VER­MONT

SKI - - CONTENTS - —Joe Cutts

In a state known for ru­ral beauty, Su­gar­bush may have the pret­ti­est cor­ner of any ski area. In the bu­colic Mad River Val­ley, res­i­dents find a way to em­brace tourism with­out spoil­ing the nat­u­ral beauty that at­tracts tourists. Along with beau­ti­ful views, Su­gar­bush has an of­ten-un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated va­ri­ety of charis­matic ter­rain. Skiers rave about Castle­rock, of course, with its un­groomed steeps and throw­back fixed-grip vibe. Over at Mt. Ellen, Su­gar­bush’s whole other ski area con­nected by com­muter lift and the huge tracts of Slide Brook side­coun­try, there’s more of the real-Ver­monty feel on trails like Black Di­a­mond, Ex­ter­mi­na­tor, Tum­bler, and Ham­mer­head. That said, the re­sort’s finer things don’t go ne­glected. Vis­i­tors praise the din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences both on and off-moun­tain, the taste­ful­ness of Lin­coln Peak’s base-area ar­chi­tec­ture, and the re­sort’s bold de­ci­sion to of­fer Ver­mont-only beers from its taps. The one crit­i­cism of Su­gar­bush: it’s a lit­tle hard to get to. Of all the ways to get to the moun­tain, none per­fect, Route 100 is cer­tainly the pret­ti­est. The stretch connecting Killing­ton and Su­gar­bush might be one of the most scenic drives in all of Ver­mont.

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