The largest ski resort in Eastern USA, Killington boasts North America’s largest single-mountain lift system in terms of number of lifts. They include twelve quads, a further six triples and what was the world’s fastest gondola with the world’s first heated (and brightly painted) cabins. Famous for snow making, with capacity doubled between 1997 and 1999 as part of a $50 million development program, but averages six metres of natural snow anyway.
If ski area size is a concern you need fear not with Killington as none come larger in New England. It’s difficult to try to describe Killington without talking numbers – because they are very impressive. The huge domain sprawls over 3,000 acres spread out over seven peaks that span 11 miles wide and include Pico Mountain. Altogether there are nearly 120km of groomed runs, divided up in to more than 200 trails in total, and they’re all served by a state-of-the-art uplift network of high-speed, high-capacity chair lifts and gondolas, and they’re all covered by one of the world’s most powerful snowmaking arsenals.
And then there’s the snow, because in fact all those snow guns weren’t much needed last season as Killington shared in the snowy excess that blessed Vermont all winter. Keeping up that ‘200’ theme Killington clocking up a 200 day ski season and more than 200 inches (that’s five metres…) of snowfall.
But Killington isn’t just about the numbers. It’s size helps with its vibrancy. It means there’s a big choice of terrain on the mountain with everything from especially designed beginner terrain, top a world-class selection of terrain parks and then main miles of perfectly groomed cruisers for those of use who just like to blast around the slopes. Plus there’s the steeps and the freeriding for those who like to scare themselves.
It also means off the slopes there’s a wide selection of restaurants and accommodations to choose from, because Killington’s market is big enough to sustain them all. You can also expect a banging apres-ski scene if that’s your kettle of fish with legendary venues like the Wobbly Barn here.
But Killington scores highly if you’re after more than ‘just’ a huge amount of skiing and boarding too. Over the past few seasons the resort has invested more than £2m in its four-story Snowshed Adventure Center where attractions includes the Skye Ropes Course, Skyeride (seated zip line ride), 5,000 square foot Terra Maze, Roaring Brooke Mining for the youngest adventurers, plus motorized mountain tours by Segway and All Terrain Vehicle. New for this coming winter is the amazing Beast Mountain Coaster – a 1500m long lift served downhill roller coaster style thrill ride complete with 360 degree corkscrew inversions!
This comes after almost $9 million was invested in the previous few seasons on the new Peak Lodge mountain restaurant, the single largest capital improvement in almost 10 years at Killington, where it is now the most sought-after dining location in the resort.
Throw in great shopping, excellent family programmes and facilities and you have a world-class destination that’s an easy hire car drive north from Boston for us Brits.
And if you’re worried about all the energy needed to fire up its mighty (if now highly energy efficient) snowmaking arsenal, fear not! Since 2008, Killington has offset 100% of their power with Renewable Energy Credits meaning that all carbon emissions are offset. It’s recently announced significant investment in solar too in its ongoing efforts to be one of the ‘greenest’ resorts in Vermont’s Green Mountains.
That’s part of a resort-wide (and indeed Vermont state wide) move to fight climate change. The many other examples of this include using ‘cow power’ for one of the lifts (power generated from methane from cows) and a clever locally-invented technology which allows the resort to keep its fridges cool but using much less energy to do so than the conventional refrigeration process. This technology alone has cut Killington’s CO2 emissions by 13.2 tons per year.