Worst Ski Area Drives for Impatient People


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  1. #1

    Worst Ski Area Drives for Impatient People

    I thought of this while driving to and from Stratton yesterday. We all know anywhere within 30 miles of Brattleboro is hippie haven, and Route 30 must have the most hippies in 40 year old Subarus going 20 mph under the speed limit per capita. Stratton is slightly closer to the highway than Killington, but it just feels like forever between the slow drivers, lack of passing zones (which aren't necessary in VT with the double yellow laws but Route 30 is too curvy to even try in most spots), and the fact that there's like 7 small villages on the way through. At least on 103/100, most people maintain speed and you only have to slow down for Chester, Ludlow, and Plymouth so that hour from the highway doesn't feel so bad.

    I feel bad for people that approach Killington from the east, as the only thing worse than Route 30 is Route 4. Otherwise, I can't really think of any other areas in VT that are that bad. Rt 9 to Mt Snow is nice, lots of truck lanes and no towns to slow down for other than Wilmington which is actually a real town unlike Harmonyville, West Townshend and whatever else is plopped down on Rt 30. Sugarbush only has Moretown, Stowe only has... Stowe, and Burke only has Lyndonville. The drive to Jay from 91 is fun and rarely has traffic. Getting to Smuggs sucks but I discovered that going around the backside of Mansfield via Richmond is easier than going through Morrisville.

    Elsewhere in New England, obviously Cannon is by far the easiest from the highway. Loon is pretty close too. Waterville isn't far from 93 but 49 is the second biggest speed trap after Route 4 in Bridgewater/Woodstock. Never tried driving to Wildcat from the south but have heard horror stories about Route 16 on some weekends. Sunday River and Sugarloaf are a long haul from 95 but lots of passing zones going to both since Maine is a bit flatter. In NY, Gore and Whiteface seemed to take forever to get to but not much traffic to get stuck behind. Plattekill was also a long way but most of the ride was 55+.

    Obviously, out west has even bigger challenges. While some places like Loveland and Copper are like Cannon, you have the A-Basins and Winter Parks that require getting over a 12,000+ foot pass. And that's after getting down that giant CF that is I-70 west of Denver. The canyon roads to the Cottonwood ski areas are friendly on dry weekdays, but can take hours on snowy days or weekends.

    What are some of your favorite/least favorite drives to ski areas?
    2003-2004: 21; 2004-2005: 27; 2005-2006: 31; 2006-2007: 31; 2007-2008: 38; 2008-2009: 43; 2009-2010: 42; 2010-2011: 46; 2011-2012: 33; 2012-2013: 26 2013-14: 18; 2014-15: 17; 2015-16: 7; 2016-17: 14; 2017-18: 23; 2018-19

    2019-20 days - 7
    Wachusett: 11/15, 11/21, 12/5
    Stratton: 11/26; Mt. Snow: 12/3
    Killington: 12/8; Sunday River: 1/21

  2. #2
    Friday afternoon traffic getting out of the Boston suburbs stuck in traffic. I'll take the slow roads in VT over sitting on 128 or 495 or 93 or Rt 3.

  3. #3
    The Friday afternoon Northbound and Sunday afternoon (or Holiday weekend Monday afternoons) Southbound on I-91 in the "Northampton curves" as I refer to them seem to regularly require a good dose of patience!!

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  4. #4
    machski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Northwood, NH (Sunday River, ME)
    I93 from the Hooksett Tolls all the way through Concord has become painful especially Friday afternoon/evening and South on Sunday afternoon/evenings or last day of long weekends. I know widening 93 to three lanes through Concord is on the NHDOT plan, but once 93 widening in Londonderry is done, I think the state is going to wish they got to Concord earlier. We go this way to SR now living along the Merrimack now. Miss my old route from our old house. Sure, had to deal with 16 til I hit 113 but was a lot better than 93 in Concord in that area of 16.

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  5. #5
    Smellytele's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Right where I want to be
    Yes that stretch of 93 is horrible and is worse on summer fridays and last day of the weekend. southbound can be backed up to Tilton even up to exit 23

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  6. #6
    Whiteface is far access road from the thurway
    Being exhausted after party for few days did not help

  7. #7
    Killington is the drive with the highest likelihood of getting stuck behind slow drivers.

    Smuggs is the mountain that's the biggest PITA to get to overall. Whiteface is up there too. Hmm, forgot about Sugarloaf and Saddleback..

    Zand, I had no clue about that double yellow Vermont passing law until now. I will be taking advantage of that for sure!
    2019/2020 season [*powder day]

    Berkshire East [12/20, 1/7, 1/10, 1/22, 1/24] Bretton Woods [1/3] Gunstock [1/2] Mount Snow [11/14, 11/21, 12/2*] Wachusett [12/16]

  8. #8
    The VT double-yellow rule...God's gift to skiers.

    Getting on 91N from 84E is the worst. I have to clear that by 6:30am if I'm trying to get to VT midweek for a day trip or it turns to crap fast.
    2019-2020 19 days and counting...
    Thunder Ridge: 12/7, 12/8, 12/21, 12/26, 12/27, 12/28, 12/29
    Killington: 11/15, 12/16, 12/17, 12/18, 12/19, 12/20, 12/23 Mount Snow: 11/27, 12/2, 12/24 Jiminy Peak: 12/6 Catamount: 12/13 Pico: 12/19 Mohawk: 12/27
    "Skiing is the closest you'll get to flying without leaving the ground." -snowmonster

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bdfreetuna View Post
    Zand, I had no clue about that double yellow Vermont passing law until now. I will be taking advantage of that for sure!
    Yea. Pretty much as long as there isn't a sign around that specifically says "No passing zone", then you're good to go if it looks safe to do so in VT.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ss20 View Post
    The VT double-yellow rule...God's gift to skiers.
    I lived in Vermont for 6 years & have been to Vermont 1000 times since then, am married to a Vermonter, and I did not know this.

    I am going to shoot my wife.
    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC

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