Killer Trips: East#1 Jay Peak, VT

Killer Trips: East

It's okay to be skeptical of Jay's seemingly outrageous snowfall claims. But it's not okay to let said skepticism keep you from sampling the goods. Fact is, even if Jay takes a "glass half full" approach to measuring storm totals, the resort still gets it deeper and lighter than any other Eastern area (and many Western ones, too). Couple the copious pow with the best glade network West of Japan, and you've got the Steamboat of New England, without the 10-gallon hats, cowboy boots, and Main Street skijoring. Yeah, it's hard to get to. And sure, the après options are limited (anyone up for some cow tipping?). But if you hit Jay right, you'll be too damn tired to care.

Pull up at the top of Beaver Pond, shoulder your sticks, and head straight into the woods. Three minutes of schlepping bring you to the crest of the head-high drops and waist-deep stashes of the steeply gladed Beyond Beaver Pond.

Can you say "anomaly"? Savvy New Englanders know that when it's flurrying at Stowe, it's pounding at Jay. Even the most miserly seasons bless Jay with at least 300 inches; late last March, the resort got two feet in as many days, blessing late-season powder fiends with face shots aplenty.

Head to the Belfry (802-326-4400) in Montgomery Center, which serves up killer steaks, burgers, and wings in a converted one-room schoolhouse. To swill with the locals, hit the Rustic Tavern (802-744-2238) on Route 100 in nearby Lowell.

Local's Take
"Everyone blabs on and on about the snow. Yeah, it's good, but even if they got half as much, Jay'd still be the best mountain in the East because of the glades. The woods just get better and better every year."

The Vitals

Vertical drop 2,153 feet
Snowfall 351 inches
Acres 385
Trails 75
Lifts 7
Phone 800-451-4449