- Overall Rating 5
- Family Friendly 5
- All Mtn. Terrain 4
- Terrain Park 5
- Nightlife 4
Date Visited: Feb 16, 2008
We ski Stratton a lot. We also have skied all over Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Made a bunch of trips to Colorado and out west. One family member is a snowboarder, another prefers to cross country ski.
This season we have had the best, absolutely best days of skiing at Stratton. The natural snow is awesome. Grooming is great. Snowmaking is amazing. Also we have had some of the worst days. With global warming, Vermont has had frozen rain a number of times. Too many times.
Strattons double blacks are really bumped up blacks. This season they have been groomed most of the time, to turn the ice crust to frozen granular, and have become blacks. And Stratton just does not have the terrain that Sugarbush does. Stratton is a round top mountain, just like Okemo, Bromley and Mount Snow, all Southern Vermont Mountains.
Most of the Stratton condos are located on the shuttle route. They are generally nice and great family places. The slopeside condos at the Stratton village are expensive, but then you can walk to everything. Some of them are perfect for a family vacation.
To avoid crowds on Saturday, start early, take a few Bear runs on Ursa, then at 10:30 ski Kitterbrook runs or Upper Middlebrook to the Shooting Star lift. An alternative is to ski the Snowbowl runs, Liftline is our favorite, to the Snowbowl lift. It is a regular speed lift, but by now we need a break, and have lunch from 11:30 to 12:00.
We have friends who ski Okemo on Saturday and think they do a better job with the peak 10:45 to 11:30 crowds and like Saphire and the Stump runs. They ski Stratton on Sunday and when it is cold on Saturday. They think Stratton has better grooming and there is the gondola. They have season, non-holiday passes that work on both mountains.
So Stratton is great for families, no crowds at all mid-week, great terrain parks and snowboarding. It does not have all the access road night life Killington does, the large Vermont village Stowe does, the total young family dedication Smugglers does.
When I am at Copper or Mamoth and in the giant bowls and piles of powder I can not handle, I think sometimes I prefer the groomed Stratton. It is like the lower half of these mountains. But then I am retired, getting old, and have broken more bones than I can count (most of them not skiing. I believe any day out on the slopes, any where, can be the best day of your life.