Saturday, March 5, 2011

NSBS Day 3: Nothing like a little hike to start your day!

Posted live from a yellow picnic table in Stateside Lodge. Man, am I a geek!

Yesterday, I did something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I have to admit, I'm a bit of a slave to the lifts at Jay Peak and have long wanted to get into the Vermont backcountry. Every time I drive up the Mountain Road, I stare at a certain hill and think, "I'd like to hike up there and ski down." It's not a particularly secret stash, and certainly not hard to find, but most people opt for the ease of The Dip. Oh well, too bad for them. On the third day after a storm, there were only about half a dozen tracks ahead of us.

With the route-finding guidance of Steve, our gang of four headed out and were skinning up by 8:30 or so. We could have been earlier if it were not for a few cascading and hilarious mistakes that caused some delay. Oh well, the snow wasn't going anywhere.

Matt skins up the track some nice people made for us.
Steve looks pleased with his situation
Where's Harvey? Backlit in the early morning light. Lots of snow to go around.
After an epic sidestep to egress from the run, we dashed back to the condo, threw everything in our cars and headed for the lifts. Another sunny day, the groomers were super-fast and fun. We even found fresh powder in a few spots in Beaver Pond, probably the most popular glade at Jay Peak.

For the first time visitors in the crew, this trip was a dream come true. For the returning skiers, it was a rekindling of the stoke you have for a familiar place. The lesson: never take Jay Peak for granted.

After a delicious lunch at Alice's Table, we went for a different sort of hike. More on this later!

You can read about day three (and see more pictures) from other points of view at The Snowway, Ski = MC Squared and Harvey Road. I'm sure there will be more to come on this trip.


  1. Always fun to get into the backcountry, and always fun to see your home mountain through the eyes of others. Is this your first trip back to Jay since around Jan 1 earlier this year?

  2. Jeff, you are right on both counts, and yes, it was. With a seven to eight hour drive (depending on the weather & traffic), Jay Peak is not exactly an "every weekend" trip for me. So, how do I get green card?

  3. It's been a long time since I've used climbing skins and I'd forgotten how much I like it. I need to get my own pair, fat enough to handle my new everyday ski, the Pilgrims.

    Matt and I both marveled at the spacing in the trees. I'd assumed that inbounds, skier traffic and maintenance were responsible. But our Day 3 morning ski had the same generous spacing outside of the ski area boundary. Any ideas why?

    I always "knew" that Jay was a great place, but having experienced it, definitely increases my motivation to get back there. Thanks SBR for everything you did to make this happen.

  4. @ Harv: I would say that the open forest on Mt. Trixie is a combination of the north-facing aspect, oldish-growth hardwood (with therefore less understory) in a protected State Forest and some surreptitious but not overdone DIY "forest management" by regulars. I did notice the occasional pruned branch on the steeper part of the skin track.

  5. Just off the press. My view of Day Three and New versus Old.