I am currently in college through 2012 and one of the benefits of being a skier in a northeastern college/university is that many of the mountains offer college season passes. I currently get an SOS pass (that is a season pass for Stratton, Okemo and Sunapee), as a birthday present, which is good since I have a place that I can stay near Okemo. However, the aforementioned mountains are rather easy, as barring crappy conditions, I can do any run on those mountains without too much trouble. This has caused me to start trying new mountains (via Liftopia), but has been costly. Hence, I am considering to get another college season pass to a "nearby resort" (i.e. less than 2 hours away). I want a mountain with non-gladed terrain that I can grow into (my skiing improved markedly last year) and I am hesitant about doing glades as I often ski solo, and tree skiing is dangerous if one skis that way. The major things I will be factoring in are: how tough the terrain can get on a mountain, how good and big the mountain is, how far away it is, how much the pass is and how often and long the ski area operates.
I have not been to all of the places I will mention (and I have not skied more than 2 days at any of them):
Here are the places I am considering (in no particular order):
1. Magic Mountain (assuming they are open next year): $129, ~25-30 minutes away
2. Killington: $399, 30-40 minutes away
3. Sugarbush*: $399, 90-100 minutes away
4. Mad River Glen: $289, 105-120 minutes away (this pass is also good for Bolton Valley and Jay Peak (2.5-3 hours away and 4+ hours away respectively)
5. Stowe*: $399, 2 hours away
*Never been to these mountains, though only have heard positive things about them.
I will appreciate any recommendations. Thanks in advance and I apologize for the wall of text.