The early season snowboard trip is a rite of passage. Not many people would consider driving an absurd distance just to make some turns on pre-season snow, but this is exactly what many Ontario skiers and snowboarders do each season. We set our GPS for Killington, Vermont and left the hustle and bustle in our rearview mirrors. Our route wasn’t finalized until the day before the trip. Not that Killington is difficult to get to, but more so because Buffalo had been hit by an apocalyptic snow storm less than a week beforehand. We crossed the border at Lewiston and headed south towards Buffalo and the I90, fully expecting to get bogged down by snow removal efforts. To our shock, we saw nothing. Nearly six feet of snow had buried areas less than 20 km away, but the only sign of panic we saw was a column of military Humvees cruising down the highway loaded down with snow shovels. We hopped on the I90 without incident, and blasted across New York State towards Vermont.
 
There are many reasons why Killington is the perfect early-season shred destination. Aside from the fact that It’s consistently one of the first resorts in eastern North America to open, there’s also a host of lodging options from hotels and motels, to condos and chalets. There’s easy access to nearby Rutland if you need to stock up on supplies, and, most importantly, the Resort’s Operations team consistently puts together a darn good product on hill including a top notch early-season jib park. We also took some time to check out what else the resort has to offer such as the Peak Lodge, which takes a new angle on the concept of on-slope dining. Located at the top of the K-1 Gondola, the lodge offers a panoramic view of the Green, White and Adirondack Mountains. You can pop in to grab a quick hot chocolate or beer, or sit down for a full meal from the assortment of chef-served stations.
 
With the itch to ride sufficiently scratched, we pulled out of the parking lot on our last day, set the GPS for home and made our way down the access road. With American Thanksgiving on the horizon, things were starting to ramp up around the resort, and I was reminded that this isn’t just an early-season destination. With seven separate peaks between Killington and its sister resort Pico Mountain, a combined 29 lifts, 212 trails and 1,977 skiable acres at full capacity, we only experienced a fraction of what this place has to offer. Looks like I better start banking my vacation time.

To see the latest conditions at Killington Resort head here.


Andrew Rusk with a method over the trees. Roth photo


Andrew Rusk, tailpress. Petznick photo.


Andrew Skelhorn, crail over the tress. Roth photo.


Andrew Skelhorn, backside nosepress. Petznick photo.


The view outside Killington’s Peak Lodge. Rusk photo.


Inside the Peak Lodge. Rusk photo.