By Paul Maraschiello


My daughter Jessie and I had not been to Mt. Snow since the X-Games and we were excited about visiting this great New England ski area. We were staying at the Grand Summit Hotel, a ski-in-ski-out hotel that's very convenient. Everything at the hotel was really nice. Our room was lovely. We had an excellent dinner in the hotel dining room and the food and service was excellent.

Jessie's skies were so old that she didn't even bring them. The ski shop fixed her up with some high-performance skis the performed really well on the soft snow. The sun was shining and it looked to be a really great day to be skiing at Mt. Snow. We were really lucky. I brought my Volkl Snowrangers. These wide skis are ideal for spring skiing. I had them mounted with ess V.A.R. bindings and Powerflex plates.

We rode up the Grand Summit Express and enjoyed the view from the top. We skied down Exhibition, and the trail was in nice shape. The sun had softened up the snow and it was absolutely idea. I had sunshine, great snow and a good-size mountain to explore. We took a few more runs and explored all the trails that came off of this chair. We checked out the Upper Lodge and Sapbucket trails. We rode the Summit Local chair and checked out the kids doing tricks in the Snowboard Park. We went in for lunch and went back to the Sundance chair. We skied over to Carinthia area and explored the trails on that part of the mountain.

We had an enjoyable lunch in the bar. Jessie sampled the turkey roll and I tried the Caesar chicken salad. The sun-dried tomatoes in the turkey roll made this item tasty. There were big pieces of chicken in my salad and the beer hit the spot.

After lunch we went over to the North Face and skied the trails over there for a few runs. The sun had warmed up the trails were in excellent shape and we zoomed down the hill and really enjoyed all the trails on that part of the mountain. The bumps were soft and just the right size.

We went back to the front side and rode up every chair that runs up the face of the mountain and skied down every open trail. Jessie had not been skiing for over a year but she had not forgotten anything that she had learned. She has been skiing since she was two years old. By the time she was ten, she was able to ski the expert trails at the biggest ski areas in the East. By the end of the day, she was whizzing by me on every run, linking her turns and looking good.

We had dinner in the hotel and enjoyed the meal. In the spring, they only have a limited menu because there are so few guests as the ski season winds down. I was a little disappointed that the venison was not available but was delighted with the clams over linguini with a white sauce. Jessie had an Italian seafood dish which was also quite good. We washed it down with an excellent California wine (we are boycotting French wine) but passed on dessert because we both were stuffed.

The next day, the sun was shining and it was another perfect day. We explored all the trails at Mt. Snow and had a real blast. Every trail was in excellent shape and the entire mountain had good cover and excellent spring conditions. There were no lines and we had the mountain pretty much all to our selves.

Mt. Snow has 145 trails on five mountains (If you count Haystack) and there is something for everyone. Most of the mountain is intermediate terrain and there are a few expert trails that can be difficult when they get bumped up and ice. On this visit, NOTHING was icy and all the trails were in great shape. On the Face, we liked skiing Standard nonstop from top to bottom. The bumps were just the right size on Exhibition but after a few runs, we just got into cruising down the groomed slopes all over the mountain.

Carinthia was also in great shape and we skied all the trails on that part of the mountain. Nitro and Titanium were empty and we zoomed up and down all by ourselves.

Over on North Face, the trails we liked the best were Freefall and Fallen Timbers. We did the bumps on Challenger and preferred to ski this area in the afternoon when the snow softened up. The bumps on Ripcord were also in good shape.

We never got over to Haystack. There were so many nice trails at the main part of Mt. Snow that we forgot that our ticket was also good at Haystack. The next time I visit Mt. Snow, I'm going to make it a point to stop at Haystack and sample their trials. Unfortunately, you can't just ski over there.

Mt. Snow has a reputation as a party ski area and we did see some people dancing up a storm on St. Patrick's day at the Silo. The mountain has a plethora of intermediate trails and is a great place for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. They have a nice halfpipe for skiers and riders to practice hard hits and big air. There are a few trails that will challenge the expert skier too. If you are interested in having a really good time, Mt. Snow is a great ski area to visit. It is located in the souther end of Vermont and is easy to get to from Bennington or Albany to the west or Brattleboro in east. They may not have the steepest trails or the biggest moguls but they do have a wonderful atmosphere and a lot of great trails.