A Brisk Day at Bromley

by Paul Maraschiello


It looked like there would be a lull between cold snaps, so flew up to Albany and drove to Manchester, VT for a little skiing on MLK weekend. I had a very nice room at the 1878 Carriage House Motel, just 15 minutes from Bromley. The room was very comfortable, prices are very reasonable ($50-$78) and the people who run the place were exceptionally nice. This is a small motel, so you get very personal service.

I woke up and headed to Bromley. It was brisk but the sun was shining. Bromley faces south (the only ski area in New England), so it's the warmest ski area in that part of Vermont. The warmth of Bromley is not just a function of facing south, the devoted customers and staff are pretty warm too.

Although this was one of the busiest weekends in the ski season, there were not crowds at Bromley. In fact, it has never been crowded when I've skied Bromley. Once or twice the line backed up of the high-speed quad chair lift, but the wait was only three or four minutes. I preferred to ride the double chair lift that goes to the top most of the day.

Bromley Mountain has 43 classic New England trails and glades with a variety of terrain that is seldom seen elsewhere. It is perfect for skiers & riders of all ability levels from first timers to those who crave the gravity-adrenaline rush on the bump runs which are just right for a skier like me. Bromley has a terrain parka and half-pipe for riders and skiers to take hard hits and big air.

The Base Elevation is 1,950 ft. with a summit Elevation of 3,284 ft. They have a 1,334 ft. vertical. Their longest Trail is Pushover, 2.5 miles or easy terrain.

Bromley has ten lifts: 1 High Speed Detachable Quad, 1 Fixed Grip Quad, 4 Double chairs, 1 T-Bar and 2 Mitey Mites, 1 Wonder Carpet and there never was much of a line at any of them. They have snowmaking on 90% of the beginner, 70% of the intermediate, and 95% of advanced trails. Combined totals 80% snowmaking on skiable terrain and almost everything was open the day I was there.

They have 300 acres that including 58 acres of expert terrain. They may not be the most challenging ski area in the world but the most advanced skier like me always has a lot of fun skiing the bumps at Bromley. There is a variety of skiing terrain for all levels of ability. With 35% beginner trails, 34% intermediate trails and 31% advanced slopes, there is something for everyone at Bromley.

You can't talk about Bromley without talking about the view. It is really spectacular with two ski areas with their trails covered in snow visible from the slope.

The trails were fast and it was a good day for making Giant Slalom turns. I had the correct skis with me and spent a lot of my time running down the slopes as fast as I could, making big turns on the hard-packed snow. They have big berms where even I feel comfortable taking a little air and tight bumps under the quad that accesses the expert terrain where I could do a little showing off on trails like Corkscrew.

Bromley has one of the most loyal group of customers I ever met. When I pointed out some of the short-comings of the snowmakers, one loyal life-long, female customer came to their defense. The only fault I could find at Bromley was that the snowmakers failed to cover up the bare spots that had been created the previous day. They were on three of the four ways you could go when getting off the double chair and the rocks could do a number on your ski bottoms. I hope they take the hint and do a little more to maintain the parts of their trails that get really heavy use.

The good news is that lift tickets are reasonable ($54 on weekends and Holidays). The slopes aren't crowded and they are really fun to ski. I found the food in the bar was really good and the service exceptionally fast. Peter, the bartender took good care of me and the French Dip was excellent. The beer wasn't bad ether. At happy hour there was a 50's band that played old rock tunes that delighted the patrons. There isn't much of a night life at Bromley but that's not what people go there for.

All-in-all, Bromley is a ski area that I can highly recommend for those people who like small, friendly mountains. It is family-oriented and has something that makes really loyal customers. There are gentle slopes for beginners, groomers for the intermediate and experts into cruising and bump runs that are just right for a ski bum like me.