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Killington, Stowe, or Whiteface?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
A friend and myself are planning a trip north a bit this President's Day.  Now, all things considered (lift lines, glades, terrain park, terrain variety, etc.) which mountain should we head to?  We've discussed it for a while, but I'm looking to get some opinions from the crowd here.  We've both been to Stowe and thought it was sick skiing, but is it worth trying something new like Killington or Whiteface?

Is there another mountain (in the EAST) that we should consider?

Thanks, guys!
post #2 of 38
Yes, Sugarloaf.
post #3 of 38
 Where do you live?

Ah - whatever, I'd say Sugarloaf (though you can never go wrong with Stowe )
post #4 of 38
Jay Peak, MRG, Sugarloaf, Saddleback.  These will tend to be less crowded than others to some degree.  But you also need to consider how long do you intend to stay at any one area, where are you driving from and do you require Apres-ski life?
post #5 of 38
Go to Quebec City and ski Le Massif and Mont Ste Anne.  There won't be any crowds as it isn't a holiday there, and it is the very best skiing you can do in the East.  The Quebec City experience can't be beat either.  
post #6 of 38
Not K'mart anyway!

I don't know the crowd situation at Stowe or Whiteface well enough to comment.
post #7 of 38
Stowe is awesome skiing, but it is an absolute madhouse on holiday weekends.
post #8 of 38
Thread Starter 
Sugarloaf- great mountain; been there, too, but its too far for a 4 day trip

Stowe- Never been there for a holiday weekend- is it really that crowded?

Whiteface- anyone been there?  Worth visiting?

Killington- its as crowded as everyone says?
post #9 of 38
I'd go with Stowe of the three.  Whiteface would be good if you like to ski fast groomers, but the snow is inadequate.  Killington is too "zooy" during vacations.  Killington has good entertainment for evening fun.  They do get snow.

Stowe has great skiing and gets a lot of snow.  The gondi for cruisers and woods.  Spruce for a change of pace and the "front four" - bumps, steeps and woods.  Stowe is a class operation and has the Vermont feel to it.

What I don't like about Stowe is the Quad on the front four - too many breakdowns.  I find the gondi to be dull unless you are in the woods.  Personally, I like skiing at Stowe far better than Whiteface and Killington.

Sugarbush could be a good choice too.
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuckInTheEast View Post

Killington- its as crowded as everyone says?

It's noticeably less crowded under the new owners.
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post




It's noticeably less crowded under the new owners.
 

I'm not sure if that sounds like a good thing or a bad thing.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cstreu1026 View Post




I'm not sure if that sounds like a good thing or a bad thing.

Fewer discounted tickets and more expensive season passes to up yield per skier day while reducing crowds.  The previous owner's volume pricing strategy had led to a few high congestion regions on blue and green terrain (with names like the bowling alley and the mixing bowl.)  Consider it a good thing; otherwise, they couldn't have pulled off this price elasticity of demand game successfully, especially in an economic downturn.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

I'd go with Stowe of the three.  Whiteface would be good if you like to ski fast groomers, but the snow is inadequate.  Killington is too "zooy" during vacations.  Killington has good entertainment for evening fun.  They do get snow.

Stowe has great skiing and gets a lot of snow.  The gondi for cruisers and woods.  Spruce for a change of pace and the "front four" - bumps, steeps and woods.  Stowe is a class operation and has the Vermont feel to it.

What I don't like about Stowe is the Quad on the front four - too many breakdowns.  I find the gondi to be dull unless you are in the woods.  Personally, I like skiing at Stowe far better than Whiteface and Killington.

Sugarbush could be a good choice too.

+1 unless the Slides are open, then go to Whiteface. OTOH the slides are never open.  See "...the snow is inadequate..." above.

BK
post #14 of 38
Thread Starter 
Yeah sucks about the Slides- haven't been open since 2003, I think.

Stowe is an awesome mountain, but I think the other guy I'm going with has fallen in love with Killington's trail count- ridiculous, as in 4 days, we're not skiing 140 different trails anyway.

