On-Mountain Navigation

Where to Start at Lincoln Peak

For most folks, we typically recommend you start on our Gate House Quad.  This is where you can access the largest amount of our groomed green and blue terrain.  First run out, you should definitely hit the Pushover Trail.  It’s our signature green trail and a great way for you to assess how steep our runs are.  We find that many of our newer guests, particularly those from more southern locations, often find our terrain to be much steeper than what they’re used to.  That’s why Pushover is a great first run.  If you do find our terrain to be a bit more challenging than you were expecting, don’t forget you can connect with one of our Adventure Guides at the Ski & Ride School.  They would be stoked to offer coaching on how to improve your skills.  From here, we recommend you venture onto Sleeper, our premiere intermediate blue groomer.  Sleeper is by far the most favored run at Sugarbush, particularly amongst our little guests. And it serves as a prime hashtag location.  With winding rollers and wide-open trees, it’s great fun for everyone.  While on Gate House if you care for freestyle terrain, you should hit our Slow Poke Terrain Park, which is full of all snow made features like jumps, rollers, drops and snakes. 

After Gate House, we typically recommend folks head on up to North Lynx Triple.  This is a natural progression for most abilities and the next closest lift.  First run down, always start with Birch – the only groomed blue off this lift.  Since North Lynx Peak is our most south facing of all the peaks, it’s where most locals will go when conditions are firm or when they want to chase some rays.  North Lynx is also the primary inlet for Slidebrook our renowned off-piste, experts only, side country terrain.  But before you drop into Slidebrook, please consult our Off-Trail Policy prior to.  Remember, when you head into this basin you are leaving the ski resort boundary.  At the bottom of the Slidebrook run out you can hitch a ride back to either mountain via the GMT Bus.  Another insider’s tip about the North Lynx Peak is that it’s where our Sunrise First Tracks takes place.  Serviced by the Lincoln Limo Cabin Cat, you and 11 of your friends and family can rent the cat in the mornings before the lifts start spinning for private cat served skiing or riding.  On a powder day, there is nothing better than this unique experience.  

From North Lynx, next up is the Super Bravo Express Quad.  This is the resort’s prime mover.  Keep in mind when you hop on this this lift that it does not service any green circle terrain.  At the top of Bravo, we recommend you take your first run down Lower Jester, our windiest blue groomer.  On run number two, you can’t miss our signature Snowball to Spring Fling.  The view from the top of Spring Fling is a memory maker.  It’s the perfect place to get your hashtag on.  Our snowmakers pump out enormous depths of snow on these two trails, which is why they normally carry us well into May.  Skiing or riding down Snowball on a layer of fresh corduroy on a blue bird day is like skiing on a blanket of diamonds.  Sparkle city.  This run is first chair worthy.

Now it’s time to graduate to our upper mountain lifts, starting with Heaven’s Gate Triple.  Here you arise to the top of Lincoln Peak where you can take your gear off and hike up to the Observation Deck for breathtaking views of Lake Champlain, New York’s Adirondack Mountains and New Hampshire’s White Mountains. To complement your Lower Jester experience, you must start with Jester.  It’s the only blue groomer we’ve got from here.  See if you can keep track of the number of turns you make while descending, that’s if you can peel your eyes away from the incredible views.  Next up will depend on your skill level and appetite for challenge.  If you’re a black diamond lover, we say get ‘em all! Organgrinder, Paradise (yes, we know Mad River Glen has one too) and Ripcord are all fantastic.  Your decision may depend on whether you like it bumped, wooded or groomed.

After conquering the top of Lincoln Peak, the last frontier serving black diamond terrain only is the Castlerock Double where you will find that old school Vermont style with long, narrow steeps covered in rocks, drops, bumps and stumps – a sure thing for powder hounds.  It’s the lift served part of Sugarbush that is most like our iconic neighbor, skier’s only Mad River Glen.  Castlerock is where the chairs move slow and the rides are cozy. It can be a great opportunity to meet a plus one. We’ve heard heaps of stories from our passholders on how they met their significant other on a chairlift.   Being on Castlerock is a bit like taking a step back in time and is a right-of-passage for our locals and passholders.  When you get to the top, be sure to pop into the Castlerock Warming Hut (also known as The Gables) and say hi to our awesome Patrol.  If are you are lucky enough to catch them on the right day and time, they may even share some of their hot food off the skillet.  Any run off Castlerock will be adventurous and memorable.  We like starting with Castlerock Run to Troll Road.  Next up, you should probably hit Middle Earth, which sometimes boasts bumps as big as VW bugs.  If your legs can take a third, try Lift Line, home to the famous Castlerock Extreme, or Rumble, which became the name of our owner, Win Smith’s, beloved Bernese Mountain Dog.

