"The Adventure Kids" aka Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta tested their mettle at Stowe Mountain Resort, in Vermont, USA, home of Mount Mansfield the state's highest peak! The 2015 ski season in Vermont is one that will be remembered as the year of abundant snowfall and incredible skiing, and happily we can say that Luxury Experience was there to experience it!
Although (Debra) grew up skiing the lower part of Vermont, for (Edward) this was his first time experiencing the state's fabled slopes. For years we had heard about the legendary Stowe (it rhymes with snow), and we were looking forward to finally experiencing skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort, home of Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak at 4,395 feet, with its highest skiing elevation at 3,625 feet, and a vertical drop of 2,360 feet!
Stowe Mountain Gondola
Skiing is all about the adventure and provides the unique experience that varies each time you tackle another slope, conditions are weather dependant, sunny versus overcast skies, warmer or colder temperatures, the level and the type of snowfall, fluffy or packed powder, moisture level in the air and in the snow, and the grooming efforts at the facility, all factor into what changes the slopes' action from hour to hour. It is a sport that once you get it in your blood, it is hard to let go. It provides the ultimate adrenaline rush as you fly down the slope, in command of your skis, and pushing yourself to improve each time that you ride the lift back up to make another run. It is a series of memorable "ups and downs" that challenge you throughout the day to do it a little better each time. Better simply being your own interpretation; perhaps to work your edges more, to ski tighter, faster, slower to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding scenery, or simply not to fall as often and leave your "sitzmark" in the snow.
Debra and Edward at Stowe Mountain Base
Stowe is known for its "double-black diamond" (most difficult) "Front Four" trails, and has 116 diverse trails suitable for a wide range of abilities, 485 skiable acres, and 40.9 miles of trails. As for trail offerings, 16% are beginner trails, 55% are intermediate trails, and 29% are expert trails, providing the opportunity for all levels of skiers and boarders to test their mettle or relax and take it easy on the slopes and go at their own pace. Stowe also has the bragging rights that they offer "some of the longest cruisers in the East," with their longest run, Toll Road totaling 3.7 miles.
No matter where you ski though, one of the contributing factors for a great day of skiing starts with the equipment. Throughout the years we have owned and demoed several brands of skis and boots that best suited our style of skiing at the time. A few years ago we decided that we would rent equipment at our destination which would save us from lugging equipment onto planes or in cars, as well as provide us with the opportunity to use new equipment best suited to the given terrain and the type of skiing we would like to experience.
Pinacle Ski & Sports
Tip One: Rent your equipment the night before you plan to ski. So that we could have a seamless ski weekend, after we arrived in Stowe on a late Friday afternoon in February 2015 and checked into hotel, the Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, we headed over to rent equipment from Pinnacle Ski & Sports conveniently located on Mountain Road 1.6 miles from our hotel and 2.9 miles from Stowe Mountain so there would be one less thing that we needed to do in the morning. The shop is open Sunday through Thursday from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 8:00 am until 10:00 pm to accommodate customers who arrive late to Stowe.
After consultation with the knowledgeable and personable Pinnacle Ski & Sports team of technicians about our skiing abilities and our preference for the types of skis and boots we wanted to experience, they outfitted us with K2 Potion 84 XTI skis and Technica boots (Debra), and Rossignol Experience 80 skis and Lange SX 80 flex boots (Edward).
Both the K2 Potion 84 XTI and the Rossignol Experience 80 are skis designed for all mountain performance, which made their selection so attractive because sometimes you feel like skiing the "bumps" and sometimes you do not. What we especially liked about the boot selection is that both the Technica and Lange boots felt extremely comfortable when we walked around in them in the shop, and hoped for equal comfortability on the slopes.
A handy bit of information about Pinnacle is that they offer a demo program option for customers skiing several days to try out different equipment throughout their rental period. Skiing style changed or skis not performing for you? No problem, swap them out for something else. Boots hurt, no problem, same deal.
We loaded the equipment into our car, drove the short distance to our hotel and gave the valet service our equipment to store for us overnight, as Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa stores its guests' equipment in cold storage to prevent "sticky skis."
Debra waiting for shuttle
Tip 2: Take the complimentary Mountain Road Shuttle to the mountain. After a hearty breakfast on Saturday morning, we picked up our equipment from the valet service and waited in front of our hotel for the complimentary Mountain Road Shuttle that would whisk us away the 1.6 miles to the slopes for the ultimate convenience of not needing to load skis into our car, look for a parking space at the mountain, and then walk through the parking lot carrying our equipment the extra distance. So far we already loved our experience at Stowe and we had yet to put our skis on the slope.
