Central Vermont Means Many Mountains, Many Choices -
Central Vermont offers a choice of many mountains including Bear Creek, Killington, Mad River Glen, Middlebury Snow Bowl, Northeast Slopes, Pico Mountain, Sugarbush, and Suicide Six.
Mad River Glen in Waitsfield, among all the ski areas in New England, comes closest to offering skiers – but not riders, no snowboards allowed – a taste of winter as it used to be "in the old days."
Forget about snowmaking: The area has two guns, which it uses to lay down cover in the base area so skiers can get to the lifts. Forget about high-speed quads: When its historic single chair was showing signs of age, Mad River spent $1.54 million to rehab the venerable lift. It's still single.
Mad River’s philosophy is that snowmaking and grooming have ruined the sport by removing excitement and challenge.
Killington/Pico – the big kid on the block in New England, once renowned as "the best of the east" – had been left to languish for a decade under the ownership of financially troubled American Skiing Company, but in the past two seasons, new owner POWDR has pumped in many millions in accelerated maintenance. Better yet, Killington has a brand new high speed lift, the Skye Peak Express, the first new lift at the mountain in 10 years.
Sugarbush has invested heavily in base lodge facilities over the past few years, with a new base lodge/cafeteria and new resort hotel modeled after the region’s major landscape feature – the New England dairy barn. Combined with a rich history, excellent snow and loyal customers, Sugarbush remains a gem.
Bear Creek Resort in Plymouth offers uncrowded slopes thanks to a reservations-required approach to skiing.
Suicide Six in Woodstock can offer visitors a link to the very beginnings of lift-served skiing in the U.S., which began at nearby Gilbert’s Farm in 1934.
Middlebury Snow Bowl has produced some of America’s top racers, claims the oldest original ski lodge in the nation, and retains strong ties to college racing. It’s also a great hill for the rest of us.