Mother Nature has brought fresh snow to the mountains for Vermont, which means it's time to start planning your winter getaway. Check out this sampling of deals that Vermont resorts have put together and book a trip that will make your family and your wallet smile.
As baby boomers were building families in the 1970s and 1980s, ski resorts were putting steel and concrete in the ground, expanding both lifts and terrain. The skiers and riders of today are benefiting from those infrastructure improvements. Lifts are faster, ticket-checking is RFID-enabled to speed up lines, and snowmaking and grooming have never been better or more energy-efficient.
Now the focus is on affordability and on-hill experiences.
Those in the market for 2018-19 season passes at Vermont resorts still have time to save big, thanks to fall deadlines on some of the best deals in the business.
It’s just as fun to go up the mountain as it is to go down thanks to Vermont resort’s well maintained and sprawling trail networks. Thousands of acres of wilderness offer both challenging and meandering trails with beautiful views and the ability to choose between half-day hikes complete with summit dining, to overnight hikes and the opportunity to connect with Vermont’s iconic Long Trail system and the longest hiking foot path in the world, the Appalachian Trail.
Cruising on Spruce Peak at Stowe. (Stowe/Facebook)
Vermont resorts are offering 2018-19 season passes at their lowest prices this spring, and some options include access for the rest of this season, too. Several Vermont areas are also included in multi-mountain pass offerings for great travel options.
Sunny spring tele turns at Cranmore. (Cranmore/Facebook)
Nothing like a consecutive string of nor'easters to put a smile on the faces of Northeast skiers and riders. Due to above average snowfall this season, resorts across the region have announced extended ski seasons.
Skier slides down Loon in NH where all eyes are on a coastal storm. (Loon/Twitter)
Snow alert! A huge storm slams the West this week with locally up to five feet of snow. The East could be nice and snowy just in time for the weekend.
Now is a great time to bring the family to Sugarbush. (Sugarbush)
Vermont’s resorts have prepared a slew of deals to get skiers and snowboarders to the hill this December. Start off the holiday season with discounted vacation packages, learn-to-turn programs and more.
Monkeying around at Sugarbush. (Sugarbush)
Adventure seekers can get their thrills in this summer when they visit one of Vermont’s resort adventure parks. Summer is calling and Vermont ski resorts have an adventure for everyone to embark on.
Cooling off at Bromley. (Bromley/Facebook)
Plenty of great skiing at Stratton. (Stratton)
Known as the snowiest month of the season, March brings heaps of snow and warmer temperatures for skiers and riders in Vermont. Add to that a mix of great deals and events at Vermont’s mountains and March is sure to be a month that you don’t want to miss.
Pisten Bully representative Josh Nelson hands over keys to Cranmore's Ben Wilcox, Tyler Fairbank, Brian Fairbank, Rick Oaks, Glen Harmon and John Mersereau. (Cranmore/Facebook)
At a belated ceremony at New Hampshire’s Cranmore Mountain Resort, PistenBully New England Regional Sales Representative, Josh Nelson, handed over the keys to the first 600E+ in the East.
Jay Peak skiers are ready for Mother Nature to bring it on. (Jay Peak)
Thanks to Winter Storm Caly and the many weeks of early season snowfall, Vermont’s resorts have welcomed over 8 feet of natural snowfall to their slopes this season, and with it, have expanded their terrain offerings and snowmaking coverage as the conditions have continued to play in favor of an awesome 2016-17 ski and snowboard season.
If big snow falls early, pay less to ski more powder at Crystal Mountain. (Crystal Mountain/Facebook)
This is what we do in anticipation of another ski and snowboard day: Think snow, check web cams, pray for cold – and lock in a couple of early-season discount tickets.
Most resorts drop ticket prices before the holidays to entice us into the high country as soon as possible. Savings also can be had by ordering online, buying in groups, and going midweek.
Here’s SnoCountry’s sampling of early ticket deals around the country:
Crystal Mountain. Limited number of five-pack of adult tickets available on first-come, first-served basis at Washington mountain. Cost is $335 for 10 percent savings.
Sundance. Utah resort sells limited number of day tickets 40-60 percent off on a revolving basis. For example, Dec. 9 ticket costs $30.99 – more than half off.
Mammoth Mountain. Ski opening day at Cali resort for $50, online only. Includes free coffee and cocoa to stay warm till lift opens at 8:30 a.m.
Snow Summit. Opening day at SoCal mountain is $41; stay another day and get two days for $69. Must buy online at least 72 hours in advance.
Steamboat. Through Dec. 18, three days of skiing and riding costs $169 with Boat Launch Pass, plus 20 percent off mountain lodging.
Aspen/Snowmass. Book at least two nights before Dec. 18 and get 40 percent off lift tickets at any SkiCo mountain. Book three nights at Little Nell Hotel before Dec. 18 and get two lift tickets free.
Bromley. Purchase a Sun Mountain Card by Dec. 16 for $69, and get $30 off full day ticket price all season. Price goes up to $79 after that.
Stratton. Top out at $69 midweek, $89 weekend with bonus day after Jan. 2 for $89 with X2 Card.
Ziplines like this one at Whitefish Mountain take kids for high-flying rides at mountain resorts. (Whitefish/Facebook)
Winter resorts across the nation want kids to take up skiing and snowboarding to keep the sports growing. And, many believe that attracting youngsters to the mountains during the summer will help.
Telemark skiing may be considered old school, but racers coming to Vermont and New Hampshire this winter will be showing off a combination of the giant slalom turns of alpine racing, the distance jumps of ski jumping, and the endurance of Nordic skiing into one format which tests skill, stamina, power and grace. Proponents hope to one day make Telemark racing an Olympic sport.
Once all the presents are opened, it’s time to hit the slopes and put all those new cozy sweaters and fleeces to good use. Vermont resorts have fun in the mountains planned for the Christmas vacation week.
It's a challenge being a snow reporter staffing the desks at New England's Bromley, Cranmore, and Jiminy Peak resorts. When winter storms pound New England, at 6:30 a.m. there are just so many ways to say, "corduroy," "powder" and that other snow report staple, "stoked."
Today’s ski and snowboarding instructors range in age from 14 to 83 and don’t necessarily have to be black diamond level skiers. The Fairbank Group resorts – Jiminy Peak in western Massachusetts, Bromley in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and Cranmore Mountain Resort in the White Mountains of New Hampshire – announced plans to fill 250 ski and snowboard instructor positions by the start of the ski season in late November.
Vermont’s Bromley Mountain is looking to make getting on the snow even easier for kids this winter. New for 2015-16 is a learn to ski or ride package called the Super Duper 6-Pack that comes with free skis or a snowboard.