Steepest Trail in Quebec - La Dynamite, Mont Tremblant

Located approximately 80 miles north west of the cosmopolitan city of Montreal, in the Mont Tremblant National Park lies the year-round resort of Mont Tremblant.  In the winter, the resort is a popular destination for many skiers on both sides of the border. In the summer, the area is popular for boating, golfing and IRONMAN triathlons. The IRONMAN swim is held in Lac Tremblant which is a pristine lake that laps up against the resort. Tremblant, as it is commonly referred to, is diminutive even by Laurentian Mountain standards, at only 2871 feet, it isn’t in the top 35 highest peaks of the mountain range and almost a full 1000 feet smaller than Mont Raoul Blancher which is the highest peak in the Laurentains.  However, Mont Tremblant still offers up some surprisingly challenging skiing. USA citizens frequently state that when they go to Tremblant it is like going back to the old country, since it has a very European feel to it, although the colorful buildings resemble Reykjavik, Iceland more than the buildings of Chamonix. 

Overall, the place is awesome!  For anyone who lives south of the border and wants a genuine European flavor for a ski weekend, this is the place to go.

La Dynamite is infamous terrain for countless skiers in the United States and Canada. The trail is situated on the Nord side of Tremblant and can be accessed via the Expo Express Chair.  The Expo slope is known to be the steepest area on the mountain and Dynamite is the crown jewel of all Quebec steep skiing – the trail has the steepest sustained pitch of any inbounds trail in the 527,079 sq. miles of Quebec.  It is one of only three trails in Quebec that have sustained pitches over 30 degrees, the others are Alexander Dispatie at Mont Chantecler and La S at Mont St. Anne.

Dynamite can be divided into two segments the upper half is a “simple” double black diamond mogul run, the lower half of the trail is as difficult as they come on the East coast, to say it is a valid double black diamond is not an exaggeration. This discussion will be limited to the lower half of the trail.  This segment of Dynamite, carries a pucker factor that will put butterflies in the stomach, of all but the most skilled skiers.  There is a frozen waterfall/headwall that needs to be navigated in order to access the bottom half of the trail. To make matters worse, if you get past the headwall you will still have mogul after mogul to deal with before the trail ends at the intersection of Expo.  Dynamite is very similar to Rumor at Gore Mountain in NY. They both have very steep headwalls followed by a mogul field, although Dynamite is 25 feet narrower than Rumor. The trail is appropriately named – Dynamite will unleash an explosion of demolition if you don’t have your “A” game.

While La Dynamite maybe the steepest trail, the hardest trail in Quebec is one you have probably never heard of it is called La Pirouette at Ski LaReserve.

To see my full review of Mont Tremblant click HERE


Steepest Ski Trail in New York - The Slides, Whiteface

Whiteface Mountain is one of the premier ski destinations in the eastern United States because of the lively nightlife scene in nearby Lake Placid and it has the greatest vertical drop in the east at 3,430 feet.    Whiteface hosted the 1980 Winter Olympic alpine skiing events (the 1932 Olympics didn’t contest alpine skiing). The slalom and giant slalom were won by the greatest skier of all time, Ingemar Stenmark (not Lindsey).  The downhill was won by Austrian Leonard Stock. Andrew “The Warhorse” Weibrecht, who won a bronze medal in the Super G at the 2010 Winter Olympics and a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics, grew up skiing at Whiteface.   The average snowfall is around 168 inches per year plus 98% of the mountain trails are serviced by snowmaking. The mountain is located in Wilmington, New York.

Whiteface Mountain

The Slides were formed hundreds of years ago by avalanches that ripped away trees and rocks to create a series of scars from the summit of the mountain.  Fortunately, for skiers, these 35 acres offer an outstanding expert skiing opportunity the Slides were considered out of bounds until the 94-95 season when Whiteface opened them to the public.  The Slides are legitimate double black diamond skiing.  As noted they were formed by avalanches, so they can be wide open in places, but they also hold narrow chutes, especially when you get into Slides 3 and 4.  It should be noted that rarely can you just go to Whiteface, get off the lift and ski them.  The Slides are open only when Ski Patrol deems them safe, which generally occurs in the Spring.  When they are open, the patrol has an Olympic themed rating system. If the Slides are open with a Silver rating, Ski Patrol requires avalanche precautions such as a beacon, shovel and probe.  If the Slides are open with a rating of Gold, they can be skied without avalanche gear, but you skiers must be in groups of two or more. And yes, they do check. 

