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Stowe Mountain Resort. To be precise, the name of the village is Stowe and the name of the mountain is Mt. Mansfield, but to generations of skiers, the area, the complex, and the region are just plain Stowe. Stowe Mountain Resort is a classic that dates from the 1930s. Even today, the area's mystique attracts as many serious skiers as social ones. Improved snowmaking, new lifts, and free shuttle buses that gather skiers from lodges, inns, and motels along Mountain Road have added convenience to the Stowe experience. Yet the traditions remain: the Winter Carnival in January, the Sugar Slalom in April, ski weeks all winter. Three base lodges provide the essentials, including two on-mountain restaurants.
The resort provides hiking, in-line skating, an alpine slide, gondola rides, and an 18-hole golf course. It also has 27 mi of groomed cross-country trails and 18 mi of backcountry trails. Four interconnecting cross-country ski areas have more than 90 miles of groomed trails within the town of Stowe.
Mt. Mansfield, with an elevation of 4,395 feet and a vertical drop of 2,360 feet, is one of the giants among eastern ski mountains. The mountain's symmetrical shape allows skiers of all abilities long, satisfying runs from the summit. The famous Front Four (National, Liftline, Starr, and Goat) are the intimidating centerpieces for tough, expert runs, yet there is plenty of mellow intermediate skiing, with 59% of the runs rated at that level and 116 trails total. One long beginner trail, the Toll Road Trail, is 3½ miles. Mansfield's satellite sector is a network of intermediate trails and one expert trail off a basin served by a gondola. Spruce Peak, separate from the main mountain, is a teaching hill and offers a pleasant experience for intermediates and beginners. In addition to the high-speed, eight-passenger gondola, Stowe has 16 lifts, including two quads, two triples, and five double chairlifts, plus one handle tow, to service its 116 trails. Night-skiing trails are accessed by the gondola. The resort has 80% snowmaking coverage. Snowboard facilities include a half-pipe and two terrain parks—one for beginners, at Spruce Peak, and one for experts, on the Mt. Mansfield side. Children's programs are headquartered at Spruce Peak, with ski-school programs for ages 4 to 12. 5781 Mountain Rd., Stowe, VT, 05672. 802/253–3000; 802/253–3600 snow conditions; 800/253–4754 lodging. www.stowe.com.
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