Which New England ski areas over 1000 vertical do not have interesting blue square terrain?

joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 1,671
With a recent thread titled, "Which New England ski area has the most interesting blue square terrain?", I thought the shorter list would be a list of ski areas that do not have interesting Blue Square Terrain?  I can't think of any.  Can you? 
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Comments

  • Posts: 1,871
    I can't think of any over 1,000 vertical feet either. However, I do know of some under 1,000 vertical feet.
    - Sam
  • abubobabubob advanced
    Posts: 103
    I think you'd be hard pressed to find any mountain without any interesting intermediate terrain. But It shouldn't be too hard to find some interesting terrain anywhere.

    With that in mind I nominate Cannon for Middle and Lower Ravine. They are wide and essentially flat and consistently groomed to a homogenized pablum-esk finish.
  • Posts: 1,871
    abubob said:

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find any mountain without any interesting intermediate terrain. But It shouldn't be too hard to find some interesting terrain anywhere.


    With that in mind I nominate Cannon for Middle and Lower Ravine. They are wide and essentially flat and consistently groomed to a homogenized pablum-esk finish.
    I know some smaller areas that don't have very great intermediate terrain.
    - Sam
  • Posts: 887

    abubob said:

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find any mountain without any interesting intermediate terrain. But It shouldn't be too hard to find some interesting terrain anywhere.


    With that in mind I nominate Cannon for Middle and Lower Ravine. They are wide and essentially flat and consistently groomed to a homogenized pablum-esk finish.
    I know some smaller areas that don't have very great intermediate terrain.
    It's not exactly New England but Labrador Mt sorely lacks any interesting intermediate runs. Regarding large resorts Killingtons intermediate offerings left me underwhelmed. They seemed just to be clustered on Snowdon and parts of Killington Peak.
  • Posts: 1,871

    abubob said:

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find any mountain without any interesting intermediate terrain. But It shouldn't be too hard to find some interesting terrain anywhere.


    With that in mind I nominate Cannon for Middle and Lower Ravine. They are wide and essentially flat and consistently groomed to a homogenized pablum-esk finish.
    I know some smaller areas that don't have very great intermediate terrain.
    It's not exactly New England but Labrador Mt sorely lacks any interesting intermediate runs. Regarding large resorts Killingtons intermediate offerings left me underwhelmed. They seemed just to be clustered on Snowdon and parts of Killington Peak.
    But that's still equal in size to the entire area of many medium sized mountains!
    - Sam
  • Posts: 887

    abubob said:

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find any mountain without any interesting intermediate terrain. But It shouldn't be too hard to find some interesting terrain anywhere.


    With that in mind I nominate Cannon for Middle and Lower Ravine. They are wide and essentially flat and consistently groomed to a homogenized pablum-esk finish.
    I know some smaller areas that don't have very great intermediate terrain.
    It's not exactly New England but Labrador Mt sorely lacks any interesting intermediate runs. Regarding large resorts Killingtons intermediate offerings left me underwhelmed. They seemed just to be clustered on Snowdon and parts of Killington Peak.
    But that's still equal in size to the entire area of many medium sized mountains!
    Fair enough. Should have clarified: the runs in relation to the whole of Killington's mammoth size left me underwhelmed. There's no true summit-to-base solid intermediate run. By base I don't mean at the base of Killington Peak or the Snowshed slope. I mean waaaay down in the valley. Whiteface is an excellent example of superb summit-to-base intermediate skiing.

  • z1000307470z1000307470 intermediate
    Posts: 76

    abubob said:

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find any mountain without any interesting intermediate terrain. But It shouldn't be too hard to find some interesting terrain anywhere.


    With that in mind I nominate Cannon for Middle and Lower Ravine. They are wide and essentially flat and consistently groomed to a homogenized pablum-esk finish.
    I know some smaller areas that don't have very great intermediate terrain.
    It's not exactly New England but Labrador Mt sorely lacks any interesting intermediate runs. Regarding large resorts Killingtons intermediate offerings left me underwhelmed. They seemed just to be clustered on Snowdon and parts of Killington Peak.
    But that's still equal in size to the entire area of many medium sized mountains!
    Fair enough. Should have clarified: the runs in relation to the whole of Killington's mammoth size left me underwhelmed. There's no true summit-to-base solid intermediate run. By base I don't mean at the base of Killington Peak or the Snowshed slope. I mean waaaay down in the valley. Whiteface is an excellent example of superb summit-to-base intermediate skiing.



