Skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont

Stowe Mountain, Vermont

Stowe Mountain Resort is composed of two mountain areas: Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak. There are about 116 trails on Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield, and together they provide 39 miles (63 km) (485 acres) of ski-able terrain.

More than half of the terrains are graded at an intermediate level, and only about 16% is green. The name of the village is Stowe, and the mountain is named Mount Mansfield but to everyone in the region, it’s Stowe. The resort opened way back in the 1930’s, and it is still an attraction that brings in serious skiers as well as plain social skiers.

Over the years, things have improved, making it a nice place for skiers to spend the day. Better snow-making, new lifts, on-mountain lodging, free shuttle buses that pick travelers from their lodges, hotels along the Mountain Road have made life comfortable for skiers.

Stowe Vermont

Some traditions still continue today – the Winter Carnival in January, the Sugar Slalom in April, ski weeks all winter. Three base lodges continue to provide the basics, and one can dine at two on-mountain restaurants.

Mt. Mansfield is the highest mountain in Vermont with a vertical drop of 2,360 ft and has a symmetrical layout. The mountain’s symmetry allows skiers of all abilities a good long run from the peak.

The well-known Front Four runs (National, Liftline, Starr, and Goat) are challenging enough for tough, expert runs, yet there is plenty of mid-level skiing options and also one long novice trail from the summit that ends at the Toll House, with easier terrain.

Stowe is alluring and has an idyllic appearance. You will find the Main Street folks-y and quite picture-perfect. It is a place where you can indulge in some luxury with the Stowe Mountain Lodge at the base of Spruce Peak, which is separate from the main mountain. It is a teaching hill and offers a pleasant experience for both mid-level skiers and beginners; Stowe has one quadruple, one triple, and several double chairlifts, plus one handle tow, and an eight-seater high-speed gondola to service its 47 trails. Night-skiers use the gondola to access the trails.

Skiing facilities in Stowe include a halfpipe, quarterpipe, and two terrain parks – one for novices at the bottom of Spruce Peak and one for the pros on the Mt. Mansfield side. Skiers should use the Best Ski Helmets available to protect themselves from serious injury.

For cross-country skiers, the resort has four interconnected areas with an overall 90 miles of groomed cross-country trails and back-country trails within the town of Stowe.

To make it a family-friendly ski resort, there is a child-care center to take care of children from ages six weeks to 6 years, which run kids’ ski-school programs for ages 6 to 12. A center on Spruce Peak runs programs for children from ages 3 to 12, and another program for teenagers 13 to 17 with its headquarters therein.

Skiing in Vermont

Skiing is a popular sport in the US during winters. Children and adults alike take to it to for the fun and passion both. It is also a part of the winter Olympics. Though the West is credited with having the best ski spots in the US, the East has its own share of skiing spots.

There are mountains galore where skiers and snowboarders can hit during the winters. Vermont is the most notable among the eastern states that boast of ski resorts. There are plenty of ski areas that appeal to every ski level and traveler type.

Most of the ski resorts have considerably upgraded their snowmaking capabilities and replaced outdated equipments with new versions. These changes aim to keep the ski season going and allow the owners to keep the trail open even when the weather isn’t favorable and also improves the quality of snow making.

There are several locations that stand out from the crowd.


Killington is named “Beast of the east”. It has the highest elevation in Vermont, the largest vertical drop in New England and the longest ski season in Eastern US and the largest skiable area in the East. It’s mountains are divided into trails for beginners intermediate and experts.  The longest trail in the East of US is here – the Juggernaut. Snowboarders and freeskiers will find 6 terrain parks to use.

Killington is popular with both novices and experts. Learners will get a free snow board or pair of skis for their lessons. Even if you are not a sports enthusiast, you can still visit the resort for the food and the view it offers.


It’s the closest large-scale ski resort to major metropolitan areas in the region. Some of it’s runs are blue and others green. It’s North face features the most advanced terrain. It’s most distinguishing feature however is the Carinthia, an entire mountain face dedicated to terrain parks. It is the only one of its kind in the East Coast. The Bluebird Express runs its service here and is the first one in the East. Mount Snow has the best snowmaking systems in the mountain resort industry. Protect yourself while skiing with the best ski helmets out there.


The sophisticated Stratton lies north of Mount Snow. Readers of the SKI Magazine have ranked it among the top 10 resorts for snow, grooming, terrain parks, lifts, service, lodging, on-mountain food, dining options, and après-ski/nightlife. That tells us that this resort offers something for everyone. It is home to the tallest peak in southern Vermont (at 3,875 feet), has about 97 trails spread over 670 acres. The trails are a mix of ones for novices, intermediates, and for advanced — but favors non-experts, though thrill-seekers have several options. Find more information at

History of Cochran’s Ski Area

Cochran Ski Area PHOTO: Pennie Rand Photography

Cochran Ski Area PHOTO: Pennie Rand Photography

Back in the 1960’s the Cochrans – Mickey and Ginny purchased an old farm by the Winooski River in Richmond, Vermont. With their dedication and effort, they built a couple of backyard trails and a short rope tow so their children and neighbors could ski and race train.

The next decade saw four Cochrans on their way to the Olympics and World Cup as part of the US Ski Team. Slowly the facility grew. Till date the Cochrans family has groomed many children who have gone on to become racers or skiers. They have through their programs fostered a spirit of skiing and racing in the hill slopes for the love of the game and for fun’s sake.

No wonder, many proclaim they learnt skiing the “Cochran way”.

After Mickey’s death in 1998, the ski area was turned into a non-profit 501© (3) to continue the legacy and provide children with a healthy recreational facility.

Since then, the group has put in effort to bring together resources to help educate children in the ways of skiing including those from the underprivileged background.

The area now boasts of a snowmaking system that is state-of-the-art.

During winters, children from the area come to the place with their parents to practice and play. They have the option to train for ski-racing. There are season passes that offer discounts. Sales also allow skiers to purchase alpine skis, snowboards, Nordic skis, and also that Obermeyer’s one-piece.

The Cochran ski area in Richmond, VT has produced two generations of Olympic ski racers and offers hundreds of local children the opportunity to learn skiing. For several years, the Cochran ski area has nurtured more than a dozen US team members who were not related to the Cochran and are still proud to have trained there.

So, what do children do in winters in the Cochran area?

They come to ski here. They snowboard and race having fun all the time. You can find the best beginner snowboards at

The first generation Cochrans wanted children to come and have fun. They even allowed them in their kitchen. They were made to feel like a part of the family.

They didn’t envision making it to the world Championships or to the Olympics. They only wanted children to come regularly and keep skiing until they learnt it well. After returning home from school, children are expected to eat something and head off to the slope.

Skiing is an adventure sport. It helps children develop an outdoor attitude and do something worthwhile with their bodies and mind during the winters. Spending long hours practicing on the snow leads to perfection and even though they were not trained to race in the Olympics, they made it.

Children these days have the benefit of experiencing modern technology and tactics that put them at an advantage.