Improvements at Sugarbush

 

My problem is too many ski areas and not enough time . . . there are so many great ski areas but I just don’t have enough time to visit all of them as often as I would like. I hadn’t skied Sugarbush in a couple of years and I was interested in seeing what was new, so I headed there for a little spring skiing last April.

ACCOMMODATIONS
I was staying at a charming Bed & Breakfast called the Wilder Farm Inn, located mid-way between the Mad River Valley and Stowe on Rt. 100 in Waitsfield, VT. This 1860’s Gothic Revival Vermont farmhouse has eight guest rooms and is operated by Luke and Linda Iannuzzi who are a really friendly couple who immigrated from New Jersey. The B&B is furnished with beautifully decorated with antiques and has a beautiful stone fireplace in the library and one in the diningroom. My room was very comfortable and each room has a private bath. All the rooms are reasonably priced ($135.00/night double occupancy on weekends and $125.00/night midweek winter rate Sunday-Thursday) and this classic New England B&B is a great place for a romantic get-a-way or a base to explore the skiing and snowboarding at Sugarbush, Mad River Glen, Stowe or Bolton Valley. For reservations, call (800) 496-8878 or (802) 496-9935 and tell them the Ski Bum News sent you.

SKIING SUGARBUSH
They have been doing a lot of construction since my last visit to this ski area. The first thing that I noticed when I arrived at Sugarbush was the huge building that blocks out the view of Lincoln Peak and Castle Rock mountains from the parking lot. This huge structure looks like a giant barn with its silo and is called the Clay Brook and offers studio to 5-bedroom ski-in/ski-out accommodations. After I picked up my lift ticket in the new base lodge, I went into the ski bag room on the first floor and changed into my ski boots. This room was filled with free racks for your ski bags and is a welcome innovation.

I headed to the Gate House Express Quad for a few warm-up runs on trails like Hot Shot, Water Fall, Sunrise, Waterfall and Beeper Sleeper. I spent the entire morning riding that chair and playing in the bumps and cruising on the groomers. By lunch time, I was ready for a little food and went into the new Gate House Lodge for lunch. This new base lodge is a great improvement over the old crowded base lodge and it was a pleasure to dine in their new restaurant. They even have a bar on the first floor for those skiers who desire an adult beverage with their food.

After lunch, I headed over to the Superbravo Express Quad to renew my relationship with some trails that I really love at Sugarbush. I skied old favorites like Murphy’s Glade, Birdland, Lower Jester, Steins Run, Moonshine, Racers Edge and Spring Fling.

STATS
There are 508 Skiable acres with 53 miles of trails and 11 wooded areas on the five mountains (Mount Ellen, Lincoln Peak, Castlerock Peak, North Lynx Peak, Gadd Peak, and Inverness Peak) the highest peak is 4,083 with a base elevation of 1,483′ and a vertical drop of 2,600′. They have 7 quads (5 high-speed), and 2 triple and 4 double chairlifts and 3 surface lifts for a total of 16 lifts with an uphill capacity of 25,463 skiers. There are 24 Novice trails (20%) on 102 acres, 51 Intermediate trails on 228 acres (45%), and 36 Expert runs on 178 acres (35%). They also have 3 terrain parks and a halfpipe. They have five base lodges (Valley House, Gate House, Mount Ellen Base Lodge, Allyn’s Lodge, and Glen House) where you can relax and get something to eat and drink.

Sugarbush is one of Vermont’s largest ski areas and is one of my favorite ski areas in Vermont. It was ranked 9th by Ski Magazine for its variety of terrain. The locals are very friendly and all the amenities make skiing there a real pleasure. If you are going to be skiing Rt. 100 in Vermont, put Sugarbush on your list.

After skiing most of the day, it started to rain, so I bagged it and went back to the Wilder Farm Inn. The next morning, I enjoyed a great breakfast of 6-grain organic pancakes that was even more tasty than the French Toast that I had eaten the previous morning. As it was still raining, I decided to skip skiing in the rain and took a leisurely drive to the next ski area on my spring skiing list.