The Slides are accessed from the Summit Quad Chair, which actually ends 500’ below the summit.  Once at the summit, the entrance to the Slides is immediately to your right when offloading from the chair.  If they are open you will be greeted by a member of the ski patrol, standing next to orange mesh fencing.  Once ski patrol has admitted you to the Slides, there is an uphill traverse/side step that is required to access the terrain.  Once on the Slides, below you will be what Mother Nature has offered up – there is no snowmaking and no grooming – you are skiing backcountry, while still on an inbounds trail, also known as side country.  On the descent you will encounter shrubs, trees, rocks, cliffs, frozen waterfalls, variable conditions and if you ski them on a great day…powder – take it seriously.

The Slides at Whiteface!  The steepest skiing in New York State. Photo courtesy of Jim Kenney.

The Slides at Whiteface! The steepest skiing in New York State. Photo courtesy of Jim Kenney.

The four Slides are arranged like fingers on your hand, with the start being the tips of your fingers and then they all funnel into one area, the palm.  Each Slide is accessed by traversing further out from the entrance to the slides. Slide 1 is the first Slide you will encounter and the “easiest”. The slides get progressively more difficult until you get to Slide 4, which is the highest degree of technical skills.  The two slides really worth doing are 1 and 3. Slide 1 has been compared to a western resort bowl, Hillman’s Highway at Tuckerman’s Ravine, or its neighbor to the left Upper Skyward.   Slide 1 is generally considered the easiest of the 4 slides, even with a sustained pitch of 37.26 degrees, the steepest in Eastern North America.  Additionally, the trail averages 32.01 over the entire length of the trail, making it the 3rd steepest trail from top to bottom on the East Coast.  However, it is not the steepness that makes this trail difficult, it is the series of frozen waterfalls.  These waterfalls are un-skiable during the majority of the season, unless you are a former World Cup racer and have race tuned edges, thus they are the main reason the slides usually don’t open until the spring.  Once they soften up they do become skiable, although tricky. While Slide 1 is wide open, the trickier Slide 3 is not. Slide 3 is a precipitous and constricted chute that requires extreme faith in your skiing skills, because you drop into a sightless line.  A word of caution, at least on your first descent, keep your velocity under control or you find yourself in deep stuff as there is a series of ledges that need to piloted.

So, there you have the Slides of Whiteface.  They are some of the best skiing the Northeast has to offer, when open.  However, that is where they fail, they lack dependability.   Will they be open when you get there?  Most likely no.  Then again did you remember to pack your probe/shovel/transceiver?  Most likely no.

Steepest Ski Trail in Massachusetts, Upper Liftline, Jiminy Peak

The trails of Jiminy Peak are carved into Potter Mountain which is situated along a major  ridgeline within the Taconic Mountains of Western Massachusetts. The ridgeline has a couple major peaks, one being Jiminy Peak and the other being Widow White’s Peak (named after a previous landowner).  The ski area was due to open in the winter of ’47-’48, but due to excessive snow the construction couldn’t be completed. The area officially opened for the 1948-49 ski season with a pair of rope tows and a T-bar.  The area then underwent two major expansions first in 1964 and then in 1998. From the opening of the resort until 1964, the pinnacle of Jiminy Peak was the Merry Go Round trail. However, in 1964 a double chairlift was installed add more vertical to the mountain along with some new trails. Jiminy Peak expanded onto Widow White’s Peak in 1998 opening up five trails, mostly intermediate.

Upper Liftline

Pop Quiz…What do Upper Liftline (Jiminy Peak), DJ’s Tramline (Cannon) and Devil’s Fiddle (Killington) have in common?  If you guessed they are three of the hardest trails in the east, you would be wrong!  However, if you guessed all three trails are rarely open, due to lack of any fans or nozzles which blend compressed air and water to create dust on crust – you are correct. This is a somewhat interesting fact because 96% of Jiminy Peak has snowmaking.   However, when the Liftline trail is open, which does occur after a couple heavy snow falls or a consistently productive winter, you will find a 44 foot wide trail that offers up a sustained pitch of 28.23 degrees making Upper Liftline the steepest trail in Massachusetts. When the rope is dropped on the trail, you will be rewarded with a trail that can become a mogul field. As you have probably guessed, based on the name of the trail you will have attentive audience above you on the Berkshire Express while you navigate this steep, narrow bump run.  The downside is the trail is short and dumps out into a maze of green circle trails.

