Why You Should Go Spring Skiing in Vermont

Killington Ski Resort is known for its early opening, sometimes as early as October 1, and late closing dates.

Killington Ski Resort is known for its early opening, sometimes as early as October 1, and late closing dates. Photo: specialolympicsusa

The West tends to get all the love when it comes to spring skiing, but the Green Mountain State stays plenty white throughout the late winter and early spring. Its spring skiing conditions will satisfy even a Rocky Mountain skier’s expectations, and you’ll earn major cred in the lift line if you can say you’ve skied Vermont in a t-shirt.

Before you head for the hills, make for Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington, where you can find great deals (especially in their basement consignment shop) even in the middle of the season. In addition to the shop’s huge selection of your favorite outdoor brands, Outdoor Gear Exchange is a great resource for gear knowledge and Osprey pack recommendations, as well as local trip reports.

Who Stays Open

Photo of chairlift at Stowe Mountain Resort

Stowe Mountain Resort is a gem not just for its phenomenal skiing but its significant contributions to skiing nationwide. Photo: Amy Kvistad

When it comes to long ski seasons, Vermont’s got everybody beat. Thanks to somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 inches of average annual snowfall and a snowmaking system that covers more than 70 percent of its runs, Killington Ski Resort is known for its early opening (sometimes as early as October 1st) and late closing (often well into May). Killington’s consistency in this area means New England’s largest resort—which also has the East’s largest vertical drop—has the longest season in North America.

Fortunately for enthusiastic powderhounds, Killington isn’t the only game in town when it comes to spring skiing in Vermont. Tons of other Eastern US resorts remain open through March, when the skiing really starts to get serious, and there’s plenty to do.

For example, Stowe Mountain Resort isn’t just known for phenomenal skiing (though there’s plenty of that), but its significant contributions to skiing nationwide, too. The Mount Mansfield Ski Patrol, formed in 1934, was the role model for the first National Ski Patrol. Today, Stowe usually gets around 300 inches of annual snowfall, putting its base among the deepest in the Northeast. Oh, and around a third of that snowfall typically happens in March.

Where to Find the Best Deals

Photo of skis stored outside the lodge at Stratton

Stratton offers a five-day ski pass for college students who head to the resort over spring break. Photo: Shannon McGee

Looking to stretch your dollars a little further? Stratton Mountain Resort is the place to be. Not only will you find excellent après on the deck of Grizzly’s at the Base Lodge, but the deals are killer. Stratton offers a five-day ski pass for college students who head to the resort over spring break for $250, and the Flex Pass is well worth the $249 for three visits, plus discounts on fourth and fifth visits.

Bromley Mountain also boasts an ideal setting for après skiing. It’s known as Vermont’s Sun Mountain for a reason: the south-facing slopes mean skiers are in for softer snow all day long, especially in March. It’s a great time to bring the whole family to Bromley, since the resort hosts a bunch of great spring-themed events and goes out of its way to save you money. The Spring Loaded card scores skiers a four-pack of lift tickets for $119, and the Kidsrule Mountain Camp three-packs means it won’t break the bank to get the kids on skis.

Jay Peak Resort often gets a major dump in March, just in time for its Ski the East Freeride Finals and its beloved end-of-season tailgating party in April. (It’s open until early May.) Best of all, Jay Peak offers awesome spring break deals, like a trip for a family of four for as little as $279 a night. You can also save big on Jay Peak lift tickets if you buy online in advance.

Don’t Miss These Events

Photo of a ski trail at Smugglers Notch

Smugglers’ Notch Resort offers tons of spring events. Photo: Robbie Shade

Half the fun of skiing in the spring is the playful events taking place on and off the slopes. Smugglers’ Notch Resort takes the responsibility of holding those events very seriously, with tons of demos, parking lot tailgating, and even fireworks during March Break Week (March 10-17). The resort also hosts an annual MapleFest, which celebrates all things maple with themed guided snowshoe tours, tastings and dining specials, and visits to local maple sugarhouses.

Looking to take advantage of the longer days? Bolton Valley offers night skiing from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday for just $25, and as the solstice approaches, that means you can literally ski into the sunset. (Stick around for the view of the Adirondacks at sunset.) Bolton also hosts the Spring Thing Weekend and a Pond Skimming competition if you want to mix things up a little.

A photo of a ski trail at Sugarbush Resort

Sugarbush Resort offers a variety of spring events. Photo: Rudi Riet

Sugarbush Resort keeps the springtime fun going even longer with the Stein’s Challenge, which it hosts in mid-April. The quintessential New England run, named for beloved Olympian Stein Eriksen, is challenging even for expert skiers and the event gives them four hours to make as many laps as they can on the trail. Not quite up for the challenge? You’ll be in good company with the spectators at the aptly Pizza & Pint Pavilion, conveniently located at the base of Stein’s Run, where you can take in the action over a beer.

While spring can bring some of the best skiing of the entire season, there is also an increased risk of avalanche danger due to the warmer temps. If you don’t have avy training, your best bet is to stick to the resort boundaries, so here are a few tips for how to pack for a day on the slopes.

Written by Emma Walker for RootsRated in partnership with Osprey Packs and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]

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Published:March 9, 2020

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