My Mt. Ellen Ski Day
Friday, January 27, 2017
Written by Gerry Nooney
My cooking skills outweigh my skiing skills, but I'm working on it. Follow me around the grocery store, and I can show you the best deals, quality ingredients and some cool stuff you might overlook. Follow me around the mountain, and I might still make a good guide, if not as good. I've been skiing awhile at Sugarbush and like to think I know my way around at this point. Here's a look at my favorite ski day at Mt. Ellen.
Best day of the week to ski Mellon is Thursday. For starters it always snows on Wednesday. It's also $30 Thursday in the Green Mountain Lounge with some of the best après music around, as well as Cabot cheese giveaways and Long Trail deals. I'm always looking for a deal.
We start the day with coffee and a quick hello with Shelia in the base lodge. I eat a big breakfast at home though a full breakfast is available in the lodge. GMX is running by 8 AM (I'm usually not) so it's a nice way to warm up arcing turns down the corduroy before the crowds arrive. Note that the loading and off-loading ramps at Mt. Ellen lifts are the best we have; Mopey keeps them on task. I always skip Straight Shot and head over to Crackerjack, I like working on my railroad track turns on the flats and enjoy the pitch at the end. The snow is always good there. Tumbler is one of my top trails at Sugarbush and it never disappoints. Tumbler Woods lets me exit out onto Lower FIS so I can check out the snow before I start working the upper lifts. As the upper lifts start I always make sure I have one giant top to bottom cruiser down Rim Run, Elbow, Northstar and finishing on Crackerjack. Easily one of the longest fall line runs in the east.
Now its lunch and I head over to Walt's at the Glen House. One Sip of Sunshine and one Mountain Goat is a pretty solid lunch. I add a Toblerone chocolate bar to stuff in my pocket and I'm on my way. I'll hit FIS, upper and lower for my second top to bottom run of the day. I usually look at Black Diamond and say, "next time". That trail really beats me up. I like the little wiggly kid's wood in between Lookin' Good and Lower Rim Run. Reminds me of skiing with my boy and gets me excited to ski with my soon to arrive granddaughter. By now GMVS is off of Inverness and I'll ski across to sample Brambles and Semi Tough. My legs are tired and I'm thirsty but I'll try and grab one run down either Exterminator Woods or Bravinator Woods. If common sense prevails I'll opt for Way Back Woods, which is a little gentler late in the day.
Now it's time head back to the Lodge. Let's see if there is still a slice of pizza left (Mt Ellen's is the best) and then head to the Green Mountain Lounge and see what local musical act is playing. I usually grab a Flyin' Ryan from Jim or Jeannie as part of the Long Trail promotion. The level of entertainment in this area is really incredible and the intimate setting on Thursdays at Mt. Ellen can't be beat. Last week Bruce Issacson, proprietor of Fit to Be Thai'd, played and did one of the most soulful Van Morrison covers I've heard.
That's how I like to spend my day at Mt. Ellen: a great mix of cruisers, steeps, wood and glades, local food, craft beer and great music. All you need to do is add friends