    Whiteface does have summit to base blue skiing, but that is the only positive thing you can say about the intermediate skiing at WF. Excelsior is the only blue trail off the gondola (no green off the gondola) and it is a difficult blue - and a high speed run for many - and it splits into  L Northway which is the drain run for a large part of Little Whiteface's black runs and glades. Connector brings you to Victoria which is classified a blue - but could be a black and Victoria is also a high speed drain for the upper mountain. All this feeds into Upper Valley, a very crowded high speed run to get to midstation.

    The Wilmington Trail is a long "blue" that, depending on conditions, has some black sections that you have to navigate.

    Lower Parkway, Drapers and Lower Thruway are only available to intermediates if the Freeway double is operating (rare). You can get them if you want to ski the black upper versions of the trails.  

    I would say Whiteface is the best example in the East of a big time mountain with a lack of intermediate terrain. Even though advanced skiers will like the blue trails at WF, intermediate skiers and lower will find the blue terrain lacking at WF.


     


  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,671

    abubob said:

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find any mountain without any interesting intermediate terrain. But It shouldn't be too hard to find some interesting terrain anywhere.


    With that in mind I nominate Cannon for Middle and Lower Ravine. They are wide and essentially flat and consistently groomed to a homogenized pablum-esk finish.
    I know some smaller areas that don't have very great intermediate terrain.
    It's not exactly New England but Labrador Mt sorely lacks any interesting intermediate runs. Regarding large resorts Killingtons intermediate offerings left me underwhelmed. They seemed just to be clustered on Snowdon and parts of Killington Peak.
    But that's still equal in size to the entire area of many medium sized mountains!
    Fair enough. Should have clarified: the runs in relation to the whole of Killington's mammoth size left me underwhelmed. There's no true summit-to-base solid intermediate run. By base I don't mean at the base of Killington Peak or the Snowshed slope. I mean waaaay down in the valley. Whiteface is an excellent example of superb summit-to-base intermediate skiing.



    ...

    I would say Whiteface is the best example in the East of a big time mountain with a lack of intermediate terrain. Even though advanced skiers will like the blue trails at WF, intermediate skiers and lower will find the blue terrain lacking at WF.

    Just curious: Would you say the same about Mad River Glen?  I'm wondering if the problem at both WF and MRG might be that the blue square skier needs to look at the Green Circle Runs to find what s/he is used to skiing as blue?
  • Posts: 887

    abubob said:

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find any mountain without any interesting intermediate terrain. But It shouldn't be too hard to find some interesting terrain anywhere.


    With that in mind I nominate Cannon for Middle and Lower Ravine. They are wide and essentially flat and consistently groomed to a homogenized pablum-esk finish.
    I know some smaller areas that don't have very great intermediate terrain.
    It's not exactly New England but Labrador Mt sorely lacks any interesting intermediate runs. Regarding large resorts Killingtons intermediate offerings left me underwhelmed. They seemed just to be clustered on Snowdon and parts of Killington Peak.
    But that's still equal in size to the entire area of many medium sized mountains!
    Fair enough. Should have clarified: the runs in relation to the whole of Killington's mammoth size left me underwhelmed. There's no true summit-to-base solid intermediate run. By base I don't mean at the base of Killington Peak or the Snowshed slope. I mean waaaay down in the valley. Whiteface is an excellent example of superb summit-to-base intermediate skiing.



    Whiteface does have summit to base blue skiing, but that is the only positive thing you can say about the intermediate skiing at WF. Excelsior is the only blue trail off the gondola (no green off the gondola) and it is a difficult blue - and a high speed run for many - and it splits into  L Northway which is the drain run for a large part of Little Whiteface's black runs and glades. Connector brings you to Victoria which is classified a blue - but could be a black and Victoria is also a high speed drain for the upper mountain. All this feeds into Upper Valley, a very crowded high speed run to get to midstation.

    The Wilmington Trail is a long "blue" that, depending on conditions, has some black sections that you have to navigate.

    Lower Parkway, Drapers and Lower Thruway are only available to intermediates if the Freeway double is operating (rare). You can get them if you want to ski the black upper versions of the trails.  

    I would say Whiteface is the best example in the East of a big time mountain with a lack of intermediate terrain. Even though advanced skiers will like the blue trails
    at WF, intermediate skiers and lower will find the blue terrain lacking at WF.