There is an interesting story circulating about this trail that involves the Kennedy’s.  In the 1970’s, Ted Kennedy and his family would frequent the Berkshires and spent time skiing at Brodie and Jiminy Peak.  At the time, Brian Fairbank was the CEO of Jiminy and invited Ted Kennedy to ski Upper Liftline with him, to which he accepted.  When Kennedy reached the bottom of the trail he turned to Mr. Fairbank as stated, “What are you trying to do, kill me?". The quote is a little spooky since Senator Kennedy’s nephew, Michael, was killed in a skiing accident in 1997 at Aspen.


Steepest Ski Trail in New Hampshire - Kinsman Glade, Cannon

Located off the tram at Cannon are two trails that are capable of making the preponderance of skiers and riders proclaim, “Damn, you would need to be absolutely Kray-Kray to attempt that nonsense!”.  The trails are DJ’s Tramline and Kinsman Glade. Many may go so far as to say the trails are as evil and twisted as the infamous twins, Reggie and Ronnie Kray, who were the origin for the slang term that uses the brothers surname.  While DJ’s Tramline is one of the most famous trails in Eastern North America and is often touted as the hardest run in the East, Kinsman Glade is no slouch and some may argue it is even harder than DJ’s. The glade is located to the left of DJ’s Tramline when looking up the mountain and shares many of the same steep pitches.  In fact, DJ’s sustained pitch is 32.28 degrees and Kinsman checks in at an incredible 35.22, making it the fifth steepest trail in Eastern North America and the steepest trail in New Hampshire. This pitch coupled with the spruces, firs, hemlocks, pines, ashes, elms, maples, oaks and a plethora of other trees native to New Hampshire that are interspersed over the 3471 feet of the trail is what really amps up the level of difficulty.   While DJ’s is known to have massive boulders on the trail, Kinsman is not as rocky. But, that is like saying Pam Anderson has small boobs when comparing them to Dolly Parton. Kinsman still has the ability to rip a core shot in through the base of your skis that will leave you viewing You Tube videos on how to apply p-tex. In fact, unlike its 2nd cousin, Paradise at Mad River Glen, Kinsman is rarely open because of the amount of snow cover, greater than two feet, needed to make the trail skiable. 

Kinsman starts off mellow for the first 700 feet, but after that the trail drops and maintains 30 degrees plus the next 2000 feet.  Kinsman lulls you into thinking you’ve got everything in control because the first 700 of the trail is nothing more than a blue square that rambles along at a less than impressive 14 degrees.  It is around the 700 feet mark that Kinsman becomes like the carnival ride, the Rotor. The floor drops out from underneath you, however like the carnival ride you won’t stick to the wall, in this ride, gravity takes over and there are no escape routes at this time, because the trees are too thick.  Plus, even if you did manage to traverse through the woods, your exit would be DJs Tramline! It maintains the pitch until about 2400 feet into the trail where it mellows to approximately at 22-degree pitch until the end.

The incredible thing about the trail is that it was first envisioned in 1946 when an individual by the name of Steve Bradley wrote a letter to the ski trail architect Sel Hannah, suggesting a “slalom glade” with trees forty to fifty feet apart by the tram.  However, his vision wasn’t recognized until 2002 when Kinsman officially appeared as a trail. To think of skiing Kinsman on wood slabs with a cable binding and lace up leather boots seems near suicidal, you really have to give it to the old timers and what they thought and many times were capable of doing on their equipment.


Steepest Ski Slope in North Carolina, Whoopdeedoo, Sugar Mountain

Sugar Mountain is located in Banner Elk, North Carolina, which is approximately 2.5 hours northwest of North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte.  It is the south’s largest ski area with 20 ski trails. The summit of Sugar Mountain is 5,236 feet above sea level, which is higher than any lift served ski area in New York, New England and Quebec.  However, the mountain boasts only 1200 vertical feet. Keep in mind, you don’t need extreme vertical to create technically great skiers, as evidenced by Buck Hill, Minnesota whose race program sent Kristina Koznik and Lindsey Vonn to the Olympics, all from 310 vertical feet.  Even with the summit sitting at nearly a mile above sea level, Sugar only receives, on average, 77 inches of snow per year. However, the resort augments the natural snowfall with an impressive snowmaking arsenal that covers 100% of the skiing terrain. Sugar Mountain provides an outstanding weekend getaway for skiers of all abilities. 

