During my Christmas break in Vermont I managed to squeeze in a couple of days riding at Killington so I thought I would post some thoughts on the place.

Being more used to alpine villages, albeit often 1960s concrete ones, nestling high in Mountain valleys I found the layout of the place a bit soulless.

The main lifts are situated at an altitude of 350 metres at the end of a five km long access road running south from Route 4 which runs east-west across mid Vermont. All the resort facilities are spread out along this road so there is no sense of arrival and you have to drive everywhere.

Killington map

We found that, as we were coming from the east (Woodstock), it was most convenient to access the resort via the Skyeship Express gondola on Route 4 which is much less congested than the main resort area and the fast gondola takes you right to the heart of the resort. Alternative access is also available at the Bear Mountain base station and lodge although here you are always at the periphery of the ski area.

As we were there during 'holiday' season lift tickets were even more expensive than usual and we paid a whopping $130 each for two day passes which left rather a bad taste in the mouth, especially as the place was crowded and we had to jostle and queue for 15 minutes to part with our cash to surly and unhelpful staff.

Conditions while we were there were not the best with day one being sunny, icy and crowded and day two being wet and sleety but with the advantage that we practically had the mountain to ourselves.

The ski area has about 950 metres of vertical and claims to be spread over seven peaks, though in practice it is more like five. Sunrise Mountain, at 750 metres, really only serves to give access to the resort from the Sunrise Village Condos complex and Pico Mountain is not linked but is a separate ski area covered by the same pass. has a good high res trail map which shows the area clearly.

Despite Killington's famous snow making capabilities many runs were still closed due to lack of snow cover but we still had plenty to choose from.

Favourite runs included the Glades area between the main Killington Peak and Snowdon Mountain and the East Face route from here back to the base of the Killington Peak gondola. We found that the Snowshed Base and Rams Head Mountain areas were best avoided as they were extremely congested.

For the north eastern US Killington offers a good deal of skiing but it feels rather brash and more suitable as a place for a quick riding fix than somewhere I would want to spend a holiday.

12 January 2004 Permalink | Comments (3)

I really can't stand skiing at Killington. It is so crowded and they always overestimate their snow conditions.

I really love Sugarloaf in Maine and Sunday River in Maine. I also really like Bretton Woods in NH. Although, it is not steep at all, there are lots of fun places to jump and great tree runs.

Posted by: Snowboard Girl at February 24, 2004 06:42 PM

thanks for the good report. seems pretty accurate and i should know since i ride killington around 20 days a year. being in southern vermont resort, it is very close to nyc and attracts some large, rather surly crowds, but with experience the throngs of people can be avoided, even on weekends. having a base at close to sea level also can be almost an excuse for conditions. wish you could have been there for the 1 meter dump we got in dec last year. sorry about the ticket prices but while season passes this year are very affordable, day tickets are always a rip off. the resorts here reward an investment before the snow flys. this year a season pass is equal to the cost of 6 single day lift tickets.

Posted by: kaybeebandito at September 13, 2004 05:44 AM

Killington is definitely overrated. They have a huge number of runs but charge accordingly even when most of them are closed. I'd go for Mt Snow or Stratton further south, Sunapee in NH is pretty good for a cheap(er) day resort closer to Boston, Attitash further north has some fairly steep groomed runs for a day if conditions are good and Sunday River in Maine is another good bet as a destination resort (although you can get stuck with some long traverses). There are loads of little resorts in NH and VT so I'd find somewhere central to stay and drive out to a different one each day.

If you want cheap powder though, you can't beat Snowbird in Utah - it's not so good for beginners as they don't piste bash much (hence the cheap price) but it was some of the best boarding I've done. Nightlife's pretty subdued though as you're right near the Mormon capital.

One tip for cheaper tickets is that a lot of the Colorado/Utah resorts (and I think California) do somewhat cheaper tickets if you buy them at the supermarkets beforehand rather than at the resort.

Finally, for the east coast: "granular" or "packed powder" = icy!

Posted by: Matt at November 10, 2004 07:32 AM
Snowgo logo
Archives by category
Archives by month

XML Summaries
XML full posts
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.2