This season, 2021-22, Vermont Ski + Ride took a page from our sister publication, Vermont Sports, and sent out the Black Diamond Reader Survey. The survey asked readers to rate the best ski areas in Vermont in 14 categories, including Best Overall, Best to Avoid Crowds, Best Snowmaking/Grooming, Toughest Trail, Best Ski Bar, Best Ski Town and more. (Scroll down for links to all categories.)
Here’s what our readers said were the ski areas that have the:
BEST SNOWMAKING AND GROOMING
In the first two weeks of November 2021, Killington had not seen a single day of temperatures below 32 degrees and the slopes were mostly bare. That didn’t stop the International Ski Federation (FIS) from giving the resort the green light to host the Women’s World Cup.
That’s because the FIS knew what locals have known for some time: as soon as temperatures drop below 28 degrees, Killington can lay down a foot of snow over 60 acres every 24 hours.
With 2,000 snow guns, 44,000 feet of new pipe installed in 2018, more than 10,000 gallons of water and grooming machines that can handle the toughest and steepest terrain, Killington’s snowmaking and grooming arsenal is impressive. Couple that with a team led by long-time operations director Jeff Temple and supported by one of the most charismatic groomers in the business, social media star Brian Hughes, and the resort easily owns this category.
That said, there are plenty of other resorts that have matched the quality, if not the quantity of Killington’s snow surfaces. Okemo is known for its velvety corduroy and this season added snowmaking on Green Link and upgraded its systems around the mountain. With the ability to make snow on 98% of its trails, Okemo claims it has the greatest snowmaking coverage in the state.
Those two were the clear leaders, with Sugarbush, Stratton and Stowe all closely bunched in votes. But if you’re looking for sweet corduroy and ample coverage even in the lean years, is hard to go wrong at any of these resorts.
1. Killington, 2. Okemo, 3. Sugarbush, 4. Stratton, 5. Stowe
Opening photo: Making snow at Killington, early season. Courtesy Killington.