Sugarbush — Mountain layout
Sugarbush is divided into two separate areas, Lincoln Peak Area and Mt. Ellen, connected by a 10-minute ride on rollercoaster-like, high-speed quad chair lift.
Each of these mountains has sub-areas with their own distinct flavors. Lincoln Peak has four separate mountains, ranging from the extreme runs of Castlerock Peak to the gentle slopes of North Lynx Peak. Mt. Ellen, one of few mountains in Vermont over 4,000 feet, has three double-diamond runs plummeting off its summit complemented by good cruising terrain below. Here is a larger, more detailed trail map.
|Expert, Advanced: At Lincoln Peak, the runs served by Castlerock lift are serious blacks and no place for the timid. The entire Castlerock area offers narrow New England-style steeps, and if you
e lucky the Castlerock run will occasionally be groomed, making for a heavenly smooth steep. The Castlerock double chair is popular with those in this ability level, so be aware that sometimes there is a wait, usually not more than eight to 10 minutes. The benefit is that these narrow trails do not fill up with yahoo skiers. You have to want to be there to end up at Castlerock. From the summit of Lincoln Peak and the top of the Heavens Gate triple, experts can drop down Ripcord or Paradise, two double-black-diamond runs that frequently bump up. The more wide-open Organgrinder (the old gondola lift line), which we dubbed “Organ Donor,” is a wide, steep run that dares you to ski fast. Steins Run, accessible by either the Super Bravo Express or the Valley House Double chairlifts, is another long, steep, mogul run. Egans Woods, to skiers left of Steins Run, is no doubt where extreme skier John Egan plays.
Mt. Ellen is primarily an intermediate playground, though the double blacks at the top—F.I.S., Black Diamond, Exterminator and Bravo (the latter a single diamond)—are among the toughest in New England. The Green Mountain Express high-speed quad from the base connects to the Summit Quad, allowing easy access to the top.
|Intermediate: Intermediates should start at the Super Bravo chair on Lincoln Peak, then traverse to the Heavens Gate triple. Once at the summit, take Upper Jester, a run full of fun switchbacks that take you back to the top of the Super Bravo lift. From here, choose from Downspout, Domino, Snowball, Murphys Glades or Lower Jester. On a busy day, these runs are crowded with skiers. Intermediates also tend to flock to the North Lynx triple on the upper part of North Lynx Peak. Here, the views are good, and the runs sometimes bump up.
The slopes tend to be less crowded on the lower part of North Lynx Peak and parts of Gadd Peak. Eden, a tree-skiing area on Gadd Peak, is the place to learn to navigate glades. Spring Fling is wide-open and attracts few skiers and is great for long, fast turns.
Mt. Ellen has wide-open cruising runs. On the map, the intermediate runs from the top of the Summit quad chair seem relatively short, but the map is misleading. The Rim Run, connecting to Upper Lookin Good, Lower Rim Run, Cruiser and Straight Shot, is a classic cruising runs. The other intermediate section is Inverness, served by a quad chair.
|Beginner,First-timer: North Lynx Peak on the far right side of the Lincoln Peak is a good place for beginners. Start on Pushover and Easy Rider and then graduate to Slowpoke and Sleeper. At Mt. Ellen, Walts Trail is a long green run from the top of the Inverness chair.
For first-timers, Lincoln Peak has Easy Rider, a gentle slope served by a double chair. Mt. Ellen has Easy Street and Sugar Run, off to one side and also served by a double chair.