How do I convince him?  Can someone give me a definitive experience of Killington?
post #15 of 38
Killington? It's like skiing in New York City. You've got all five boroughs. Plus the Jersey side.
post #16 of 38

Tourist that I am, I have skied Killington several times on Prez Weekend, although not in the last five years. It will be very crowded. But I like the ski area. You sound young and aggressive and should be able to navigate or avoid the clogged up groomers. There is very good terrain for all levels - groomers/bumps/trees, great snowmaking, and a big spread of trails to explore. If you go there at that prime time, stay away from the main base area around the K-1 gondola as much as possible. Access the hill in the mornings from Bear Mtn or Skyeship Gondola base station if possible. Believe some of the lifts serving expert terrain like Canyon Quad, Bear Mtn will not be killer crowded. South Ridge Triple might also be good for lesser crowds. Assuming your ticket will cover it, maybe on the busiest afternoons drive over and ski Pico to also avoid crowds.

Other folks suggestions are very good too. The Maine areas should be less crowded, but are a long drive. Love MSA and Le Massif, but long drive too. I would think the single chair at MRG would be a big bottle neck on Prez Weekend?  Sugarbush has a pretty big trail count between its two mtns and might be a little less crowded than Killington at that time, esp. Mt Ellen.

post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuckInTheEast View Post

I think the other guy I'm going with has fallen in love with Killington's trail count- ridiculous, as in 4 days, we're not skiing 140 different trails anyway.

How do I convince him?  Can someone give me a definitive experience of Killington?
 
You should go further North, as in Quebec, Sugarloaf or Sugarbush.

Killington can get crowded, but the crowd is predictable.  Get there early, you want to be in the K-1 line at ~7:50 AM.  Ski the basin for the first hour or so to get your fill there before stuff gets buffed down to shiny ice.  Depending on the snow and what lifts are running you can avoid the crowds by staying out of the base areas with lodges from ~9:45 to 11:30 AM.  Needles Eye can be a good place to ski to avoid the mayhem or Snowdon as the lifts there usually don't have much of a line.  If the South Ridge is open that is another spot to ski with out crowds.  If the Skyship base is open, a run or two to Rt 4 can be fun and typically uncrowded.

Ski through lunch.  Since you have been skiing hard since 8:10 AM by mid afternoon bail out and avoid the crowds at the end of the day.  I head to the Long Trail Brew Pub or Sushi Yoshi to snack and sip a few beers.  Killington never seems as crowded as the hey days of the late '80's or '90's to me.
post #18 of 38
Perhaps split your time between two new mountains to justify the extra drive time.  

Try Sugarbush and MRG, Jay and Burke, or Sugarloaf and Saddleback.  (Saddleback is only 30 to 45 minutes further north, much cheaper and has "officially" opened up a massive new part of the mountain to glade skiing.)
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuckInTheEast View Post

How do I convince him?  Can someone give me a definitive experience of Killington?
 

I can, I think.

I have skied there alot, generally speaking.  Here's what I have noticed.  You spend too much time moving around the mountain.  There is a small mountain feel (which is good) on the Needles Eye chair with some fun terrain that goes with it.  Killington lacks terrain except in the woods.  Bear Mountain has great bump lines once the season gets going.  The trails under the K-1 are dull.  Plenty of woods at Killington and that is fun - watch out for the trees.

Killington does not compare to Stowe, in my opinion.  Stowe is a mountain experience, a Vermont experience where as Killington is like skiing in the Suburbs.  Stowe has ruined much of it's terrain as well, especially the front four which is too bad, but it's still much better than Killington.  Great woods at Stowe.

One additional point to consider, Killington's vertical is not much when you remove the long trail to Rt 4.  It is not a big mountain from that stand point.  Stowe skis top to bottom.

If you are serious skiers, MRG is the place to be if you can beat the crowd.  Top to bottom skiing on the finest terrain in the East.  If you go North you will be able to take a day at MRG or Sugarbush.  Sugarbush, MRG and Stowe are head and shoulders over Killington, opinion.
post #20 of 38
Thread Starter 
Too bad he's already skiing MRG at Christmas- I would have loved to go there, but its off the list because of that.

