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Where in Vermont for a beginner?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
A friend at work wants to know where to go in Vt. for a beginner. Since he is in his 20s, he will also want a social scene. I thought of Okemo, but then I reconsidered because I think Killington or Mt Snow might be better for the social part of the trip. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 22
There's not much apres ski at Okemo, unfortunately.

If he can handle the trip, I'd recommend Stowe. There's some night life, and the beginner area is one of the best.....wide, served by 2 lifts, and space to spread out (when there's snow).

Not sure about the night life at Killington, but the beginner area there is pretty good also.
post #3 of 22
Depends on the age of the skier. Kmart is the best for the party crowd IMO, Mt Snow has the Snowbarn, that's about it. For families or groups I've stayed in a place at Okemo off Sachem that was a lot of fun. But that was probably the company as much as anything
post #4 of 22
Killington would fit the bill for your friend, decent beginner terrain and the night life is probably the best in Vermont at a ski resort for the younger crowd 20-35 ish set.
post #5 of 22
Killington does have a large learn-to-ski area (i.e., Snowshed). However, once your friend graduates from that things could get interesting. Lots of Killington's beginner terrain are connector trails, which are usually busy with all kinds of mixed ability levels as people try to get from one area of the mountain to another.

Okemo, on the other hand, has loads of beginner and lower intermediate terrain, and a far less confusing layout then Killington has.

Killington does have a night-life that nothing else in Vermont can rival. Okemo is not very far away; 30 minutes at most. You can find cheap (or at least cheaper then slopeside) lodging in Rutland, which is an easy drive to either Okemo or Killington.

As Bonni mentioned, Stowe has an entire separate mountain for beginners and intermediates (Spruce Peak). I'm not really familair with the night life at Stowe.

One other consideration -- when is your friend planning on coming up? New England is in the midst of one of the worst starts ever, and there isn't a whole lot open anywhere right now. Okemo is renowned for having the best snowmaking and grooming team anywhere. Okemo and Killington are probably the best bets for dismal-snow-year conditions.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
I'm not really familair with the night life at Stowe.
Matterhorn. Dear Lord, to have been young and single tonight....
post #7 of 22
For a beginner, Stowe may be nice. My kids had only been on skis two times and I wanted to plant the seeds of a "big mountain" experience.

The east side has a few trails that are very beginner friendly such as the Toll Road, a nice slide through the woods that takes a bit of time to come down and goes through some of the old forest areas. It's pretty flat and you have to pole in one or two places but for those first days on skis, it's a gem.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Matterhorn. Dear Lord, to have been young and single tonight....
The Rusty Nail has fond memories for me.:
post #9 of 22
Killington, not only for the apres ski and beginner terrain on Snowshed but also because there is a green circle trail from the top of every lift. A second or third day Novice can get around to all six mountains without getting over their head.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stache View Post
... without getting over their head.
Too often that's the first order of business ... getting over their head.

Also being wobbly on thier feet and green from being pickled.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stache View Post
Killington, not only for the apres ski and beginner terrain on Snowshed but also because there is a green circle trail from the top of every lift. A second or third day Novice can get around to all six mountains without getting over their head.
Yes, there is green terrain off the top of every lift at Killington. But lots of that green terrain is connector trails that the non-beginner skiers treat as interstate highways in an attempt to get around Killington. i.e., Great Northern is insane. Several of the beginner trails criss-cross over much steeper slopes. The trail layout is universally described as "confusing" and would be far too easy for a beginner to get onto something that puts them way in over their head. None of this makes for a relaxing beginner experience.
post #12 of 22
Gotta give the nod to Killington. After Snowshed, you can graduate to Rams Head for some bluesey-greens (or greeny blues, take yer pick.)

And the night life is good. Take a first-timer to the Wobbly Barn; It'll be a treat.
post #13 of 22
Id think a first timer would be happy at any mountain- Stowe, Okemo, killington. If hes in his 20s though head to Killington no doubt. Pickle Barrel Wobbly Barn. Girls Booze Partying. Cant beat that.
post #14 of 22
I was going to say - just how green are they. Ramshead or horn or whatever is pretty doable unless you're a true newb. You just mainly want to stay off Bear unless you're a mogul junkie, but there's even a bailout trail over there, although it gets skied out usually because 90% of everyone skis it
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonni View Post
The Rusty Nail has fond memories for me.:
AMEN to that Bonnie


Ullr at the "Nail" Feb 2004


: : :
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone, for all of the helpful replies. I will let you know where he decides to go. I think the trip is one of the non-holiday weekends in January.
post #17 of 22
Mad River Glen, and since he is a beginner, an early night with a glass of warm milk and some analgesics.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj View Post
Mad River Glen, and since he is a beginner, an early night with a glass of warm milk and some analgesics.
You may or may not realize it, you made a really good point.

Why is everyone so eager in pushing nightlife? It is either every one here started already as a sports jog or everyone totally forgot about his/her time (just to add: on a driving trip) as a beginner. So, how many of you actually lasted more than 3-4 hours on your first day ever on skis (and progressively less throughout the week) and still feel like pulling an all-nighter around town? At the end of the day, there is nothing better than a cozy accommodation with a comfortable bed. Soaking in a hot tub with a glass of wine/beer definitely helps.

Secondly, no matter how good and appropriate a terrain is for a beginner. A crowded slope is never good for a never ever. It presents a very stressful first time experience to the skier (particularly for a woman). Stress=overwork=stiffness=pain.

With these being said, I think Killington is a terrible place to start unless you are going during a really calm week. I have never skied Killington myself but have heard plenty about it and have skied other Catskill mountains.

My suggestion... The quieter the hill the better. The better the service the better. The more comfortable the room/bed the better.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanwmr View Post
You may or may not realize it, you made a really good point.

Why is everyone so eager in pushing nightlife? It is either every one here started already as a sports jog or everyone totally forgot about his/her time (just to add: on a driving trip) as a beginner. So, how many of you actually lasted more than 3-4 hours on your first day ever on skis (and progressively less throughout the week) and still feel like pulling an all-nighter around town? At the end of the day, there is nothing better than a cozy accommodation with a comfortable bed. Soaking in a hot tub with a glass of wine/beer definitely helps.

Secondly, no matter how good and appropriate a terrain is for a beginner. A crowded slope is never good for a never ever. It presents a very stressful first time experience to the skier (particularly for a woman). Stress=overwork=stiffness=pain.

With these being said, I think Killington is a terrible place to start unless you are going during a really calm week. I have never skied Killington myself but have heard plenty about it and have skied other Catskill mountains.

My suggestion... The quieter the hill the better. The better the service the better. The more comfortable the room/bed the better.

My first thought is, that's why they make afternoon lessons.

My second thought, after continuing to read your post, is that's why Okemo has Jackson Gore. One stop shopping. Great beginner slope, great lessons, great food, great rooms, great ammenities, great place to relax and enjoy her start on a new activity.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Max,

Thanks. I am a big fan of Okemo for beginners, but I think a group of people in their 20s might want a more lively area at night--that is the only reason I would recommend Killington over Okemo. Thanks for the input.
post #21 of 22
Ahhhh to be 25 again (seems like a half lifetime ago).

Refraction time is fast, very fast.

Two hours after hitting the slopes, you are ready to hit the dance floor.
post #22 of 22
RE: how many people starting out wanted to party

I started out skiing at Okemo mostly and partied every night I was there. Of course this was in my early 20s in a chalet that slept 27 other 20-somethings comfortably.

Things have now changed. I'm a better skier and I would more than likely pass out in front of the fire after a nice dinner and a few bottles of wine
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