Originally Posted by TimBallz
My wife and I are taking our first USA ski trip in a few weeks. We come from the uk and have always skied in Europe so apologies for some of the questions, I just don't know what to expect.
We are staying in Stowe for 6 days and have a few questions:
Is it worth mixing up our time and maybe also visiting Smugglers Notch?
If so, is it easy to park in US resorts if you're not staying/lodging there?
Are you able to rent gear and leave at the rental store after the day. Or do you need to take the gear back to where you are staying?
And lastly, do you recommend booking lift passes and gear rentals online before we arrive?
Thanks in advance. Can't wait!
1) I've never been to Smuggler's Notch, so I can't comment on the worthwhileness of heading over there. As said above, it's a longer drive than you might think though because the direct route is closed. I've been skiing Stowe for years though and I have yet to get bored there.
2) As for parking. Mid week shouldn't be an issue; parking can get tight on weekends. All parking at Stowe is over on the Mansfield side, while the Spruce side is the easier skiing (not sure of your ability level). To get between the two sides, ride the Over Easy gondola. Try to park near the gondola if you're going to be starting over at Spruce... it's no fun lugging ski gear through the parking lot.
Also, Stowe has the Mountain Road Shuttle. It's free, and it solves the parking issue nicely. If it's snowing hard (always a possibility !), it's also a lot less nerve-wracking to let somebody else do the driving if you're not confident with driving in snow.
3) As for rentals. You can rent at the mountain or at various shops in town. @Whiteroom works at SkierShop and can certainly set you up with whatever you need for the week.
4) Most definitely pre-purchase lift tickets for Stowe. Or use the Bypass system. Pre-purchasing lift tickets saves you quite a bit over the "walk up" rate.
Enjoy your time at Stowe! It's a fantastic place.