Nov 06, 2008
The terrain at Smuggs rivals any other resort in the East, and many of the locals who make Smugglers Notch their primary mountain do so because of the mountain’s low-key vibe.
Stratton is known for its polish and shine, its upscale lodging and village, and its high levels of service. Yet it arguably did more to nurture snowboarding back in the sport's wild child days than any other resort in the country.
With an average pitch of 36 degrees, 3,241-foot-long Goat is arguably the most challenging trail at Stowe, if not in all of New England.
A fixture in the Deerfield Valley for nearly half a century, Mount Snow has grown a lot since ski pioneer Walter Schoenknecht bought a chunk of land on Mt Pisgah from farmer Reuben Snow in 1950.
Mount Snow hasn't received such intensive attention since the Sputnik era. Founder Walter Schoenknecht's futuristic cable cars and faux geyser may be the stuff of kitsch history, but the new owner, Peak Resorts, shares the founder's fervor. It has transformed Carinthia - a family-oriented terrain pod just south of the main area - into a magnet for thrill-seekers. Its revamped base lodge (with free wifi) now sits amid a 95-acre playground comprising a dozen different terrain parks and all-natural glades. The main base lodge up the road is overdue for a makeover, but everyone loves all the new fan guns, which keep trails in top shape whatever the head count. Crowding is an inescapable fact of life - a symptom of easy access from New York.
Carinthia becomes one big terrain park. Fan gun arsenal now totals 250 - the greatest concentration in all of North America.
The $99 FANfare Card secures steep discounts on tickets all season and as high as 50 percent off on weekdays. And check the website for Youth Pay Their Age Days.
Route 100 offers a cache of superb restaurants. Try the Inn at Sawmill Farm (a Relais & Chateaux redoubt) or the less formal (though no less impressive) Doveberry Inn.