White Cap, Barker Mountain, Spruce Peak, Aurora Peak, Oz, Jordan Bowl
Trails: Beginner, Intermediate, Expert
Overview – From White Cap Lodge – White Cap – Barker Mountain – Spruce Peak – Aurora Peak – Lunch @ Sliders – Jordan Bowl - OZ - Return to White Cap Lodge
1. 9–10:30 AM – Warming up on White Cap, Hitting the Headwall and Some Glades if You Wish
Start your day by parking at the White Cap Lodge. There's no breakfast service at this lodge – but hey, you're here for the skiing, right? Start by taking the Tempest Quad. When you reach the top, head back down the lift line on Tempest, and then bear right onto Heat's On to access the White Heat Quad. Prepare for a ride up what may be the most imposing headwall you'll find on the East Coast.
For more of a warm up, head looker's right to Obsession. If you're ready to take on a beast, opt for looker's left for White Heat. This is the "longest, steepest, widest, lift-serviced double black diamond in the East." While we're not sure exactly what that means, one thing is for sure: this puppy is the real thing. After a gradual introductory slope you hit the headwall, and the rest is a blur. You may have to ski this a couple of times to remember it – that's how fast you get going!
While you're on White Cap, Shockwave is a vastly under-rated trail that often goes overlooked. Similar to White Heat, but with bumps that will get your quads screaming. White Cap also features two awesome gladed runs in Hardball and Chutzpah. Don't worry though, there will be plenty of opportunity for trees later in the day. When you're ready to move on, take Salvation to move towards the Barker Mountain Base Area.
White Heat – the longest, steepest, widest, lift-serviced trail on the East Coast.
2. 10:30-11:30 AM – Perform in the Bumps and Trees on Barker Mountain & Spruce Peak
Head up the Barker Mountain Express and catch a glimpse underneath of one of Sunday River's legendary double black bump runs, Agony. A favorite for showing off and local legend Donny Pelletier (aka Olympian Mogul Skier Troy Murphy) has been known to frequent this trail. If you're looking for
something similar but prefer not to embarrass yourself when you inevitably take a mogul at the wrong angle, then Top Gun is your best bet, look out on the skier's left from the top of Agony.
If you prefer trees, Last Tango, accessible from Lazy River, is a wide open glade; great for getting a rhythm going. Hollywood, to the skier's left of Agony, offers a tighter, steeper challenge. Once in the groove, get ready show off in the trees. From the top of Barker Mountain, take Lazy River to the Spruce Peak Triple.
A newer addition to the trail map, Gnarnia carves a path through the trees directly beneath the lift. Filled with rocks and drops, it lives up to the name. But its marquee feature is a rather sizable cliff that when hit, is guaranteed to produce a cacophony of whoops and yells from the chairs above. The great thing about this cliff is that it has several different launch points of greatly varying heights, so you can stay well within your limits (please do). When you've completed your performance, it's time to head towards Aurora Peak. There are plenty of ways to do this, but the most fun is probably to take the Spruce Peak Triple up again and head looker's right along Sirius towards Vortex.
3. 11:30 AM - 1PM – In the Hunt for Powder on Aurora Peak
From the top of Vortex, it's a straight shot to the Aurora Quad. You can choose to carve tight turns down the center groomed portion, or execute a technical path through the moguls on either side. Either way, it's a burner. Standing between you and a lunch break, are some of the best glades on the mountain.
From the top of the Aurora Quad, head straight down the lift line on Airglow. Once you reach the first cross cut, you have a couple of options to enter the trees. Bear to the skier's left and stay directly underneath the lift for Super Nova, or cut far right to upper Celestial. Both glades merge into lower Celestial, which consistently features some of the deepest snow on the mountain – why not try both?
For something steep, but more open, continue down Airglow to Black Hole. This is actually the steepest, though possibly the shortest, trail on the mountain. Once you've had your fill, from the top of Aurora Peak, head looker's right to Witch Way and down to Flying Monkey. It's time to get into some of the best au natural terrain that the mountain has to offer. After you've picked your way through the trees of Flying Monkey, cruise down Cyclone down to the Jordan Express. It's time for some lunch. Take the Jordan Express up and head looker's right to Lollapalooza (whew!). From there, pull into the Jordan Hotel and sit down for a hearty meal at Sliders.
The goods are in the woods on Aurora Peak!
4. 1 PM – Lunch at Sliders (see more on lunch options)
Sliders offers modern pub fare, traditional American eats, and a few Maine-inspired specials. The Blueberry Bacon Grilled Cheese is a must try! Don't take too long though, some of the most fun terrain at Sunday River awaits.
5. 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM – Saving the Best for Last - Fresh Powder, Trees and Bumps in Jordan Bowl & Oz
After lunch, it's time to venture to Oz and Jordan Bowl — plan to spend the rest of the day. The Jordan Mountain Express provides access to all of the terrain in this area. Jordan Bowl has it all — steep bumps right under the chair on ¡Caramba!; wide open tree skiing on Blind Ambition (accessible from Lollapalooza or Excalibur); tighter, steeper glades in Wizard's Gulch (stay to the right mid-way down ¡Caramba!) and some of the best powder stashes at the resort. This is also the best place to take advantage of Sunday River's boundary-to-boundary policy, with several incredible powder stashes hidden between the trails.
For even more deep powder, head towards Oz from the top of Jordan Bowl by staying to the skier's left on Kansas. Insider tip, you can routinely score knee deep powder here when there's little to be found elsewhere. Oz also features wide open powder fields, wickedly steep bump runs, and tight tree skiing. As long as there is snow to support it, you can't go wrong here. This is probably our favorite area of the mountain. Soak it up until the lifties at the Jordan Lift tell you "last ride."
There's nothing like Oz on a powder day.
6. 3:30 PM – Return to White Cap Lodge
It's surprisingly easy to return from Jordan Bowl on the far Western edge of the resort to your parking spot at White Cap Lodge on the opposite side. Follow just one run by staying high side skier's right and taking this route: Kansas > Lights Out > Downdraft (follow signs for Barker Mountain) > Tourist Trap (at this point stay above the Barker Mountain Lodge) > then follow Roadrunner to return to White Cap Lodge.
Congrats on a heck of a day! Your legs must feel like jello. Time for après!