Vermont Skiing Strong - Pitcher Inn
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Vermont Skiing Strong

As if the pandemic wasn’t enough to challenge the Vermont ski season, now we have a stretch of warm, early December weather delaying the opening of our favorite ski and ride mountains. Sugarbush has postponed its opening for a second time, to December 10, and Mad River Glen is sticking with its December 12 spin-the-lifts date.

Here at the inn, we’re as ready as can be. We have just completed our fall deep clean, top to bottom, and all 14 fireplaces are ready to roar. In fact, we have installed a few wood burning stoves in select rooms, which will burn more efficiently and provide extra warmth and beauty. And Chef Jacob is readying our savory Fire to Fork program just in time for the cooler weather.

Here are our top five tips for navigating Vermont skiing and riding this season…

1. Leverage your season pass. The best access to the mountains this year is going to be via a season pass. Mad River has ended season pass sales but you can still score an Ikon pass to ski Sugarbush (and several other mountains in Vermont, including Killington and Stratton).

2. Plan ahead. Next best are day tickets that will be available via online reservation only. You will need to plan carefully and act quickly because the mountains will be limiting sales to control crowds to keep skiers and riders safe. Midweek is likely to see less demand for tickets.

3. Quarantine. Unless you’re a Vermonter, you will need to quarantine for 14 days (or seven days and a negative covid test) before traveling to Vermont and staying at the inn. This protocol was mandated recently by our governor. You will also need to complete an online attestation for both Sugarbush and Mad River.

4. Boot up in the lot. Both Sugarbush and Mad River will be controlling access to their lodges, assuring proper social distancing. You’re probably best off treating your vehicle as your covid-safe lodge and gearing up in the parking lot. We’re guessing there is likely to be plenty of winter tailgating going on at lunch and apres ski.

5. Stay flexible. It’s likely that policies and procedures at Sugarbush and Mad River will shift through the season as each resort gets some experience with their new protocols. We encourage you to visit their websites frequently or subscribe to their e-newsletters for the latest updates.

And if downhill skiing or riding isn’t your thing, there’s always cross-country skiing (Blueberry Lake Cross Country Center is nearby) and we’ll happily outfit you with snowshoes and direct you to nearby trails.

We’re standing by to assist however we can to help make your skiing or riding or other winter outdoor experience enjoyable. Call (802-496-6350) or email (