Almanac: Jay Peak, Vt.


(All numbers are area code 802 unless otherwise noted.)


From Boston (3 1/2 hours): I-93 north to St. Johnsbury, Vt.; I-91 north to Orleans (Exit 26); Route 5 north to Coventry; Route 14 north to Route 100; Route 100 south to Troy; Route 101 north to Route 242; Route 242 west, following signs to Jay Peak. From New York City (6 1/2 hours): I-95 north to I-91, then follow directions above; orI-87 north to Champlain, N.Y.; Route 11 east to Rouses Point; Route 78 east to Route 105, Route 105 to East Berkshire, Vt.; Route 118 east to Montgomery Center; Route 242 east, following signs to Jay Peak.


Grab the early tram (and freshies) with the First Tracks program. Sign up and purchase tickets ($5) at the Ski School desk by 3 p.m. the previous day. Tram leaves at 8:15 a.m. (7:45 a.m. on weekends). The Jay Peak Ski School also offers glade-skiing clinics ($25/person) and guided backcountry tours ($45, three-person minimum).


Kilgore's on Main Street (Route 118) in Montgomery Center for an authentic soda fountain Coke; or the Jay Country Store on Route 242 in Jay. Also: cross-country skiing, ice skating, snowcat rides, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and sleigh rides. Information: 800-451-4449 or 988-2611.


High-end: The Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery Village (800-255-8661 or 326-4507) or The Inn on Trout River in Montgomery Center (800-338-7049 or 326-4391). Slopeside: Jay Peak Resort (Hotel Jay, Mountainside Condos and Village Townhouses; 800-451-4449). Moderate and modern: Inglenook Lodge in Jay (988-2880) or Newport City Motel (800-338-6558). On a budget: Grampa Grunts Lodge in Montgomery Center (888-467-5110).


Moderately priced, casual: The Belfry Restaurant, Route 242 in Montgomery Center (326-4400); JR's Cafe, Main Street, Montgomery Center (326-4682); Timothy's, Route 242 in Jay (988-2036). Candlelit fine-dining: Black Lantern Restaurant, Route 118 in Montgomery Village (326-4507) or Lemoine's Restaurant, Main Street in Montgomery Center (326-4391). Definitely different: Zack's On The Rocks, Hazen's Notch Road, Montgomery Center (326-4500) or La Vieille Buche Restaurant, Mansonville, Quebec (450-292-0302).


The Golden Eagle Sports Bar, the Tram Lounge or the International Bar at the mountain. Or sidle up for a Long Trail Ale with the locals at the Belfry on Route 242.


Skiable acres: 385-plus, including 20 marked glades and chutes; summit elevation: 3,968 feet; vertical rise: 2,153 feet; longest trail: Ullr's Dream (3 miles); longest glade: Everglade (1.25 miles); number of lifts: 7, including Vermont's only aerial tramway; lift tickets: $49.


Jay Peak Resort: 800-451-4449 or 988-2611,, or Jay Peak Area Association: 800-882-7460 or 988-2259,