Stratton — Mountain layout
One of few eastern resorts with its own base village, Stratton caters to a tony down-country clientele who want convenient amenities and manicured slopes. Excellent grooming on the mostly intermediate terrain makes Stratton one of America’s best ego-inflating resorts. Experts can find some good challenges, but don’t expect to be pushed; come here to get pampered and feel good about your skiing. This mountain is also great for wide-open, top-to-bottom cruising.
Here’s a trail map.
The pitch for cruising here is nice enough that no expert or advanced skier will complain. For the more challenging terrain, head straight to the summit on the gondola. Polar Bear, Grizzly Bear and Upper Tamarack are narrow runs in fine New England tradition with good vertical. Do laps on the Ursa Express “six-pack” chair. Upper Kidderbrook to Freefall provides another good advanced cruiser on the Sun Bowl side. Upper Standard, right under the gondola, starts steep but mellows at the bottom. Upper Spruce is the easiest of the double-diamond trails, with tempting glades to the right, but none of the double diamonds is really worthy of that rating. For bumps, head to World Cup.
The upper mountain has some steeps for advanced intermediates. Upper Lift Line to Lower Lift Line, the longest fall-line trail on the mountain, is made for big giant-slalom turns, and Upper Drifter to Lower Drifter is the same. Racers from the Stratton Mountain School are often carving turns on these trails, as well as North American, off the Ursa Express. The Sun Bowl chair has excellent cruisers down Rowley’s Run and Sunriser. On the lower mountain, Yodeler is a good warm-up run.
Stratton has a Ski Learning Park with 10 gentle trails and its own lift. This park includes a terrain garden, where the mountain staff sculpts bumps and rolls, so beginners can practice their balance and independent leg action.
A long top-to-bottom trail, West Meadow to Lower Wanderer, makes beginners feel like champs. In the Sun Bowl area, head to Lower Middlebrook. The other beginner trails, 91, Big Ben and Main Line, are only reached from intermediate trails.
First-timers should stick to the Teddy Bear, Club and Villager lifts on the far left of the base area. Stage I and Village Walk are unintimidating places to learn to ski or ride.