|Sugarbush Ski Resort, Warren VT|
|Sugarbush Ski Resort has three peaks favorable for great snow, two base lodges, 80 trails and 16 lifts, most rated intermediate to expert.|
At Sugarbush Ski Resort in Warren VT (map), the slopes and trails come down 2600 feet (792 meters) from top to bottom—the third-longest vertical drop among New England ski resorts— and they're laid out so that close to half of them are rated as suitable for expert skiers, but the majority are for beginners and intermediates.
The southern Lincoln Peak (3975 feet/1212 meters) is the traditional center of downhill ski activity. From Lincoln Peak Base Lodge with its lodgings, a general store, casual and fine-dining restaurants, ski schools and equipment rentals, nine lifts wisk you around the rolling ridges, as well as to adjoining and Castlerock Peak just to the north (3812 feet/1162 meters)
Nearby Mad River Glen also participates with Sugarbush on some special lift-ticket packages that allow skiing at both resorts.
The Lincoln Limo is a 12-passenger "snow cat" tracked vehicle that can take you up the mountain for a sunset dinner at the summit restaurant, a chance to watch grooming operations, or for first-tracks at sunrise.
Mount Ellen's trails and slopes descend 2,600 feet (792 meters) from the summit to the Mount Ellen Base Area, and about half the runs are classed as good for the median-level skier. But a look at the mountain trail plan will show you that taking the 4-person chair lift to the top of Mount Ellen (elevation 4083 feet/1245 meters)—the highest lift in Vermont—will start you on some very long and pretty tricky runs. This is where the ski bums and wanna-be bums go for more adventurous skiing and riding.
Lincoln Peak has 36 trails and slopes in all, and its altitude and northerly location usually a good amount of cover for a long season. Gadd Peak (3150 feet/960 meters) and Inverness Peak (2750 feet/838 meters) round out the skiing and snowboarding possibilities.
Lifts include five high-speed quads, five fixed-grip quads, two triples, one double, and three surface lifts—sixteen lifts in all, with an uphill capacity of 25,225. Rentals, instruction, and cross-country ski trails are all part of the establishment.
The ski school offers a ski-week "saturation skiing workshop," which claims to instruct students in centeredness and energy awareness as well as techniques on the slopes.
It's easy to find hotels and inns near Sugarbush. Here they are.
The air currents around Sugarbush make it good for soaring or gliding, and the Sugarbush Soaring Association can fill you in on getting airborne. Just so you'll know: you can qualify for solo glider flight in less than two weeks of good, full daily lessons and flights.
—by Tom Brosnahan