Killington Mountain Resort & Ski
Area is a ski resort near
is the largest ski
area in eastern North America
serving as many as 17,000 skiers
in one day.
In 2008, Killington had the most trails (191), the greatest
vertical ( ), the highest taxable receipts winter 2007-8 ($37.3
million) and the highest priced lift tickets ($77-$82) of any other
ski resort in Vermont.
In 1954, Perry H. Merrill, the Father of Vermont's State Parks
and Alpine Ski Areas and Vermont State land lease officer, wanted
to see a ski resort developed on Killington Peak, the second highest mountain in Vermont.
found Preston Leete Smith who shared the vision. They agreed to
work together to develop this area. Killington opened December 13
In the 1960s the resort continued to expand at a pace "well above
industry standards." Many new trails were created and Smith had
beginner trails accessible from every lift. In the 1960s,
Killington installed snowmaking
equipment, which had been invented in the 1950s, but considered a
luxury. Several low-snow
seasons proved their value.
Killington introduced the ticket wicket
in 1963 to prevent skiers sharing lift tickets, while also not
damaging ski clothing.
Park City-based Powdr Corporation is the operator; SP Land
Company will do real estate development, including a ski village,
probably beginning in 2009.
|December 13, 1958
||stands for Sherburne-Killington-
Investments, a reorganization of
Sherburne for stock issue
||originally LBO Resort
|May 11, 2007
||Powdr Corporation and SP Land Company
SP Land is an affiliate of Ski
Partners LLC, which is in turn affiliated with E2M Partners LLC, a
private equity fund. SP Land was formed in 2004 and acquired most
of the developable land at the base of the resort.
Powdr has announced that it will stop honoring "lifetime" lift
passes issued by the previous owners after two years. A class
action lawsuit was filed on behalf of about 800 pass holders.
central Vermont, 191 trails
and 30 lifts extend across seven mountain peaks.
Peak (4,235 ft, 1291 m), is the second highest in
Vermont and has the second greatest vertical drop in the
east (3,050 feet, 930 m) after Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, New York (with , 1045 m).
Six of the peaks of
Killington are interconnected. The seventh, Pico Peak, operated as an independent ski area until 1996,
when it was purchased by Killington.
There have been plans
to connect Killington and Pico with a series of lifts and trails
since 1998, but have not yet happened.The mountains that make up
Killington separate the town of Killington (w/ the access road)
from the city of Rutland. In fact the mountains are so large, you
can ski out of bounds (discouraged and dangerous) and get to Mendon
in the south or Rutland in the west (Killington and Chittenden are
in the East)
A sign that leads people to the two
double black diamond trails, Devils Fiddle and Outer Limits,
members of the steepest trails at Killington
The resort offers a variety of trails from gentle to expert. Trails
include "Outer Limits" a double
black diamond mogul
trail that is
the steepest mogul run
in all of New
England. The longest trail in the east is the 6.2-mile
(9.9 km) "Juggernaut." Part of the mountain is set aside for
terrain parks, with five snowboard and alpine parks. Killington has
a teaching area for first-time skiers, the "Accelerated Learning
Killington has one of the east's largest half-pipes located at Bear
Mountain for a portion of each winter season. Additionally, there
is lengthy boarder cross terrain and at least three to five major
trails with ramps and jumps.
- Snowshed: A section on the mountain devoted for the beginners,
Snowshed is serviced by three lifts. It is an open slope, with a
lodge and restaurant at the bottom. The Adult ski school is located
at Snowshed. Most condos and the Grand Hotel are located at the
bottom of Snowshed.
- Rams Head: Rams Head has beginner and intermediate trails
serviced by an express quad lift. It is serviced by a cafeteria.
The Ski School for children and teenagers is located at Ramshead
base lodge. The Squeeze Play trail is used for learning tree
skiing. It has wide gaps between trees.
The ski school is split into four groups: the First Tracks program
for 1-3 years olds, the Ministars for 4-7 year olds, Superstars for
8-12 year olds, and the Snowzone program for 14-18 year olds.
- Snowdon Mountain: Snowdon provides a variety of Beginner,
Intermediate and Expert trails. Among the trails are Conclusion, a
double black diamond and Great Northern, a beginner trail. There
are two chairlifts (a triple from K-1 and a quad from end of Caper)
and a Poma. Trails for advanced skiers include Vagabond and North
- Killington Peak: Part of Killington Peak, the "Canyon Area", is
the steepest part of the mountain. There are many double black
diamond trails including: Cascade, Downdraft, Double Dipper, and
the Big Dipper Glade. Cascade is used to develop advanced skiers.
