Killington vs. Stowe
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Steve
August 3, 2009
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Can't ski, but I can plan!

So, I've really wanted to try New England skiing. The commander-in-chief has OK'd a weekend trip in early Jan. It looks like Killington may be easier to get to: BWI - Albany ($137), rent car ($130), dump hotel ($344), lift tickets - 2 days ($150?). So around $850 with some meals (not counting my bar tab).

Stowe is similar I think, but airline pricing not nailed down yet. Looks like you can fly to Burlington and get a cab to Stowe, then don't need a rental car (but Air Tran charges for baggage). But most flights go through NY so travel time is similar. Some comments I've seen suggest that Stowe is harder to reach in poor weather.

Stowe supposedly more scenic, more snow, much colder. Both seem to have a variety of terrain that would keep me busy for two days.

Any comments?

Steve
fishnski
August 3, 2009
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
You could drive to Southern VT (Stratton,Mt Snow) & it would only take 7 hours or less..not much more for Killington. I like to work my way up to the "Special" places like Stowe... Don't want to get spoiled too fast..Save the best for last is my motto!
Denis - DCSki Supporter
August 3, 2009
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,220 posts
I agree with fishnski*. Both places offer more than enough for a week of fun. And, you'll get them all eventually.

*Since rolling a Jeep into the woods on WV 93 in 2001 it takes me 8 hrs. driving time to get to Killington assuming no traffic problems, which does not happen often. There are some strategies for bad traffic;

1. Take 295 rather than NJ turnpike from the Delaware Mem. bridge and then 195, connecting back to the turnpike at about mile 60. Then take the cars only lanes at mile 74, get off on Garden State Pky at mile 92. Proceed to NY and take 287 S (that's right, toward NYC), cross the Tappan Zee br. and get into the right lane. Take the Sawmill River Pkwy about 5 miles to the Taconic State parkway. Pay careful attention until you get on the Taconic because the signs don't give you much reaction time once you get off the Tappan Zee. The Taconic will be virtually empty after the first 10 miles. It is curvy in places and in a few spots daytime meltwater from roadside rocks freezes on the pavement at night. You can generally safely go 55 and you will NEVER have a backup. It's also very pretty.

2. The Taconic ends at a T at 395 (that's right not I-395 but NY 395. Take a right, go about 10 miles east and then N on Rt. 22. On 22 you will hit a couple of towns with low speed limits, but will have clear sailing between towns. 22 leads you to 22A a bit south of Fairhaven VT. At this point you would continue north on 22A to go to Burlington or turn right on Rt. 4 to go to Rutland or Killington.
Steve
August 3, 2009
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Originally Posted By: fishnski
You could drive to Southern VT (Stratton,Mt Snow) & it would only take 7 hours or less..not much more for Killington. I like to work my way up to the "Special" places like Stowe... Don't want to get spoiled too fast..Save the best for last is my motto!


Fish,

So, 7 or 8 hr drive (add 1 for Stowe?) X2 vs $135 plane fare? That's about $8 an hour. I'll pay $8/hr not to sit in the car.

As far as getting spoiled by Stowe, that is what I'm trying to find out. Have you skied Killington? Both seem to be large resorts with decent amenities. Maybe there will be time to try out the other one in April depending on which I choose for Jan.

Steve
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Steve
August 3, 2009
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
[quote=Denis]I agree with fishnski*. Both places offer more than enough for a week of fun. And, you'll get them all eventually.]

Denis,

Yes, I would like to get to both eventually, maybe even this year. Just can't see driving 16 hours in three days. Plus, apparently they let you use both the north and south lanes on the Taconic to go either north or south. Did you see they had three people in one day going the wrong way?

Do you prefer Killington, or it's where you are when the car runs out of gas?

Steve
Denis - DCSki Supporter
August 3, 2009
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,220 posts
I prefer Stowe. On the high end it has far 'gnarlier' terrain and more of it, if you go looking for it. This is probably a personal problem. I am with a friend in Boston right now after attending my 50th high school reunion last night. One of my HS cross country team mates summed it up beautifully in one sentence; "My body is 68 and my mind is 18 and this gets me in trouble sometimes." I would not worry in the least about which one of these places you go to first.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
August 3, 2009
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,857 posts
I skied Killington a lot when I first started skiing Vermont in the early 80s. It was the biggest, best snow making, longest season, tons of terrain spread out over several peaks, in short it seemed to have it all. Then I went to Stowe and skied the front 4. I've been back to Killington just once since first skiing Stowe.

