“Follow us,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said. Typically that kind of narrative leads to disaster, but at Jay Peak (VT) it really was fun. Our first run, our foursome of friends stared down steeps somewhere near Green Beret then at each other with looks that asked the unspoken question: should we? After a 40 minute wait (!) to get up the tram, our better judgement had long before been tossed aside. Needless to say, we charged down the chute with reckless abandon and it was glorious. Sidebar: not warming up before tackling more challenging terrain is a bad idea, but sometimes it’s oh-so-good to be bad.
Jay is notorious for it’s boundary to boundary goodness. Nothing is off limits, making the possibility of fresh lines endless. That being said, venturing into un-patrolled territory comes with its own set of risks. Being prepared is key:
- Ski in groups of three
- Know your limits
- Scope out your destination and/or bring a map
- For longer adventures, make sure to bring water
- Always have a cell phone
Beaver Pond Glade and Andre’s Paradise have to be some of my personal favorite trails. Tucked away at the edge of Jay’s boundary, they often seem to be overlooked. Translation: untracked snow abounds. For those less adventurous, stick skiers right to make it back to the base of the mountain. Venturing further out could mean needing to plan for a ride back from a friend. Or hitching your way home.
Vacation calls for the requisite noon time beer break… and by noon I mean 11:30. We choose to stop in at The Bullwheel to wet our whistles. Located in the new Stateside Baselodge, it offers stunning views of the mountain and a multitude of tap beers. Soaring ceilings allow for amusingly large focal points such as the whole front end of a bus (yes, really) and of course one very real bullwheel.
Learning French is just an added bonus to visiting Jay Peak. So close to the Canadian border leading into Quebec, there are French Canadians a-plenty tearing down the mountain. It makes for a strange microcosm of culture in middle-of-nowhere Vermont.
Have tips to share about where to ski on Jay? Comment below!
Winter is coming,