it that he shows up in a different Volkswagen every time, hence the name.  He assured us that, without question, every time he rolls into town he stays at Gramps. More importantly, he let us know that he would be happy to ride with us up the first chair and "show us a few good spots" to check out on the mountain.

Somewhere down a rabbit hole.
Ed ended up riding with us the entire day, showing us the local lines that we never would have found without him. At the top of every run he would just shout, “follow me to the next rabbit hole” and, without fail, after every rabbit hole we found ourselves in some of the best tree skiing in the east. We rode everything from chutes, to tight lines, to wide open glades, all of which had at least knee deep fresh snow covering them.

We rode from first chair to last that day and even got a run in on The Dip, where we ended down at the road and hitchhiked back to the parking lot. We were hooked: Jay was the place to be.

Grampa Grunt atmosphere.
We spent the night at Gramps' again, cooked up a big feast and shared some beers with our new buddy and local tour guide Ed. He told us we were very fortunate to meet up with him, that usually he’s riding with others and he never would have shown three newbies the lines he did. We sat around the basement rec room; Gramps shared some stories of the 80’s, when the hostel was truly the place to be in the east. The wall mounted snowboards and skis, beer stained floors and dim lit atmosphere certainly made you think: that if only these walls could talk.

Our second day at Jay Peak was bluebird skies and sunshine. With the stashes on the windblown side of the mountain covered in snow, Ed continued to show us tree lines and always seemed to find the deep snow. The tram wasn’t running so we did a hike up to the summit to take in the views and get a run in on Valhalla. We also bagged two more runs on The Dip and called it a day after that. Figured we had to end on a high note. We thanked Ed repeatedly for his guide service and hit the road back to Ontario.
Stop taking pictures - let's go riding!

You want me to go where?
The result, three exhausted guys with memories of epic tree lines and deep fresh snow. My recommendation, go to Jay Peak. Check in at Gramps, soak up the atmosphere and hope you are as lucky as we were to run into Ed.

Thanks VW.

Here is a little postscript from Duper:

You know you are at a great mountain when you barely stop to take photos.  I'm still thinking about the terrain, the people and places of northern VT.  It's defiantly in the top four ski trips of all time for me personally. The green coat belongs to William.  Jer had the pumpkin coat.  I'm in grey with the blue bonnet. Last but not least, our tour guide Ed is Johnny Cash dressed all in black.

A single track is always a good sign.


  1. Wow great report. If you are running into the Vdubs of the world, you are livin' right. I hope to be so lucky some day. Way to get it.

  2. The Great El Gordo's enthusiasm for Jay is certainly infectious if not downright viral! Although I am rather addicted to sun and sand, I am certainly not immune to his charming rants...and promises of Vermont cheese.
    - Blue Toes

  3. And now your Raised....


  4. I got an Apt 6min from the peak! Jay season pass! Can Ski every day! Off Road 4X4 Xterra! Life is Good! Gotta take a break from my Ski Bum Jay Life too Fly out and see my Son in Breckenridge Colorado! Like I said Life is Good! Good Report Guys, was Glad I found this Blog!

  5. Great Report.

    Were heading down to Jay in March for the first time and hope our experience is as sweet as yours.

    Can't wait!
    Ed if you're out there would love the tour......

  6. Ed's my brother and been trying to drag me up to Jay for a few years now. I just may go now.


  7. stop takn strangers into the woods eddie alpine your gonna hurt some body. I know you didn't show them all the goods. PMA POSSE always lookn out, White Rhino...

  8. why are you showing flatlanders all the good spots? seriously...

  9. Yes he did show us all the goods. dont worry buddy we wern't around long enough to remember where they all are. He chose to show us because he's what Jay peak is all about. Sharing the mountain and what it has to offer. Instead of acting like a child. Ski spots are not fishing holes. With all the snow jay gets Im sure there is enough to around. Im sure he is a pretty good judge on wether or not we could handle it ED's been around the block. Your mom should have taught you to share, like our buddy Ed. We need more people like him around the resorts of north america.

  10. Next time you venture to a new mountain, I bet your prayin for someone like ED to show you around.

  11. if anyone can ride as hard as eddie alpine for a day i would like to meet you and induct you into the posse, positive mental attitude is what turns an average day into a great day and a pow day into a life changing event. Grampa's brings like minded people together and is a catalyst for good times. Glad you guys saw what i first saw 13yrs ago. Come back soon...whiteRhino.....live2ride ride2live

  12. OK, now that we are all on the same page, let's hold hands and sing Kumbayah around a sacrificial fire to Ullr.

    Positive mental attitude is what defines Jay Peak skiers and riders, IMHO. If you ride at Jay long enough, you will eventually have a life-changing event, like WhiteRhino says. Some are lucky and have it sooner rather than later.

  13. Sweet trip report Sick Bird. It's the days like these that keep us dreaming all summer...

  14. I personally believe that special spots on a mountain should be found, not shown to you by random people. Just me personally. I have explored almost every square inch of that mountain and I still find new places every day. Knowing a mountain like the back of your hand should be something that's acquired, not just given. May sound stupid, but I've spent years looking for the goods, it doesn't seem that fair. Just my .02 cents.