15 Little-Known Vermont Ski Area Facts
February 13, 2019
What’s your favorite ski area in Vermont?
Vermont is home to the best skiing in the East, offering plenty of alpine and Nordic options. Whether you’re looking for a full resort experience or more of a homey, old-school vibe, Vermont has no shortage of terrain for beginners, intermediate and expert skiers and riders.
Skiing in Vermont dates back to the 1930s, and along with that comes loads of history, lore and offbeat trivia.
Vermont Ski Area Facts That Might Surprise You
–Suicide Six in South Pomfret first opened to the public in 1936 with its first rope tow on Hill No. 6. It was installed by Wallace “Bunny” Bertram, a former Dartmouth College ski instructor. He often joked that skiing down the steep pitch of Hill No. 6 would be suicide, and in jest, the name stuck.
–Strafford Nordic Center has its base lodge and trailhead located at Rockbottom Farm, a working organic dairy farm and home of the Strafford Organic Creamery.
–Bromley Mountain’s founder, Fred Pabst, Jr. developed the concept of snow farming: improving the trail in the off season by grading and planting cover crops. This allowed trails to open up for skiing with less snow.
–Northeast Slopes in East Corinth is home to the oldest continuously operating ski tow in the United States.
–Prospect Mountain in Woodford has a base elevation of 2,250 feet, the highest of any alpine or Nordic ski area in Vermont.
–Sugarbush Resort’s Mount Ellen is home to Vermont’s highest chairlift, located near the mountain’s 4,083-foot summit.
–Jay Peak Resort has the only aerial tram in Vermont.
–Mount Snow used to be home to the highest man-made fountain in the world at roughly 300 feet. Fountain Mountain is where the ski area would hold races into the spring and summer.
–Smugglers’ Notch is where you’ll find the only triple black diamond trail in the East, aptly named The Black Hole.
–Pico Mountain’s Otter Ski Patrol—the oldest registered ski patrol in the nation—began at in 1937 when the ski area first opened. The Otter Ski Patrol was later folded into the Killington Volunteer Ski Patrol.
–Wild Wings Ski Touring Center in Peru has yoga studio on site.
–Okemo Mountain Resort was the first resort in North America to have a six-passenger bubble chair with heated seats.
–Mad River Glen, home to the iconic single chair, is the only ski area in the nation on the National Register of Historic Places.
–Middlebury College Snow Bowl’s original lodge—a traditional log cabin—was built in 1938 and remains the oldest standing base lodge in the nation.
–Cochran’s Ski Area in Richmond isn’t just known for its Olympic racing pedigree. A group of Cochran cousins recently built a sugarhouse and launched a maple syrup business located just past the ski area’s parking lot entrance.