Favorite on-mountain facilities

Only New England, please:

What is (are) your favorite non-base-area facilities (lodges, warming huts) and why?

Based on:
1) Location/views
2) Victuals and libations
3) Character/ambiance

I am spoiled here in CVT, as Sugarbush and MRG have great spots. For me:

1) The Gables, top of Castlerock-isolated, but with expansive view over the area and south
2) Allyn's Lodge back when they did the cat trips for dinner and moonlight ski down. Pricey but fantastic.
Close second was Glen House at Mt Ellen, back when it was the spring skiing option and there was beer and music on the deck...
3) Stark's Nest, MRG- Snug when cold, great little deck with view of Valley and of the Single. Open all year!

Your choices?
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Comments

  • I have never stopped at the Gables, but have frequented your other choices, and agree. I loved spring skiing at Mt Ellen, and the Glen House. Perfect set up.
    Have heard that the Sunshine Corner at Magic can be a great spot, but I have never been there when it was "open".
    The weather out west makes for a lot more options though.
  • Stratton - Hubert House
    Whiteface - Mid-station Lodge

    Bridger Bowl - Alpine Cabin might be my favorite lodge/hut, base or elsewhere, anywhere.
  • I've enjoyed Bullwinkle's at Sugarloaf and the Octagon at Stowe. I found the warm-up shack at the top of the Rangeley at Saddleback to have a je ne sai quoi.
  • edited August 7
    1. Birdcage at MRG

    2. Bullwinkle's at Sugarloaf is nice but a distant second for me

    Does the old upper base lodge at Burke qualify? No longer really a base lodge, as you can't park there nor purchase tix. I like that lodge a lot, and for me it's a sort of mid-mountain lodge.

    The Randi's Roost thing at Middlebury is a neat spot

    I would like to list the top gondy terminal at Jay because the view is fabulous but the smell inside is disgusting. So no points for that.

    Similar deal at the summit of Cannon, love the warming area, and the bar, and especially the historic photo posters. No smell. But the exterior, much like the Peabody base, has all the charm of a Siberian gulag.


  • McCauley Mountain's remodeled base lodge has been a favorite of mine this past winter. Instead of looking at the parking lot you can now enjoy a view of the slopes. I too agree with Mid Station at Whiteface.
    ~Rich~
  • Good comments.

    New England only (sorry NY and MT)

    No base facilities, just places uphill from base area

    Mid-Burke is base since you drive to it still. Drop off is in front, parking next to it
  • edited August 7

    Good comments.

    New England only (sorry NY and MT)

    No base facilities, just places uphill from base area

    Mid-Burke is base since you drive to it still. Drop off is in front, parking next to it

    Roger that Sir!

    With that being said

    Stowe:
    Octagon Cafe- Stowe incredible views, cozy. Busy day forget about it.
    Cliff house restaurant also gets a nod. Easy to get to even if you didn't bring your ski's up ;).

    Killington:
    Peak lodge, fun staff and good bar, gets CROWDED!

    Bretton Woods

    Lattitude 44, because this is the only ski resort I have been to in New Hampshire with a almost at the summit lodge, on mountain lodge.

    Deli hause at Jay Peak is ok, just for the views and to grab a beer.

    Does the Tip Top house on Mt Washington count for victuals and Libation if you BYO.
    ~Rich~
  • I echo both Glen House and Allyn;s Lodge at Sugarbush and K Peak lodge.
  • The summit lodge at Sunapee is full of nice views but man those stairs in ski boots are killer. Okemo, Loon and Waterville upper mountain lodges are great places for a quick bite or libations and I definitely agree with the places already mentioned are beautiful place for upper mountain eats, libations and recharging.
  • I have never beem much of a user of on-mountain lodges, but I did like the one at the top of the Rangeley Double at Saddleback. The Ice Cave at Mt. Abram only operated for a year or two, but was very unique amd you can still go in the building. Cranmore would likely be my favorite full-service on-mountain option.
    - Sam
  • 1. Starks Nest at MRG. I've eaten my PBJ sandwiches in there on more than one occasion.
    2. I have a nice memory of a cold day at Saddleback when my son took some frozen home-made choc chip cookies we had and baked (reheated) them on the wood stove in the warming hut above the Rangeley Chair at Saddleback.
    3. Is the Schwendi Hutte still around at Waterville? I had some good soup there back in the 80s.

