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First Time At Killington

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, just booked what will be our first trip to Killington for the weekend of April 10th. Booked our rooms at Mountain Sports Inn, which seemed to be in a good location and the price was right. Will be going with a friend who is in the lower intermediate skill level so was wondering if you guys had any recommendations on which trails to check out, since judging from the map, it seems to be quite easy to get lost and end up staring down the wrong trail! Also, any recommendations for where to eat/drink at night? :beercheer:


I didn't buy any lift tickets yet but so far I think the cheapest I've found was on liftopia. Comes out to $105 for two day pass. Anyone know of a better deal? Thanks!

post #2 of 10

At this stage of the season I am not sure if any great lift ticket deals are to be found online. $105 for a two day ticket on the weekend is actually a great price.


Be aware that April 11th will have the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge. As are result Bear Mountain and that base area will probably be crowded. But, the event may also be worth checking out.


I know it seems odd, but I would argue Killington is actually quite difficult to get lost at. They recently updated the signs at almost every trail intersection, many now also include gates warning if only advanced skiing is open beyond that point.


As a lower intermediate the lifts to focus on in my view are Ramshead, Snowdon, North Ridge Triple, Superstar, and Needles Eye. The tougher trails tend to be clustered near Bear Mountain and the canyon below Killington Peak. Rams head could get busy with upper beginners and lessons going on. Also avoid the K-1 gondola from 10-2 at all cost. The line tends to get huge while Superstar will be ski-on. For a lower intermediate the only benefit of the K1 gondola is the view from the Peak Lodge, you can get everywhere else without it.


I would suggest checking out Killington's interactive trail map online, and familiarizing yourself with the trails that are most frequently groomed.


If the weather holds up you should have a great weekend. Killington is large, but a fun mountain to ski because of the variety. Just do not try to ski every trail in one day. If you find a place you like--especially before 10am when the crowds grow--ski it repeatedly.

post #3 of 10

The cover should be decent, but if you have old skis bring them along.  Bring spring (silver) waxes too.

post #4 of 10

Definately look at the Ramshead section to get going - good long greens and blues there...also you'll want to do Great Eastern / Great Northern (nice looooong Green cruisers that go the length of the mountain).  Bittersweet and High Road off of Great Eastern are also some nice solid blues to look at.

post #5 of 10

Killington tends to close Ramshead on the early side compared to the rest of the mountain-- depends on skier visits/when they expect most people to stop coming. I don't think they have announced yet this year when each of the different base areas will close. They will all be open the weekend of the 4/5th since it's Easter weekend, but after that who knows. Not sure what they will do this year since they moved the Mogul Challenge to a later date--it's not the big event it used to be but maybe they will decide to keep things going longer due to having the event and due to the fact that it has still been relatively crowded due to all the snow this year. Usually by the end of March it starts to die off, but while it certainly hasn't been as crowded as mid winter, it still seems like there have been quite a few people there this year compared to other years. You'll want to monitor their website for any trail/base lodge closings for sure.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses. What do you guys usually do with parking / hauling in all your gear?

post #7 of 10

Depends on where you want to make your base--K1, Ramshead if is open, or Snowshed are your best option up the Access Road. Sat/Sun you can find free bag check, and the K1 has free bag check every day of the week. If you get there 30 min before lifts open parking will be wide open, and you can drop your skis off, park, and then gear up and stash your bag in a lodge.


1/2-1/3 of my ski days this year have been Killington, so my wife and I have a good routine down. The scenario will look the same almost no matter where you park.

post #8 of 10

As an intermediate/upper intermediate skier I'll share my plan for skiing Killington. Generally this will only work if the whole mountain is open, so not yet sure what will or won't be open that weekend yet.

Anyway, I always park at Snowshed--if you get there early, as mentioned above about 30 min prior to lift open you can get close parking there and the lodge generally seems less congested than K1.

Anyway, being a ski nerd, I start my day doing warm ups and drills on the Snowshed slope. Once again, if you get there early it will be empty, so the perfect place to work on stuff. After that I go over to Ramshead and take a few runs down Header and then make some laps through the baby terrain park off Easy Street. I find it fun to do some little jumps and easy boxes. After the line for the lift over there starts getting long, I make my way over to the Needles Eye area and ski some of the runs over there. Panic Button, Lower Needles Eye and Cruise Control. I spend much of the morning in that area until 11am when I head back to the Snowshed lodge to add or shed a layer and eat a quick early lunch (get the empanadas from Ana's).

After lunch I go over to the Snowdon triple or quad and take that up (I usually avoid the gondola--too many lines) and make my way over to ski off the Northridge triple and Canyon quad. I then might go back over to Snowdon for a while.


One part of the mountain I avoid like the plague is Bear Mountain--hordes of people and frankly the terrain is nothing special. (I can't speak to the double blacks there, but as far as groomers are concerned and since you mentioned skiing with a lower intermediate . . ). One thing I can say about the double blacks I have seen at Killington in general is that many are groomed (or at least half groomed) and are very do-able for a strong intermediate. I have done Double Dipper on a soft day and it was most definitely manageable. 

If the lower intermediate is looking to explore some easy bumps, Low Road where it forks off from Bittersweet often has easy moguls if they haven't groomed it recently. Same with Ridge Run off the Northridge Triple (these can be a sheet of ice though if it's not warm or no fresh snow).


Honestly, I tend to avoid Bittersweet as it is very busy and some parts are narrow for the volume of skiers (of all abilities) it gets. i.e.--there are lots of people on it who think they are pretty good but don't have the control to ski the speed they are going and sometimes this leads to issues in the narrow areas where it turns.


You asked for eating/drinking suggestions:

Peppino's has pretty good Italian food. I also like Choices for dinner. The Lookout has good bar food. The Foundry also has good food. I can't speak to the bar scene as I ski solo so don't go out to bars. I've had lots of mediocre food on the access rd, but the ones I mention above are pretty solid. There is definitely better food available off the access rd (The Vermont Inn, Table 24 to name a couple).

I have stayed at the Mountain Sports Inn and it is pretty decent. The price is generally right and it is clean.

post #9 of 10

It will probably be crowded on the weekend of the 11th because of the Mogul Challenge, but I personally like to park at Bear Mountain.  It gets great sun, and doesn't seem to be the zoo that the K-1 area is, or even Snowshed.  I was just there this past Sunday, and it was not crowded at all.  We had no trouble getting a table on the deck.  I also like to park at the Skyeship base.  I think it is only open on weekends at this point.  But the front lot doesn't always fill up and you can practically ski to your car at the end of the day.  The problem with that lot is that it is a bit of a pain to get to it and the terrain to get to Skyeship is very uninspired. 

post #10 of 10

You've gotten some good advice.  Since you are staying at the Mt Sports Inn, park at either Ramshead or Snowshed.  I am currently at Killington and skiing is very good with excellent coverage for the end of March.  No predictions yet for a major warmup, so any closures will be due to lack of people not lack of snow.  Enjoy your trip to the Beast of the East!

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