I recently spent a week snowboarding Stowe, VT with my girlfriend. I have been skiing Killington my entire life but this year I wanted to try something new. I am going to put up multiple post discussing each aspect of a ‘ski vacation’ but I am going to start off with the most important thing: the boarding/skiing.
Overall I was fairly pleased with the mountain. Snow conditions were average for east coast skiing: mostly packed powder, a few patches of ice, and some nice powder in the trees. Such conditions are all that can be expected when boarding Vermont. On average Stowe had about 70 trails open out of 114 which is not bad for January. Stowe has clearly invested in their snow-making abilities and were throwing snow on most trails. The mountain is separated into two peaks but I spent most of my time on the Mt. Mansfield which is the larger of the two. Spruce Peak is the smaller peak and has more beginner terrain. The trails are fairly wide and their is some steep terrain. Stowe has two terrain parks and one rail garden. The terrain parks were not overly impressive. Stowe’s focus is on their trails. If you are looking to spend most of your time at the terrain park I would not recommend it. If you are looking for some challenging and steep trails I would definitely recommend it.
Stowe has a new system for lift tickets. When you arrive at the ticket booth you purchase an evolution card which comes with an online account. You can access your account online and purchase either packages or daily lift tickets. The evolution card operates similar to EZ Pass. You pass through gates prior to boarding the lift and your card is automatically scanned. This is a great system because you can purchase daily passes which automatically load to your card and because it allows the lift line to move quickly as each lift ticket is not individually scanned.
I did not eat at any of the lodges so I cannot comment on the food but; the Waffle Haus waffles are without question one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life.
I will be adding a few more posts about the village of Stowe including restaurants, hotels, bars and shopping.