Killing­ton will al­ways be what many hard-charg­ing city-dwellers from the New York metro area con­sider to be the clos­est, best des­ti­na­tion. Back in the day, when it was host­ing more than a mil­lion skier vis­its a year, the Beast rightly earned a bad rap for be­ing crowded. And worse: mobbed with joeys. Th­ese days the re­sort han­dles a more man­age­able num­ber, and frankly, a higher per­cent­age of real skiers, giv­ing it a more soul­ful feel de­spite its size. And nowhere in the East beats the Ac­cess Road for after-hours ac­tion. That’s partly a trib­ute to its wealth of fine drink­ing and din­ing es­tab­lish­ments, but also to the party-hearty at­ti­tude of many of the passh­old­ers. Some still com­plain of too many out-of-con­trol skiers, and oth­ers find it dif­fi­cult to nav­i­gate from peak to peak—the flip side of the moun­tain’s sheer mas­sive­ness. But even the hard­est-to-please of Killing­ton reg­u­lars have to ad­mit that man­age­ment has made some great de­ci­sions in re­cent years. Among them: the bril­liant stroke of host­ing the Women’s World Cup, and a re­turned com­mit­ment to open­ing in Oc­to­ber and clos­ing in late May or even early June.

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