Mad River Glen: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
The Huffington Post
| By Joan Bahr
Mad River Glen in Vermont is a popular destination for skiers. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Mad River Glen, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
Mad River Glen is in Waitsfield in central Vermont's Mad River Valley, which is about an hour from Burlington, Vermont, 3 1/2 hours from Boston and not quite six hours from New York City. The Mad Bus, a free seasonal bus service in the Mad River Valley, helps visitors get around once they arrive at the mountain. Mad River Glen opened in 1948 and today it is owned by its skiers, the Mad River Glen Cooperative, and claims to be the only cooperatively owned ski area in America. It is in New England's "snow corner," where an average of 250 inches of snow piles up each year.
Mad River Glen's General Stark Mountain has a base elevation of 1,600 feet and a summit elevation of 3,637 feet. It features 115 acres of skiable trails and 800 acres of boundary-to-boundary tree skiing. The mountain's vertical drop is 2,037 feet. The ski season typically runs from mid-December to early April -- 111 days on average. Abundant trees and rocky terrain make it a challenging mountain, even for experts.
Trails And Lifts
Mad River Glen boasts an extensive trail system of 45 runs that flow to a single base area and are rated as novice, intermediate or expert. Paradise is the signature trail, Mad River Glen Marketing Director Eric Friedman told the Burlington Free Press, and it "rarely disappoints" with its 38 degree pitch. The lifts -- one single and three double chairlifts -- can move more than 3,500 skiers per hour up the mountain. The resort can make enough snow to blanket 15 percent of the skiable terrain when needed, with coverage mainly on lower elevation high-traffic runs.
In The News
Since the Mad River Glen Cooperative took over the resort in 1995, almost $4 million has been invested in capital improvements, according to the co-op website. The owners are an independent-minded lot who want to keep the resort focused on skiing, as opposed to snowboarding or gourmet dining. Shares in the co-op can be purchased for $2,000 with a monthly installment plan to help stretch out the cost. In the interest of being green, the resort offers a Ride Share Program, where interested skiers can post ride offers to and from the mountain.
Season passes at Mad River Glen range from $348 to $963, depending on the time of purchase and the skier's age. Value and midweek passes are available every day but Saturday. Daily lift tickets range from $39 to $70. Children 5 and younger accompanied by an adult ski free any day, and seniors 70 and older ski free for five days per season. Multiday rates, 30-day tickets, co-op memberships, The Mad Card and many other options can save skiers money.
Mad River Glen offers hungry skiers two dining choices: Basebox Lodge, a cafeteria with burgers, salads and other low-cost favorites, and General Stark's Pub, which features a full bar with local beers on tap and a food menu that includes chili, chicken wings, nachos and other pub fare. Certified Angus Beef and organic chicken are delivered daily from Mehuron's Supermarket in Waitsfield, Vermont.
WATCH: Mad River Glen
Enjoy an overview of Mad River Glen's efforts to stay independent and maintain its rustic character -- including its historic chairlift.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post stated that the resort is popular with snowboarders. It is not, as snowboarding is not allowed.