It’s been a family affair – our love of Stowe. My mom introduced me to the “Ski Capital of the East” when I was a teen. I had grown up skiing on the backside, Smugglers’ Notch, so she was excited to show me “how the other side lives and skis.” I remember it was a perfect sunny spring day, the snow softened under each turn on the steep scenic trails – it was love at first sight. I felt honored to finally ski the legendary Front Four. I loved Stowe and Stowe loved me back. Fast forward to 2017, Vail Resorts loves Stowe too- enough to buy the resort for $50 mill! But back to my Stowe-away love affair:
My first ski date with my now husband was another postcard spring ski day at Stowe. We bashed the moguls on narrow gnarly Starr and Goat, then toasted our epic tracks at après ski at the Matterhorn and Pickwick’s Pub (we were young, amorous and ambitious).
So, bringing our two kids to Stowe was a rite of passage. We waited until they were old enough to appreciate the terrain and the scenery, they were 8 and 10, and we chose spring time for their Stowe introduction. Our son declared Goat his favorite trail ever upon conquering the big bumps in the sunshine. We were so proud, Stowe proud.
Stowe is incredibly scenic, as you ski down Mt Mansfield – Vermont’s highest peak at 4,395’historical, Stowe is historic, with trails like Nose Dive cut by the C.C.C. back in 1935, and Stowe is hard core with its formidable Front Four trails. But don’t let Stowe’s terrain scare you off, the ski area offers plenty of gorgeous cruisers – Sunrise and Lord, Gondolier and Perry Merrill, plus a separate Spruce Peak with intermediate and beginner terrain, connected by a 10 person gondola.
Spruce Peak had transformed since our last visit. The teens begged us to return –we gladly did last weekend, and we found an upscale skiers village with the new Stowe Mountain Lodge as a grand centerpiece. This lodge is the ultimate in alpine elegance, more Deer Valley than Vermont – but worth a stay (check out their special ski and stay deals this spring). You should at least have après ski at Hourglass overlooking the luxurious lobby’s fireplaces, birch trees, soaring beams and stonework. Skating on the centerpeice outdoor ice rink is more family friendly après ski. Our kids loved it. At dinner, my daughter deemed Solace’s Vermont Cheddar burger “the best cheeseburger in ski country.”
Staying at the Stowe Mountain Lodge we were catered to from Valet, to a Ski Butler who dries your boots and carries your skis in and out for you, to an alpine concierge who will arrange dinner reservations, a spa appointment, or a Mercedes demo to take into town.
Stowe’s Mountain Road also offers countless family friendly lodging places – with a wide wallet range. From the posh Topnotch and Green Mountain Inn to the quirky Field Guide Lark Hotel.
If you haven’t been to Stowe in a while, or your kids have never been, its times to spring for a Stowe trip. Their rates are lower, while their snow depths are the highest of the season.
So bring your kids up right, go to Stowe. Teach them the lore of the Front Four, challenge them to ski 10 by 10 (ten runs by ten o’clock – quad open weekends at 7:30!), ski them by the 1936 Stone Hut atop the Quad, and ride the bright ride gondola car up Vermont’s tallest peak.
I will always cherish my first trip to Stowe, as my kids do, yours will too.