Good, Not Great

by: swetsb - 4 Feb 2011

  • Overall Rating 4
  • Family Friendly 3
  • All-Mtn. Terrain 4
  • Terrain Park 0
  • Nightlife 4

    Pros: interesting terrain, lots of glades, efficient lift lines, good grooming

    Cons: A lot of it seems the same

    Recommended For: Singles

    Date Visited: 1 Jan 2011


Full review

I wasn't sure what to expect from a mountain this big, and I'm still not sure even after skiing it for two days. We skied on a Thursday and Friday, and you could clearly tell the difference between mid-week and the beginning of the weekend. Thursday skiing found no lift lines and very few scraped off areas (not to be confused with thin or bear spots, which abounded). By Friday afternoon, the lifts were getting more crowded--although they moved very efficiently--and the top parts of many trails had exposed ice. Still, the sheer number of trails helped keep them from becoming too crowded.
As an intermediate skier, trails like Bear, the glades at Ramshead, and The Jug and The Handle off Killington Peak were my favorites. I also really enjoyed Needles Eye and Superstar. With the exception of Superstar, what these had in common was the old school feeling of narrower trails. I found most of the other trails to just be generic, clear-cut paths down the mountain. This was really disappointing because with that much acreage to play with, I would have thought they could have kept a few more throwbacks to their roots.
The best thing Killington did--and a lot of mountains could learn from this--is groom only half of some of their trails. There were plenty of killer mogul trails, but I thought it was great that other trails only had moguls had half, so you had the option of practicing and bailing out if necessary. Along those lines, the grooming, at least on Thursday, was excellent. We were surprised at the utter lack of ice anywhere, especially given the lack of snow this year.
The flipside of this was that snowguns were blowing for two complete days from the top to the bottom of Superstar. I understand that they had to build up a base for the weekend skiers, but they effectively reduced the trail width by 3/4 due to not only the blowing snow, but pipes and guns that were stretched half way across the trail. It was almost entirely unskiable.
My biggest complaint at Killington was that the lifts and trails are not very conducive to moving between peaks. This can only be due to poor planning. There are signs at trail intersections pointing you towards the different peaks, but each mountain is so big with multiple lifts, so that's not always very helpful. This can lead to a lot of skating. If you get separated, your only hope is that you have a pre-arranged meet up spot.
I do have to give them credit for having a great learning area (at least I'm assuming it's great, I didn't go over there). Separating Snowshed from the rest of resort is a great idea for beginners. There's also a nice learning area at Ramshead.
The nightlife along the access road was very good, with a nice variety of places to eat and drink Vermont beer.
I enjoyed myself at Killington, but I'd probably go try some other mountains before returning.

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