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.
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.
Some of the country’s best gladed terrain, a loose backcountry policy, and cheap bowls of poutine (fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy).
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.
Back when Jake Burton was perfecting a whole new way to slide on snow, Stratton's management provided encouragement by not only allowing but embracing snowboarding. That tradition continues, and Stratton's award-winning collection of parks and its Superpipe attract world-class athletes.
Readers praise Stratton for its attentive service and a $4-million investment in improved snowmaking and grooming. Now, after tinkering successfully with what amounts to the icing on the cake, Stratton Mountain is ready to return to the kitchen and work some magic from scratch. Attention to the on-mountain experience continues to pay off: "They kill themselves to make conditions good, no matter what the weather," one reader declares. Several ago Stratton added Test Pilot, a gladed trail masterfully cut by local Olympian Bill Koch. Meanwhile, additional nighttime halfpipe events will extend the lively vibe of the annual U.S. Open - which Stratton has long hosted - through the rest of the year. Stratton had terrain parks before most people had even heard of them, and its park grooming staff has a total of more than 100 years of experience. That, in turn, breeds top athletes in park-and-pipe disciplines in addition to the many ski racers who have long trained here.
Get discounted or free lift tickets by purchasing renewable energy credits from Renewable Choice (renewablechoice.com).
Hot, fresh doughnuts made every weekend morning at Mid Mountain Lodge. Just the smell of them is bliss.
Thanks to a new, wider and more visable entry point, the Test Pilot run won't be a local secret much longer.
Upper Middlebrook, a black-diamond under the Shooting Star six-pack: steep, rarely crowded, nicely groomed and easy to access.