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.
Last Minute Ski Holidays in Killington - Great ski lifts and nightlife
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.
Cheap Ski Holidays in Killington - Good for families
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.
Killington offers multiple terrain features for boarders ands freeskiers including the Bear Mountain signature terrain parks and a 130m (430ft) long superpipe with 5m (18ft) walls.
Killington has a reputation for having some of the best night life in New England, despite the lack of a 'village feel' that allows you to crawl from one bar to another as in St Anton. Instead it's head to head competition from the resort's main players like The Wobbly Barn where genuinely top notch live music acts perform. The only down side to this thriving après scene, driven on by the influx of big city guests from Boston and New York, is that some of the establishments have to charge quite high admission charges and others employ door staff whose tough attitude can surprise and intimidate those who think they're just having fun on a relaxed ski holiday and aren't trying to gatecrash a city centre nightclub in one of the world's capitals.
On the other hand, many visitors from big cities, or those who like big cities, may find this cosmopolitan attitude rather refreshing, and in any case there are dozens of more laid back places to choose from that are more like the ski resort norm if you prefer something quieter.
Killington is very much a ski area in the winter and non-sliding facilities are few and far between in the resort itself. Most of the off-slope activity is centred on hotel facilities - often well above the average - as well as restaurants and shops. Snowshoeing, tubing and ice skating are all offered at least on a few nights per week and snowmobiling, sleigh ride trips and a visit to a Health Spa are also possible.
Excursions to historic Vermont villages and other classic ski areas like Stowe and Sugarbush are also available.
There are more than 100 restaurants in the vicinity of Killington's bases and naturally they cover a wide range of dining experience from the archetypal American diner through to gourmet. Most are multi-purpose establishments, either hotel restaurants (the best probably those of the Killington Grand hotel), or night-spots which turn from restaurants to bars with live acts and dancing. Many establishments like The Outback, famous for its pizza, also do take out and some make deliveries also.