First Turns: Killington, VT

Travel East


Beta: Until last season, Killington held a 41-year streak for earliest opening day in the East. (It was scooped by tiny Woodbury ski area in Connecticut, which opened with a sliver of snow on October 24.) Record-breaking aside, Killington remains place for right coasters to get their fall turns. Tickets are cheap, and although most of the watering holes along the raucous access road are still in hibernation, enough are open to get a proper groove on.

Opening Dates: Killington is typically humming by Halloween. Last year, it opened on October 25.

Early-Season Snow: Although it usually harvests at least a couple of measurable fall storms, Killington relies heavily on North America’s mightiest snowmaking system, fed by a 600-million-gallon water supply. Terrain: Last year, thanks to a spate of cold temps and early snow, Killington boasted a record-setting 1,600 vertical feet of top-to-bottom skiing on opening day. More typically, the intermediate Rime Trail in the Glades area is open. By Turkey Day, you’ll likely have your choice of 80 trails.

Biggest Early Season: On November 6, 2002, Killington got hit with 12 inches. This, combined with five other November storms that each dropped six inches plus, pushed the month’s total snowfall to 82 inches, the most in resort history.

Deals: Between opening day and November 25, Killington casts a tasty lure, with ski-and-stay packages starting at $56 (per person, midweek, including lifts; 877-458-4637, killington.com). Expect to pay between $35 and $40 for a lift ticket.

Plan B: Pack your weapons and bag a buck. Vermont’s bow season opens October 4, rifle season in mid November. License info: 802-241-3703, information@fwd.anr.state.vt.us.

Nightlife: The Wobbly Barn starts shaking with a rowdy Halloween costume party. If you’re on a pre-Halloween hunt for happenings, check out the Lookout Bar & Grill, which features pool, darts, and free wings at happy hour.

Info: killington.com, 802-422-6200