Mad River Glen, Vt.: Rank 8 East, 1998


Mad River Glen has such a devoted following that one reader wrote, "best on-mountain food anywhere." Must have been the pre-lunch beers talking. The simple cuisine may not excite Julia Child, but the blind devotion is deserved. Mad River is like a living history museum, with much of the snow natural and ungroomed. "It's home. We can live with that," one reader explains. Mad River has its limitations: There are no buffed cruisers, the access to the best runs is on a slow, single chair, and the dependence on New England weather limits the season. Some visitors say, "The good thing about the good old days is that they're over." (They should stick to Sugarbush.) The absence of progress (and snowboards) makes Mad River a magnet for the gnarly few who want narrow, old-style trails covered with monster moguls. Hit Upper Glades for the trees and Chute, under the single chair, for bump mania. Mad River is tough, classic, cheap and friendly¿and the food? Home-cooking at old-time prices. When's the last time you had a real cheeseburger?

What's New A new double to replace the Sunnyside lift.
A Good Deal In honor of its 50th anniversary on Jan. 26, lift-ticket prices will roll back to the original $3.50 for the day.
Medals Gold Terrain, Challenge, Value; Silver Food.
High/Low Rank Terrain, Challenge (1); Grooming (76).
Don't Miss The world's oldest, largest Telemark Festival, which includes the Berserkebeiner on March 6-7.
Reader Remarks "The gem of the East. Don't change." "When natural snow is bad, conditions are poor."