Jay Peak

VER­MONT

SKI - - EAST - —J.C.

Jay de­serves to have a cult fol­low­ing just for the pou­tine at the Tram Haus bar alone. But in fact, Ver­mont’s north­ern­most re­sort earned its hard­core fol­low­ing long be­fore its con­tro­ver­sial EB-5 For­eign In­vestor Act–fu­eled ex­plo­sion of slope­side lux­ury and di­ver­sions, which has ut­terly trans­formed the place over the past decade. Long be­fore the high-end ho­tels and stu­pen­dously huge slope­side wa­ter park, there was a moun­tain, a tram, an above-av­er­age snow­pack, and an un­usual pol­icy: If you could see it, you could ski it. That is, the trees weren’t off-lim­its, as at most re­sorts back then; if you wanted to ski them—safely and sen­si­bly, of course—no one was go­ing to pull your pass. Real skiers loved it, driv­ing there in droves (and a long drive it re­mains to­day) to tear up the glades from Tim­buktu to Be­yond Beaver Pond and bat­tle the sum­mit head­wall. Some­how that vibe en­dures, de­spite the masses drawn by Jay’s new ameni­ties. Some long-timers are a lit­tle grumpy about the up­scale makeover. (“Jay has overde­vel­oped it­self.” “Once a great moun­tain; now a con­glom­er­ate busi­ness re­sort.”) Oth­ers sus­pect the wa­ter park helps keep the gapers off the hill. (“It’s still Jay. You go there to ski.”) Bottom line: It’s the trees and top-ranked snow that keeps them com­ing back. “Best back­coun­try cul­ture on the East Coast. Great in bounds glades as well as lift-ac­cessed back and side coun­try.” “Seems to get its own weather sys­tems. The Jay Cloud pro­vides!”

WHAT’S NEW

Movies with beer in a 145-seat theater; a new climb­ing fa­cil­ity; 60 new guest cot­tages.

OFF-THE-MAP TRAIL

Green Beret, skier’s left off Ver­mon­ter, might be Jay’s best glade. When the tram’s closed, use Bon­aven­ture and hit Ver­tigo.

FAM­ILY AC­TIV­ITY

Jay’s mas­sive Pump House wa­ter park. Yes, it’s a sign of the apoca­lypse, but it’s an in­cred­i­bly fun one.

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