Whoopdeedoo is the short trail at the top right of Sugar Mountain - photo courtesy of Mark Clifford

Whoopdeedoo is the short trail at the top right of Sugar Mountain - photo courtesy of Mark Clifford

Whoopdeedoo

Sugar Mountain is home to the only black diamond in the Tarheel state, the trail is named Whoopdeedoo.  The first question many Northern’s have regarding this trail is, “Is it really deserving of a double black diamond rating?”  The answer, when looking at only the steepness of the trail, is an undeniable yes. The trail has a sustained pitch of 31.21 degrees which is on par with such famous trails as Outer Limits (Killington), Stein’s Run (Sugarbush), Dynamite (Tremblant) and one of the hardest trails in Eastern North America, DJ’s Tramline.  The point being, the trail is steep enough that it will give plenty of skiers pause when standing at the precipice of the trail. But, to be clear, the trail doesn’t match the difficulty of the legendary trails mentioned earlier. Whoopdeedoo is generally groomed, so it lacks the moguls of Stein’s Run and Outer Limits, the frozen waterfall of Dynamite and the boulder fields of DJ’s Tramline.  In fact, the trail most similar to Whoopdeedoo is Niagara at Whiteface Mountain, which was a trail that the men caught ridiculous air off the top at the 1980 Olympics downhill. Besides the pitch, the other element of difficulty is the trail comes to an abrupt end on the Load Off trail, which is only 45 feet wide, so if you come in hot you will need to make a hard right on to the trail, otherwise you will be served up a tasty lunch of bark, cambium, heartwood and pith.

Sugar-Skiing.jpg

If you are in North Carolina and decide to ski Whoopdeedoo, you will need to ride the Summit Express, a six seater detachable chairlift to the top of the mountain and exit the chair to the right.  To access the trail you will go past an “Experts Only” sign. It is at this point that you should attempt to score some G.N.A.R. points by getting the attention of a stranger near you and say, in a serious tone, without bursting into laughter and say. “Hey, I’m a better skier than you”. Or, even better, waive your arms and poles vigorously and yell at the top of your lungs, “I’m going to tear the crap out of this run!”.  But, before doing that, be sure to take in the view from the top of Whoopdeedoo because it is exceptional.

Steepest Ski Trail in New Jersey - Pipeline, Mountain Creek

Located in the northwest corner of Northern New Jersey, more precisely the Vernon Township, sits 1040 vertical feet of a ski resort, known as Mountain Creek Ski Resort.  The resort is located 47 miles from New York City, making it the closest ski resort to Manhattan, thus it is probably one of the busiest ski areas in the nation. 

Mountain Creek is home to the only open air gondola in the US.  In 1998, the first year under Interwest ownership, Mountain Creek installed a Dopplemayer high-speed eight-passenger open-air gondola, known as The Cabriolet.  The lift is basically a bucket with no seats, much like a tram, up to eight skiers hold on to their equipment while standing and taking the journey to the top of the mountain.  The lift is open air and provides no protection from the elements. For those of you who have visited Mont Tremblant, the lift is identical to the Cabriolet gondola in the Pedestrian Village.

Mountain Creek caters to all people whether they ski or ride or not.  The resort is home to the nation’s largest snow tubing park with 30 tubing lanes, the world’s largest Slip ‘N Slide and the world’s tallest and only double-looping waterslide, so even if your buddies don’t ski or ride there is plenty to do at Mountain Creek.

In Ehukai Beach Park on Oahu's North Shore is an area that is notoriously known for huge waves that form hollow curls of water where the surfers can shoot the tube.  This deadly wave, known as the Banzai Pipeline, averages 9 feet tall waves and the break has killed more surfers than any other surf spot in the world. While Pipeline at Mountain Creek can’t really be compared to the Banzai Pipeline, that comparison is better left to trails like Delirium Dive (Sunshine Village), Couloir de Polichinelle (La Grave, France), Body Bag (Crested Butte) and Corbet’s Couloir (Jackson Hole).  However, Pipeline at Mountain Creek does share a name with the famous surf spot.

