Spot Check 14.6:Stratton, Vermont

Stratton-the home of many legends. Testing grounds for the first wave of Burton snowboards, performed by mad scientist Jake Burton Carpenter himself. Site of some of the most impressive halfpipe competitions ever staged in history, with champions ranging from Bert Lamar to Guillaume Morrisette, and Craig Kelly, Terje Haakonsen, Todd Richards, and many others thrown in between. Ross Powers, pride of the Stratton Mountain School, and its first Olympic-medal winner. Hobie Chittenden, named Redneck Of The Year by Snowboarder magazine. Neil Korn, the former ten-year Eastern Edge publisher and the man who documented the evolution of snowboarding’s East Coast talent. Man! There’s a lot of history in this place, and I’ve hardly even touched on it. It would take an article a lot longer than this one just to mention all the worthy names, let alone some of the shit that’s gone down here.

Stratton is located in the Green Mountains of southern Vermont, about 25 minutes from shopping mecca Manchester. It’s not a huge mountain, even by Vermont standards. But it does have tons of beginner and intermediate trails that can keep novice riders happy. Long, wide, uncrowded trails meander into one another, creating a seamless flow from top to bottom. Stratton also has one of the most impressive snowmaking arsenals in town.

If you’re a snowboarder, there has really only been one reason to visit Stratton, and that is their legendary halfpipe. Well friends, now you have two reasons, because this year Stratton is maintaining two full-sized halfpipes, one of which is a superpipe. So if you put both of them together, one inverted and stuck atop the other, you would actually have more than a full pipe. And buddy, that’s a whole lot of halfpipe! If you’re into pipe riding, and you’ve never jammed up a superpipe, you need to make a trip to ride Stratton’s. You will get more air, land more tricks, and your ego will thank you.

For more information on Stratton Mountain call 1-800-STRATTON or (802) 297-4000, or check out the Web site at

Average season length: Mid November through late April
Lifts: Twelve plus a gondola
Groomed runs/trails: 92
Summit elevation: 3,875 feet
Base elevation: 1,872 feet
Vertical drop: 2,003 feet
Average snowfall: 180 inches
Snowmaking: 82 percent, 235 snow guns
Average temperature: Ten to 30 degrees