An aerial view of Killington.
I made it up to Vermont’s largest ski resort for one mid week charity ski event, for the Boston Fire Fighters Burn Association, this ski season. Anyone interested in the Fire Fighter’s ski trip can find information at eglestonfirehouse.com. Its a fun group and the money goes to a good cause. Killington offers a wide variety of terrain spread out across six peaks in the mountains of Vermont. The trip is a short three hours from Boston, the drive gets broken up into three 50 minute sections, I-93N to I-89N to Vermont Route 4. Having to change highways and get a different perspective has always seemed to help, at least psychologically, me on long drives. Once you get there your going to want to stay at least one night so you can get a good taste of the mountain with two days of skiing. My most recent trip I stayed at the Killington Grand Summit Hotel at the “Snowshed” base area. The hotel was top notch, outdoor pool and jacuzzi to relax in at the end of the day, the full kitchen in the hotel room was put to good use making late night snacks after taking advantage of the Killington nightlife, plus we were a short walk to the chair lifts which gave us that crucial half hour of extra sleep each morning.
My trip to Killington this year was a midweek job so the lines that I would normally be complaining about were nonexistent, I managed about 30-35 runs both days I skied. The only drawback was the extreme cold. We were there the first Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of February and apparently Arctic winds had stopped by to pay us a visit. Unfortunately this kept me on the several gondola’s at Killington, I could literally only ride the chair lifts one or two times in a row because of the frigid wind.
I always spend a portion of each day at Killington on the “Bear Peak” skiing the “Devil’s Fiddle”, “Devil’s Den”, and “Centerpiece”. The latter two runs are some challenging tree runs, tight with a lot of undergrowth so make sure you have your goggles down before you attack either of these trails. A good place to get some speed on “Bear Peak” is the run “Wildfire” off to the right when getting off the “Bear Mountain Quad”.
Another area that I religiously ski each time at Killington are the trails off of the “Canyon Quad” on the “Killington Peak”. This area offers some steep bumps, groomers, and trees on trails like “Double Dipper”, “Big Dipper”, or take “Bear Trax” to “Ovation” to show off for everyone down at the “K-1 Lodge”. Plus some days the snow directly underneath the “Canyon Quad” is occasionally roped off and, if you like to bend the rules, offers some nice fresh powder if it has snowed recently.
The hassle to get from the “Bear Peak” to the “Killington Peak” is one of my complaints about Killington. If your a beginner or a boarder I would suggest sticking to one peak for at least half the day because you will spend too much time walking down cat tracks and traverse trails to enjoy your day.
The nightlife at Killington is arguably the best in the East, the negative is the prices reflect this fact. Through our group we had free access to the Wobbly Barn for Wednesday and Thursday night, but the cover is normally $10-20 so make sure you bring extra cash with you if you plan on doing any partying on your ski trip, this cover charge is normal for any of the larger bars on the Killington access road. The Wobbly Barn had live music both nights and reasonable prices on beer and liquor once you get in. The food is also well priced and enjoyable if you get there for dinner, try the steaks and don’t pass up there salad bar.
Killington is a place that is worth the trip despite some of the negative aspects (poor connecting trails and expensive night life). The resort offers plenty of trails for all levels of skiers to easily enjoy two or three days of skiing in a row. Throw in a good night life and you have one of the few mountains in the East that you can enjoy yourself at even if the skiing is not good.