180 inches average snowfall from OnTheSnow.com
Exposure is north, northeast, and east.
Check our other guides for more area lodging and dining options at these nearby resorts: Magic, Mount Snow, Bromley, and Okemo.
Up For Breakfast
Manchester Bar & Grill
|Snow making percent||90%|
|Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet||1|
|Lifts-Surface Lifts-Rope tow||1|
|Lifts-Surface Lifts-T bar|
|Lifts-Surface Lifts-J bar|
|Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad|
|Lifts-Chair Lifts-Five person|
|Lifts-Chair Lifts-Six person||4 HS 6s|
|Lifts-Chair Lifts-Eight person|
|Lifts-Total number of lifts||12|
|Lifts-Total lift capacity|
|Runs-Longest run||1.2 miles|
|General-Annual skier visits|
|General-Back country access|
|General-Total area in bounds||600 acres|
|General-Snow making coverage||570 acres|
Pros: great grooming, nice gondola
Cons: gondola has no benches...
There are boot fitters in the base village. Visit them. Find out what a good fitting boot really feels like.
Nice Superpipe on the left side of the mountain. The Stratton Mountain Academy kids are really fun to watch. They are good racers.
I'm hoping to go back after a good storm and ski my ass of again.
Pros: Grooming, More bumps this year, close, well managed, US Open
Cons: So Vt. so the weather can be varriable
Family - I am comfortable having my kids ski alone and meet for lunch when they want some freedom. Safety seems to be serious and guides/help is readily available.
Parks - the parks have been moved this year to take more of the load onto some of the less used trails. I don't ride the parks but the reviews I have heard have been very positive.
Snow making - these guys are fantastic at snow making and grooming. A complaint I had in the past was "too much grooming". this year they have left several good runs bumped up, and the have made a few small man-made bump runs so people can learn - i thought this was a good idea.
Glades, Trees, they are well marked and there are a large number - perhaps 12 sections, some quite large. They are never crowded.
Lifts - well managed and short lines except the two big weekends... like everywhere, start early.
Greens, OK, some nice small new-England narrow runs, a few very wide "meadows". The tend to be the most crowded.
Blues - very well groomed, typically good snow on the edges. Medium challenge vs Blues in other places.
Blacks, easy if over groomed, crazy if iced over moguls. Typically they are kept well between the two. There is a wide range from lower end blacks to fairly steep slopes. A few like Kidderbrook are very long. Some like upper down easter are short and steep.
Dining - several good restaurants right at the base, and Manchester VT is about 20 min away. VERDE is as good as any restaurant you will find. Mulligans and Mulberry's are good mid-range family places. Grizzlies is a nice apres ski bar with music for a few hours after the slopes close.
Shops - prices seem pretty typical, ask for discounts. The best is that I have found very good service if anything goes wrong - the best is Equipe, they bend over backwards to be fair and helpful. The Green Mt Orthotics lab does top notch boot fitting. There are a few cool coffee bars and such that are just nice places to take a break or meet after skiing.
Our family had to use the Carlos Otis Medical Clinic in the Stratton Village due to an injury. The staff and facilities were excellent, very top notch, fast and professional - saved us a trip to a hospital and most importantly made sure everything was OK....
Pros: good size, nice peaple,lots of great terrain,good groomers
Cons: gets very crouded
My dad and I went to Stratton looking for good groomers and that is what we found at Stratton. Stratton is a family friendly mountain The only downside was the amount of people that were there. But I am sure that it would not be like that on a weekday. All in all Stratton is an awesome mountain.
Pros: most lifts are high speed, varied terrain/trails, good support, good facilities
Cons: Weekend crowds
I can't speak for the black or advanced skiing, my wife and I are solid intermediate skiers so take this into consideration, my review is based on that experience.
