6 Mountains in 6 DaysPosted by Darren Drevik on Jan 30, 2019 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments
We love Jay Peak. Always have. Always will. It’s a great mountain, with great glades, trails and groomers. We sometimes quibble about their operational decisions, but we can’t do anything but recommend it to our guests as a great place to ski and ride.
But sometimes, you want to know what else is out there. And it’s a surprise to many of our guests that so many great ski resorts are so close to the Phineas Swann. We’ve had several guests who’ve spent close to a week here and made a circuit of the many different ski mountains all less than an hour from our door.
Lynne and I made a trip up to Mont Sutton yesterday, and it prompted us to think about what different experiences the mountains here at the top of Vermont offer. Here’s a little primer (including distances from our door) if you’re thinking about staying with us and sampling the many different ski options:
Mont Sutton (30 minutes) –A very quaint and European vibe to this lovely ski mountain. With 60 trails and 9 lifts, it’s just a tad smaller than Jay Peak. It’s facilities are smaller, more intimate, but the food is slightly better thanks to that Franco-Quebecois influence. Trails are a tad less challenging than Jay, but the chalets/warming huts at the top of the mountains more than make up for this. How awesome is it to sit around an indoor fire and enjoy a nice meal and a Bailey’s and coffee while you watch the snow and winds rake across the mountaintops outside? (Passport required for US citizens) [Trail Map]
Smuggler’s Notch (45 minutes) –Positioned as a family-friendly resort, it’s a great place to bring kids ages 3 to 16. The trails aren’t all kiddie trails though. Located at the base of Mount Mansfield, they offer 78 trails, five terrain parks and 2,600 feet of vert to enjoy. We always recommend this mountain in December because it and Stowe usually open many more trails at the start of the season — and more beginner and intermediate trails — than Jay Peak. [Trail Map]
Stowe (55 minutes) –This is supposed to be the hot property to ski, but you’re going to pay for the privilege. Vail Resorts bought Stowe two years ago, but it was already pricey (Ticket window price is $134; you can order online in advance for around $99) . With 2,360 vertical feet and 116 trails, it’s bigger than Jay but you’re going to find everything a little more expensive there. On peak weekends the traffic can also be a bit of a headache. That said, the trails are great, especially if you’re an intermediate skier (55% of the trails are blue squares). [Trail Map]
Owl’s Head (40 minutes) –You’re not skiing for the number of trails – at 50, there are bigger. You’re not skiing for the challenge – with 1,771 feet of vert there are taller hills. But the views. Oh, the views. Imagine standing atop a mountain and looking down over snow-covered mountains as far as you can see, and a beautiful 41-suqare-mile glacial lake at the base below. (Passport required for US citizens) [Trail Map]
Bromont (50 minutes) –The only mountain in the area that offers night skiing, Bromont has the advantage of having a great shopping town at its base. So if you’ve got that one member of your party who isn’t a skier, this is a great place to go. It’s not as tall as the other mountains since it’s up where the Appalachians start to peter out, but it’s a classy operation and for Americans, it’s affordable prices are amplified once the exchange rate comes into play. (You can order an online ticket for as little as $33 Canadian, which currently translates to $25 U.S. (Passport required for US citizens) [Trail Map]
We haven’t had a guest who’s taken us up yet on the 6-Mountains in 6-Days Challenge, but if you’re interested, let us know. As part of our personal concierge service we offer every guest, we can help set it up!