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Killington

Killington Ski Resort Guide

Killington, United States

Rated: 5/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForExpert Skiers, Intermediates, Beginners, Snowboarders and Apres-Ski!
Total Piste Length146km91 miles
Highest Lift1,283m4,209ft
Resort Height320m1,050ft
 Nearest AirportsBurlington and Manchester-Boston
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Killington

The largest ski resort in Eastern USA, Killington boasts North America's largest single-mountain lift system in terms of number of lifts. They include twelve quads, a further six triples and what was the world's fastest gondola with the world's first heated (and brightly painted) cabins. Famous for snow making, with capacity doubled between 1997 and 1999 as part of a $50 million development program, but averages six metres of natural snow anyway.

Summary

The American ski resort of Killington is at an altitude of 320m1,050ft, with 146km91 miles of marked runs.

Killington has direct access to 146km91 miles of downhill skiing, with 200 marked pistes, served by a total of 22 ski lifts.

The skiing is at relatively low altitude, so snow cover can be variable.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Killington?

The next notable snow forecast is 17cm7in, expected on 5 October.

See our long-range Snow Forecast for the latest update, or   Join our Snow Mail Here

Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Killington
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Ski Area Stats

Killington Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
55
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
46
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
39
Downhill
Total Length
146km91 miles
Cross Country
Total Length
10km6 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts
22

Altitudes

Killington Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift1,283m4,209ft
Lowest Piste320m1,050ft
Resort Altitude (Killington)320m1,050ft
Max Vertical963m3,159ft

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Killington
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers
Beginners
Snowboarding
Snow
Apres-Ski

Killington Overview

It seems that when you try to describe Killington you end up talking numbers - the resort is one of the most impressive in the world in some respects and in the US market in many more. It seems unfair not to try

to describe the place a little before giving vent to those figures. Killington is very much a ski area rather than a resort (although that is changing), hotels, restaurants and other facilities are spread out for several miles on the three lane road up to the resort's main base at Snowshed.

The ski area itself extends for a massive 18km (11 miles) over seven mountains from Sunrise to Pico, the last is a small ski area in its own right, all of the rest is fully lift linked. It's difficult to resist the temptation to quote the figures, so here goes. Killington is the largest ski resort in the Eastern United States and it seems it always has been, it operates more than 1,400 snow cannons and is famous for having one of the world's most powerful snow making systems. In past times this allowed it to open trails in October and keep them open through to late June in cold years (the record is June 22nd). It averages six metres of natural snow anyway.

Killington is one of only a dozen resorts in the United States to have a vertical drop greater than 950 metres (and of only two in the East that do, the other being Whiteface) - tantalisingly close to the 1000m mark that means much to the European market.

The resort is keen to point out that, because of the number of its trails and lifts, it is in every way a comparable resort to the big centres out West - with as much trail length if not the acreage. Indeed Killington is one of the few US resorts to measure trail length as well as resort acres, knowing that if a lot of the 'big acre' Western ski areas dared to publish their prepared trail length stats they wouldn't look much by comparison.

Killington's trails also compares favourably with most ski areas in the Alps and is therefore an increasingly popular destination resort for skiers from Europe and further afield who recognise that Killington is the exception for those who dismiss East Coast skiing as low-hill small-area weekend retreats for the residents of the local big cities.

A few final fascinating facts - Killington has the longest trail in the East (Juggernaut, 10km/6 miles in length) and Outer Limits is the steepest mogul slope in the region also. Although the 12 quads, half of them high speed detachables, is not a record it's still a pretty impressive uplift, with six triples on hand also.

 Notable Ski Runs

The most difficult run is the 'Outer Limits'.

Skiing

Killington is big by any measure and it can truly claim to offer terrain for all standards. Although all the trails are within the treeline the gradients range from nearly flat to some of the steepest there are and the width from 'as wide as it's long' down to only 2.5 metres (eight feet). The Snowshed area by the resort's main base (there are others at the Skyeship gondola base station, the Sunrise base station and Bear Mountain; Pico Mountain has seen more people learn to ski than any other beginner area in the US.

The Snowshed slope is a huge gentle meadow ideal for first-timers to practise on. Most soon progress on to the Ramshead Mountain where a mix of beginner and intermediate trails give a variety of descents including the gentle Timberline or the faster Header which follows the fall line. Swirl is a popular choice on powder days.

One of the resort's three terrain parks designed for fun snow sports of all kinds, not specifically snowboarding, is located here as is the Family Centre where kids day care and ski schools are based.

For tougher skiing that gets some of the resort's earliest and best snow, The Glades attracts more experts to ungroomed terrain. Like Snowden Mountain and West Glade, it has a reputation for bump runs and allows skiers on all runs the opportunity to continue down to The Canyon below. This includes the notorious Double Dipper run with an average pitch of 40%, building to 54% for the final third of its length. The high traverse leads from here to Killington Peak, the highest lift-served terrain in Vermont.

Skye Peak is the area most popular as the Superstar Trail is the target of Killington's most intensive snowmaking efforts, building up a snow depth of 6 metres (20 feet) in mid-winter. Between Skye Peak and Bear Mountain is Needles Eye, which contains the fierce steeps and tight lines of Vertigo and other more forgiving trails.

South Ridge is a favoured place for powder stashes whilst Bear Mountain, the sunniest and most sheltered from the wind, is probably the most attractive of the seven mountains for the best skiers and riders to visit at Killington, although there are some easy descents also. It includes New England's steepest mogul run, Outer Limits, competition on which has been the springboard into the national and international competitive arena for American freestyle skiers.

Sunrise Mountain has a mixture of terrain and a reputation for good skiing on powder days, particularly, The Judge trail. Finally Pico Mountain, once a ski area in its own right, has 42 trails covering 29km (18 miles) of terrain all, of its own. It's classic New England skiing and encompasses a wide variety of terrain.

There are a variety of pistes to suit all levels of skier ability, from Beginner to Expert.

Snowboarding

Killington offers multiple terrain features for boarders ands freeskiers including the Bear Mountain signature terrain parks and a 130m (430ft) long superpipe with 5m (18ft) walls.

Location and Map

Where is Killington?

This ski resort is in Rutland, Vermont, United States.

Map

Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Killington is Burlington, 107 minutes drive away.

Manchester-Boston, Albany, Nashua (Boire Field), Boston (Logan Intl) and Bradley airports are all within three hours drive.

Infrastructure

Ski Lift Capacity

The 22 ski lifts are able to uplift 37,535 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, with 1194 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Killington open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is late November (Usually opens in autumn as soon as cold enough for adequate snow making. Aims to open from mid-October), and usual closing is Early May (Usually stays open to mid/late spring if snow cover adequate and temps cool enough. Aims to open to June).

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Killington, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Killington Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Killington

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Aprés Ski

Killington has a reputation for having some of the best night life in New England, despite the lack of a 'village feel' that allows you to crawl from one bar to another as in St Anton. Instead it's head to head competition from the resort's main players like The Wobbly Barn where genuinely top notch live music acts perform. The only down side to this thriving après scene, driven on by the influx of big city guests from Boston and New York, is that some of the establishments have to charge quite high admission charges and others employ door staff whose tough attitude can surprise and intimidate those who think they're just having fun on a relaxed ski holiday and aren't trying to gatecrash a city centre nightclub in one of the world's capitals.

On the other hand, many visitors from big cities, or those who like big cities, may find this cosmopolitan attitude rather refreshing, and in any case there are dozens of more laid back places to choose from that are more like the ski resort norm if you prefer something quieter.

Killington