We like the fact that we can ski the whole mountain from the Sun Bowl to the upper mountain to the Snow Bowl runs and always have something different to experience. It's easy to get around and the lifts are arranged to facilitate this manner. We tend to stay on the Sun Bowl/Snow Bowl sides during the weekends because the bigger crowds tend towards the main part of the mountain. The Sun Bowl has some good intermediate areas and is wider than most, we find it a good challenge for our abilities...less people too. The Snow Bowl side has some long cruisers, some areas are great for our level and others could be a bit steeper but it gives us the time to practice our carving without getting in trouble.
The American Express lift services intermediate runs to the mid-mountian areas, great runs to get in a nice groove. The mid-mountain lodge is there too so if you're enjoying a nice day you can pop in for some grub or a brew.
The Snow Bowl lift if one of the old style slower ones that services some long runs, I wish they'd upgrade to one of the high speeds since that side is great for our level.
Overall we enjoy it, it's a bit pricey but skiing isn't the most economical endeavor you can participate in.
Pros: Grooming, True Vertical, Beautiful Village
Cons: Crowds, Expensive, Not much challenging terrain
I skied a lot in Stratton when I lived in Troy, NY. It is a nice sized single mountain that offers fast runs. Lots of top to bottom runs, most of them are either blue or black but most blacks in Stratton could be a blue for instance in Sugarloaf, ME. Steeps are probably the major missing part in Statton but their blacks are usually wide and long so you can go pretty fast on this mountain, whereas steeper terrain on most eastern mountains are usually very narrow and short. I like the village a lot, lots of restaurant, shops, etc. If you are looking for apres ski Stratton is a nice choice. They have great snow making and grooming fleet, mogul/bumpy trails are marked nicely so that you won't accidentally enter one of those if you don't like moguls. I give Statton 4 starts due to the lift ticket costs. You better buy the X2 card at least otherwise the prices will hurt especially during the holiday weekends. However, despite the prices Stratton is never empty. It sometimes gets so crowded that you will wait around 30 minutes in the Gondola or Ursa Express. However, because it attracts families with kids, afternoons are usually much faster. Especially after 3pm to the closing, there is virtually no line in Gondola, so you can rip top the bottom runs many times.
Pros: Good snow making and grooming, good variety of terrain up to advanced, lots of extraneous stuff
Cons: Lack of very difficult terrain, crowds, relatively expensive
Stratton represents the good and the bad of the present day southern Vermont resort experience. It makes snow very well and does an equally good job of grooming it. If you like things bumped up, the latter fact may sometimes annoy you, but if you like long groomers, you'll be very happy. If you're looking for expert terrain, this probably isn't the resort for you, but I did enjoy the fast, twisty Upper Spruce and a few of the runs off of the Ursa Express lift. There are a number of trails which might be fun at speed, but if you go on a weekend crowds may make this unsafe. If you are looking for a well-packaged resort experience for a group with varying skill levels and interests in Southern VT, Stratton might be a good choice. If you are purely looking to challenge yourself skiing, you may want to check out nearby Magic Mountain.
Pros: Reliably good snow
Cons: Lift layout; snooty skiers
Just 2003 feet of vertical and 600 acres of skiing go a long way when you apply Intrawest attention attention to it. Expert snowmaking and grooming keep the mountain relatively free of Vermont Powder (ice). And when other mountains are skiing hardpack, Stratton offers up a far more turnable surface. It's the most reliable snow in Vermont.
While Stratton is known as a cruiser's paradise, and there are no real steeps, there is challenge if you're willing to look for it. Bear Down is a thigh-screaming bumper. Stevek's and World Cup combine for some gnarly turns. And Stratton has done a good job opening up trees at all levels—from the wide-open Emerald Forest (beloved of munchkins) to the white-knuckle bobsledder Moondance.
There is a lot of uphill capacity (four 6-pack lifts), but the lift layout is lacking. The Kidderbrook chair was dismantled a few years ago, and the only way up the south side is to take the local from the Sunbowl base. On the Snowbowl side, the ancient quad is a slow slog on a cold day. Which is why so many skiers funnel into the gondola and the Ursa chair, where the weekend waits can have you gnawing at your polestraps.
