Little Jay

This past weekend Mother Nature continued to bless us with a moderate “refresher” snowfall.  After lapping it up in the Jay inbounds, Kelly and I decided to mosey over to Little Jay in search of some untracked.  With the internet yielding a surprising lack of trip reports concerning our objective, we really were just winging it.  From asking around, we determined that we should park at the Big Jay parking lot, cross the street and follow a pretty obvious skin track up the mountain.  Armed with this scant intel, we set off in search of pow.

The skin track was well traveled and easy going the entire way up.  It brought us within about 50 vertical feet of the summit before dense foliage and steep, deep powder halted us.  We took in the view for a bit before descending.


After a good look at the map and our surroundings, we realized that the only real way to screw up is to head too far toward skiers right, or W-SW off of the summit.  Such a course would dump you in the wrong drainage, a bit of a hike from the parking area and through who knows what sort of bushwhack.

We decided to trend a bit toward skiers right for a short distance and then push back toward the left of East, toward the two streams which would certainly deliver us back to the parking area.  In general I think this was the right idea, but we ended up too far into the stream bed which peters out into a bit of a mellow bushwhack.  In hindsight the best skiing would probably have been to skier’s right or West of the the stream bed.  The slopes in this region were tracked but plenty soft and getting free refills throughout the weekend.

Kelly gettin' deep!

Kelly, gettin’ deep!

2 thoughts on “Little Jay

  1. Little Jay

    There is a reason that place is so special.
    You have to discover it yourself and can’t do it through the net (or at least it was like that up to now).
    Most people who have the chance of skiing there understand this and keep it that way.

    MAPS and detailed routes?!! come on man…. have some respect for the zone and be thankful you got to ski there.

    1. Brian Sweeney Post author

      i certainly respect your opinion and desire to protect these stashes, but I also have to disagree on a few points. For starters, I hardly provide enough info for anyone who didn’t already about Little Jay to put together a trip plan. The map I posted doesn’t reveal anything really distinctive. No street names or routes are shown. I do make vague reference to other landmarks such as the Big Jay lot, but again this assumes a fair bit of prior knowledge of the whole region.

      My intention here is not so much to open the the floodgates and invite every ‘Joey’ in New England, but to provide useful info to like minded people who may be missing a few details (btw, what search terms led you to this post anyway?). At the end of the day I don’t expect that this TR is really driving too much additional traffic to Little Jay. Backcountry skiing is confined to the few skiers with the equipment and motivation to get out there. I just don’t see a significant number of people running out to REI to buy Dukes and skins based on a map, one photo and a couple of vague paragraphs.

      I do believe that the internet is meant to be a wealth of information, and I don’t believe that the enjoyment of good skiing is meant to be the exclusive domain of some elite club whose members happen to be in-the-know. Who knows, presented with enough alternatives people may actually start to spread out, rather than lapping the same side-country lines over and over again until its in the same state as the resort.

      Anyhow, I shall attempt to exercise more discretion in the future. I do believe there is a happy medium to be struck here…


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