- Overall Rating 1
- Family Friendly 1
- All Mtn. Terrain 2
- Terrain Park 0
- Nightlife 1
Pros: Lots of potential
Cons: Needs lots of work
Recommended For: Single/Newlyweds
Date Visited: Jan 1, 2009
Took the family (3 kids ages 5, 8, and 11) for MLK weekend (4 nights). We stayed in the Orange Lake condos (2BR).
Mountain - Overall, Ascutney is a strange mountain. You have to read the fine print on the map very carefully and be prepared for anything. They rate their runs relative to each other rather than some universally understood norms. The only green down from the top included many very harrowing spots of bumped out steeps that a novice skier taking a green would not expect. Other greens were the same. In a nutshell, there were no true greens to be had. Greens were, at times, serious blues or solid blacks. Blues were black to double black. We never got to try any blacks as the kids were already freaked out with the greens. This mountain did major damage to their confidence. The ski school seemed confused and barely able to function while the instructors were nice and competent. Our youngest had been put in a learn to ski class by accident. They refused to move her to a new class because a 'supervisor' had to ok it and there was no superivisor to be had. They spent the entire day teaching her to ski backwards down the bunny hill for lack of anything else to do with her. The facilities were, in a word, poor. There was nothing but low-quality cafeteria style lunching to be had a the main lodge. The nicer restaurant down in the Orange Lake area was not open for lunch. They had opened a smaller snack/pizza place there, but we didn't try it. They need a bar/restaurant with waitstaff if they intend to fill upscale condos for $Hundreds/night. If they convert it all to $80/night rooms, they can get away with garbage offerings for lunch. The lift(s) - there was only one open when we were there - was old and slow. The line wasn't too bad.
Conditions - Fair to Good. There was at least 25-30 inches of natural snow on the ground. The slopes were poorly groomed as you went up the mountain. Despite all the natural snow and prime snowmaking weather for weeks, they still had sizable areas of the mountain not open, including the little extra mountain at the the top that would have allowed them to open the newer faster lift.
Lodging - The unit we were in was well maintained and comfortable. When we needed assistance the staff was very accomodating in the evenings, but during the mornings less so. Oddly, they ski locker area (each building has one of these in the center of the ground floor that allows everyone to ski in/out without bringing all their equipment into their units) was unusable because the previous owners had painted over all the key holes and the new owners had not done anything about it yet. The units all have working fireplaces. They only allow duraflame logs to be burned. They provide you with 1/day. You can buy additional logs from them. In a word, unacceptable. One night we were burning our free daily log when we all smelled burning construction material. It didnt appear to be coming from the fireplace, so we walked about trying to locate it to see if the condos were on fire. I check with all the neighbors then tried to reach the front desk. They didn't answer. I would up having to walk down to them (we were 2 bulidings away and uphill). I was livid. When I go there, there was one person on duty (@7:30pm) dealing with a check-in and letting the phone ring off the hook. I have 3 little ones. Had this been a real emergency they would have been unreachable! The manager, whom I waited 20 minutes to talk to, apologized, and made excuses. He did give me 2 more free logs though. What a sport.
Facilities - The restaurant in the main lodge of the resort (not the mountain) was good. Not great but good. Wait staff friendly and helpful. Menu was good as well. Nothing special but good. The health facilities were not walkable. You had to drive there and back. Lockers need some TLC. Overall it had little personality and the pool area was chilly.
General Area - Nothing in the area to speak of. The few towns nearby provided limited choices for dining and entertainment. This, for us, is not a major issue as we come to ski and have little kids.