by Paul Maraschiello


I hate to admit it but I had never skied Magic Mountain in central Vermont. I heard that it had some of the most challenging terrain in that part of the country and I was psyched to try it. I caught a plane and flew tp Albany where I rented a car and drove the two hours to this "old school" ski area located in Londonderry.

I stayed at the Blue Gentian, a classic Vermont ski lodge located right on Magic's access road. The rooms are comfortable, and the ambiance warm and friendly. My hosts, Ken and Lisa Alberti had lived in Europe for a long time and the lodge really has an alpine flavor, reminding me of Switzerland. They were hosting a group of X-country skiers who were taking advantage of a special group package that included dinner. I was lounging around with these amiable folks when the dinner bell rang. Never being one to miss a meal, got in line and enjoyed the wonderful home-cooked chicken dinner that was served. Breakfast was also delicious with a number of choices that included a choice of granola, cereals, yogurt, fruit, eggs, bacon, toast juice, coffee, etc. If you are planning a visit to this part of Vermont any time of year, give this moderately priced lodge a try. I think you'll like it. Give them a call at (802) 824-5908 and tell them that the Ski Bum News sent you.

Magic isn't as big as some of the other ski areas in Vermont but it has some great terrain. They only have two chairlifts but the crowd was so small that I almost never had to wait in line for more than a minute. The A chairlift is 5,300 ft. with over a mile of double black diamond skiing right under it. The other chair is just under a mile and had a lot of great bumps on it when I was there. Magic has a 1,650 ft. vertical and 33 trails. I skied almost all of them and the expert trails are really expert trails. They have snowmaking on 80% of the mountain and plenty of solid intermediate trails for advanced beginners, intermediates and experts to enjoy. The trails are reminiscent of classic New England ski areas like Stowe.

I spent all day Saturday exploring all that Magic Mountain has to offer and was not disappointed one bit. If you like trails through the woods, steep bumped-up slopes and narrow expert trails, Magic will delight you. They also have novice slopes and even a tubing park for those that don't ski.

The best thing about Magic is the lack of crowds. Skiing there is almost like having your own private ski area. The views are terrific. Here I am with a view of Stratton in the background. This is a beautiful spot frequented by locals and those from the big city that have discovered this gem of a ski area and have become season pass holders and frequent visitors.

I was there to cover the snowboarding competition on Leap Day. This was the first inaugural Hayes Brothers Huck Fest at Magic Mountain. The BIG AIR, snowboard competition had some really talented riders that showed up to compete for the cash and other prizes. These guys, and Katie Lillge, the one female competitor to show up, were awesome. There was even one person on skis who hit the jump which was paced off at 47' from lip to the beginning of the landing. The riders were flying about 60' in the air to land on the sweet spot. I was fascinated by all the tricks these crazy kids tried. They were doing 720s, 1050s, flips, grabs, fakie tricks and off-axis stunts.

There was an enthusiastic crowd that gathered for the event and a good time was had by all. I had a chance to party a little with the Hayes Brothers crew the day before the event and they are a talented bunch of shredders.

Magic Mountain had Porno Tongue, a favorite local band that kept the party rolling into the evening with live music in the base lodge.

Luke Bonang, the Bromley Outing Club Coach, won the event with tricks called Backside Sevens and Backside 180 Truck Drivers. Second place went to Josh Mathiau who threw Switch Under flips (720 underflip). Third place was taken by Yale Goursino from Team Burton who threw Big 9's with sketchy landings. Fourth place went to Joe Bell from Hayes Brothers Snowboards who demonstrated 720 and Big front side 5's. Fifth place was taken by Jeremiah Beck who nailed Back side 540's. Other riders who deserve mention are: Brad Dutton who hucked a one foot flip, which also earned him the dubious worst crash award. Josh Rutax, threw big rodeos and attempted a 1260 but crashed and burned. Martin Rojas did tail and mute grabs and method air with William Bushey doing a Rodeo flip and the now famous triple chug.

Radio station EQX was on site in the base area rocking with music for the event. MC/DJ Alf was there keeping everyone stoked all day long with music on the snow. This was a great inaugural event at Magic. When the word gets out about the event, I am sure the event will grow.

If you are looking for some place to ski where you have the trails all to yourself, try Magic. This is a small mountain with a big heart and tons of expert terrain to challenge the hard-core, as well as lots of intermediate trails with spectacular views and a great ambiance. No matter what your skiing level is, you'll have a good time at Magic Mountain. I am personally looking forward to skiing there again very soon. Put Magic Mountain on your list when you want to experience a classic New England ski area with now crowds and a really friendly atmosphere.