A slice of Vermont.
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A slice of Vermont.
2012 East #9 Sugarbush

A slice of Vermont? more like two big mountains of it, piled high with a generous blend of manmade and natural snow and bucolic views. Hold the crowds and attitude— they don’t fly in this laid-back corner of postcard-perfect Vermont. One reader likes the “variety of terrain, sheer cruising and air of welcoming friendliness.” It all adds up to a no. 5 ranking for Character, and the ’Bush earns similarly strong rankings in Terrain Variety (5), Challenge (6), Service and On-Mountain Food (8) and Snow (9). Accessible glades abound, from the bustling Lincoln Peak (family central) to the less-traveled Mount Ellen and throughout the Slidebrook Wilderness in between. New barnchic slopeside lodging and facilities bring amenities up to par, and no major ski area offers bigger helpings of quintessential Vermont beauty. “Vermont skiing at its best.” —E.T.M.

Après Spot » Unwind with live music, oh-so-frosty local beers and Vermont-hearty, better-than-bar food at the Castlerock Pub.

Don’t Miss » An evening snowcat ride and candlelit dinner at Allyn’s Lodge, followed by moonlight skiing.

What’s New» An arsenal of ultra-low-energy snowguns doubles early-season snowmaking capacity. Got a novice friend? If he completes three lessons, he gets a season pass.