New England 8hrs to killington or 9.5hrs to stowe

Jim Kenney

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I like the Gore Mtn suggestion, only 6.5 hrs drive and it's as big as most of the other mtns mentioned. Go sometime in Feb for best conditions.

PS: I've only skied Gore once and it was 35 years ago. I'm not sure how extensive their intermediate terrain is?
 
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Smitty244

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When is your wife's spring break? Would you rather go solo?
I understand your thoughts about what to do if you have an accident and are alone, 9 hours from home when it happens. This not a small thing to consider.
You'll want to plan your calendar in order to avoid spending a lot of time on blue cruisers when there are crowds.

Skied-off New England blue cruiser-groomers can be quite off-putting. The snow turns to ice. If there are people gaining on you from behind, on that icy surface, that's taxing.

No matter where you go, you'll want to get the info here on which weekends to avoid because of New England school vacations. The weekend leading up to President's day and the week including it is always CROWDED. Do not go then.
Any weekend at Okemo or Stowe will be crowded. Probably the same at Killington. Okemo may be the worst for weekend crowds.

Try to ski only Sunday-Friday in order to avoid the worst crowds. If you only ski groomers labelled green and blue, and you're hoping for grippable snow, you'll want to plan to be on the snow when the crowds are not there so the snow is not skied-off by 10:00 am. So timing is important.

Also, if you only ski groomers, I'm going to disagree with others about Mad River Glen. The groomers are mostly connectors between bump runs and wooded skiing. There's a side of the mountain with open groomers, but they have not much snowmaking, so that terrain may be flat, thin, icy, and ungroomed. My suggestion is to ski Mad River Glen once you have spent some time in the bumps and have discovered you like them, even when they are icy.

Killington has more variety in its blue groomers than Stowe, IMO.
At home I ski blacks all the time but up north that depends how bumped out they are
 

cantunamunch

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Who wants some Monkeypox?
At home I ski blacks all the time but up north that depends how bumped out they are

One of the things LF is getting at is that there's enough people for it all to be tactical skiing - whether its bumped up or scraped down or full of loose fluff piles. Tactical in the sense of - you need your awareness on, and you need to think ahead, and you need to have coping moves ready. They don't need to be pretty, but they do need to be quick.

Technique and rhythm, and space to find them, are not going to be as easy as the stated vertical might suggest.
 
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Smitty244

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Unfortunately if the wife goes we would have to do a weekend I think because she can’t just take days off since they don’t get vacation because that’s what summer is. Sounds like we would have to bite the bullet and fight the crowds
 

johnnyvw

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I like the Gore Mtn suggestion, only 6.5 hrs drive and it's as big as most of the other mtns mentioned. Go sometime in Feb for best conditions.

PS: I've only skied Gore once and it was 35 years ago. I'm not sure how extensive their intermediate terrain is?
And you could split the trip between Gore and Whiteface.

Any of the Vermont areas are fine for green and blue runs. Even Mad River Glen, believe it or not (they have a dedicated beginner area, Birdland). The biggest negative to Killington is that is is more like 5 different areas right next to each other. So if you start moving around the mountain, you end up spending half your time on connecting trails.

Edit: if you are truly looking at a weekend trip, definitely consider Gore. They have a lot of nice easy cruisers, and IMO is probably one of the better mountains for green/blue skiers. That's not to say they don't have tough runs, if you want them.
 

cantunamunch

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Who wants some Monkeypox?
Unfortunately if the wife goes we would have to do a weekend I think because she can’t just take days off since they don’t get vacation because that’s what summer is. Sounds like we would have to bite the bullet and fight the crowds

Fair enough. I do like @Jim Kenney's suggestion of keeping your mind open to smaller hills and a shorter drive. Keep track of the weather. How far is Greek Peak from you?

So if you start moving around the mountain, you end up spending half your time on connecting trails.

This is very true. And a complete pain if your party splits up.
 

Erik Timmerman

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SHUT UP, You're ruining it! My wife won't want to go if she finds out that the Von Trapp's great grandkids won't be yodeling and singing carols to greet us as we walk up to the base lodge there...
Sam and Kristina von Trapp both work in ski school if you plan ahead you can get her a private lesson with one!
 
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jt10000

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The poster's Midwest school vacation may not be the same as our super-crowded New England school vacation week.
I went to Killington during the Presidents' Day Week a couple seasons ago - it was pretty crowded the first weekend and Monday, but the Tuesday and Wednesday were not bad.

Someone else said Killington has a downside of it being easy to get lost. That's sort of a pro too - the feeling that there are ton of places to explore. I haven't alpine skied at Stowe so am not sure how that compares.
 

newboots

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Someone else said Killington has a downside of it being easy to get lost. That's sort of a pro too - the feeling that there are ton of places to explore.
I said it, with plenty of experience finding myself with no way down except a scary one. I was a second-year skier the first time I skied Killington, and I really was better off on green trails. A couple years later, able to ski blues (and mostly remember how to get wherever), it was more relaxed.
 

Wilhelmson

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K blows stow off the map unless the stowe front 4 are 100% open which is like 45% chance in march. Not really but really.
 

Dave Marshak

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I like the Gore Mtn suggestion, only 6.5 hrs drive and it's as big as most of the other mtns mentioned. Go sometime in Feb for best conditions.