Debra on trail
Tip 3: Pre-purchase your lift tickets. Make the most of your slope time by pre-purchasing your lift tickets to eliminate waiting in lines. With Stowe's RFD technology tickets tucked into our parka pockets we were ready to begin our day of skiing.
Edward ready to ski
Stowe Lay of the Land: Six mountain zones make up Stowe: Toll House has the resort's easiest routes; Mansfield Triple offers 5 terrain parks, Middle Mansfield has "the most consistent pitch and the longest twisting cruisers in the East, home to several glades and most difficult trails - the legendary Front Four." Mansfield Gondola takes you "just below Vermont's highest peak and offers wide-open cruisers, a small terrain park, and skill-testing plunges." Lower Spruce Peak is home of Spruce Camp Base Lodge, their "world renowned Ski and Snowboard School" and is beginner and kid friendly. Upper Spruce Peak offers "fantastic views and a Southern exposure and is home to the Main Street Race Trail for much of the season."
Debra "The Adventure Kid"
We headed off to the "Spruces" to warm up our legs and test out our equipment and made some nice easy runs in the morning while basking in the brilliant sunshine and enjoying the serenity and beauty of Mount Mansfield. It felt fantastic to be skiing and exploring a new mountain, and our equipment felt perfect as we cut our lines in the packed powder. This was the first time in many a ski season that our feet and shins did not hurt after making a few runs. A huge shout out to Bryan at Pinnacle Ski & Sports for selecting equipment that worked extremely well for us.
Edward riding gondola
Towards the afternoon, we boarded the red Gondola to check out the other trails and rewarded ourselves with lunch at the Cliff House atop Mount Mansfield where majestic views of snow covered trees complemented the cuisine. We made a few more runs and then as the sky turned overcast we pronounced it a fabulous day of skiing and went to catch the Mountain Road Shuttle back to our hotel.
View from gondola
Skiing at Stowe was an incredible experience and with the ease of pre-renting our equipment, having our lift-tickets in hand before arriving at the slope, and taking the complimentary shuttle, made for a memorable day of skiing, one that we would like to repeat as often as possible.
Edward atop Mount Mansfield
Be sure to check out Luxury Experience's Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience to watch short video clips from our ski experience at Stowe.
For more additional information on Stowe Mountain Resort, please visit their website: www.Stowe.com.
Stowe Mountain "XXX"
Hours of operation are 8:00 am until 4:00 pm weekdays, and 7:30 am until 4:00 pm weekends. The Information Center is open daily from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. GPS Address (Spruce Camp Base Lodge): 7416 Mountain Road, Stowe, Vermont 05672. Please note GPS directions have been known to produce mixed results. Please call ahead if more information is needed: 1-800-253-4SKI (754).
Stowe Mountain Resort
5781 Mountain Road
Stowe, Vermont 05672
Snow Phone: +1-802-253-3600
Advance Ticket Sales: +1-888-253-4849
Toll-Free: +1-800-253-4753, 1-888-253-4849
For more information on Pinnacle Ski & Sports, please visit their website: www.SkiEssentials.com.
The shop is conveniently located 2.4 miles from Stowe Mountain Resort, and is open Sunday through Thursday from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 8:00 am until 10:00 pm.
Pinnacle Ski & Sports
PO Box 1507
3391 Mountain Road
Stowe, Vermont 05672
For additional information on Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, please visit their website, www.Stoweflake.com.
Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa
PO Box 369
1746 Mountain Road, (Route 108)
Stowe, Vermont 05672
Toll-Free: +1-800-253-2232 (US and Canada)
Toll-Free: 0500.892.522 (UK)
Stowe, Vermont is easily accessible by car, air (Burlington International Airport), and Amtrak train. It is located 129 miles from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 178 miles from Albany, New York, 200 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, 220 miles from Hartford, Connecticut, and 335 miles from New York City, New York.
Read more about Stowe, Vermont in the Destinations section, about our stay at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in the Hotels and Resorts section, about our dining experience at their restaurant, Charlie B's Pub & Restaurant in the Restaurants section, read the interview with Chef Mitch Jones who shares a delicious recipe for Charlie B's Spicy Duck Ninja Roll in the Chefs' Recipes section, about our experience at The Spa at Stoweflake in the Spas section, and the Adventures section to read about our experience Dog Sledding in Stowe, Vermont - The Thrill of the Ride with Umiak Outdoor Outfitters and October Siberians.
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