     


    It's those blue square trails that blur the line between blue and black on the way down that make for an outstanding skiing experience. These will give the newer skiers the challenges that enable them to acquire strong turning and stopping skills not to mention a really fun experience for more advanced skiers.

    It also indicates that green/blue/black ratings are so subjective from resort to resort.

    Maybe I'm just skewed to those places that are more advanced skier friendly and not considering that newer skiers might not share my perspective.

    IBRAKE
  • becca_mbecca_m advanced
    Posts: 112
    You guys will yell at me, but, I find Sunapee excruciatingly boring for blue square terrain - so wide and without character (to me!).    No matter what I took, I was bored - I don't plan to go back... ever....
  • Posts: 887
    Wow; Sunapee sounded really interesting especially with that view of the lake as well as the ski areas visible off in the distance.

    So the trails there are a bit lacking in the character department?
  • mapnutmapnut expert
    Posts: 772

    I'd say the blue trails in the Sun Bowl at Sunapee are fairly interesting, with some bends and changes of pitch and view - though they are all fairly wide. I love Cataract but it's inconvenient to get to. Blast-off, Ridge Run and Chipmunk off the Express epitomize what Becca's talking about - fairly interesting at the top but they all have very long, uniform, easy lower halves where you just let the skis run. I had a surprise high-speed yard sale there once just because I wasn't paying attention! Ow.

     

  • Posts: 887
    mapnut said:

    I'd say the blue trails in the Sun Bowl at Sunapee are fairly interesting, with some bends and changes of pitch and view - though they are all fairly wide. I love Cataract but it's inconvenient to get to. Blast-off, Ridge Run and Chipmunk off the Express epitomize what Becca's talking about - fairly interesting at the top but they all have very long, uniform, easy lower halves where you just let the skis run. I had a surprise high-speed yard sale there once just because I wasn't paying attention! Ow.

     

    Gotta agree: when trails all seem to be easy lower halves where the skis just run, where's the challenge or the fun? Some wide open cruising is welcome...when it's a part of the overall experience, not a large portion of it.

  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,671
    becca_m said:

    You guys will yell at me, but, I find Sunapee excruciatingly boring for blue square terrain - so wide and without character (to me!).    No matter what I took, I was bored - I don't plan to go back... ever....

    At Sunapee, you have to move to the un-mogulled black diamonds to find the "good blue square cruisers".  On the front, Blastoff (rated Black Diamond) is about the only good cruiser.  There are much better options in the Bowl and on North Peak.
  • Posts: 1,871
    becca_m said:

    You guys will yell at me, but, I find Sunapee excruciatingly boring for blue square terrain - so wide and without character (to me!).    No matter what I took, I was bored - I don't plan to go back... ever....

    I find that some of the best blue square terrain at Sunapee is the black diamonds! They are, however, still lacking in the character department.
    - Sam
  • Posts: 887
    We can't have great intermediate skiing be without character. Since we're talking about NH skiing how about Gunstock, Loon, Ragged, or Waterville? Has character been sacrificed there in trail layout and design?
  • JimKJimK advanced
    Posts: 213
    Mt. Abram ME and Black Mtn NH strike me as mtns that have some advanced terrain and some very easy terrain, but not so much in the middle?  Windham NY has a lot of intermediate terrain, but maybe not so interesting??
  • Posts: 1,871
    JimK said:

    Mt. Abram ME and Black Mtn NH strike me as mtns that have some advanced terrain and some very easy terrain, but not so much in the middle?  Windham NY has a lot of intermediate terrain, but maybe not so interesting??

    I know both mountains well and they both have great intermediate offerings. They have lots of narrow trails that aren't obvious at first, but are very fun, but not hard, to ski when you find them!
    - Sam
  • Posts: 1,871

    We can't have great intermediate skiing be without character. Since we're talking about NH skiing how about Gunstock, Loon, Ragged, or Waterville? Has character been sacrificed there in trail layout and design?

    Unfortunately, like most big resorts, I've found that Sunapee, Gunstock and Ragged have lost a lot of character to trail grading and widening. It seems that the same is true at Loon and Waterville, but I've never been to either.
    - Sam
  • Posts: 887

    JimK said:

    Mt. Abram ME and Black Mtn NH strike me as mtns that have some advanced terrain and some very easy terrain, but not so much in the middle?  Windham NY has a lot of intermediate terrain, but maybe not so interesting??