    Out of bounds, but just for fun:
    - the mid-mtn E-Tow Cabin at Loveland is tiny, rustic and super scenic. No services, BYOB.
    - Black Mtn Lodge at Arapahoe Basin is a newer, full service mid-mtn lodge with a great vibe and scenery.
    - The new summit lodge at Snowbird is very nice, but they gave me a hard time for eating my PBJ in there so I usually eat at other places on the mtn.
    - There's a neat little outdoor grill/snack shop up by the Nordic trails at Beaver Creek that is very pleasant and far from the madding crowd. You buy raw meat and make your own burger/sandwich.
    - Vail has free BBQ grills at several places on the mtn. Me and some friends made our own chili dogs one time there at Henry's Hut. That location also provides free condiments and a communal microwave oven
    - The upper mtn John Paul Lodge at Snowbasin is one of the best in the USA for plushy atmosphere, good food, and nice views.
  • Somet
    JimK said:

    1. Starks Nest at MRG. I've eaten my PBJ sandwiches in there on more than one occasion.
    2. I have a nice memory of a cold day at Saddleback when my son took some frozen home-made choc chip cookies we had and baked (reheated) them on the wood stove in the warming hut above the Rangeley Chair at Saddleback.
    3. Is the Schwendi Hutte still around at Waterville? I had some good soup there back in the 80s.

    Out of bounds, but just for fun:
    - the mid-mtn E-Tow Cabin at Loveland is tiny, rustic and super scenic. No services, BYOB.
    - Black Mtn Lodge at Arapahoe Basin is a newer, full service mid-mtn lodge with a great vibe and scenery.
    - The new summit lodge at Snowbird is very nice, but they gave me a hard time for eating my PBJ in there so I usually eat at other places on the mtn.
    - There's a neat little outdoor grill/snack shop up by the Nordic trails at Beaver Creek that is very pleasant and far from the madding crowd. You buy raw meat and make your own burger/sandwich.
    - Vail has free BBQ grills at several places on the mtn. Me and some friends made our own chili dogs one time there at Henry's Hut. That location also provides free condiments and a communal microwave oven
    - The upper mtn John Paul Lodge at Snowbasin is one of the best in the USA for plushy atmosphere, good food, and nice views.

    Something free at Vail??? Eghads! I hope they don't see this thread and change their policy.
  • I particularly appreciated the Cannon summit lodge weekend before last when I hiked up with my son (his first real hike). Only 4000-footer where you can get a beer on tap at the top. (Though it officially didn't count as a 4000-footer because we rode the tram down.)
  • edited August 8
    Cannon summit lodge has a lot of pros and cons. Great place to warm up when the wind is whipping and it is super cold. You can start skiing right away instead of having to sit on a cold lift after lunch. That said, it is a quirky lodge. They still have fixed the damn wooden deck that is always a sheet of ice. And watching people get blown off their feet and fall on their asses coming out of the tram building would be down right funny if it wasn't so dangerous (Taft/Ravine side exit). Cannon food is a bit expensive for the quality and quantity.

    Not sure I really have a favorite summit lodge, they all kinda suck. I like old school warm up huts the most like Smuggs, MRG, etc. Views don't much matter from a summit lodge, you get better views by stepping outside and starting to ski.

    It is easier for me to identify what I don't like in facilities which is the bland new stuff like lodges at mid-Burke, Jay, Spruce at Stowe, etc. Completely soulless lodges at soulful mountains, good grief. That said, they can tear down the Madonna Lodge at Smuggs and replace it anytime they want... sometimes function is more important than soul.
  • edited August 9
    I certainly concur with that sentiment River. Honestly most of the big players in the east are going to have the cookie cutter feel. The Peak Lodge at Killington feels like an Applebees, Sky Huas at Jay feels like an IKEA eatery. The old school mountains really don't have the budget to run an on mountain eatery unless you wanna hang out with the ski patrol. Personally the only reason I use mid stations,summit lodges, or warming huts, Is to either wait for additional party members or to drink a beer. A view comes in handy when you're drinking some lager on a deck. Most of the time when I ski we usually just dump off piste and get our lunches out of our packs and have some beer in the middle of the woods. The younger me would just do laps all day. Unfortunately for me I got a bum knee from the Military and I have ended up parking my ass more often than not.
    ~Rich~
  • edited August 9
    Sorry, another out of bounds comment.
    The Cliff House at the top of Mt. Norquay's North American lift is the absolute coolest on-mtn lodge/warming hut/restaurant facility I have seen in my North American ski travels. It looks like something from Woody Allen's Sleeper movie or George Jetson cartoon and was built in 1952. This shot was taken in late March 2018. I was going to take my non-skiing wife up there for some food and sight-seeing, but it was closed at that point of the ski season. They open it at prime times in the winter and it is also a popular spot in summer for tourists. Marilyn Monroe was there. The old pulse double chair that gets you there is also very unusual. The ski terrain below this building is all black diamond.

