WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, IT’S PRETTY SIMPLE. ADVENTURE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT. WHETHER IT’S THE TRAVEL, THE DISCOVERY OR JUST THE FEELING OF LETTING GO. THE ONLY WAY WE’LL EVER FIND OUT IS TO GET OUT THERE AND DO IT. ENJOY THE RIDE. – Travis Rice
I grew up in New England, so it is assumed that I grew up riding on icy mountains with little access to powder and big mountain backcountry conditions. However, I would like to personally debunk all of the stereotypes that snowboarding and skiing in New England sucks. Because it doesn’t! Don’t get me wrong, you definitely have your fair share of groomers and icy conditions out here, but it’s all what you make of it. Through my travels, I have been able to find my favorite spots in New England, and after seeing some of my pictures, hope you will try them out. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Jay Peak, Vermont
Commonly known for having the closest mountain conditions you will get to “out west”, Jay Peak offers an insane amount of tree trails that are packed with powder. Although on-trail conditions are fun, too, you really get a taste of Jay Peak when you venture off-trail into the woods. Because it’s about a four hour drive from Boston, where you are only a few miles away from Canada, I suggest that you book a room or a condo overnight, so you can get a full day in and not be exhausted after the ride. Being able to relax after a day of glade skiing (because, trust me, your legs will be burning,) is the best thing ever. They also have an indoor water park, yes, you heard me right, at the base of the mountain. The water park includes slides, a lazy river, a large tropical bar, and outdoor hot tubs. Make it a trip with friends, you won’t regret it. If that didn’t persuade you, here are some photo’s from my experiences at Jay Peak:
Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire
The best way I can describe Cannon is that it’s a mountain that gives a small town feel but delivers huge mountain conditions. It doesn’t have a huge lodge, a water park, hot tubs, or a bunch of apres (after-skiing) bars, but it focuses on what’s important: the skiing. My friends and I were lucky enough to be guided around Cannon backcountry by the Blizzard/Technica representative. The best conditions and fluffy snow can be found on Mittersill, found on the trail map to the right, where you see the yellow dots:
To get to this, you have to use the access trail which you can get to by using the trail “Taft Slalom.” To view this trail and a closer look of all the trails go here: http://www.cannonmt.com/map.pdf. Some advice that I have is to always have two people with you while accessing these trails. It can get confusing, and you don’t want to get lost while you are by yourself. It helps to have someone who knows where they are going when you are on these trails because they can give you a way out of the trees. Our guide helped us tremendously while venturing through these trails. If you don’t have someone who knows the mountain well, ask around. This mountain is packed with locals who have been skiing there all their lives, and I’m sure they’d be happy to give you some direction. Here are some photos I have taken while at Cannon. I hope you’ll try this amazing mountain!
Loon Mountain, New Hampshire
I love Loon because of its variety of trails. You never feel like you are riding on the same trail once, and that’s awesome. It’s fast gondola ensures a smooth ride up the mountain. I also love that its such an easy ride from Boston – only about 2 and a half hours. When you’re almost there, you will get a scenic view of The Notch. Loon offers a mid-mountain lodge that serves food and drinks, with a great view of people skiing and the surrounding mountains. They also have a variety of parks that invite riders of all levels to learn, improve, and master jumps and rails of all sizes. If you’re looking for a good time, check it out. Here are some photos I’ve taken at Loon:
Killington is where I learned how to snowboard when I was 9 years old, so I will always have an emotional connection to this mountain (although, the first few times trying to snowboard was kind of traumatizing.) Killington offers some pretty challenging terrain, anywhere from tight glades to long and winding leg burners. Like Loon, Killington offers extreme variety, where you never feel like you are riding the same trail twice. They also have Yurts around the mountain where you can grab a beer or a snack. When the weather warms up a little, they open up the walls and it becomes a deck bar. In the morning, a MUST GO is the pancake house breakfast. They have omelettes with apples in them, and local Vermont maple syrup. On the way home, check out the Long Trail Brewery. You can tour where they brew the beer and the food is aweeeesome.
I hope you’ll take my word for it and check out all of these amazing places!
Until next time…