Sugarbush, Vermont: Rank 6 East, 1997

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Though Sugarbush has plenty of terrain for intermediates¿nearly half of its 112 trails are rated blue square¿it's a shrine for hard-core skiers. The resort's Mount Ellen and Lincoln Peak (also known as North and South, respectively) offer a variety of runs from never-ending cruisers to tight glades. The legendary Castlerock area, known for its steeps and narrows, remains the same as when it was first cut almost 40 years ago. Even with Sugarbush's massive snowmaking coverage, the unpredictable Vermont weather can cause granite bumps and black ice: Remember to tune your skis. The quaint town of Waitsfield offers a pair of hot nightspots: the Mad Mountain Tavern and Gallaghers. But the area is best known for its dining, especially at the Common Man and Chez Henri. For more casual fare, take the kids to American Flatbread Pizza¿open on Friday and Saturday nights¿for wood-fired pies. Or check out the laid-back Hyde Away, a hot après-ski stop.

What's New A lighted tubing park; snowmaking upgrades.
A Good Deal Lift and lodging package, starting at $89 per night, includes a day of skiing and a night at the Sugarbush Inn, except holidays; (800) 53-SUGAR.
Medals Gold Terrain, Challenge, Lifts; Silver Snow Quality, Grooming.
High/Low Rank Lifts (19); Accessibility (61).
Don't Miss If there's plenty of natural snow, take a side trip to nearby Mad River Glen.
Reader Remarks "Big mountain; great lifts, trails and snow." "Cold and out of the way."