Which area has the most interesting beginner area?

Which place didn’t want to just sling a rope tow or magic carpet up a slight incline for the beginners? Someplace that put some thought to create a unique learning area with maybe multiple trails and a little challenge in spots?
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Comments

  • I will give Sunapee a mention, their Clipper Ship lift area has it all for beginners culminating to low intermediate right under the lift.

    Shameless plug for Whaleback where we have tried to within our budget create a progressive learning experience from Magic Carpet to Tow to T-Bar all in one dedicated area.
  • I will gladly second and salute your shameless plug for Whaleback’s beginner area!!! It simply cannot get any better than a brand “new” Hall t-bar install for great, varied beginner terrain.
  • How many trails does that T serve: four?
  • Lots of Ski areas have superb beginner terrain. Hard to beat the Snowshed at Killington or the South Branch at Saddleback. I agree with newpylong's suggestion of Sunapee. The key thing all of these have:
    1) A long wide slope of relatively uniform pitch
    2) A lift dedicated to the beginner area
    3) The area is protected from the rest of the mountain, so that a non-beginner doesn't get on it accidentally not realizing to what they are transitioning.
  • edited July 30
    Catamount has a nice beginner area with some features on some of the greens to make things interesting. They also have some flat wide opened glades.
    The triple chair also has a mid-station if you want to only ski the true beginner trails.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • Burke. How many other areas have a HSQ servicing an entire beginner terrain pod? HSQs are a very beginner friendly first lift. Upper level skiers may occasionally buzz past but I think with the new mid-mountain lodge, that isn't going to happen very often any more except for last run of the day.

    Smuggs has a robust pod completely isolated from the main mountain which limits upper level skiers. I've actually never skied Morse despite Smuggs being a personal favorite mountain.
  • Sunway at Gore is a great beginner run. It’s 2 miles long so they can get a rhythm going and when it’s starts to get just a little steep it gets pretty flat again
  • > @IBRAKEFORTBARS said:
    > How many trails does that T serve: four?

    Yes 4, 1 being a good short glade!
  • > @newpylong said:
    > > @IBRAKEFORTBARS said:
    > > How many trails does that T serve: four?
    >
    > Yes 4, 1 being a good short glade!

    Wow, even a glade, too! What a perfect beginner area setup!
  • edited July 31
    Anyone who has ever been to Smuggs has to give them a nod for one of the best in North America. I would also include Whiteface with their exclusive base and multiple lifts beginner area. Stowe is just too expensive, but they too have a great beginners area with the toll house double.
    ~Rich~
  • From what I'm told, Cannon has done a nice job with the Tuckerbrook area. Not that I've skied it, but I trust the opinion of a friend who has a young family and said his kids loved it. It's also somewhat removed from the main ski area, so it has the feel of a self-contained place just for beginners.
  • ADKskier said:

    Anyone who has ever been to Smuggs has to give them a nod for one of the best in North America. I would also include Whiteface with their exclusive base and multiple lifts beginner area. Stowe is just too expensive, but they too have a great beginners area with the toll house double.

    I know some may question that Whiteface is just as expensive, I did some research a family of 4 two adults and two Children:

    Comes out to 304 and Whiteface- 6 and under free
    and almost 400 and Stowe- 4 and under free
    ~Rich~
  • The left side of Caberfae a Peaks north Peak has Smiling Irishman witch leads to many runs to the bottom
  • Bretton Woods. My friend's father could not believe I was skiing from the summit my second days on skis 40 something years ago. Perfect set up, as much of the hill is green pasture. Still like it today.
  • Hunter One. Nice pod with multiple lifts that keeps the advanced skiers away. Rentals are right there also and off to the side of the main lodge.
    The only problem is where to go from there? Hunter is trying to solve that with the expansion of Hunter North.
  • From what I'm told, Cannon has done a nice job with the Tuckerbrook area. Not that I've skied it, but I trust the opinion of a friend who has a young family and said his kids loved it. It's also somewhat removed from the main ski area, so it has the feel of a self-contained place just for beginners.

    It is nice, except for the people cutting across to & from Mittersill. And then there's those of us that miss the cut over and add unnecessarily to the crush at the Tuckerbrook chair. On the way back it's a little better segregated.
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • skirick said:

    Hunter One. Nice pod with multiple lifts that keeps the advanced skiers away. Rentals are right there also and off to the side of the main lodge.
    The only problem is where to go from there? Hunter is trying to solve that with the expansion of Hunter North.

    Well they could go up I believe. Except when I was there midweek last year with lots of snow, it was closed.
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • Ward Hill (Ski Ward). The whole place is a beginner area where, over the years, they have turned out some very good skiers.
  • Belleayre -
    Belleayre's lower section has two 3000 foot long double chairs over 500 vertical feet, about 10 mellow trails, and its own lodge. It is separated from the main mountain. It is an oasis for beginners and novices.
  • Black Mountain (NH) has some great greens skiers left of the triple. Those greens got my wife to like skiing.
  • edited July 31
    Most of the stuff listed above is novice terrain. Low end novice, but novice just the same. You really want beginners negotiating Sunway, Tuckerbrook, Hunter One, etc?

