Stowe, VT – With bounties of natural snow already this season The Cathedral of Eastern skiing is off to remarkable start. To match the total snow accumulations, the resort was boasting more than 60% of its legendary, hand cut, terrain this past weekend.
Some prefer The Cradle of Eastern Skiing. In 1940 the area installed its first chairlift—a single. At the time it serviced what was widely considered the most difficult terrain in the country, the Front Four. Mount Mansfield (the resorts home) is the tallest peak in Vermont standing at 4,395 feet. The town that rests below the ski area only adds to the lure Stowe has had on skiers and winter snow sports enthusiasts for decades.
It was a weekend warrior mission. Leave Boston late Friday night and return under the cloak of darkness on Sunday.
The Friday Night Commute
During the afternoon Mother Nature dumped five inches of wind driven snow on the city in about two hours. No rush, best to give the plows some time to clear the roads before embarking on what should be 3.5 hour ride. It was the first trip north of the season and I just saw Thunder and Lighting SNOW in downtown Boston. Left the Hub at 8:50 PM, pulled into Stowe 4 hours later, two stops. Roads were the worst getting out of MA on 93N. Five hours after the snows stopped and the highway was still a disaster. The ride was in 4H…
Saturday: On the Snow
New skis! I was more involved with my equipment than any other aspect on day number one of the season. The first few runs were spent getting a feel for the edge and response of my new tools. Glad to report they ski fantastic; smooth transitions, precise, powerful and quick. Note: It was the first day the Gondola was open, enticing people with a foot plus of powder in places.
Conditions Report: High marks for Early December. The sugar piled up around the edges of the trails with snowmaking and provided more than enough play for the first day. There was still a lot of stash all over the mountain. Some of the more challenging terrain required a finer eye and a little more picking your way down, but the thin pockets were short and the rewards after were well worth the endeavor.
Saturday Night: Stowe has many options, but look to this list for some direction.
Best Burger: The Pub at the Shed
Cool Stop: The Vermont Ski Museum
Best Local Spot: Ladies Invited Saloon
Change of pace: Cross-country ski or snowshoe
Sports Bar: The Sunset Grille
Ski Bar: Matterhorn
Night Club: Rusty Nail
Romantic: Horse drawn sleigh rides
Celebrity Sighting: Ted Danson (aka Mayday Malone) in the Vet w/ a Babe
Easy like Sunday Morning
Some muscles were admittedly a little sore, but back out on the mountain. No way to clear out a hangover like some old fashioned, cold Vermont air. The sunshine also helped… Halfway down the first run, I was in a real good spot. Conditions still superb, the crowd had vanished by 11:00—no lines at the quad. Day number 2 of the season was brilliant.
S.G. ~ hanging around the edges
Big for fun, large in stature, Stowe is home to some of the East’s finest and more storied terrain both on and off the mountain. There is something at Stowe for all abilities, all tastes and all ages.
Reality Check: Half past five on Sunday night. Becoming fed up with post game callers on the radio and I am looking for a parking spot…again.
Blizzard for Christmas?
Snowmaking in progress on Sunday