Killington Ski Holidays - Picturesque countryside of New England
Killington is big by any measure and it can truly claim to offer terrain for all standards. Although all the trails are within the treeline the gradients range from nearly flat to some of the steepest there are and the width from 'as wide as it's long' down to only 2.5 metres (eight feet). The Snowshed area by the resort's main base (there are others at the Skyeship gondola base station, the Sunrise base station and Bear Mountain; Pico mountain, soon to be lift-linked, has its own base of course) has seen more people learn to ski than any other beginner area in the US.
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The resort has long pioneered innovative teaching techniques including, in the past, the graduated length method made famous in Les Arcs, France. It now offers the Perfect Turn Learning Centre developed by the American Skiing Company, initially at Sunday River and so successful it has been exported to all ASC resorts and franchised to other resorts not owned by the corporation. The key to it is, arguably, putting the emphasis on letting you learn at your own pace, using state of the art gear, rather than trying to force you in to a regimented 'succeed or fail at our pace not yours' scenario which is still the way in most ski schools around the world.
The Snowshed slope is a huge gentle meadow ideal for first-timers to practise on. Most soon progress on to the Rams Head Mountain where a mix of beginner and intermediate trails give a variety of descents including the gentle Timberline or the faster Header which follows the fall line. Swirl is a popular choice on powder days.
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One of the resort's six terrain parks designed for fun snow sports of all kinds, not specifically snowboarding, is located here as is the Family Centre where kids day care and ski schools are based.
For tougher skiing that gets some of the resort's earliest and best snow, The Glades attracts more experts to ungroomed terrain. Like Snowden Mountain and West Glade, it has a reputation for bump runs and allows skiers on all runs the opportunity to continue down to The Canyon below. This includes the notorious Double Dipper run with an average pitch of 40%, building to 54% for the final third of its length. The high traverse leads from here to Killington Peak, the highest lift-served terrain in Vermont.
Skye Peak is the area most popular in to the late season and the one which often stays open through to June as the Superstar Trail is the target of Killington's most intensive snowmaking efforts, building up a snow depth of 6 metres (20 feet) in mid-winter. Between Skye Peak and Bear Mountain is Needles Eye, which contains the fierce steeps and tight lines of Vertigo and other more forgiving trails.
South Ridge is a favoured place for powder stashes whilst Bear Mountain, the sunniest and most sheltered from the wind, is probably the most attractive of the seven mountains for the best skiers and riders to visit at Killington, although there are some easy descents also. It includes New England's steepest mogul run, Outer Limits, competition on which has been the springboard into the national and international competitive arena for American freestyle skiers.
Sunrise Mountain has a mixture of terrain and a reputation for good skiing on powder days, particularly, The Judge trail. Finally Pico Mountain, once a ski area in its own right, has 42 trails covering 29km (18 miles) of terrain all, of its own. It's classic New England skiing and encompasses a wide variety of terrain.