Which area has the most interesting glades?

That Whaleback has some glades runs off their t-bar got me thinking: which area is known for their glade skiing? To keep the playing field a bit more level I mean gladed runs that are maintained as glades during the off-season, not off-piste runs a la MRG.

I should add how impressed I am that Whaleback has such a cool terrain option for their beginner area. Those trails off their little t-bar pack real punch and are some of the best ways to plant a love for the sport in novice skiers.

IBRAKE
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Comments

  • edited July 31
    I don't know if I would call it a beginner glade as it has some pitch but it is accessed off the WB T-Bar.

    http://snowjournal.com/uploads/Uploader/e9/c626b061caedec28ffac20fe7e4022.jpeg

    http://snowjournal.com/uploads/Uploader/5e/4fcc5aa391b9f3133c42e770ca037d.jpeg

    Credit to NewEnglandSkier13 for these.
  • Whaleback has great glades in general. The one off the T-bar is not the easiest one by far, but there are excellent glade choice for all abilities at Whaleback across the mountain.
    - Sam
  • Sugarbush, both mountains. All over the place. Steep as well as low angle glades for intermediate to expert. Eden is one of the best intermediate glade areas there is in the east.
  • Jay Peak has the best glades of anywhere I've skied in the East. Another place with excellent glades is, perhaps surprisingly, Bretton Woods.
  • Sugarbush, both mountains. All over the place. Steep as well as low angle glades for intermediate to expert. Eden is one of the best intermediate glade areas there is in the east.

    That's what I have heard as well, but I'll be damned if I can find any! :wink:
  • I am fan of the Paradise area there, because I am awful at tree skiing and the option of some wider stuff is great.
  • Is it Mont Sutton up in Quebec that has beau coup glades everywhere on their resort?
  • Ragged, Sugarloaf, Smugglers, Black NH, Crotched, Cannon Mittersill, Burke, Saddleback well I could go on but as I was thinking of places I came to the conclusion that all glades are the best!
  • Has Magic been mentioned yet?
  • These days, you'd be hard-pressed to find a major area without excellent glades. The problem is: If your area is not in one of the deep snow belts, how often are they open? Given that, fact and assuming you mean "glades for more than a couple of weeks per season", the only ones that even count (IMO) are the ones in the 200+" per season average snowfall. That limits it to the spine of VT from Jay Peak to Mt. Snow + the big areas of Maine.
  • The question was "interesting" glades. All of the responses have been about who has "good" glades, and I agree that all of the suggestions are good. "Interesting" is a more difficult question. Glades are almost inherently interesting to me, so it's hard to come up with many that are "extra interesting" enough to set them apart. Kinsman at Cannon might fit the bill considering it's about 1,500' of continuous glade.
  • The question was "interesting" glades. All of the responses have been about who has "good" glades, and I agree that all of the suggestions are good. "Interesting" is a more difficult question. Glades are almost inherently interesting to me, so it's hard to come up with many that are "extra interesting" enough to set them apart. Kinsman at Cannon might fit the bill considering it's about 1,500' of continuous glade.

    The only problem with Kinsman is it totally sucks if you aren't in there pretty soon after new snow. It suffers from the same problem that all steep trails do and that is people side slip the steepest sections. Kinsman never has received a full and proper trim and grind down... lots of roots, stumps, and rocks that get uncovered easily. Great glade when the snow is good, it has been total crap more often than not from my experience.

    I agree with your assessment of the response in this thread. No one has really defined what "interesting" is. Doc's at Smuggs could be considered interesting for the street signs. It also has a split personality with the steeper wide open section transitioning to the mellower birches section at the cut back from FIS. Bretton Woods has the T-bar serviced glade area which I have never skied but that certainly seems different and interesting. MRG has regen zones in some of its glades. Lower Glade skis AMAZING compared to before the regen... it is a totally different trail now. That is pretty interesting. Burke's East Bowl glades make you traverse out after skiing them and their undulations are a big abnormal, interesting unless you are a snowboarder.

    Tough trying to think of things that make glades "interesting". I certainly have a preference for certain glades over others. But the most "interesting" tree terrain I ski is off map which is outside the scope of this thread.
  • The only time I have ever been to Cannon when Kinsman was open, it skied like an obstacle course. Glades must be maintained and IMO, Kinsman is not.

