March Skiing at the Beast of the East - Killington Mountain
Recently we visited one of the most renowned ski mountains in the north east, Killington Ski Resort. We lucked out with perfect March weather, right around freezing and bluebird skies throughout the weekend. Killington is one the staples of New England skiing. They boast 155 trails, across 6 peaks, and have a balanced distribution of beginner, intermediate, and expert trails.
We spent the weekend in the Grand Resort Hotel, which is their slopeside ski in/out hotel. The Grand has everything you could ask for in a slopeside hotel- spacious upscale rooms, restaurant on site, valet parking, pool and hot tubs, huge lounge, and so on.
As for the skiing, Killington caters to all abilities and interests. Their variety of challenging terrain stands up to any mountain in New England. I started the day off taking the K-1 Express Gondola up to the summit, while there were no lines at all. From there, I went down the upper section of Downdraft into Big Dipper, which is a challenging glade but with a lot of different fresh lines. I kept lapping the Canyon Quad until mid morning, while hitting some of the groomed blues like Reason, Eastfall, and glades like The Throne. Being a mid-mountain lift, the lines were small and the snow was fresh.
For the afternoon, I started working my way towards Bear Mountain by taking Solitude from the top of the K-1 Gondola. This is Killington's longest, and perhaps most scenic trail. It slowly winds through the woods, all the way to the bottom of Bear Peak. Bear Peak has some amazing terrain. My two recommendations for those looking for a good challenge are Devils Fiddle, a double black with boulders, cliffs and moguls and Growler, which is a super challenging and steep tree run.
Once my legs finally had enough turns and I made it back to the hotel. We ate dinner at Prestons. Prestons is located on the ground level of The Grand and has a diverse menu of locally sourced dishes. The food and the ambiance were both top-notch.
One of the family highlights of the trip for us was our very first Snowcat-drawn sleigh ride. They pick you up at the Snowshed lodge and take you for a 20-30 minute ride around the lower mountain. Because it was a little later in the winter, it was still light out, with the sun was setting. It was a nice way to end a great weekend!