What didn’t we hit on this Lincoln Peak Terrain Tour?  The Valley House Quad, which services terrain also accessible via Super Bravo.  A signature run located right off Valley House is Stein’s Run named for Stein Erickson one of Sugarbush’s first Ski School Directors and one-time Norwegian Olympian.  We also didn’t dive into any of the wooded areas located within our resort boundary, arguably the best tree skiing and riding in the East.  Don’t believe us?  Just ask our guests when you get here.  How about you Uphill Travel enthusiasts? Yep, we got you covered.  Our evening routes head up the Gate House side while our morning routes ascend on Valley House. Check out our Uphill Travel Policy for specific details including times and routes, how to obtain your pass, and what to know before you go.

Where to Start at Mt. Ellen

For most folks, we recommend you start on the Green Mountain Express Quad (GMX) and head straight to Northstar.  It’s a fun and winding green groomer that leads you back to the base area via either Straight Shot, right under the chair, or Cracker Jack.  Next up, Joe’s Cruiser a super sweet blue groomer but this time don’t go to the bottom, instead stop at the base of North Ridge.

Now that you’ve gotten a couple runs under your belt, next up, the North Ridge Express Quad (NRE).  From here, you should try taking Elbow to Which Way. Both are blue groomers with a few sections of challenging steeps.  Once you’re at the bottom, hop back on the NRE, where now we recommend a spin down Lookin’ Good, the blue groomer that will take you to the upper mountain lift.

You did it, you’re there and ready to ascend The Madame Four Thousand-Footer.  The ride on Summit Quad is a bit slow providing a nice opportunity to rest your tired quads.  At the top of Summit head around to the blue groomer, Panorama, for the magical views across Lake Champlain to the New York’s Adirondacks and sweeping views up the Green Mountains to Camel’s Hump and Mt. Mansfield.  This is another key hashtag location.  Many guests feel, and we quite agree, that the views form the top of Mt. Ellen are superior.  From here, you’ll be heading down our blue groomer, Rim Run, but be sure you poke your head over the side of the famous F.I.S. double black to see what next level Mt. Ellen looks like.  After you make your way down Rim Run, plan to head all the way down to the bottom. 

Need some Vitamin D? Yeah, we thought you might.  The Sunshine Quad, which is truly our sunniest lift, is full of Vitamin D…aring!  Here you can enjoy front row seating to as you watch those crazy kids send it in Riemergasse.  We recommend all skiers and riders consider a swoosh down Riemergasse or that they hit the Sugar Run progression park next door.  Please keep in mind it’s really easy to navigate this groomed green circle area without having to huck yourself over a jump or rail.  Just make sure if you opt to stop and watch that it’s in a safe spot so you don’t impede the flow.

Last up… INVERNESS.  Yep, we saved the best for last. Or so we think.  You’ll finish the day on the Inverness Triple and take an Olympian’s run down the blue, groomed Inverness Trail, boasting wide, wide open rollers and some of the finest corduroy around.  When you get to the bottom go ahead and give yourself a high five because you did it.  You rocked Mt. Ellen.

So, what didn’t we hit on our Mt. Ellen Terrain Tour?  The wicked fun black diamonds of Exterminator, The Cliffs, Hammerhead and Lower F.I.S.  We also didn’t dive into any of the wooded areas located within our resort boundary, arguably the best tree skiing and riding in the East.  Your decision to explore some of this other terrain will depend on whether you like it bumped, wooded or groomed. How about you Uphill Travel enthusiasts?  Yep, Mt. Ellen’s got that too.  Our evening and morning route are one in the same, taking you all the way to the Summit if you really want to feel the burn.  Be sure to check out our Uphill Travel Policy to get specific details including times and routes, how to obtain your pass, and what to know before you go.