    One important criterion to me is length. For example, at Killington, Low Rider and Patsy's ski similar, but Low Rider is twice as long.
  • I agree with rivercoil and Joshua about all the negatives of Kinsman. Those are some real and significant problems. They add up to something I wouldn't call "good" but I might call "interesting".
  • Cave glades at gore have the cave you can climb on/in. A lot of their stuff is pretty similar but I always found Double Barrel to be fun and some of the Darkside glades to have plenty of snow and fun stuff to avoid.
    Ski it or die trying
  • I have a different take on glades than most. I know too many really good skiers who have had serious injuries skiing glades, that I've stopped skiing them. There's too much random chance that can lead to injuries, and if the Matt F's of the world (one of the greatest skiers out there who I skied with when I lived in Utah) could end up with an ACL tear skiing in glades, then it can happen to anyone. Among friends, the injuries I'm aware of from glade skiing in addition to the ACL tear are concussion, dislocated shoulder, meniscus tear, and torn ligament in the thumb. I've come to the conclusion that it's not for me, and I stick to the trails instead. Which I suppose leads to better snow conditions in the glades for those who ski them when more of us stay away.
  • I find powderstud's take on skiing (or not skiing) glades to be interesting. In the 1970s, following the Sunday vs. Stratton decision, glades were for the most part turned into trails. One of the best glades that was lost was Downdraft at Killington and, I presume, as a remembrance of that, SJ has a member who identifies himself as downdraftslasttree.

    By the 1990s, glades were back and by 2000, if your area didn't have glades, you weren't a "major area" any more. Part of the problem with skiing glades is that you have to go slower and take much more care in skiing them. In the era before super-grooming, no one would just get on a trail and go fast without a practice run or two to check out the surface. These days, with no warm up run, people take off down the trails like they are superhighways rather than dirt roads. One can usually get away with that on groomed runs. But if one enters glades with that attitude, that person is an accident waiting to happen.

    So, I suppose if you don't want to waste a run or two checking out a gladed trail, it's probably a good idea to stay out of them. IMO, in some ways, glade skiing is much safer than trail skiing. The traffic is lighter there. I have never been run into in a glade.
  • edited August 3
    That is a good synopsis. I remember the race to cut at least one tree run in the mid 90s.

    I am more a fan of traditional "gladed" trails, that is, trails with tree islands or at least wider trees than the tighter ones.

    What few that are left like this have been thinned considerably by snowmaking ie Murphy's Glade and Sleeper at Sugarbush.

    The (original) Big Dipper at Killington was my first big mountain experience in a glade before that horrific swath was cut.
  • I agree with powderstud, I'm at the age (60) where I don't recover from an injury like I did when it was younger. I love glades but one wrong move or caught edge can ruin the rest of my season if not worse.
    It's just not worth it anymore for me to ski tight glades.
  • skirick said:

    I agree with powderstud, I'm at the age (60) where I don't recover from an injury like I did when it was younger. I love glades but one wrong move or caught edge can ruin the rest of my season if not worse.
    It's just not worth it anymore for me to ski tight glades.

    Unfortunately, once one gets older, we don't heal as quickly. But it's just as easy to catch an edge on a groomed trail as it is on a gladed one. And like anything else: There are intermediate glades - like Squeeze Play at Killington and there are killer glades like Julio's and Anarchy. Like trails, one must be careful to choose glades that are consistent with one's ability.



  • By the 1990s, glades were back and by 2000, if your area didn't have glades, you weren't a "major area" any more. Part of the problem with skiing glades is that you have to go slower and take much more care in skiing them. In the era before super-grooming, no one would just get on a trail and go fast without a practice run or two to check out the surface. These days, with no warm up run, people take off down the trails like they are superhighways rather than dirt roads. One can usually get away with that on groomed runs. But if one enters glades with that attitude, that person is an accident waiting to happen.

    .


