Terrain, snow, grooming, dining, apres-ski life, and great skiing were all cited by Skiing magazine when it included Killington in its “top 15” destination ski resorts internationally. The magazine was accurate on every point.

Killington is the largest resort in New England. Its 75 miles of trails spread across six mountains cover 1,000 acres. With a vertical drop of 3,150 feet, it’s one of only a dozen ski area in the nation with a vertical of more than 3,000 feet. The summit, Killington Peak, has an elevation of 4,220 feet. Legend has it that an early minister gazing across the endless forests from the mountain named the country Vermont, meaning “Green Mountains” in French.

One of the fast-moving pioneers in snowmaking, Killington covers 44 miles of trails with man-made snow, turning on the guns at the first hint of winter frost and shutting them down only when they spray water. Its fleet of 21 state-of-the-art snowcats is not only one of the largest in the nation but probably spends more time grooming the slopes than any two other areas combined.

Killington has five double chairlifts, four triples, seven quads - including two detachables - and two surface lifts with a combined capacity of more than 35,000 skiers an hour.

The piece de resistance is the Skyeship, a gondola with eight-passen - ger cabins, each individually decorated and heated and featuring piped-in music. It’s the longest lift in the United States, covering 2.5 miles from its base station to Skye Peak.

Skiing is largely on modest to high intermediate terrain, but with enough black-diamond runs, especially on Bear Mountain, to win Ski magazine’s designation as the Number One spot in the East to challenge double-black-diamond steeps.

One of Killington’s great attractions for the never-ever crowd is Snowshed, a %-mile-long and - wide beginner area as flat as a tilted pool table. The resort also boasts the longest single ski trail in the nation, Juggernaut, an easy cruising run for alpine and cross-country skiers that drops 3,100 feet on its 10-mile trip to the bottom.

Shredders are welcome. The resort has created a snowboard park with a half-pipe specifically for snowboarders.

Forty km of groomed cross-country trails are covered with snowmaking.

Killington skiers are served by five different base lodges - - each with ski shops and rental facilities - seven cafeterias, one gourmet restaurant, and one mountaintop cafe.

The Children’s Center has day-care programs for infants as young as six weeks and kids of up to six years. Ski classes are offered for kids from 3 to 12. Adult programs include special classes for women, taught by women, in both skiing and snowboarding.

Killington is not anchored to a base village. There are hotels, chalets, and condos at Killington and scattered throughout the area. The 5-mile access road that links Killington to U. S. Routes 4 and 100 is loaded with shops, bars, and restaurants. Here’s where the apres-ski life explodes when the lifts stop.

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