Part of the problem is the mountain layout. Stratton is a single peak, and it can be chaotic at the summit as all lifts converge. On a busy day, you'll be dodging traffic rushing in every direction, like a demolition derby on snow.
The food is a half-notch above most ski-mountains—but good luck finding a seat in any of the base lodges on a weekend. Better a walk into the base village to enjoy one of the restaurants there. And while we're talking about amenities, consider staying in Manchester, about 20 minutes west. There are good inns and hotels, nice restaurants, and any shopaholic can tell you about the famous outlet stores.
Stratton is the most expensive mountain in Vermont, and this is related to the mountain's biggest problem: the people. Not the staff—they're nice enough. But many of the skiers and riders belong to that self-centered and entitled class that has, in my opinion, taken a lot of the fun out of winter at some resorts. Stratton is a little snooty.
But put that out of your head. There's a good variety of skiing, reliably good snow and—for lunch—amazing lobster quesidillas ($12) at Mulligan's in the base village. Intrawest has done well.
Pros: Great lifts, snowmaking, and grooming; good for families; excellent amenities nearby
I have been going to Stratton consistently for the past 10 years, and here are my impressions:
There is no shortage of places to stay at Stratton, as the past decade has seen a lot of development on the mountain. Stratton's main advantage is that it's the biggest mountain in Southern VT, which means there is a heavy NY/NJ contingent. Intrawest certainly realized that and built the heck out of the place. I would recommend renting at Mountain Watch or Mountain Reach (if you have the dough). That way you are ski-on ski-off and within walking distance of the village.
Intrawest certainly doesn't skimp on any of these. The lifts are fast (with the exception of Snow Bowl), the snowmaking is prodigious, and grooming is solid. The mountain gets pretty badly overrun on Saturdays and holidays and you will get lift lines of 20 minutes quite often at URSA (which services the entire mountain and you can get to from a good portion of it) and the Gondola (ditto). The clear solution to this problem is to upgrade the Snow Bowl lift (which never has lines because its so damn cold) to take the pressure off URSA. I doubt the money to do this exists given the financial state of Intrawest, but it would do a lot for the experience at Stratton. That said, if you ever get a chance to come on a weekday or a non-holiday Sunday, the lifts are a dream and you shouldn't hit much traffic.
I'm an expert skier and I spend most of my time on bumps and trees, which are usually nice at Stratton if it has snowed recently. Liftline, Spruce, Upper Standard, Bear Down, and Freefall usually have pretty solid bumps. World Cup tends to have good bumps in the training portion and irregular bumps on the sides, but it's the only steep mogul run on the hill so you take what you can get. I like Free Fall Gully as far as trees are concerned. It's certainly not a really difficult mountain, but I am usually quite entertained as long as there is decent snow. Trails to avoid: Black Bear and Upper Tamarack. Way overcrowded and skied off. Same with Upper Middlebrook when the line at URSA is bad.
This is a strong point for Stratton. You have the outlets at Manchester and a lot of good restaurants. I like Mistral's at the high price point and the new Sushi place in the village isn't bad despite the unimaginative name. Verde and the Red Fox Inn (upstairs) are also good at the high price point.
Another strong point. It's a fairly easy mountain to navigate and they have a lot of family-friendly events in the village. Non-skiers can snowshoe or XC ski at the Nordic Center or shop in Manchester. Definitely a good place for families.
Well, clearly this place isn't going to be cheap. It's the NYC metro area's mountain. I plan on getting a Value + pass next year and just skiing non-holidays because I like those weekends better anway, and that way the cost is contained to a reasonable $650 per year. As far as value goes, come on the right weekends after some good snowfall and you will get it.
Stratton is a great option in Southern Vermont. There are definitely times during the season when it's just not worth skiing due to poor conditions and overcrowding (Xmas-NYE is usually terrible), but February and March are usually great on non-holiday weekends.
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