- Driving from Toronto, Ontario
- Visiting midweek
- I consider myself a very good skiier but new to snowboarding this year. I can carve fine but not switch
- Almost certainly going alone!
Been looking mostly at Killington or Stowe, but I'm fairly open to any option I think since in comparison to my Blue Mountain in Collingwood, any of the mountains will be amazing!
It would be nice to find people and hit the slopes with them, but I'm also totally comfortable and look forward to going alone - just don't like about not being able to hit the backcountry alone.
Any recommendations on which mountain to hit given my situation? What about places to stay? I really just want someone to sleep/connect to the internet and a hostel-style place might be a good opportunity to meet some of the others there - if any of those exist.
Help! (and thanks!)
Killington totally sucks ass. It's just New York city on snow…rude, crowded and nowhere near as big as they claim. It's got acreage, spread across six "mountains," which are really just six bumps on the same mountain. Lots and lots of short trails which disconnect and lead you to different base lodges. Don't believe their claims of vertical…they have ONE TRAIL which they use to claim the most vertical in VT…which actually stops in a parking lot; you'll have to walk across the parking lot then continue on a trail so flat you'd better bring snowshoes. Then it crosses a road, etc. In other words, most of Killington is up top on short trails. But if you like to get drunk, it is a good party mountain. If you like drunken New Yorkers.
Other than Killington, mid-week almost any Vermont mountain will be good. Stowe is awesome, with two mountains, Mansfield and Spruce. Mansfield is more of the big-boy mountain, with longer steeper trails. Spruce is more geared toward families. They are connected by a gondola. Spruce has a beautiful new base lodge, while Mansfield is rustic and old school. One lift ticket is good for both mountains, but try to find a deal. Wicked expensive…like $94 a day last I checked (I never pay that…ski club deals give me a three day pass for the price of a one day regular ticket).
Farther north, Jay Peak is the tits with long cruisers, crazy steeps, glades, and an insane indoor water park open until 10:00 pm, with a bar right there, and a few restaurants on-site. Nothing else there, though. There is no town, nothing else to do. But the resort is fun all day until you pass out!
For more laid back vibe consider Bolton Valley (near Stowe) or Sugarbush (two big mountains, also near Stowe). The strip near Stowe has lots of cheap motels and lots of good food and pubs. Our favorite is the Innsbruck, right near the Stowe base lodge. Old school inn with a bar, free homemade breakfast (not microwaved waffles), afternoon soup and coffee, and two hot tubs, one inside, one outside. Usually less than $100 a night. Parking right outside your room. Close enough to the mountain that you can dress in your room and be there in ten minutes.
If you're driving south, seriously consider Pico instead of Killington. They're owned by the same company…a Killy ticket gets you onto Pico, too, but not vice versa. Pico is very laid back, nothing like Killington. Lots of nice wide open cruisers, nowhere near the crowds. Pico and Killington are just a mile or so down the road from each other.
Bromley is also a nice, mellow mountain. Nothing crazy, but plenty of terrain. Right near Bromley is Stratton, with a fun resort atmosphere. They actually face each other….Bromley faces south into the sun, Stratton faces north so it is usually in the clouds. Stratton is twice the size of Bromley, but it sucks on weekends. Very popular, long lift lines.
Really, you can't go wrong mid-week. Any Vermont mountain will be good. Stowe and Jay Peak are major league resorts and relatively mellow mid-week, with lots to do when you're not riding.