Ringing in the New Year at Stowe Mountain Lodge
With the amount of snow Vermont had gotten to end 2016, we couldn't think of a better way to ring in the new year than a ski trip. On New Year's Day we headed up to the Stowe Mountain Lodge for two days of skiing and enjoying the many pleasures the resort had to offer.
From the minute we arrived, everything at Stowe Mountain Lodge was 5-star. One thing we really appreciated was how easy they made it to get skiing and settled in. Most skiers and boarders would agree that the only negative aspect to a day on the mountain is the time it takes to actually get on the mountain --parking the car, carrying your stuff to the lodge, getting a lift ticket, etc. Stowe Mountain Lodge has eliminated these bottlenecks and given consumers a way to save on lodging rates and lift tickets when booking through their "Snow Days" promotion ( https://www.destinationhotels.
com/stowe-mountain-lodge/ things-to-do/snow-days ). The promo allows you to book your lodging, lift tickets, and other packages(spa, ski lessons, children's activities) in one bundled transaction. This way you save money and only have to worry about enjoying yourself when you arrive.
Right when we pulled up, the car valet took care of our vehicle/bags and the ski valet had our skis waiting on a rack by the lift for us. The only thing we had to think about was planning our first run.
We started our day off at Spruce Peak, which is the side of the mountain the resort is located on. Stowe Mountain is divided into 2 main mountains - Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Peak. To get to Mt. Mansfield you simply take the Over Easy Gondola for a short ride across the street. The conditions were as good as it gets and some of the best we've ever experienced this early in the season. Stowe Mountain had 108/115 trails open with a variety of groomed and ungroomed trails and plentiful powder stashes in the woods. Our favorite trails on the Spruce side were Ridge Run and Upper Sterling/Sterling. For a fun challenge try the Ridge Glades.
In the afternoon we headed over to Mt. Mansfield -- the larger and more challenging mountain. However, a nice aspect of Stowe is the variety of terrain accessible even from the top of the mountain. Many mountains only offer expert terrain from the summit, but Stowe has many options for intermediate skiers as well. Our favorite trails were off the Four Runner Quad taking Ridge view to Sunrise to North loop (intermediate route), and for a very challenging run taking Bypass into the Nosedive Glades.
Fresh off the mountain, we made a quick stop at the Stowe Rocks climbing facility to make sure our arms didn't miss out on the work out our legs got earlier. Neither of us had ever rock climbed before, but it was a lot of fun. There were a number of walls and routes to ascend by and both adults and kids were enjoying the different challenges.
From there we headed back to our Timberline Studio room, which was the perfect retreat after the action packed day we had. The room was spacious and elegant featuring a beautiful fireplace, kitchenette, huge bathroom with tub, and picturesque views of Mt. Mansfield from the balcony/window. There's no better motivation to get "1st-chair" than looking at it from your window.
On our second day we awoke to perfect blue-bird skies and enjoyed breakfast in the resort's beautiful lobby, before repeating another epic day of skiing.
Kristy Albano & Matt Pickering