Snowboarding Killington Mountain

Snowboarding Killington Mountain

I’ve skied and snowboarded at least two dozen spots on the East Coast. But so far, nothing compares to snowboarding Killington, one of Vermont’s best mountains. With more than 140 trails, more than a dozen lifts, and three gondolas, “The Beast of the East” makes you feel like you’re out West.

Snowboarding Killington

 

Though the weekend that I chose to snowboard Killington was icy, had one degree Fahrenheit temperatures at the peak, and had about a quarter of their trails closed thanks to unseasonably high temperatures the week before, I had a great time. I didn’t even care that I was missing the Superbowl.

 

I went with my friend Ben, who is by far the best skier that I know. He’s done helicopter skiing and used to compete at Stratton Mountain when he was younger. (In fact, he was so dedicated to the sport that he still gives me a hard time about having my Bar Mitzvah during the ski season. My coming of age, he claims, caused him to miss a meet, which supposedly would have placed him on the US Ski Team. Or maybe it was the Jamaican Ski Team. Almost Mazel Tov?)

 

So, to put Killington in perspective, even Ben was impressed with the steepness of some of the double diamonds and he waxed nostalgic over one trail–Outer Limits–which he said was one of his favorite mogul trails he had ever competed on when he was a boy. (Outer Limits was pretty icy and had no moguls on the day we rode Killington.)

Snowboarding Killington

The first day, we parked on the east side of the mountain, at Ramshead, which, along with neighboring Snowshed, has the majority of Killington’s terrain parks. We then moved over to the west side of Killington, toward Bear Mountain and Skye Peak. Toward the end of the day, when our legs burned and our bellies beckoned, we realized how big Killington was. Our traverse to the car took two trips up the mountain, which was when we noticed our mistake. The best snow seemed to have been right in the middle at Killington Peak. We boarded and skied there the next day.

Snowboarding Killington Double Diamond

What I loved about Snowboarding Killington

 

Killington had challenging single and double diamonds that were actually fit to be called diamonds. Because the mountain was so huge, the crowds were dispersed and the lines moved quickly. (It was, after all, Super Bowl weekend.) Killington also had long green rides that winded across the mountain without any flat sections that notoriously stop boarders in their tracks.

 

On day two, Ben and I parked at Skyeship (which is about ten minutes outside of the town and is perfect if you’re commuting from outside the Killington area). For our last run, we started at Killington Peak and sped down the mountain. Our ride still took 10 minutes. Skyeship is about twice the distance from the peak as all the other lifts and gondolas. (If you consider Skyeship the base, then all the main lifts are technically at “mid-mountain”).

 

I also loved snowboarding Killington because of its bevy of wide open trails and its collection of narrow rides that were enclosed by snow-covered evergreens. There was tree skiing, too, but the cover was poor.

 

Killington Mountain should also gets props for their environmental commitment, which includes “cow power.” They create electricity from manure. The lodges had everything from sushi to phone charging stations. The cold had a way of zapping one’s battery. My phone was so flabbergasted by the cold that it read, “Temperature. iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it.”

 

My Favorite Terrain at Killington Mountain

 

Green: Great Eastern–It is ridiculously long.

Blue: Bunny Buster–Fun and fast and leads right into a nice diamond called Mouse Trap

Black: Superstar–Maybe it was how the sun was hitting the mountain, but it was one of the few rides with perfect snow. I felt like an impressive celestial body.

Double Black: Cascade–I can’t really analyze this beyond, wow.

Free Wings After Snowboarding Killington at Sushi Yoshi

Food at Killington

 

After a day of skiing or snowboarding Killington, it’s best to hit up the town. Killington is Vermont’s best ski/party town and the bars do good food and Vermont brews. On day one, Ben and I stopped for free wings at Sushi Yoshi. The bar was packed, but for five bucks they handed me a good beer and a miso soup bowl stacked with wings marinated in barbecue sauce. If you want good barbecue, try the Back Behind Restaurant just past Skyeship. We split delicious baby back ribs and a decent brisket sandwich.

 

Though I never had the chance to enjoy a waffle at the mountain, the Belgian treat was sold beside many of the lifts. And the cold air smelled like delicious maple syrup.

BBQ at The Back Behind After Snowboarding Killington

One thing that can be said about the best mountains across the United States: they close at 4:00pm, refusing to cater to the ridiculousness of night skiing. So make sure to get an early start if you’re boarding Killington. (Weekdays, the mountain opens at 9:00am; weekends, lifts start at 8:30am).

 

If you need any snowboarding gear, lodging, or lift tickets, you can click on these affiliate links. (I make a small percentage from any sales and I really do appreciate you using my links if you’re making the purchase anyway.)

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Photos by Ben Jamin (almost member of the US or Jamaican Ski Team)

 

Disclaimer: Killington provided me with two days of complimentary lift tickets, but the review is honest.

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Surf & Snow

2 Responses to Snowboarding Killington Mountain

  1. Minna

    I agree…Killington is the the best mountain to ski in Vermont. I learned to ski on Killington in 1970 and it was amazing even back then. I skied Deer Run which was a beginner’s trail that started at the top of the mountain. It was so thrilling to be in such a beautiful snow covered forest.

    • Noah Lederman

      That’s funny that you mention that, Minna. I learned to ski at Deer Run (the mountain, not the trail at Killington). Deer Run had about 3 trails and when I was learning to ski, it felt like it was a huge mountain. But decades later, having boarded places like Killington, I would probably be too much of a snowboard snob to appreciate good ol’ Deer Run.

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