Travel with Val: Ski Sugarbush
For skilled skiers looking for a unique East Coast ski experience, riding an early morning snow cat up the mountain at a Northern Vermont resort for first tracks is the perfect getaway. Valarie D'Elia has the story.
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It’s very early in the morning and I’m getting ready to go snow cat skiing for first tracks at Sugarbush.
Called the "Lincoln Limo," this cushy 12 seat snow cat motors the 3,975 feet up the slopes of Northern Vermont’s Sugarbush Resort, depositing intrepid skiers on the top of Lincoln Peak. On this particularly blustery morning, it’s a group of invited media.
"You know there is something about being on the mountain first, getting fresh powder, fresh corduroy, being up there all by yourself, nobody around you," Win Smith, president of Sugarbush Resort, said.
It’s part of an exclusive experience for skiers willing to get up at the crack of dawn to ski before the lifts open, for the fabled first tracks.
For $75 per person, intermediate and expert skiers make about five to six runs, depending on how fast the group skis.
Sugarbush claims it’s the only resort on the east coast that has a snow cat outfitted to take passengers on private adventures, similar to those more commonly found out West.
“We use it three ways. We use it for first tracks, we use it for sunset grooming rides, especially for children, birthday parties, then we use it for mountain dining," Smith said. "We take people out to our mid-mountain lodge, Allyn’s Lodge, prepare a nice three course dinner, a little bit of wine and then those that would like we ski them down on freshly groomed trails and it’s an awesome experience."
After years of iffy conditions due to a lack of snow, skiing at Sugarbush got off to a good start this year.
"We’ve had the third snowiest December that we’ve had on record since we’ve opened in 1958," Communications Manager Patrick Brown said. "We’ve had over 125 inches of snow this year. So far skiing has been phenomenal."
For more information, visit sugarbush.com.