By Lauren Suriani
Is this your first time here? Maybe it’s your second. Heck maybe you’ve been coming here for years. This is a bit of an insider guide to having the best time on the mountain. Whether it’s a Saturday morning or a Wednesday afternoon, these tips will help you have a great time at Stratton.
Where to Find the Best Snow
• Pay attention to wind direction. Ski the same side of the trail as the wind direction.
• If it’s windy and snowmaking was taking place the night before, ski the trails downwind from snowmaking guns. Ex. Snowmaking on Suntanner during a west wind, ski Yodeler first thing.
• Ski/Ride the trails that get the most traffic first. Ex. Ski Black Bear first thing, then work to Kidderbrook later in the day.
• Riding the gondi (gondola) is nice, but stick to the chairs if you want to find the best snow. They allow you to see and hear better. Watch where other skiers are going and listen, hearing the sound their skies or board makes can tell you a lot about the snow..
• Get here early on a powder day! If you really feel up for it, hike before the lifts open. I promise you, it will be worth it.
Avoid the Line
• Avoid the Base Lodge at lunch time. Try eating earlier or later and check out Sun Bowl and Mid-Mountain. (Mid Mt. have the best donuts on weekends!) Hint: Lift lines are short at noon since everyone else is inside eating.
• Avoid the Main Base. Check out Sun Bowl. It’s usually sunny and lines are generally shorter.
• If Shooting Star is running, use it! The lines are always shorter than URSA and it takes you to the same place.
• Get here early.
• Buy your lift ticket the night before; less waiting in the morning.
• Singles lines rarely work. Make a group of 6 or meet some new fiends and create a full group.
Have an Awesome Time
• Call the snow phone in the morning to get an idea what conditions will be like for the day. 802.297.4134
• Pack everything the night before. No stress in the AM.
• Get your skis/board tuned. Try First Run in Stratton Village. Skiing/riding on a fresh tune is just more fun, period. The best time to get a tune is right before new snow falls or when the snow is icy and firm.
• Come early or show up late. Early gets you a great parking spot and fresh groomed runs. Show up mid-morning like everyone else and be prepared to be patient. Show up after lunch for smaller crowds, sneak into a good parking spot and ski some bumps or small moguls! Sweet!
• Cool down. An old instructor trick is to ski an easy run on the last run of the day. You may feel comfortable and confident from a full day on the hill but take the advice, end your day on an easier run and a good note, you’ll be more eager to come back!