Killington skis like a bunch of smaller mountains connected together with lifts. Stowe skis large, it's a big mountain.
fishnski
August 4, 2009
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
1 hr dr to BWI..1.5 hr early ck in..1.5 hr flt to Albany..1hr unload & rental car ck out..2 hr to Killington....7 hours of not to pleasant travling...air travel is like going Greyhound nowadays..not to fun!
I'd rather have my own car with all the stuff I'd need for the trip...

Are you saying that before the rollover you could make it to killington in 5.5 hrs Denis??!!
Steve
August 4, 2009
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Originally Posted By: fishnski
1 hr dr to BWI..1.5 hr early ck in..1.5 hr flt to Albany..1hr unload & rental car ck out..2 hr to Killington....7 hours of not to pleasant travling...air travel is like going Greyhound nowadays..not to fun!



Let's see.. 1/2 hr from my office to BWI leaving about 1 hr early, 1.5 hrs drinking Backfin Pale Ale on draft at the airport bar, 1:15 flight to sober up, 2.5 hr drive. Doesn't sound so bad to me!
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
August 4, 2009
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
838 posts
you left out the cost of the rental car. and you could have left for the highway earlier if you wanted. isn't there a train from dc to ny to stowe - no rental car needed? was that lou that does that trip ? i'd drive it, but 'to each his own' said the old lady as she kissed the cow.
Steve
August 4, 2009
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Originally Posted By: pagamony
you left out the cost of the rental car. and you could have left for the highway earlier if you wanted. isn't there a train from dc to ny to stowe - no rental car needed? was that lou that does that trip ? i'd drive it, but 'to each his own' said the old lady as she kissed the cow.


I think the train takes 12 hrs. But it leaves you in Waterbury, pretty close to Stowe (15-20 minutes?) so no rental car.

Rental car is $130 vs 1000 miles on my own car.

But the point of the thread is STOWE vs KILLINGTON.

Steve
David
August 4, 2009
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Originally Posted By: fishnski

I'd rather have my own car with all the stuff I'd need for the trip...



Yeah, I don't think the airlines would let you on a plane with a carry-on full of Red Bull and Vodka.... grin grin


BTW, go to Stowe!!
Snow Crash
August 4, 2009
Member since 12/4/2007 🔗
12 posts
Would anyone have recommendations on sorta-cheap-mostly-ok
places to stay while skiing in the area around Killington and
Stowe? I stayed at the Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction
during a Vermont ski trip last year..I got some dollars knocked
off the bill because of the hotel's Hostelling International
arrangement-and I'm a member....

If I do go back again this year I'll do the drive again,
I'm not sure how well the airlines will weather the economic
downturn.
FreshPow
August 4, 2009
Member since 01/2/2008 🔗
174 posts
Stowe.

But I'm not sure about doing it without your own set of wheels. The ski area is basically at the end of a 3-4 mile road up from the village, with plenty of lodging choices, restaurants and bars along the way. One spends a lot of time going up and down it.
fishnski
August 4, 2009
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts

Yeah, I don't think the airlines would let you on a plane with a carry-on full of Red Bull and Vodka.... grin grin


U...MUDDAH!! mad
bousquet19 - DCSki Supporter
August 4, 2009
Member since 02/23/2006 🔗
701 posts
Originally Posted By: Laurel Hill Crazie
I skied Killington a lot when I first started skiing Vermont in the early 80s. It was the biggest, best snow making, longest season, tons of terrain spread out over several peaks, in short it seemed to have it all. Then I went to Stowe and skied the front 4. I've been back to Killington just once since first skiing Stowe.

Killington skis like a bunch of smaller mountains connected together with lifts. Stowe skis large, it's a big mountain.


"Can't ski, but I can plan!"
I love your outlook, Steve! I'm planning a mid-March trip to the NEast right now.

Agree with the posts that say that you'll enjoy both Killington and Stowe. For me, Laurel Hill Crazie's point about terrain captures the most significant difference between the two: they ski differently. And, yes, the steeper runs at Stowe are definitely gnarly-erer than Killington's moguled boulevards. There's a much higher percentage of groomers at Killington, although Spruce Peak and the Gondola area at Stowe provide plenty of groomers as well.

Have fun,
Woody
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
August 4, 2009
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
838 posts
Originally Posted By: Steve

But the point of the thread is STOWE vs KILLINGTON.
Steve


oh, so you want to stay on-topic. jeesh, you should have said so in the beginning. :-)

well, what has been said is good enough. what kind of skiing do you like ?

now, another digression if you don't mind, which one is likely to be more crowded over the new years holiday ? i have an offer to drive up (no not fly) for a few days.
Steve
August 4, 2009
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Originally Posted By: pagamony
now, another digression if you don't mind, which one is likely to be more crowded over the new years holiday



Everything I have seen says that Killington gets very crowded on weekends and holidays. Could it be worse than Wisp on President's day?

