A guided tour around Stratton Mountain, Vermont. The good news about Stratton is it's compact, meaning it's easy to get from one part of the mountain to another and back. Still, a plan helps. Start your day on the American Express six-pack from the base, then take the Ursa six-pack to the top. There, you'll notice everyone heading left to the Bear runs (Polar, Grizzly, Black). Ignore them, and instead bang a right and get in a few fast, furious cruisers on North American and Standard, both of which are steep, double-fall-line trails that few hit first thing. Once you've cut your mark there, head back up and take on the Bears. You can challenge your mogul know-how on Grizzly, cruise a lovely blue on Black Bear or get up speed on Polar Bear. Novices will enjoy the lower Tamarack area, with its combo of wide-open slopes and deep woods, all of it inviting, forgiving and sheltered from the speed demons. When your legs need a break, head to the Snow Bowl lift, one of the few fixed-grips on the mountain. (You'll need the rest.) The Liftline run is challenging and fun enough to take on a few times. On the southeast end of the mountain, near the lovely new Stratton Mountain School campus, the Sun Bowl area offers fantastic beginner and intermediate terrain. For glades, start out at Emerald Forest just off the meandering Hemlock run. The trees are open enough to make you comfortable. Try Dancing Bear glade next for a greater challenge. Free mountain tours depart daily at 10 a.m. from the Ski School.