Mad River Glen’s famous “Ski It If You Can” stickers can be spotted on the bumpers, laptops, helmets, and water bottles of skiers all across the country. These stickers serve as somewhat of a status symbol among the East Coast skiing community, as Mad River has some of the most challenging terrain in the region.
Located in Fayston, Vermont, this small ski area has an impressive 2,000 ft. drop and averages 150 inches of snow per year. But what makes this ski area stand out from the rest is its commitment to preserving the raw aspects of old school New England skiing. The lodge is complete with local brews and a leaky ceiling, and the lifties look like they’ve weathered their fair share of blizzards. What throws Mad River’s traditional vibe over the top is its single chairlift. Being one of only two single chairs left in North America, this lift gives the ski area retro flair.
Preserving the mountain’s natural snow by only allowing minimal grooming, is the walk to Mad River’s “Ski It If You Can” talk. The ski area is situated within the Green Mountains, which is a prime location for maximum New England snowfall. Not only does Mad River get the same snowfall as surrounding mountains, but it also picks up additional footage from the northwest winds that pick up moisture from Lake Champlain. As a result of this, Mad River often gets triple the snowfall of other East coast ski areas.
With corporate ski conglomerates buying up our favorite ski areas all across the country, Mad River Glen proves that it’s sticking to its own beliefs. The owners of Mad River are in fact…skiers. This ski co-op (made up of ski bums, families, and old schoolers) allows anyone to purchase a share in the mountain, and gives die-hard Mad River skiers a chance to make their voices heard.
Mad River Glen is one of the best kept secrets in the East, and as an Ice Coast local I can tell you that it definitely has some of the best turns around.