Pipeline is the only double black diamond at Mountain Creek and is the undisputed nastiest trail on the mountain.  The history of this trail is sketchy, but it was initially part of Great Gorge and was allegedly harder “back in the day”, however it is unclear why it may have been harder such as narrower, ungroomed, bulldozed irregularities out of the terrain.  There is documentation in a 1988 edition of SKI Magazine that the trail was reopening, which may coincide with the taming of the trail in order to navigate a snow cat up the trail for grooming. In the past, the trail was called Upper and Lower Pipeline, today it is referred to just as Pipeline and the lower portion is part of a condominium complex.  This trail is very similar in steepness, width and length to other well-known trails such as Upper Skyward (Whiteface) and Alexander Dispatie (Mont Chantecler), both of which are signature runs at their respective mountains and have been used for major competitions. Upper Skyward was the start of the women’s downhill at the 1980 Olympics and Alexander Dispatie was used for the 2016 Sports Experts Speed Nation National Championships.  Additionally, the trail has a steeper sustained pitch, over 300 ft, at 29.01 degrees than such notable trails as: Gondy Line Ext (Sugarloaf), Shock Wave (Sunday River), Cloudspin (Whiteface), Black Magic (Magic Mountain) and Goat (Stowe) – yes Goat! To be clear Pipeline isn’t anywhere near as hard as any of the trails listed because it is groomed, doesn’t have a double fall line like Cloudspin and Goat and rock ledges like Black Magic and Goat and is much wider than Goat and Black Magic.  However, what does make Pipeline difficult is it is generally as icy as Madison Square Garden on a night the Rangers play, due to the southern location of the mountain, the amount of man-made snow (Mountain Creek has 1000 snow guns) and the number of “yahoos” who attempt to go down the only double black diamond on the mountain. There are two options to best experience New Jersey’s steepest trail in all its glory. First, wait for fresh snow and go mid-week during the day before the schools and ski clubs arrive.  Second, and the better option since Mountain Creek only averages 65” of snow per year, is to get out your tungsten carbide file and bevel tool and put an edge on your ski that could cut a ribeye.

The point being, the trail should not be disregarded just because it isn’t as hard or deadly has its name sake in Hawaii or because the trail is located in the “winter paradise” of New Jersey.


Steepest Trail in West Virginia, Lower Shay’s Revenge, Snowshoe

Snowshoe Mountain (The Shew), is located in Snowshoe, West Virginia and is part of the Allegheny Mountains.  Despite the name of the resort, the ski area is located on Cheat Mountain. Cheat Mountain is the second highest mountain in the state of West Virginia which tops out at 4,848 feet, only 15 feet smaller than Spruce Mountain.  The resort, which is the largest winter resort in the mid-Atlantic, has 256 skiable acres and 14 lifts, including 3 high speed quads servicing Snowshoe's 57 trails.  The resort receives between 125-135 inches of snow per year, however the area is known to supplement Mother Nature with a robust snowmaking system. 

Snowshoe owned by Alterra Mountain Company.  

Lower Shay’s Revenge in all of its bumped up glory - Photo provided by Showshoe Mountain.

Lower Shay’s Revenge in all of its bumped up glory - Photo provided by Showshoe Mountain.

Lower Shay’s Revenge

On the backside of Snowshoe Mountain is an area named the Western Territory which is home to two ski trails.  On the left side of the of the Western Express high-speed quad, as you look at the mountain is the black diamond trail, Cupp Run which was designed by 1968 three-time Olympic gold medal winner, Jean-Claude Killy.  On the other side of the lift is a trail that was cut in 1998 called Shay’s Revenge. Shay’s Revenge is divided into two sections, Shay’s Revenge and Lower Shay’s Revenge that result in a combined 1500-foot vertical drop.  The upper half of Shay’s is a run of the mill, generic black diamond that your average skier can skid and slide down and the advanced skier can strap on the rocket boosters and melt the bases of their skis. For the less confident skiers, there is a bailout option to Cupp Run to avoid Lower Shay’s Revenge.  Lower Shay’s is a double black diamond, although when it was opened in 1998 it was a black diamond and subsequently upgraded to a double black. Lower Shay’s is often marketed as the longest, steepest mogul field south of the Mason-Dixon line. The trail measures 3554 feet long and easily the longest double black diamond south of the Mason-Dixon.  However, it is not the steepest, that title goes to Whoopdeedoo at Sugar Mountain, NC which checks in with a sustained pitch of 31.21, compared to Lower Shay’s sustained pitch of 26.47. However, Whoopdeedoo is frequently groomed and is much shorter than Lower Shay’s. Snowshoe blows a lot of snow on this steep section and it is generally open with big bumps for a major portion of the ski season. 

Shays’ is arguably the toughest run in West Virginia and as some of the locals down in the hollow would say, “Meema, I’d done gotton on Shay’s and the mogul’s just kep’a comin’ and boy it liketa scared me to death.”