    I think the j-bar at Burke is an excellent beginner area. Bear Cub at Gore. The Beginners Slope at Elk, with its isolated super slow short chairlift is also terrific for beginners

  • I would have to agree that Whaleback has an excellent beginner area. There is a good progression of trails. However, the glade off the T-bar is not a good first glade. It has a challenging drop near the bottom.
    - Sam
  • ski_it said:


    It is nice, except for the people cutting across to & from Mittersill. And then there's those of us that miss the cut over and add unnecessarily to the crush at the Tuckerbrook chair. On the way back it's a little better segregated.

    I noticed last year that they've rerouted the back-to-Cannon trail to the top of the handle tow slope, so it no longer dumps into the middle of Tuckerbrook.

  • ceo said:

    I noticed last year that they've rerouted the back-to-Cannon trail to the top of the handle tow slope, so it no longer dumps into the middle of Tuckerbrook.

    I do not recall any changes made recently to any cutbacks or the Tuckerbrook area. Raven Ridge trail was added a few years ago which goes from the top of the Quad to the top of the rope tow. But that doesn't really change much and is only accessible from the Baron's cutback. Unless you ski Baron's or do the flat traverse, you have to go TBrook to get back to Cannon proper from Mittersill via the cutback.

    I think the traffic from Mitt to Cannon makes TBrook less than the ideal that the OP was looking for but it did instantly come to mind as a great learning area. Cannon's problem is not lack of beginner terrain but lack of next step lower intermediate terrain. The jump up is pretty steep.
  • Most of the stuff listed above is novice terrain. Low end novice, but novice just the same. You really want beginners negotiating Sunway, Tuckerbrook, Hunter One, etc?

    I think the j-bar at Burke is an excellent beginner area. Bear Cub at Gore. The Beginners Slope at Elk, with its isolated super slow short chairlift is also terrific for beginners

    Ok, define what a beginner area is?
  • edited August 1
    skirick said:

    Most of the stuff listed above is novice terrain. Low end novice, but novice just the same. You really want beginners negotiating Sunway, Tuckerbrook, Hunter One, etc?

    I think the j-bar at Burke is an excellent beginner area. Bear Cub at Gore. The Beginners Slope at Elk, with its isolated super slow short chairlift is also terrific for beginners

    Ok, define what a beginner area is?
    The OP was asking about an "Interesting" beginner area, not the best, so I would think everyone has their own idea what they would find interesting for a beginner.
    As far as an ideal beginner area, I would go along with Joshua's definition with a long, wide dedicated area with a consistent pitch, tucked in a section away from the masses and speeding skiers. I would also say that ideally it would have a magic carpet lift, since it requires little to no learning to use. That way the beginner skier could concentrate on learning how to ski, and not have the fear of riding an intimidating lift in the back of their minds. While J-bars and T-bars are fun lifts to ride, they are fewer and far between, so the new skier shouldn't be wasting too much time learning how to ride a lift that can be difficult to use, and get turned off by the whole experience. Also, if it is a chairlift serving the beginner area, it should be a detachable quad. This is not just for the reasons mentioned above, but a double chair does not work well for an instructor/parent who has two kids with them.
  • Ollie's at Wachusett fits Joshua's definition perfectly. It's very gentle, it's served by a magic carpet, it's near the ski school building and ski rental facility and it's close to, but separated from, all the other trails and slopes on the mountain. Never-evers and real beginners don't have to worry about skiers coming through and disrupting their lessons.
  • edited August 1
    skirick said:



    Ok, define what a beginner area is?

    The place where you take a beginner!

    Since you asked for a definition, American College Dictionary says begin 1) to enter upon an action, take the first step, commence, start. —beginner

    image

    If you broaden the definition to "novice" area, such as Snowshed, Sunway, Hunter One, etc. Then I'd have to vote for Ski Butternut in its entirety. If you like Snowshed or Sunway, you'll love Butternut. Better pricing, closer parking, less crowded, experts avoid it like the plague.
    BEGINNNER AREA.jpg
    684 x 371 - 202K

  • ceoceo
    edited August 1
    riverc0il said:


    I do not recall any changes made recently to any cutbacks or the Tuckerbrook area. Raven Ridge trail was added a few years ago which goes from the top of the Quad to the top of the rope tow. But that doesn't really change much and is only accessible from the Baron's cutback. Unless you ski Baron's or do the flat traverse, you have to go TBrook to get back to Cannon proper from Mittersill via the cutback.

    The trail from Baron's used to drop into Tuckerbrook right above the top of the quad, now (IIRC) it merges into Raven Ridge a little ways down.
    riverc0il said:


    I think the traffic from Mitt to Cannon makes TBrook less than the ideal that the OP was looking for but it did instantly come to mind as a great learning area. Cannon's problem is not lack of beginner terrain but lack of next step lower intermediate terrain. The jump up is pretty steep.

    No argument; I noticed when I first brought my older son there that there was a bit of a gap between Tuckerbrook or Lower Cannon and the upper mountain. (Of course, I started there as a near-beginner when the options were a lot worse.)

  • If we're looking for "interesting" and true "beginner" then Cranmore is worth a mention. A few years back they introduced "Terrain Based Learning". It's a pretty cool concept where features and micro-contouring allow absolute beginners to get started without the typical fears of a traditional slope.
    https://www.cranmore.com/Skiing-and-Riding/Lessons-Programs/Terrain-Based-Learning
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