I'll definitely try to sell him on Killington being way too crowded, but he keeps saying "Stowe gets crowded, too"  Not the best argument, if you ask me.

Here's hoping for Stowe!  (I'll also ask about Sugarbush)
post #21 of 38
Killington is not crowded these days. That doesn't mean it's the best skiing in VT, but it's not crowded.

And yes, if you absolutely detest New Yorkers then look elsewhere.
post #22 of 38
I'd vote for Whiteface, and Stowe as well.

Yes, Whiteface can be Iceface, but it was a ton of fun when I was there, and it *does* have a higher vertical, if you're into that sort of number. It will probably be less crowded than Stowe, and it's a lot of fun to check out the Lake Placid Olympic runs, which are pretty gnarly. Other bonus to Whiteface is that the town has really good food and drink, and great, laid-back, upstate culture. Both Saranac Lake and Lake Placid have really cool vibes, and some yummy beer, too! (though I'm sure the same could be said for Stowe!) 
post #23 of 38
I would try Sugarbush!  Great terrain, great snow, OK nightlife and not usually crowded.  Castlerock has great terrain.  Their are two mountain to keep you busy and MRG is close.  You can also head up to Stowe from there if you want. 
post #24 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thank you VERY, VERY much for the responses, guys!

Keep 'em coming!
post #25 of 38
Hey I'm thinking about maybe going up to Killington the weekend after thanksgiving...do you guys think it would be worth it to go up there???
post #26 of 38
Do you mean worth it in relation to cleaning out your garage or worth it in relation to driving to a resort that might be closer to you? If it's the former then hell yes, if the latter, then it depends where you live.
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier232 View Post

Hey I'm thinking about maybe going up to Killington the weekend after thanksgiving...do you guys think it would be worth it to go up there???
post #27 of 38
 Also depends on if they are open. We haven't exactly been having much winter yet.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuckInTheEast View Post

A friend and myself are planning a trip north a bit this President's Day.  Now, all things considered (lift lines, glades, terrain park, terrain variety, etc.) which mountain should we head to?  We've discussed it for a while, but I'm looking to get some opinions from the crowd here.  We've both been to Stowe and thought it was sick skiing, but is it worth trying something new like Killington or Whiteface?

Is there another mountain (in the EAST) that we should consider?

Thanks, guys!
One thing to think of is Presidents Day weekend is the most crowded time at all the resorts. You would be better off trading in that day for another Monday to make a 3 day weekend if that was a possibility for you. If that is  not an option and you are looking to ski more than stand in lift lines you need to pick a place that has a good lift system. One that has multiple lifts thru out the resort that also access terrain from different parts of the same mountain. In Vt. Sugarbush, Killington, and others such as Okemo, Stratton and Mt. Snow do this. Another person mentioned Pico, that has good sustained vertical almost 2k, won't have much in way of lift lines. If you are at Killington and it was very crowded you could head over to Pico on the same ticket and ski there.
If you are really into the "sickest" terrain and did not care about the amount of skiing you would be getting in than MRG it should be, with Jay and Stowe as good choices also.
 I have been to Burke on Pres weekend, they only have 1 lift to service their terrain and you will be standing a long time. Have only been to Whiteface on non holiday times and it is a big mountain for groomer cruisers, not much in the way of glades, bumps.Slides if they are open are pretty good but are rarely open. If this is for a long weekend trip Sugarloaf is a long way for that but if for longer that is the place to go.
post #29 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thanks a bunch, Snowbowler.

Didn't even think about Pico being so close.

Thanks, man.
post #30 of 38
I've been to Whiteface a few times now, and I've never noticed too much ice.  In fact, I've always been surprised with how grippy Cloudspin and Skyward are, considering their steepness and exposure to wind.  The same goes for all those blacks in the Little Whiteface area.  The only typically icy spot I can think of is the heavily traveled area under the Facelift lift, and even that has never been too bad. 

Is it possible that with all their improvements to snowmaking over the last 10 years or so, they've beaten the Iceface moniker... though the reputation hasn't shook?
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