Our last stop in Vermont was truly a great one.
Today we skied at Burke, perhaps the Vermontiest resort of the trip. Located in the Northeast Kingdom (that’s the name for the northeastern corner of the state), Burke is known for its narrow, winding trails that follow the contours of the mountain. It’s uncrowded — even on a Sunday — and the views are spectacular. The place has an unhurried, mellow vibe, without any of the big resort feel of a place like Killington or Stratton. This is New England skiing at its finest.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens here. Burke was recently purchased by Jay Peak (we skied there yesterday), which plans to invest $108 million in the mountain through 2015. More than $1 million has already gone for snowmaking upgrades, with more changes to come. The new owners plan to build four mountain lodge facilities: two just below the mid-Burke detachable quad, a third at the site of the current mid-Burke Lodge, and the last at the base area near the Tamarack Grill. Jay and Burke recently began offering a joint season pass.
But one of the changes I like the best is the installation of a wind turbine at the summit of the mountain. This produces an average output of just under 700 kWh per day, saving the equivalent of more than 120 tons of CO2 annually. Put in perspective, this would cover the energy needs of 20 to 30 average family homes. Way cool.
On to the skiing.
Here are some stats:
55 named trails
270+ skiable acres
110+ acres of maintained glades
One of the nice things about Burke is how it’s essentially divided into two areas: the lower mountain, with almost exclusively beginner trails, and the upper, with more advanced terrain. We started at the base lodge and took the lift to the top of the lower mountain, giving us a great view of the terrain there. I have to say we were very impressed. This looks like a great place for anyone to learn to ski. It’s mellow, but with trails that are long and varied enough to capture anyone’s interest. Then we took the express quad up to the summit. Even though the glades were closed (the mountain — all of New England, really — could use more snow), we had a blast. These are trails with plenty of character. So much fun.
Some pics from the day.
One of the winding trails on the upper mountain:
View from the top:
And, of course, we ended our day in the base lodge’s Tamarack Grill. Look what’s suspended from the ceiling:
Here are two of us stylin’ in our Helmet Band-Its, just the thing for a Diva who wants to add a little something more to her helmet. Rawhr!
If you want true Vermont skiing, Burke is the place for you. I’ll definitely be back.