    I know both mountains well and they both have great intermediate offerings. They have lots of narrow trails that aren't obvious at first, but are very fun, but not hard, to ski when you find them!
    So, we know that two of the four North Conway-area resorts have much to offer regarding great intermediate trails. That leaves Cranmore and Attitash. Will they uphold the standard set by the other two or will they leave us all disappointed?

  • edited May 2015 Posts: 1,871

    JimK said:

    Mt. Abram ME and Black Mtn NH strike me as mtns that have some advanced terrain and some very easy terrain, but not so much in the middle?  Windham NY has a lot of intermediate terrain, but maybe not so interesting??

    I know both mountains well and they both have great intermediate offerings. They have lots of narrow trails that aren't obvious at first, but are very fun, but not hard, to ski when you find them!
    So, we know that two of the four North Conway-area resorts have much to offer regarding great intermediate trails. That leaves Cranmore and Attitash. Will they uphold the standard set by the other two or will they leave us all disappointed?

    It's seems that they will probably fall in between with some developed wide trails, but also some narrow, more fun trails.
    - Sam
  • Posts: 887
    That doesn't sound promising. Who could verify what Attitash and Cranemore are like?
  • Posts: 1,871
    It's sad seeing the new, large resorts with increased uphill capacity widen their classic trails to increase their downhill capacity so it's nice to visit the areas at which this hasn't happened yet!
    - Sam
  • Posts: 887

    It's sad seeing the new, large resorts with increased uphill capacity widen their classic trails to increase their downhill capacity so it's nice to visit the areas at which this hasn't happened yet!


    True enough! I feared Mt. Snow would be like that but that is a fantastic blue square paradise. Lots of contour on the trails following the shape of the mountain and plenty of spots with pitch. Now, IF ONLY, some of those old lifts (like the Mixing Bowl double and the skis-on gondolas) had been left intact!!
  • Posts: 1,871

    It's sad seeing the new, large resorts with increased uphill capacity widen their classic trails to increase their downhill capacity so it's nice to visit the areas at which this hasn't happened yet!


    True enough! I feared Mt. Snow would be like that but that is a fantastic blue square paradise. Lots of contour on the trails following the shape of the mountain and plenty of spots with pitch. Now, IF ONLY, some of those old lifts (like the Mixing Bowl double and the skis-on gondolas) had been left intact!!
    Sadly there are very few interesting lifts left these days. :((
    - Sam
  • JimKJimK advanced
    Posts: 213
    Attitash has appeal.  IMHO the original mtn has more character.  Bear Peak has the modern wider, straight-down-the-fall-line trails, but has a few interesting glades.
  • becca_mbecca_m advanced
    edited May 2015 Posts: 112
    I found Attitash pretty dull, too, but, the top of Attitash had an interesting trail off the really slow chair.   As others have said, most are pretty dull due to widening/snowmaking.   I just entertain myself trying to keep to the very edge and keeping turns tight to practice for when the natural snow hits and I can get to glades & earning turns on old CCC trails.   I do want to get to Black Mtn NH.    
  • newpylongnewpylong advanced
    Posts: 483
    becca_m said:

    You guys will yell at me, but, I find Sunapee excruciatingly boring for blue square terrain - so wide and without character (to me!).    No matter what I took, I was bored - I don't plan to go back... ever....

    I would agree. 
  • mapnutmapnut expert
    Posts: 772
    I think Waterville valley is one of the poorest mountains for intermediates, especially for lower intermediates trying to advance. That was my daughter's experience years ago. There are about 6 nearly identical straight, wide, parallel blue runs off the main chair, all a bit steep for someone trying to move up from the easier trails - of which there are only three. Green Peak will help that, if it ever gets built.
  • abubobabubob advanced
    Posts: 103

    Unfortunately, like most big resorts, I've found that Sunapee, Gunstock and Ragged have lost a lot of character to trail grading and widening. It seems that the same is true at Loon and Waterville, but I've never been to either.

    Ragged's Showboat (albeit a black diamond) is a prime example of this. From about the middle just before it's steepest pitch is a cool fall line offers several different lines that fan out from the top.  While they haven't actually graded it (yet) what they do groom a wide flat lane that obliterates the natural slope.

    What it should be.
    image

    What they've been doing lately
    image
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