by: jkreece39 - 11th June 2011

  • 5
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 4All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 4Family Friendly
  • 5Nightlife
  • 5Terrain Park
  • Value
HUUUUGE, great lifts, nightlife, awesome terrain parks, good snow/grooming, pico, crowd avoidance
can be crowded (but totally avoidable), the 3000 ft vertical is never skied all at

Full review

Many say "size isn't everything." However, that feeling when you ski a huge area, that you can barely scratch the surface in a couple days is, you have to admit, intoxicating, and very rare in the east. Plus, Killington has much more going for it than just size. But let's talk about size for now, which is enough reason on its own to visit. You have 80 miles of skiing. Each of the seven mountains is about the size of your average size ski area. Hang at Bear mountain for some knee-shaking steeps and moguls. Ramshead, Snowdon, Skye peak, and Killington Peak are cruising heaven. There are also some great steep runs off of the peak. On top of all of this, you have Pico, which is bigger than a good chunk of ski areas in the east, included on your Killington ticket, yet uncrowded, though you have to take a quick shuttle to get there. For beginners, there is snowshed, a huge beginners' meadow, ramshead, and the beginner area over at pico. Plus, there is a green off of most of the lifts at Killington, giving beginners a more adventurous experience. With all of this, it is impossible for any ability level not to have fun here, no matter how crowded it is. While we're on the subject of crowds, Killington is so big that you can ALWAYS find a lift with no line, even during vacation weeks and weekends. Some tips if you're here during a peak period: as a rule of thumb, the two gondolas will have the largest lines. If you must ski off the gondolas, do it early in the morning for the first hour or two before they become mobbed. At peak times (between 10:30 and 2) ski off the mid mountain lifts. The north ridge triple accesses some great, albeit short, cruisers. Plus, the only time that lift ever sees a line is during the early season, when it is the only operating lift. If you're an experienced skier, the Canyon quad accesses great vertical and terrain but doesn't see lines very often. The south ridge triple (the funky one that turns halfway through) rarely sees a line as well. In general. If you must ride a high speed lift (they generally are the most crowded) but want to avoid crowds, hop on the needle eye's express quad, which rarely has a long line and accesses some diverse terrain. But the absolute best crowd avoidance tip? One word: Pico. Pico rarely ever sees lines, has diverse terrain and good vertical, and it included on your Killington pass: a no brainer if you are here for multiple days and you get tired of crowds. Some more tips: try to have an early or late lunch, so you can ski while others are waiting for their food. If your metabolism can't handle that weird eating schedule, carry some energy bars or try eating mid mountain or at the peak lodge. There is a big lodge at the peak (though they are replacing that with a new one) and there are multiple small places trailside to eat, like Vista Deck. Killington takes great care of their trails and snow conditions. They do a great job grooming, and their snowmaking covers more skiable terrain than most ski areas in the east have total, so you can count on good conditions. In terms of terrain parks, they have a 22 foot high superpipe (for the dew tour) and many large terrain parks for all abilities. You also have the Stash, which is all natural features and like no other park you've ever experienced. And, of course, the night life is great. There are so many options for whatever entertainment/restaurant you like along the access road, but keep in mind that it's pretty spread out (unlike other ski towns like Stowe) so it would be better to have a car. All in all, Killington is the most complete ski experience anyone can have on this side of the rockies and though it has it's haters, follow my tips and you will have a great time.
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