Stowe, Vermont: Rank 4 East, 1997

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Stowe is a classic skier's mountain. Visions of Lift Line, National, Starr and Goat¿the famous "Front Four"¿ strike fear in the hearts of even the most seasoned experts. For 50 years it's been said, "If you can ski Stowe, you can ski anywhere." Mt. Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak, is a 2,000-foot masterpiece of honest, in-the-fall-line vertical. Its face is riddled with secret pockets, glades and "pow-pow stashes," as one reader puts it. Stowe's state-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming allow the mountain to adjust to weather changes¿which are frequent and harsh in Vermont. The gentler Spruce Peak, for families and new skiers, helped Stowe earn seventh place for Family Programs in the nation. Stowe Village, with its white-church centerpiece, is more renowned than the skiresort. With more romantic inns, quaint shops, restaurants, intimate pubs and nightlife than you can shake a ski pole at, Stowe remains "one of the best ski towns in the country."

What's New Call 888-253-4TIX at least three days in advance for a 10-percent lift-ticket discount.
A Good Deal Inner Bootworks arguably has the best custom fitters in New England. Today's Edge turns rocked-out skis into World Cup performers¿overnight and at a great price.
Medals Gold Terrain, Challenge, Lodging, Dining, Après-Ski, Off-Hill Activities, Family Programs; Silver Snow Quality, Grooming.
High/Low Rank Dining (2); Weather (58).
Don't Miss The Trapp Family Lodge, the transplanted homestead of the Sound of Music family.
Reader Remarks "Best terrain on the East Coast by far." "The resort doesn't go out of its way to make themountain user-friendly."