Looking down Lower Shays from the top.  Photo provided by Snowshoe Mountain

Looking down Lower Shays from the top. Photo provided by Snowshoe Mountain

Steepest Trail in Pennsylvania - Extrovert, Blue Knob

Extrovert is located at Blue Knob Blue Knob Ski Resort is located in Claysburg, Pa – about two hours east of Pittsburgh, the area is considered an upside-down mountain.  The lodge, parking, ticket windows are all located at the top of the mountain. When the conditions are right, Blue Knob is a strong contender for the best ski area, not only Pennsylvania, but the entire Mid-Atlantic region and while that may not mean much to folks who regularly ski in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Quebec, it should be noted that Blue Knob has some challenging terrain that can be enjoyed by even the best skiers.  Blue Knob is the highest skiable mountain (3,146 feet) in Pennsylvania with a vertical drop topping out at 1072 feet.

The mountain has not always operated as a ski area, quite the opposite, from 1952-1961 the Air Defense Command operated Claysburg Air Force Station at the mountain where members of the 772nd Radar Squadron worked.  The base began operations with the role to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit's radar scopes.  However, in 1961, due to budget constraints, the station was shuttered and the radar operations were shifted to Gibbsboro AFS in Pedricktown, NJ, subsequently that site was then shut down in 1992. Due to the height of the mountain, the prevailing idea was to transform the land and buildings from an Air Force Base to a ski area, thus providing a much-needed boost to the local economy that just lost a major employer when the base was relocated.  In 1962, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation created the Blue Knob Ski Area using both leased State Park land and adjoining private land. Trails, including Extrovert, were cut, lifts were installed and skiing began. The former Air Force station buildings were converted to support the ski area which were located at the top of the mountain, because it was a radar site, which is how Blue Knob became and upside down mountain. As noted earlier, Blue Knob is the best skiing in Pennsylvania, due to the relatively high elevation and north-facing slopes.  The downside to this geography is Blue Knob can be frigid and windy. The cold and windy environment combined with the lack of a robust snowmaking system is a perfect mixture for icy conditions, but who cares…Blue Knob has a bowl. While it doesn’t rival the back bowls of Vail, the Stembogan Bowl it is legitimate bowl, completely void of trees. Blue Knob is a skier’s mountain, you will not find a plush “Stein Erikson” type lodge or high speed quad lifts, but if you are looking for some challenging skiing, when you are in or near the 814, then point your vehicle toward Blue Knob.

Blue Knob Extrovert Double Black Diamond.jpg

Extrovert is actually divided into two trails, Upper and Lower, both are rated as double black diamonds.  The trail is steep, narrow, ungroomed and generally contains blue ice moguls, so hard you would need a jackhammer to get rid of them. To compound the situation, sharp edges generally don’t help you in icy mogul fields since carving turns isn’t required. Upper Extrovert turns into Lower Extrovert when the trail intersects with Lower Route 66 and Lower High Hopes which happen to be the three hardest trails on the mountain.  Where these trails merge creates the perfect storm of tight, irregular and titanic moguls that will sink any skier that decides to sit back. Extrovert is a legit double black diamond even by Vermont standards, the trail is the steepest in Pennsylvania (although Avalanche at Denton may have been steeper when Denton was open) and has a sustained pitch (sustained defined as 300 ft.) of 30.98 degrees making it the only trail in Pennsylvania to top out above 30 degrees.  To put that in perspective, there are only 23 trails in Eastern North America with a greater sustained pitch and that list reads like an East Coast Hall of Fame list with trails such as Dynamite (Tremblant), Face Chutes (Jay Peak), Upper Lift Line (Smugglers Notch), DJ’s Tramline (Cannon), and when you combine the pitch with the minimalist width of the trail, which is a scant 69 feet, it becomes evident that this is a difficult trail. However, the Mid-Atlantic thaw and freeze weather patterns compound the difficulty creating ice clods doubling as moguls. When skiing the trail you will need all of your extroversion characteristics to be concerned with the physical environment, even though Extrovert is in Pennsylvania don’t write it off as a “hack” trail, it isn’t!  In fact, the trail is regularly mentioned in conversations as one of the hardest trails in the east.

Extrovert on a rare packed powder day.  Photo by  Jim Kenney

Extrovert on a rare packed powder day. Photo by Jim Kenney

To learn more about Blue Knob visit their website at: https://blueknob.com/