It is a double black and steep. It is serviced by the K1 gondola
and the Canyon Quad. Two shorter runs here include Rime and Reason,
accessible from the North Ridge Triple chair. Easier trails (Great
Eastern and Great Northern) can connect with the rest of the
mountain. There is a restaurant and lodge at the summit
and base of Killington
Peak. The peak was once accessible by the
original Killington gondola (once the only gondola on the
mountain). The origin of the original gondola started at the
current location of the Skyeship loading station, just off of
4. The original gondola had three segments between stations,
while the Skyeship, erected in 1994, has two. The third original
segment ran from Skye Peak to Killington peak - the structure
housing the original unloading station is still intact and visible
at the peak. The same structure houses the peak's restaurant. The
K1 gondola was built soon after to replace the Killington peak
A view of the North Ridge area of
Taken in the Winter of 2002.
of Snowshed base, Killington Grand Hotel, and other hotels/condos
along East Mountain Road, from Skye Peak
- Skye Peak: All types of terrain. Trails include Ovation, a
black forming into a double black when it becomes Lower Ovation,
the steepest trail on the mountain, and Superstar, a black diamond
that is wide and has lots of snow. There are trails for beginners
and intermediate skiers. It is serviced by the Superstar Express
Quad, the Skye Peak Express Quad, and the Skyeship Express
- Bear Mountain: Home to Outer Limits, a very steep double black
diamond mogul run, and Devil's Fiddle,
another double black diamond (although Devil's Fiddle is
infrequently open due to sheer ice and rock cover). Bear Mountain
also features many terrain parks, including a superpipe. It is
serviced by two lifts and has a lodge and restaurant. Bear Mountain
also frequently hosts large scale competitive racing and freestyle
- Sunrise Mountain: Sunrise Mountain is serviced by one lift and
is all beginner terrain. It was developed in the early 1980s, but
due to its low elevation (at least compared to the rest of
Killington), the lower portions of Sunrise had difficulty
maintaining snow cover, so they were removed from the trail system.
The triple chair, which originally extended further downhill to the
southern corner of US-4 and VT-100 in W. Bridgewater, was
shortened, and the "Northeast Passage" entrance to Killington
ceased to exist in the late 1990s. Lift towers still stand below
the existing chairlift. Another reason for the demise of the larger
Sunrise Mtn. area was its intended use that did not some to
fruition. Killington originally opened Sunrise with the intent of
expanding skiing trails and lifts southeast into an area known as
Parker's Gore. When these plans were halted due to concerns for
bear habitat, Sunrise lost its purpose as a base area to access
this terrain, and the costs of snowmaking and maintaining terrain
at such a low elevation were not justified by the few skiers
Mountain: Pico is located
on a separate mountain, Pico
Peak, away from the main resort. It has 50 trails
covering , all serviced by 6 lifts. Popular runs include: The Pike,
49er, Summit Glades, Upper KA, Giant Killer, and Sunset 71. There
are hotels, condos, restaurants at the base. It is inaccessible
from the main base, except by car or bus. Lift tickets at
Killington work at Pico, and there have been thoughts of connecting
the two for over ten years.
- :Pico History: Pico was once an independent ski resort called
Pico Peak. Killington bought Pico Peak out of bankruptcy in the
mid-1990s. There have been plans to connect Pico to the other
Killington mountains since it was purchased. Connector trails have
been cut; however, the more expensive lift and snowmaking systems
that would make such a connection possible have not been installed
as of 2007, and many of the building permits for this expansion
Killington averages of natural snow
winter. That, coupled with a snowmaking
system that covers 71% of the trails, has allowed Killington to
offer what is often the longest skiing season in eastern North
America, typically lasting from October to May. It covers more
terrain with snow than most resorts have terrain.Also, Killington
experiences a lot more snow than areas around it.
Lodging and dining
Killington Grand Hotel, as seen from
There are approximately 120 inns, lodges and condos at Killington,
with more than 40 restaurants, pubs, taverns, clubs and hotel
dining rooms. The Killington Grand Hotel is accessible by foot from
the Snowshed Base area, and is the Killington Resort's flagship
luxury hotel. The mountain's summit has an indoor restaurant.
The base elevation is 1,165 (325 m). The vertical drop is 3050 feet
The following mountains are part of the ski area:
Peak) 4,235’ (1,291 m)
Peak 3,967 ft (1,189 m)
- Skye Peak 3,800 ft (1,158 m)
- Ramshead Peak 3,610 ft (1,100
- Snowden Peak 3,592 ft (1,095
- Bear Mountain 3,295 ft (1,004
- Sunrise Mountain 2,456 ft (749 m)
- *Easier 28 %
- *More Difficult 33%
- *Most Difficult: 39%
Interior of Skyeship Gondola
- *gondolas: 2 currently operating
(Original Killington Gondola dismantled in 1993, and replaced with
- *quadruples: 11 (7 are high speed)
- *triples: 6
- *doubles: 4
- *surface: 5
Long ski season
Killington had a reputation for being the first ski area every
season in the Eastern United States to open, as well as the last to
close, although this has changed in recent years. On October 25, 2002,
After 41 consecutive years of being the first ski area in the east
to open, a small ski area in Connecticut called Woodbury Ski Area opened a very small amount of terrain before
Killington could open, thus ending the streak.
The resort in
the past packed up to of man made snow each year on Superstar (a
single black diamond run on the North side of Skye Peak), but under
the recent ownership of ASC snow making has been sub par.
In recent years the length of the season has begun to dwindle, even
though Killington has received normal amounts of snow.
Killington has of hiking
and mountain biking
trails. Killington Peak has a gondola lift.
There is an 18-hole
course. At Pico, there are
, mini golf
, wall climbing, and horseback