Christmastime skiing in New England

Week of August 21-27, 1997
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Christmastime skiing in New England
Question: My brother-in-law and his family (wife plus two kids ages 12 and 15) from Singapore are visiting my wife and I for a couple weeks at Christmastime. They would like to go to a ski resort in New England. I am the only one who has skied before — I ski the moderate runs. We thought two nights at a resort would be sufficient. Our trip would have to fit between their arrival in the United States on December 22 and a conference my wife and I are planning to attend January 3. What do you suggest? Wherever we go, we will probably drive from Washington D.C.

Keith Waehrer
Washington D.C.

Adventure Adviser: A word of warning: No matter where you go, Christmas is far and away the busiest and most expensive time of year at almost every ski resort in America. With that in mind, I suggest braving the crowds and joining the rest of Eastern America at Killington Resort in central Vermont.

The largest and one of the most beginner- and family-friendly mountains on the East Coast, you'll find 46 percent of the mountain's 77-mile network of trails for beginners. Plus, you'll glean a little of that New England charm that your brother-in-law and his family are probably craving around Christmastime.

The only downfall is it'll take you 10 hours to drive from Washington D.C. — a large price to pay for only two days of skiing. Speaking of price, last year's lift-ticket prices hovered around $50 during holidays, not to mention the price of the gear that your brood will need to rent. If you decide to splurge, I'd start now by calling Killington's central reservation number (800-621-6867) to find out what's available in condominium or hotel rental.

A second option, one much closer to home but not on the New England circuit, is West Virginia's Canaan Valley Resort. A two-and-a-half hour drive from D.C., Canaan Valley is perched on the highest mountain valley east of the Mississippi. Though the 6,015-acre resort statistically equals its New England counterparts, some years the snow is hit-or-miss. For ticket and rental prices and accommodation information call 800-622-4121.

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