PS: I've only skied Gore once and it was 35 years ago. I'm not sure how extensive their intermediate terrain is?
I have a Gore pass and it's my favorite local place, but I don't think I'd drive 6 hours for it.. What you skied 35 years ago is only about half of what's skiable now. (Way less than half if you count official and illegal glades.) It feels like 4 or 5 small separate areas, all separated by long flat traverses. There are lots of low pitch trees on the map, and locals poach everywhere else without much pushback from patrol. There's good terrain for all levels, but it can be a struggle to get to some of the best easy trails with little kids. If you don't know your way around, you'll find yourself skating to the wrong place several time a day. After 50 years I still get lost there at least once a year. What hasn't changed is that there's not much going on when the lifts closed. OTOH it's only about 15 minutes off the fastest route to Stowe from the west, so stopping there for a day is a possibility.
My GPS has Stowe ony 45 minutes further than Killington from Ohio. Stowe has better terrain, and the whole Spruce Peak side is better and calmer for less skilled skiers than anything at Killington. Stowe has way better restaurants, but maybe less of a party scene. It's also spendier than Killington and way more pricey than Gore. I learned to ski at Stowe 50 years ago, and the whole new Stail vibe is a little dissapointing to me.
I could have a good week at any of those places.

dm
 
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Smitty244

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So is it safe to say the terrain at killington and okemo is more mellow than Stowe and sugarbush? I think if the wife goes I’ll go for whatever she would like better and if I’m solo I’ll do Stowe and sugarbush for sure.
 

Dave Marshak

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Okemo is by far the most mellow. Killington is the most likely to get you stuck in a spot with no easy way down. Cash in your 401k and take your wife to the new hotel at the base of Spruce Peak in Stowe.

dm
 

KevinF

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So is it safe to say the terrain at killington and okemo is more mellow than Stowe and sugarbush? I think if the wife goes I’ll go for whatever she would like better and if I’m solo I’ll do Stowe and sugarbush for sure.

Okemo wins the "mellow" award between Killington, Stowe, golf courses, etc. There's a reason Okemo is popular with families; it's hard to really get into any sort of terrain trouble there. "Blue's" at Okemo are much, much easier than blues at the others.

As you're seeing from this thread -- Stowe, Killington and the Mad River Valley (Sugarbush, MRG) all have their devotees. There is some pretty serious terrain at all of them.

As an anecdote... I'm a Stowe guy. I was giving a "Stowe tour" to somebody from the midwest a few years back. Warmup run was down some easy blue groomer and we were part way down and he yelled out to me "gotta stop", so pulled over for a breather. He looked at me and was like "I've never skied a run this long in my life !" to which I just smiled and said "we're about 1/3rd of the way down". :D We had a great day, but -- point being, all these places you are thinking about are BIG.

Stowe's big drawback is that it can get windy and the two main lifts -- the Four runner quad and the gondola -- can and do get shut down by the wind. If you're there and the wind shuts those down, there's still great skiing to be had, but the long uninterrupted fall line skiing that makes Stowe great (IMHO) is basically inaccessible. Sugarbush and Killington have more diverse lift systems.

Wherever you finally decide to go -- post your plans here. Somebody will be sure to volunteer to show you around, etc.
 

Dave Marshak

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Also, Ludlow is a pretty good town for restaurants, better than Killington. I like Downtown Grocery, but the specials are so weird sometimes I think the chef is trying to prank me.

dm
 

ELDoane

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If you're driving that far, keep an eye on the weather reports for Jay. If it's locally dumping, go north. You'll thank me.

Local tip - If you go to Killington, do not screw around on the roads. Drive the speed limit and don't even think of getting on the road after a beer. About 50% of most area police budgets come from the traffic tickets that get handed out to anyone with a white license plate.
 

James

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Also, Ludlow is a pretty good town for restaurants, better than Killington. I like Downtown Grocery, but the specials are so weird sometimes I think the chef is trying to prank me.

dm
Hmmm… that’s a tough one.
Fyi, Downtown Grocery has been in a tues-thurs opening phase for awhile. If they’re even open. I think those weird days are staffing issue. They may be going under.
Homestyle is sort of the go to, but I think they’re closed for awhile for a rest. Like till mid -Dec.

Sad that Downtown G’s Mama’s restaurant failed, but the seriously misguided takeout section couldn’t save it. Fresh pasta and ridiculously priced meatballs in a ski town?

Sam’s has the location and could serve fried dog turd and it’ll still be packed.
DuJour- went a few times a few years ago. Few too many.

Bar food- DJ’s or (gulp) The Loft. I’ve avoided Killarney’s but it’s packed. Owner of the Loft recently had a heart attack. Just going in might give you one depending. Some swear by the food, others just swear at the place. Floor = frat house. Best avoided for covid.
 

Crank

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Wow. Lot of long posts in this WTG ? thread.

Here's my 2-cents worth. I love Gore and the shorter drive, however, since OP wants to leave his 700 vert hill in search of bigger hills, I assume is looking for big mountain vertical. I could be wrong about that. If I'm right Gore won't really cut it because it is so cut up.

Whiteface has the long groomers though they might be a bit steepish. Tremblant would be ideal, but it's way far from Ohio.

Killington is a good choice and you can bite off a big chunks of altitude , especially if you want to work your way down from the peak to the bottom of Skyship.
 
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Smitty244

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When I went to Colorado I had a cousin that lives two hrs from all the major resorts so I stayed and ate for free. We skied copper and keystone so I was spoiled going out there. Now I want to somewhat experience that within driving distance. So that’s why I looked into Vermont.
 
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