A Swanky New Hotel On The Mountain Is A Magnet For Those Who Love The Basics.

New hotel offers ski-out access to uncrowded trails.
Credit: Burke Mountain

“Burke is what skiing used to be. It’s back to the basics. We’re just happy here,” says Barb Mader who with husband, Don, ski 80 days a year at this laid-back mountain high in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. They stretch the season at Jay Peak, a 45-minute drive to the north.

Barb and Don Mader ski Burke 80 days a season. Barb came back to skiing after a 33 year hiatus.
Credit: Tamsin Venn

Burke Mountain is a place, she notes, where skier etiquette prevails, trails are uncrowded, the ski patrol is laid back, the views are inspirational, everyone is friendly and congregates après-ski at Mid Burke for live music. It’s a place where her three grandchildren learned to ski in the Explorers Program and, “All are great skiers now,” says Barb.

Groomed intermediate cruisers like Willoughby and Dipper are popular as is the winding Deer Run, and the rolling East Bowl. Power Line and The Ledges provide expert skiing, Sherburne Express beginner terrain. Plus Burke has some of the best glade skiing in Vermont—with wide spacing on Caveman and Marshland.

Unfortunately, Burke Mountain has had a rocky few years. The resort, until recently called QBurke, for owner Ariel Quiros, is now under federal receivership. An encouraging step, the managers opened the swanky, on-mountain 116-room Burke Hotel and Conference Center last September. It welcomed the first skiers this winter. It’s a real gem, with easy in and out access, nice units overlooking the slopes or the scenic Willoughby gap, an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, locker room, a ski tuning room for the young racers, and four eateries including the popular Bear Den. Burke’s loyalists hope the resort will find a new owner soon.

Barb Mader, 73, started skiing in the late 1960s, joining the racing Eastern Veterans league. She raced at different areas, lured by the $8 race fee plus a rest-of-day lift ticket. She competed in the famous Burke Mountain Stampede, with a group start of eight to ten racers taking off down Deer Run, onto Dipper, and straight down to Mid Lodge, trying to just to stay in the game, and “getting annihilated” by the Burke Mountain Academy kids. A great party followed at Mid Lodge.

Barb stopped skiing in the 1970s and started again in 2003, despite one replaced shoulder. A year later she and Don, 78, bought a condo at Burke, in one of the mountain’s financial downturns, demonstrating it is never too late to take up an old sport again.

Recently, the Maders have enjoyed the offseason on what some call the best mountain biking network in the country. Kingdom Trails has more than 100 miles of trails, through the woods and across the pastures, by the good graces of more than 50 landowners and businesses.

Burke’s Nordic Center has access to many miles of Kingdom Trails.
Credit: Tamsin Venn

The Facts:

Lift tickets:

Senior (65 plus) $47

Silver Streakers (55 plus): $35 Tuesdays & Thursdays (non-holiday) Judge Pass (70 plus), season pass at Jay Peak and Burke: $279 (if bought by July), no blackout dates.

X-C: Burke Nordic Center, $15; ask about a senior rate.

Vertical: 2,011 feet

Average snowfall: 217 inches

Snowmaking: 70 percent

6 lifts

36 trails and 14 glades

178 skiable acres

Trail Map: Click here

 

One Comment

  1. Great Mountain, great memories of when I skied there when I attended Lyndon State College.

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