Mount Snow in Vermont by Kara Hatch
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Originally published January 2011
Photo courtesy of teachski.com
This Vermont adventure was both old hat and filled with some interesting new sweet spots.
I’ve been skiing and snowboarding at Mt. Snow in southern Vermont since my toddler years of the late 70s. Thankfully, there are a few relics of that era still around and swinging. This ski area is less “resort” and more “good times” than any of the other big mountains of VT.
They still have local musical and comedian acts (man in a thong leotard) performing in the bar area “apres ski” and there are still Fabio-esque skier dudes in white jumpsuits from the 80s that hang out in the outdoor grill and beer garden. Also, among the high-speed quads and jib parks there exists dilapidated old race huts left intact for what I can only imagine are nostalgic purposes. (see photo).
Since the dawn of snowboarding, this mountain has spent a lot of its energy catering to the young and the restless jibbers and piperats. It may seem like all mountains do these days, but Mt. Snow has turned its entire Carinthia area into a riders heaven. Always at the creative edge with its park runs, there is one short trail that has only wood furnishings, giving it an authentic, natural feel. They keep stellar care of their super-pipe, conveniently located by the Carinthia base lodge.
This also leaves the rest of the mountain for skiers and riders who just like to cruise without having to keep constant lookout for the “rat packs.” If the main face gets too crowded, which it will on weekends, I always head for the north face, which really is fun and challenging for experts. We were there for two whole days of riding, so we got a bit bored with the north face and headed over to an area which in all my years of going up and down this hill, had never really explored; the “Sunbrook” area. It was really terrific and sunny in the afternoon. There was no wait at the quad here. One last logistically great thing about his mountain is that it’s closer to NYC than any of the other big VT hills. It’s about a 4.5 hr. drive from Brooklyn.
You could stay at any number of quaint spots along Route 100 closer to the mountain than the town of Wilmington, but for only a 10 minute longer car ride, staying in Wilmington is a better deal. It’s charming and cute and there is everything you need. If you are going for a more upscale and/or romantic experience, the historic Vermont House is lovely. If you want to have a weekend with pals or family and rent an inexpensive, cozy house, try Chimney Hill Real Estate. One word of caution though - some the homes are up hills on dirt roads that in a snow storm can be tricky, so 4-wheel or all-wheel drive is best. ?On this trip it was just myself and a friend, and we just needed a place to shower and sleep so we stayed at this totally funky place usually inhabited by snowmobilers, The Viking Motel. The owners are really nice, and again with the late 70s and 80s nostalgia, this place is a bit of a time warp.
Last but not at all least, we had some really killer BBQ at this spot, Smokin’ J’s Barbeque right on Rt. 100 just a mile or so north towards the mountain from the center of Wilmington. The bar is more like someone’s den bar with tons of books and games and things to keep you occupied while sipping a bottle of Long Trail waiting for a table. After a few rounds of Madlibs, we were seated at one of the oddly arranged picnic style tables and ordered our ribs. We didn’t have to wait long for the food to come. And how delicious it was. If you are a large group renting a house, they do take out.
Cliktrips Tip: In addition to Kara’s recommendations, we found these four rentals in Wilmington, VT. They’re all within a 10 minutes drive of Mount Snow, and an all-wheel drive vehicle is encouraged!
http://www.vrbo.com/291703 - This is a great 60’s style chalet with cool furniture and 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. Winter weekend rates are $700, $1500/week.
http://www.vrbo.com/69094 - Cute log cabin built in the 1920s situated on a lake with 4 bedrooms and 1.5 baths. Rates vary but start at $250/day, $1600/week.
For more modern accommodations, or larger groups try these two:
http://www.vrbo.com/276441 - rates start at $1300/weekend, sleeps 6-10
http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p110243 - rates start at $1900/weekend, sleeps 12