    Another big consideration that goes along with your timeline is the evolution of the ski itself. Shaped skis getting shorter have made the Glades easier to navigate. I can remember learning to ski the glades at MRG in the early 90s on my K2 Extremes, 207cm. Great ski for high speed cruising, but a bit long for the trees.
  • Another big consideration that goes along with your timeline is the evolution of the ski itself. Shaped skis getting shorter have made the Glades easier to navigate. I can remember learning to ski the glades at MRG in the early 90s on my K2 Extremes, 207cm. Great ski for high speed cruising, but a bit long for the trees.

    My first run at Mad River was on Paradise-- My friend, "Skiin' Ian the European" took me there on a school reading day (it was December and it was mid winter conditions)and off we went. I was on a pair of 205 cm Pre 1200 SP's at the time.

    Another trip where I got hung up was when Bolton hadn't officially designated "The Devil's Playground" a trail yet and my 205 Harts also got caught up between trees.
    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • "To keep the playing field a bit more level I mean gladed runs that are maintained as glades during the off-season, not off-piste runs a la MRG. "

    Can you guys tell me the difference between glades, tree skiing, and off-piste? I lump them all together. The only difference is that off-piste can include open bowls or above treeline chutes, but also trees or anywhere off a trail.

    With that in mind, MRG is the gold standard for me in Eastern tree/glade skiing.
  • > @JimK said:
    > "To keep the playing field a bit more level I mean gladed runs that are maintained as glades during the off-season, not off-piste runs a la MRG. "
    >
    > Can you guys tell me the difference between glades, tree skiing, and off-piste? I lump them all together. The only difference is that off-piste can include open bowls or above treeline chutes, but also trees or anywhere off a trail.
    >
    > With that in mind, MRG is the gold standard for me in Eastern tree/glade skiing.

    I'll take a very cursory stab. Others can refine:

    -. Glades = In-bounds, on map, with signage. Maintained. Usually wider spaced but with exceptions.

    - Trees = In-bounds, unmarked, not on map, no signage.
    I.e. not a sanctioned Glade. Can also apply to out-of-bounds tree runs. Not maintained by resort, but maybe maintained by locals. Therefore tighter and tougher than Glades.

    - Off-piste = Literally away from the lift. Generally a synonym for side country. Could refer to back country also.

    There is lots of grey area there. For example most of Cannon's upper mountain "glades" started as "trees". I.e. they were unsanctioned, hand cut, lines that weren't listed on the may but were in-bounds. They were very, very tight. Eventually Cannon usurped them, put them in the map, gave them signs, maintained them (???), And turned them into official "Glades". But honestly they still ski like "Trees" because of limited clearing/maintenance.
  • I never really considered that "Tree" and "Glade" runs are different things, but Cannonball's distinction between them is useful.
    Personally I like glade/tree runs that are large enough to have many lines and have relatively widely spaced trees. The tight stuff out here is often intimidating to me, so I often end up survival skiing or boarding my way down it (or more often just not taking those runs).
  • skirick said:

    I agree with powderstud, I'm at the age (60) where I don't recover from an injury like I did when it was younger. I love glades but one wrong move or caught edge can ruin the rest of my season if not worse.

    How is that different than skiing high speed on a groomer? one caught edge and you can slide into the trees at 30-50mph? Not sure about injury rates but it seems like most deaths usually occur due to high speed loss of control on groomers.

    This is getting off topic a bit, lol.
  • I agree 100% with Cannonball's distinctions between glades and trees. That is how I use the terms. Though I don't usually use the term "off piste" which I think is a pretty silly term. I just call it off map trees, backside, traverse out, OB, etc.
  • Black Mountain of Maine, approaching 30 glades zones, all accessed off from 1 lift. What makes them interesting? I think how we (Angry Beavers) are creating features and jump zones keep things fresh and new. Flowing but not overcut. Not so steep that they get scraped to rocks and stumps. We keep adding 4-5 new glades every year, and the creativy is improving, but don't take my word, as obviously I'm biased.
  • JAM614 said:

    Black Mountain of Maine, approaching 30 glades zones, all accessed off from 1 lift. What makes them interesting? I think how we (Angry Beavers) are creating features and jump zones keep things fresh and new. Flowing but not overcut. Not so steep that they get scraped to rocks and stumps. We keep adding 4-5 new glades every year, and the creativy is improving, but don't take my word, as obviously I'm biased.

    Only been there once but loved their glades!
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