    Cliff House:




    View of the Banff area (and North American double chair) from just below the Cliff House:






    I can think of at least one on-mtn structure I have skied to in Europe that tops the setting of Cliff House and may look later to dig up photos.
  • You had me at 'on-mountain'. I always prefer to take a mid-day break, or beer, up on the mountain instead of at the base. The facilities have to be pretty terrible to change my mind on that. I can't think of any that bad. Places like Waterville's Schwendi Hutte, Cannon's Upper Tram, etc all leave a lot to be desired but I still like them simply for their location.
  • Ho Jo's at Tucks. They don't serve food or alcohol, water is available (serve yourself), limited outdoor seating only, definitely has character and you can't beat the view!
  • The lodges at Cranmore and Gunstock both have great views of the lakes region.
  • Bearclaw Cabin at Sundance is one that sticks out on my mind. The deck with no railings is a nice touch....

    https://www.sundanceresort.com/dining/bearclaw-cabin/
  • Honorary mention for the Hickory "Roost" RIP (burned in a forest fire on the summit).


  • skirick, do you remember when Ho Jo's in the Ravine did serve sandwiches? They also used to serve what they called Tuck's Punch, a sort of cool-aide that changed color depending on the color of the stuff they mixed with water. It often was yellow or purple, but sometimes they those different mixes in and came up with some colors I had never seen vefore. It always was good though after the hike up.
  • Bill29 said:

    skirick, do you remember when Ho Jo's in the Ravine did serve sandwiches? They also used to serve what they called Tuck's Punch, a sort of cool-aide that changed color depending on the color of the stuff they mixed with water. It often was yellow or purple, but sometimes they those different mixes in and came up with some colors I had never seen vefore. It always was good though after the hike up.

    Actually no, I didn't realize that (makes my tongue in cheek post tongue out of cheek).
    I had seen through the window what looked to be a small supply store but it was never open when we were there.
  • edited August 9
    Forgot about Cloud Nine at Aspen Highlands. It's too expensive for me to eat inside, but they will let commoners hang out on the patio. I was there New Year's Eve 2013 and it looked something like this:

  • ONLY NEW ENGLAND PLEASE
  • The summit lodge at Kicking Horse is really nice too!
  • > @jaytrem said:
    > The summit lodge at Kicking Horse is really nice too!

    Yeah, amazing place!
  • "Private Clubs" Count?

    The patrol shack at the top of Crotched is warm, has deep leather seating, a view of Mount Monadnock, Stratton, Okemo and Pat's Peak back side. Food is variable; the 'Cabana Boy' serves up good breakfasts on Saturday - Sundays usually feature some great potluck food. Seating is limited - maybe 40 max. while doing backboard drills on the cocktail table. And 'the game (whatever)' is on the HD monitor. Can't afford a cash register so there's no prices.

    By virtue of us being happy to see SJ's think of yourself as a 'member' and drop by.
  • > @NELSBEER said:
    > "Private Clubs" Count?
    >
    > The patrol shack at the top of Crotched is warm, has deep leather seating, a view of Mount Monadnock, Stratton, Okemo and Pat's Peak back side. Food is variable; the 'Cabana Boy' serves up good breakfasts on Saturday - Sundays usually feature some great potluck food. Seating is limited - maybe 40 max. while doing backboard drills on the cocktail table. And 'the game (whatever)' is on the HD monitor. Can't afford a cash register so there's no prices.
    >
    > By virtue of us being happy to see SJ's think of yourself as a 'member' and drop by.

    I can do that so long as you don’t mind a ‘member’ come all the way in from Ohio!😂
  • As a patroller, I love it when the public stops by our shacks-- that's why we're there! Warm up, shoot some bull, tell good stories, borrow tools. We're all skiers and that's what is important. I can tell you this though-- at Sugarbush:
    Summit shack leaves a lot to be desired, though it does have great views from the deck looking north. Midstation is OK-- lots of room.
    Over at Lincoln--- Rosie's on top of North Lynx is new, warm, sunny and comfortable. Check out the stool seats stitched by a patroller. Gate House, Java the Hutt II is the best-- it's like a little house I could live in. Castlerock cooks a lot of food-- 'nuff said. Allyn's lodge is right out in the public so stop in. Heaven's Gate has a great view from the window down the chair but I believe (it when I see it) is scheduled to be replaced this summer.

    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
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