Killington — Mountain layout
Mountain Layout — Skiing
Killington’s five base areas (six, if you count Pico) disperse skier and riders across the seven peaks rather quickly, even on the busiest of days. Three are clustered within striking distance at the top of Killington Road—Snowshed and Rams Head are across the street from one another, and Killington base is just a bit up the road. Bear Mountain, home of the famed Outer Limits bump run, is on Bear Mountain Road off Rte. 4 (note: occasionally, four-wheel drive, snow tires or chains are required on the Bear Mountain Access Road). Also off Rte. 4 is the Skyeship Base Station, a good choice for those who don’t want the hassle of the Access Road.
|Expert, Advanced: Some of the toughest terrain is between Snowdon Mountain and Killington Peak. The Canyon quad chair services this area for access to double-diamond Cascade, Downdraft, Double Dipper and Big Dipper Glade.Skye Peak is one of the most popular sections. Skyelark and Bittersweet are fairly easy expert trails, while Superstar and Ovation—the steepest trail on the mountain—will test any experts legs. With plenty of machine-made snow, Superstar is often the last trail to close in spring.
Bear Mountain is another popular haven for experts with double-diamond drops such as Devils Fiddle and the infamous Outer Limits, where bumps are the name of the game. If you ski it on one of the rare days its groomed, and if you fall, you may slide all the way to the bottom, much to the amusement of the crowd watching from the base and the chairlift.
After a good snowfall, head to Pico and get fresh tracks down the gnarly Giant Killer or Upper Pike. Upper KA and Sunset 71, narrow trails reminiscent of the early days of New England skiing, wind down from the top of Pico and offer interesting knolls, twists and turns.
|Intermediate: The Rams Head high-speed quad is a good place for beginners and intermediates to start. Caper is a good warm-up cruiser. The Snowdon area is another mellow delight. Its served by two chairs from the base area and a mid-mountain Poma lift on Bunny Buster. Highline and Conclusion are good advanced cruising runs with excellent pitch. Bunny Buster and Chute have less of a grade.
Needles Eye often has some of the best snow at the resort. The wide run drops beneath the second leg of the Skyeship gondola. Another cruiser in this area is the aptly named Cruise Control. A trip back up the Needles Eye Express quad will put you back on Bittersweet for wide turns to the Killington Base Lodge or Snowshed.
Pico is home to 49-ner, a cruiser that offers superb views from the top of Pico. Nervous intermediates will find the top part of this blue square challenging, though.
|Beginner, First-timer: Green trails lead from all six interconnected peaks, which allows beginners the panoramic vistas and thrill of skiing from the summit, not possible at areas where the upper-mountain trails are reserved for seasoned skiers.Beginners beware: its easy to get lost at Killington on these meandering trails. If its the end of the day, consult your map frequently to make sure youll end up at the same base area as your car, or be prepared to hop on the shuttle.
Killington, in theory, has a perfect learning area: Snowshed. Served by three chairlifts, this gentle slope is a segregated beginning area. But the top of the trail is accessible from the upper part of the mountain, which can make Snowshed crowded – and not just with other beginners. Experts often fly down the slope. Consider learning at another resort or head to Pico, where beginners learn at the more isolated Bonanza area.