Jay Peak Sidecountry

Another long overdue post from February 12th.  This time we returned to the mecca of east coast powder skiing and tree skiing: Jay Peak.  As usual the best skiing was in the woods and out of bounds.  The two main areas of interest were the woods to skier’s left of Beaver Pond and the woods to skier’s right of Timbuktu.  What was wrong with the woods actually inside of the ski area you might ask?  Nothing.  Except that they don’t have as much fresh pow :)  Here’s an overview of the area:

View Jay Sidecountry in a larger map

Me getting fired up for
 the descent.

Our first foray our of bounds for the day was off to skier’s right of Timbuktu.  The nice part about this, is that contrary to what you might expect about skiing out of bounds, you can’t really screw this up.  In the worst case you just wind up on the road and hike/skin/ski back.  If it’s a snow storm, beware of highway trucks – we nearly got clobbered by one and had to jump out of the way quickly.  But the slog back to Jay was otherwise uneventful.  Highlights of this area are: lots of untracked pow and a few cool drops.  Their precise locations are unknown to me, unfortunately.

Rob surveys our
newly found line.

Some time in the afternoon we headed over to look for more sidecountry accessed via the Long Trail.  Our info indicated that you should enter the woods over by the Beaver Pond, find the Long Trail and follow it as far as North Jay.  Any time between North Jay and entering the woods is candidate for powdery woods.  We ended up wasting all sorts of time trying to find the long trail, which was buried in snow making it pretty hard to find.  Finally we just decided to go North which was the general direction of the LT.  The route we found was nice, but it wasn’t as long or as steep as we’d hoped.  On the upside there was no shortage of untracked.  In hindsight we should have done one of two things differently.  There was a steep knoll just south of where we dropped in which would probably have been more fun, if not the same length.  If we had had the time, the best option would have been to head all the way up North Jay and find something off of there.  It would certainly have been longer and the topo seems to indicate several routes of decent pitch.  Eventually all of these runs mellow out and you have to skin or hike back to the ski area.  There is a network of x-country trails which we found helpful in filtrating.

Bottom line: anyone who says there’s no powder skiing on the east coast ain’t lookin’ hard enough.

A glimpse of the bottomless pow.

Gear List:


Black Diamond Contour Elliptic Carbon Trekking Pole Ink Blue, One SizePOC Synapsis 2.0 HelmetPOC Lobes Goggle Black/White, One SizeBlack Diamond Guide Glove - Men's Natural, L

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