Steve
comprex
August 4, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Kmart will have NYCers and probably be more crowded. Crowds are more annoying at Kmart though, since they split the mountain up and you wind up doing laps on 2-3 runs or wait monster waits for connector lifts. $teaux will have destination tourists.

NYE I would ditch both and pop up to Jay.
Steve
August 4, 2009
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Originally Posted By: David

Yeah, I don't think the airlines would let you on a plane with a carry-on full of Red Bull and Vodka.... grin grin


BTW, go to Stowe!!


Can I fill up my sport tube with Hop Devils?

I'm tending towards Stowe due the the responses here.

Steve
ridgeman
August 5, 2009
Member since 09/5/2008 🔗
46 posts
I have skied both and both have allot of skiable area and variety. The Big K has more lift options to avoid lines, but Stowe is my favorite. Stowe has a big mountain feel due to long runs (top to bottom) that the Big K doesn't have.

Also if you're at Stowe you can also ski Smugs, Sugar, Jay and MRG all within a short drive. At the Big K you have Pico and Okemo close. The day to avoid is Saturday at either Stowe or Killington. I plan my trips by driving on Saturdays.

Ligonier to Killington 550 miles - 10 hours to Stowe is 610 miles - 11 hours. It is an easy drive from the West without the heavy city traffic, plus I can take a truck load of skis and clothes because Vermont weather and snow conditions change quickly during the day and day to day. Last season on each of three trips up we skied everything from ice storm conditions on the peaks and deep granular conditions at the bottoms through 17 inches of total powder.
KevR
August 5, 2009
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
Is there still a Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory near Stowe? That's (probably) worth a stop in...
comprex
August 5, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Originally Posted By: KevR
Is there still a Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory near Stowe? That's (probably) worth a stop in...


I usually hop into Burlington. VAST selection of tele and XCD gear, B&J, cheap uni-town food, brews, music, Lake Champlain choccy fac just a leetle south on 7.

Ali Baba's just above the Burlington docks -> best road falafel and spicy spinach ever.

I less than 3 Burlington, it's like Annapolis in ski country.
Steve
September 3, 2009
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
And the winner is.......Stowe. Thanks for all the advice guys.

SW to Manchester (no baggage fees) $140
Hob Knob Inn Thurs-Sun $390
Rental Car (Thrifty) $ 80
Lift tickets $207 $89 on Saturday!
Gas, meals, etc. $250

Total for a weekend ski trip $1067

Yikes! I gotta find a cheaper hobby.

BTW, 3 days at Rimfire at Snowshoe - $582 + Tax. I think I'll take Stowe.

Steve
David
September 3, 2009
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Awesome. Hope you have a great time! I'm jealous...
snowglobe
September 9, 2009
Member since 03/12/2007 🔗
150 posts
Sorry, I know it's the thread about Stowe vs Killington.
Why not fly to SLC and crash on a cheap motel? It wouldn't that much more expensive than Stowe, I bet!
Steve
September 9, 2009
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Snowglobe,

Not much cheaper I agree. But I wanted to check out Vermont. As several folks have stated (with passion) it's within driving distance, has many nice resorts, and gets a lot of snow. I'm doing this trip to see how it compares to the west. I've been to Winter Park several times and will probably get out again this year. I'm also toying with trying to work in a trip to Wolf Creek (my old neighbor from Bethesda has a house at Pagosa Springs) or Copper (my Winter Park buddy's pass is good at Copper).

One of the things that gets to me out west is the altitude. Mt Mansfield is only 4,395 tall about the same as Snowshoe.

So many places to ski, so little time. Living here, you may get to 1 or 2 big mountains a year. Then there are weekends at Wisp, SS, 7S etc. Then my wife insists that I actually see her from time to time and before you know it the winter is over.

SLC's time will come as will Tahoe, and Canada. You gotta start somewhere.

Steve
snowglobe
September 15, 2009
Member since 03/12/2007 🔗
150 posts
Steve,

Hope you have fun up there! I actually do think that Stowe is really great (when the condition is right).

I used to drive up to Vermont from DC area but stopped doing that mostly because the condition is unreliable in the east coast -- you can not plan ahead and you kinda feel frustrated after driving that long and get to ski/board on those ice!

I think this year I will go no further than 4-5 hours from DC and fly out west!

Hope you hit it at the right time though! Have fun!
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