Jay Peak: The Boom & The Bust

Beaver Powder

I was fairly well set on skiing Black Mountain in Maine today. With generally poor conditions throughout New England, I thought it was another good opportunity to continue to work on The List during a holiday weekend. Fifteen dollar lift tickets, no crowds, and 100% open were all strong factors. But before leaving, I checked the Jay Peak Snow Report (not that one) which was reporting 5-7″ in the past 24 hours and 9-13″ in the past 48 (with upper mountain lift holds). Boom?

The Jet was the only upper mountain lift spinning when I arrived. I started off disappointed about that but soon changed my tune to one of opportunity: Tramside was ripe for earned assistance pillaging. But without the Bonnie spinning, the holiday crowds spilled forth and dragged their skis over grass, dirt, and rock to queue up for the Jet, extending the line back to Mont L’Entrepide. Two runs later, the Singles line at Jay was rivaling the Single line at Mad River Glen on a powder day and it was time to fetch my skins: it might not have been any faster but it sure wasn’t going to be any slower.

It was just as well; I later learned that the Jet shut down for the afternoon soon after I used it a final time for vertical assistance before skinning far away from Stateside. Bust.

Groomer Rescue Cut

My travels took me far and wide at Jay today. You could say I went from “beyond” to beyond, if you know what I mean. I have invoked the “Powder Day” tag for this post but it may have been the hardest earned powder day I’ve had in a while. There seemed to be a few inches here and there, but I had a really hard time snuffing out 5-7″ any where, let alone any two day totals of more than a foot.

But I eventually found six to seven inches of untracked. It seems that the incredible wind picked clean most of the mountain, including most of the trees. The snow either evaporated or was deposited a long ways away from Jay Peak. I really feel for the difficulty in determining an official snow total for the entire resort and I applaud the use of a range. But Jay seems to have reported centimeters rather than inches on this storm.

But I was happy nonetheless to eventually find what there was to be found and to be skiing on natural snow again following the thaw. Not many places in the northeast are offering quality turns on quality snow this weekend and that was more than enough to make me happy. However, I suspect most of Jay Peak’s guests today were feeling more Bust than Boom.

7 thoughts on “Jay Peak: The Boom & The Bust

  1. While in line and on the lift, I overheard a lot of folks talking about putting on bathing suits and hitting the water park due to the tough weather and lift situation. Still weird hearing people talk about bathing suits and swimming when you’re getting pummeled with 45 MPH winds on a chairlift. Obviously, not something I am interested in but interesting seeing Jay’s plan in action and working… have something to offer guests when the weather sucks and the wind honks and the lifts don’t run.

    I should also mention that despite the wind, solid and very nice packed powder conditions throughout the mountain today. While my report was decidedly focused on the powder I snuffed out and it not measuring up in centimeters versus inches, the snow is excellent. There are natural snow trails online and the conditions are solid packed powder, very nice skiing, probably some of the best in New England right now.

    • Indeed! If you stopped to take a picture after first chair in there, it would be tracked out before you could get your camera back in your pocket! Don’t think there is enough base for it to open again quite yet though…

  2. ha, I warned ya! :)

    I was at Jay Saturday night to see Bruce Hornsby. in 4 hours I had a dusting on my car and it was not snowing when I left at 10:30. woke up on sunday and checked the burke and jay snow report (my pass is good for both). I had a hearty laugh when I saw jay claiming they got 5-7. needless to say, with the wind forecast, I pointed the car south towards burke and not north to Jay. conditions were excellent. the snow friday night (they claimed 5″ at the base, the upper mountain had more like 8-10 where the wind deposited it) was a godsend.

    • I haven’t heard any recent reports from Burke. I may go there tomorrow but they only have 4 routes open so I am not sure. Just looking for a low key place to rip groomers. Probably would get board of 4 routes pretty quickly but every mountain is going to be main snow making routes only at this point.

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