So many mountains, so litte time; We know it might be hard to choose where to go when you only have a few precious free days in the season. The Active Times staff would like to help you make the best of your time in the snow. In addition to our gear reviews, ranked lists and interviews with the experts, we’ve started this section to gather the most important information you’ll want to know before booking a trip or heading out for a day on the slopes. Each week we will feature a new mountain, complete with statistics, snow conditions and plans for 2014. So, when you’re thinking about your next big trip or you’re going last minute, check out the details on the top mountains here.
Location: Waitsfield, Vt.
Chairlift pitch: “Mad River Glen: your local, free range, organic ski area. Interestingly, these fancy ‘buzz words’ are what Mad River Glen has been about forever. Mad River Glen is actually owned by skiers who are dedicated to protecting and preserving it for future generations of skiers. It simply doesn’t get more local than that. The legendary terrain beckons skiers to explore the whole mountain, free range indeed! Perhaps most importantly it is truly organic. Combinations of things come together naturally to create a unique sense of place that could never be contrived,” said Eric Friedman, a Mad River Glen representative.
“Mad River Glen is not like other ski areas. The differentiators are amazingly diverse, ranging from the unique cooperative ownership to the iconic Single Chair; from the fact that it is the last bastion of natural snow skiing in New England to the non-commercial atmosphere; from the ban on snowboarding to the twisty, turn-y, hand hewed trails. What makes the overall experience special to one skier is a little different from what makes it special to another, but combined they create the essence of what Mad River Glen is all about.”
True-up Vertical Descent: 1,992 feet, according to mountainvertical.com
Ski-able area: 915 acres, according to skitown.com
Ratios of difficulty (trail classification): 30 percent beginner, 30 percent intermediate, 40 percent advanced
How many trails: 45
Longest run: 15,800 feet
How many lifts: 5
Hours of operation: weekdays: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; weekends: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Avg. annual snowfall: 250 inches
Deals and discounts: Mad River Glen has some awesome deals if your schedule is flexible. January 28, 2014 is their anniversary, they've been open 65 years and they are celebrating by taking lift ticket prices back to $3.50, the opening rate. MRG has other holiday discounts which can be found here.
Renovations: There are no renovations are set for 2014, Friedman said they are famous for not changing.