If there’s one resort that’s synonymous with East Coast skiing, it’s Killington. Killington is the largest ski resort on the East Coast with 1509 acres of top to bottom skiing that can satisfy just about anyone. The vertical at Killington is the highest in New England at 3050 feet. The top of Killington Peak is at 4229 feet and Skyeship is way down below at 1165 feet. While Killington doesn’t get as much snow as other places, coming in at 250 inches (6.4 meters) on average, what it does get is gorgeous fluffy stuff. For the lean years, there’s snowmaking coverage over 71 percent of the slopes.
The Lifts and the Trails
The Beast of the East, as Killington is affectionately known has as many named trails as you could want. 155 trails crisscrossing all over the mountain, the longest of which is a whopping 6.2 miles long. The difficulty mix at Killington comes in at 28 percent novice, 33 percent intermediate, 24 percent advanced, and 15 percent expert. There are also five terrain parks scattered about the mountain for those who enjoy freestyling.
There are 22 lifts that service Killington including two high speed Gondolas: the Skyeship and the K-1 Express. The Skyeship will ferry you in two stages up to the top of Skye Peak, while K-1 runs from the K-1 Lodge to the top of Killington Peak. The lift system is capable of moving over 37,500 skiers per hour, and they need every bit of that capacity.
The mountain does get crowded, especially on holidays. If you’re skiing Killington as a vacation, hit Killington during the week when the lifts and trails are less crowded, and go to Pico on the weekend. Pico has some great trails that are overlooked in favor of the Cascade Flume and Easy Street. If you’re staying at Killington, a free shuttle will take you to the Base Lodge at Pico.
Killington has seven peaks that make up the park. Snowshed is the dedicated learning/novice area where the ski school is located. Sunrise is away from the learning center, but it’s also all novice trails and gentle groomers. Bear is right next to Sunrise and is all expert turf. It’s also home to the Superpipe and some terrain parks. Skye is the next peak and has one of the best expert runs in Ovation. Ovation starts as a middle grade steep, but then halfway down the ground drops out and turns into a double black steep. It’s as exhilarating as it is crazy. Killington is next to Skye and is the tallest peak. The entire upper peak is crisscrossed with blues that cut across the mountain. Then you have the double blacks that take advantage of the slope and send you screaming down to the K-1 Lodge. Killington Peak is also where the 6.2-mile intermediate trail, Juggernaut starts as it takes skiers on a long meandering run around the edge of the park. There are also numerous expert glades if you like the feel of dodging low branches. Showdon and Ramshead have an equitable mix of trails. Worth special attention is Conclusion, another wicked steep steep. It doesn’t matter what your ability level, there’s a mountain that you’re going to love at Killington.
The Rest of the Story
It wouldn’t be Killington without the apres-ski scene. Whether you like shopping, dancing, drinking, or just having a quiet meal with the mountain as your view, Killington has you covered. Five separate base lodges means that there’s always somewhere to stop in for an end-of-the-day drink or a midday hot cup of something to warm you up. Killington also regularly has some sort of festival or music show or gathering going on somewhere, so it’s never boring on the mountain. In short, Killington is one of those ski resorts that you should ski at once in your lifetime, if not more.