Pros: Great vibe, no lines, sweet woods, good snow, CHEAP CHILI!
Cons: Elevation, some of the best terrain is not yet authorized for public consumption
Nestled in the north-central spine of the Greens, the Snow Bowl is a quintessential Vermont ski area. Not a resort (there is no lodging, no bar, and no chi-chi shopping strip), the Bowl serves as the training ground for the first-rate Middlebury College Ski Team. It is also the snow-home for many Middlebury-area families. With its strong racing heritage, there are plenty of opportunities and terrain to get your carve on. Quality grooming, multi-pitch and double fall line classics like the Allen and Ross and nearly omnipresent gate training whet the appetite for speed. But if this is all you see, you miss the best aspects of the Bowl. Location and orientation set it up to get hammered by most storm tracks, without significant wind exposure--what blows in, stays in. Covered in hardwood forest, the tree skiing opportunities, where allowed, are top-drawer. A pleasant side effect of the race-bred traffic is untouched woods and glades, days after a storm. Easy access to the Long Trail and the Breadloaf Wilderness make it a skinner's playground. All this, and none of the crowds of nearby resort standards. Finally, the Bowl is ideal for kids. With access to all the terrain they need to develop as well-rounded riders, friendly staff and a great lodge, it's hard to beat as a place to raise rippers. Oh, and the meat chili is both outstanding and cheap!