Ascutney: Vital Stats
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Vital Stats Summit elevation: 2,520 feet; vertical drop: 1,800 feet; 5 lifts (one high-speed quad, three triples, one double); 56 trails on 150 skiable acres, including nine double-diamonds and a separate 10-acre learning park; 95 percent snowmaking coverage.
Getting There From New York City (231 miles) and Hartford, Conn. (127 miles): Take I-91 to Exit 8 in Vermont; go east on Route 131 for .3 miles, then north on Route 5 for 1.2 miles, then north on Route 44A for 2.8 miles, then west on Route 44 for 2 miles; Ascutney Mountain Resort is on the left, just before the village of Brownsville. From Boston (124 miles): Take I-93 north to Concord, N.H., then I-89 north to White River, Vt., then south on I-91 to Exit 9; go south on Route 5 for 4 miles; in Windsor, take Route 44 west 5 miles to the resort.
First Stop Ascutney’s base area is the first¿and only¿stop for most weekenders, who stay slopeside and forget about the car keys. Register at the Windham Building for packages that include lifts, slopeside lodging and most resort amenities, except child care and lessons.
Sleeping In Ascutney offers true ski-in/ski-out lodging (read: no shuttle buses needed). Ascutney Advantage lift-and-lodging packages begin at just $53 per person (800-243-0011). There’s a four person minimum in condos, but kids age 6 and under ski and stay free. On A Budget: Bring the scout troop¿or any other youth group¿and camp overnight on the upper floor of the base lodge, with activities, meals and lifts, for $45 per person. Bed & Breakfast: The Mill Brook Bed & Breakfast in an old Victorian on the edge of Brownsville offers attractive rooms and memorable popovers at breakfast ($70-$140/night, 802-484-7283).
Dining Out Slopeside, Brown’s Tavern takes the cake for hearty meals and heart-warming ski memorabilia. Still, the resort’s Harvest Inn offers enough elegance and tasteful cuisine prepared with fresh ingredients to make you feel as if you’re out on the town. For a taste of the “real Vermont,” try the Skunk Hollow Tavern (802-436-2139) in Hartland Four Corners or the Windsor Station Restaurant (802-674-2052) on Depot Street in Windsor.
Nightlife Even when the sun goes down, the focus at Ascutney is families. Options include the base-area skating pond, an Olympic-sized pool, the tubing hill and torch-light parades. Grownups should try the Skunk Hollow Tavern, which offers live music Wednesdays and Fridays, or The Club Car (802-674-5551), a jazz and tobacco bar in Windsor.
Local Institutions The Brownsville General Store¿which sells everything from bait to barn boots¿does double duty as grocery store and town center. But really, Cheddar¿Ascutney’s mascot¿is both icon and institution. From 5-8 p.m., the resort supervises children age 4-10 while they hang with Cheddar, all for $15.
Going Mobile Just 20 minutes from picturesque Woodstock, Ascutney lies within shooting distance of fine dining, upscale shops and a wide array of New England’s charms. Noteworthy destinations include the world-renowned Simon Pearce glassworks in Quechee (802-674-6280), Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., the American Precision Museum in Windsor (802-674-5781) and the Cornish-Windsor Bridge (the longest covered bridge in the U.S.).
Kid Care Guided by the philosophy that children learn best in a safe and supportive environment, Ascutney offers award-winning programs for children age 3 to 12. Ducklings Childcare offers games, outdoor play and optional skiing for 3- to 6-year-olds ($50; $80 with skiing). The Mini-Olympian (age 4-6) and Young Olympian (age 7-12) programs focus on fun ($46 half-day; $72 full-day).
A Good Deal The Max Card: $75 for the season gets you 50 percent off full-day tickets every day you ski.
Information 802-484-7711; www.ascutney.com; hotel reservations, 800-243-0011; snow reporrt, 800-243-0011, ext. 8000.