Killington: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
The Huffington Post
| By Elizabeth Jewell
Killington Mountain Resort and Ski Area in Vermont is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Killingtron, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
Killington Mountain Resort and Ski Area is about 20 minutes from Rutland, Vermont, and an hour from Hanover, New Hampshire, home of Dartmouth College. Killington operates a local bus service with nearby Snowshoe Lodge as its hub in a fare-free zone, or a $2 fare for longer trips. Travelers from longer distances can take Killington's express shuttle from Boston's Logan Airport three hours away for $135 per person round-trip. Guests can also arrange an express shuttle pickup from other area airports, such as Albany or Hartford's Bradley Airport. The Rutland Amtrak station is also available for $40 per person round-trip.
Nicknamed "The Beast," Killington Ski Area in central Vermont's Green Mountains comprises six mountains with more than 70 miles of terrain. Killington Peak is the highest at 4,241 feet; the other mountains include Snowdon (3,592 feet), Rams Head (3,610 feet), Skye Peak (3,800 feet), Bear Mountain (3,262 feet) and Sunrise Mountain (2,456 feet). The vertical drop is 3,050 feet, and the longest run is 6 miles. Killington's season varies according to the weather, but the resort generally opens in early November and closes in early May. The average annual snowfall is 250 inches, supplemented by extensive snowmaking by 1,500 snow guns and miles of pipe that allow coverage of 600 of the resort's 752 acres of skiable land.
Trails And Lifts
Killington's extensive trail system includes 140 trails: 28 percent beginner, 33 percent intermediate and 39 percent expert runs; none are advanced. Of the facility's 22 lifts, five are high-speed quads, four are quad chairs, four are triple chairs, two are double chairs, five are surface lifts and two are express gondalas. Killington offers a variety of terrain parks, including "The Stash," with more than 50 features, and Timberline, with smaller jumps to encourage learners. Both The Stash and The Under Armour MTN Dream Maker Terrain Park lead to the 22-foot Superpipe. Skiing Magazine notes that Killington offers glades "so deep you'll forget you're on the East Coast," but describes backcountry access as "limited to nonexistent." Killington does not offer night skiing.
In The News
The largest ski resort on the East Coast, Killington and its mogul fields were featured in Meathead Films' Prime Cut, as reported in Vermont Life magazine. As the second stop in January on the Winter Dew Tour, Killington plays host to top athletes competing in freeski slopestyle, freeski superpipe, snowboard slopestyle, and snowboard superpipe competitions. According to Powder magazine, the event includes live music and a festival village. The resort also hosts several other competitions, including the USSA Killington Klassic A Level Mogul Meet.
An unlimited season pass for Killington costs $1,349 for an adult, $899 for youths 7 to 18 and seniors older than 65 and $39 for children ages 6 and younger. A single-day lift ticket for adults is $79 midweek and $86 on weekends, with discounts for two to five days, as well as for online purchases. Various "Ski & Stay" packages combine lodging and lift tickets at a discount. Equipment rental of skis, boots, poles or snowboards costs from $39 to $43 for adults, with a $13 charge for helmet rental. An extra $5 per day rents Rossignol performance skis or a Burton Cruzer snowboard. Service is available at four of Killington's lodges as well as at Killington Sports on Route 4; $159 buys a seasonal tune-up card good at two of these locations. Group lessons for adults cost $49 ($59 on some peak dates); private lessons start at $99 an hour. Specialty programs target moguls, racing skills and all-terrain skiing, as well as a program for women taught by women.
Killington has a variety of options when visitors are not skiing, including lodges, restaurants, bars and the Killington Grand Spa. The latter offers massages, facials, nail treatments, a sauna and a fitness center. Dining options include the Wobbly Barn Steakhouse, Ovations (a fine dining family restaurant), and a fixed-price, five-course gourmet dinner at the Ledgewood Yurt. For lodging, the Killington Grand Resort Hotel and Spa offers upscale accommodations, or visitors can make use of the resort's Central Reservations service to book one of the many hotels, country inns or condos in the area. Killington's nightlife gets good reviews. As Snow-Forecast noted, the bars stay open late and people are generally friendly. The resort also caters to conferences and family reunions. There is even a wedding coordinator available. The access road leading to the mountain has many shops, bars and restaurants.
Killington's The Stash terrain park boasts all-natural features for the snowboard enthusiast.