Mad River Glen Ski Getaways
Ski It If You Can is the challenge on Mad River Glen's ubiquitous bumper stickers. The truth is you can ski it no matter what your ability level.
The mountain has some truly testing terrain, but a generous chunk of it is rated for novice and intermediate skiers. The former can ride the Sunnyside Chair and take Fox, Vixen, and Quail to the Birdland area, which has its own chair and a good choice of easier rated trails. Intermediates can enjoy Quacky and Porcupine from the top of Sunnyside, both of which join up with other blue square trails. For a bit more challenge in the blue square spectrum, take Antelope from the top of the Single Chair (which, by the way, is getting a total overhaul for the 07-08 season). Most of the green and blue terrain will be groomed as needed - yes, Mad River does groom! - and the lower elevation trails and high-traffic areas are protected by snowmaking.
Advanced skiers will find no lack of challenges. Not all of it is marked, but if you're unfamiliar with the area you certainly won't be disappointed sticking with named trails and glades. Exit right off the Single Chair and Paradise awaits (virtually true on a powder day) along with half a dozen other great choices. The Sunnyside Chair serves four marked black diamond trails and Gazelle Glades. And almost all of the mid-elevation central part of the mountain is devoted to advanced skiers. Mad River doesn't rate any trail or glade beyond a single black diamond (a trait it shares with Jay Peak) but that doesn't mean it lacks double-diamond terrain. It does mean that you must be prepared and on your toes; there are truly steep and difficult sections all over the mountain.
No matter what marked route you take down the mountain, it will lead back to the compact base area, which is shoehorned into a narrow area just a few steps away from the parking lot. You'll find all skier services and three of the area's four lifts handily placed.
Mad River Glen is owned by a cooperative, whose members have voted not to allow snowboarding on the mountain.