Vermont has so many great mountains, I'm lucky to have skied a lot of them. Recently, I spent time in Northern Vermont at Sugarbush Mountain. In our Sugarbush Ski Review we talked about planning your trip, now it's time to play in the snow and figure out how to make the most of your on-mountain time. Let's plan a perfect Sugarbush ski day.
Getting Started on your Sugarbush Ski Day
Sugarbush is spread over three peaks: Lincoln, Castlerock and Mt. Ellen (with the highest elevation 2,600'). All in, there's close to 600 acres to ski and 111 trails.
Get your RFID card and your rentals in Lincoln Peak Village. From there, beginners are going to head to right to go to the school house lift or the village quad. It's a nice, small sheltered area where new skiers and boarders can master some skills out of the way of faster traffic. On the downside, there's not a ton of beginner terrain. First timers will be kept busy with the basics for a day or two, but this mountain is best suited to families with some experience.
We headed up Gate House for a warm up run down Hot Shot and Waterfall. The wide open trail had plenty of pitch and the snow quality was phenomenal. We put in a few laps off the speedy quad lift to get the feel for the snow. Then we met up with our mountain guide, John Egan. Egan is an icon, he's been in a ton of Warren Miller films and has a storied ski history.
He led us up Super Bravo. We warmed up at bit at Allyn's Lodge since it was a brisk (about 17-degree!) day. Allyn's has a HUGE fireplace and room to rest. If you don't want to lose a lot of time on snow, grab a bite on the hill. Fuel up at Glen House at Mt. Ellen or Allyn's Lodge on Lincoln Peak.
With only two days to ski, we couldn't get to everything. Mr. Momtrends got to ski over at Mt. Ellen and loved it. He highly recommends an on-mountain snack of this egg sandwich with Cabot cheese.
John took us down Spring Fling and swung in and out of the trees. Glad skiing at Sugarbush is a treat. Since there aren't big crowds, you're sure to find some fresh powder stashes back there.
On our second day, we had a nice snowfall to work with. Our favorite turns were found off of the North Lynx Triple lift. The fluffy snow and iced trees along Birch Run made for spectacular scenery. Bottom line: Sugarbush makes incredible use of the scenery. Life is busy, getting metaphorically lost on this mountain is a great way to forget you are a grown-up and tap into the joys of snow you felt as a kid.
Ski Lessons: Never Stop Learning
Head to The Schoolhouse in Lincoln Park to get the kids into their lessons. For grown-ups, pop on over to The Farmhouse.
If your get the chance, I always recommend a ski lesson. No matter how good you get at skiing, there's always room to learn. Maybe you'll learn a new skill or maybe you'll discover a new favorite trail; either way, make the investment in getting a professional to show you the way.
Sugarbush has some special programs they run like the two Women's Discovery Camps. As your expand your skills and make new friends the kids will have fun too. For each day of the program, each Women's Discovery Camp participant receives either a half-price full-day kids program in The Schoolhouse children's center or a half-price companion all-mountain lift pass. Get more information about the camps here http://www.sugarbush.com/ski-ride-school/womens-discovery-camps/ In addition, they also have a ski camp just for those 65+ - they call it the "Boomer" camp. I call it an awesome idea.
My 10-year-old daughter and I spent half a day with John Egen (US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 2016). John is the Chief Recreation Officer at Sugarbush Resort. He's also an inspirational speaker and leadership coach. But, mostly, he's a wealth of knowledge and a lot of fun.
If you need a break from skiing, consider a day in the woods on snowshoes. You and your kids can head off on a self-guided tour or you can book a guided tour. Either way, you can rent snowshoes at the Farmhouse at Lincoln Park.
We were treated to a tour led by Sam. Sam has spent a lot of time outdoors flying planes, sailing and doing a lot of skiing and hiking. He got us outfitted with snowshoes and ski poles at the base. From there, we headed up the Super Bravo lift (on foot) and then slipped on our snowshoes and hiked down Eagan Woods.
Along the way, Sam shared his skills as a naturalist. We learned about trees and critters and had a fabulous time slowing down and just chatting together. Plan your snowshoe adventure here.
Are you ready to plan your Sugarbush vacation? Get the rest of our advice on our main feature on Sugarbush here.
2017/18 Family Ski Guide
Want more ski scoop? Check out our 2017/18 Family Ski Guide here
This is not a sponsored post. We were provided accommodations to facilitate this review.