Top 12 Freeride Lines at Stowe

The best off-piste terrain on Vermont’s highest mountain.

Freeride Skiing Moderate, Difficult

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Peak of Stowe
Peak of Stowe Photo: Erik Jaeger

Description

Stowe is Vermont’s most historic ski resort, but that doesn’t make it outdated. Boasting some of the gnarliest terrain in the East, skiers from around the country return to Stowe year after year. Mount Mansfield, which makes up most of the terrain, is Vermont’s highest mountain. Snow at this elevation can be surprisingly deep and dry, filling in the trees and gullies, and pillowing the boulders and cliffs. There are plenty of inbounds and sidecountry lines with backwoods feel, then there's hike-to terrain that's well out of bounds.

For the quickest route to some respectable terrain, ride FourRunner Quad and find freeride lines around the Front Four. Steep shots and powder stashes await off in the trees. When you're ready for something else, try the tight glades and narrow cuts off of Gondola.

For bigger lines and wild exposure, you’ll need to go for a hike. When Mansfield’s bald summit holds snow, the rides above treeline can be absolutely epic. A bootpack up Climbing Gully gets you near the top, where chutes and ridgelines drop away. The coverage is certainly not always there, but when it is, hard-chargers know it’s worth the work.

Keep in mind these hike-to areas are unpatrolled and come with serious hazards. It's only for those with proper backcountry experience and equipment, and navigation skills are also key. Even with a clean run, the wrong exit can land you where you don’t want to be–in thick forest and deep snow with a long hike back to the resort.

Routes included