Resort Guide 2018: East #6
Mad River Glen will not be replacing its vintage 1948 Single Chair with a heated high-speed detachable bubble eight-pack. It will not be breaking ground on new luxury slopeside residences or massive indoor water park. It has not, as yet, been very excited to announce its acquisition by Vail Resorts. No, thank heavens, the place that never changes won’t change a bit for the 2017-18 season.
Well, strike that: Rest assured that local ski bums were out there during the summer, secretly snipping and pruning and judiciously improving their personal-favorite tree lines without any sanction whatsoever from mountain management. Otherwise, MRG’s all-natural, never-bulldozed terrain will be as delightfully challenging as ever. Its all-natural snow will be alternately ridiculous and sublime, depending on the weather in central Vermont. Its crotchety, counter-culturist co-op owners will continue to forbid the abomination before God that is snowboarding. And the only summit lift the place has ever known will continue to hoist skiers, and only skiers, one-by-one to the windy, ice-rimed, stunningly scenic summit of Stark Mountain. At Mad River Glen, every day is Throwback Thursday, and readers love it, ranking the place No. 1 in Challenge, No. 1 in Variety, and an especially emphatic, dog-friendly, Bern-feeling, wood- chuck-proud, what-would-Jerry-do No. 1 in Character. Let us pray: “Hands down the best ski area anywhere. Fantastic terrain. Laid- back vibe. Good value. Little snowmaking and they don’t groom much, but that’s by design. If you don’t like it, take your whining and go to Killington.” Amen.
A change in management: Jersey-born Cornell grad Matt Lillard, formerly of Okemo, Magic Mountain (Vt.), and Eaglecrest (Alaska), takes over as GM.
Full-moon snowshoe and beer tasting with celebrity brewer Sean Lawson, who is also one of MRG’s staff naturalists.
Prove yourself in the chutes of Paradise, which might be considered ice-climbing routes at less core mountains.
General Stark’s Pub serves up soup, local beers, and a heavy dose of MRG history in the photos plastered to the walls.