The season is chugging along and we were 100% open for a while before today’s freeze cycle. That’s given me a lot of time to explore the mountain. 111 trails, 484 acres, 14 lifts (on the weekends) I’ve got my work cut out for me. I am lucky enough to get the chance to ski every day but I’ve been trying to expand my horizons off the mountain as well. Usually, you can find me sticking to the trails, trying to get a feel for the conditions but every once in a while you need to branch out.
Off the hill, you can find some of the best spots around for food right here. I’ve been trying to knock off a list of recommendations I’ve been given. Of course, I had to check out the après ski scene here at Sugarbush, and from The Reks to the Wünderbar, we’ve got it going on. Over at Lincoln Peak head over to the Lunch Box for some of the best sandwiches in the valley. My personal favorite, the Chicken Sammy topped off with bacon and avocado, is an absolute must if you get the chance. 802 Burrito is also a great choice if you feel like grabbing the best mountain burrito this side of the Mississippi River (gotta go with the Pollo Especial). The Waffle Cabin has your sugar high to get you or the kids re-energized during the mid-day slump. There’s still a lot of season left to knock off a few more on my list (Miso Hungry, I am coming for you next).
The key to finding the best spots in town may not always be Google or Yelp, sometimes you meet the right person on the lift that swears by some hole-in-the-wall restaurant. What I’m trying to say is that locals know best. Anytime they are using a restaurant owner’s first name, breakout out the notepad because they are giving you insider information. It’s not always restaurants either, they know the best places for tune-ups, snacks, a beer or two, and of course, the secret runs. Locals are your free tour guide; they will show you the untouched tree runs and runs you didn’t even know existed. I’ve had the opportunity to ski with a few people that have been at this mountain for quite some time and had to swear to them I wouldn’t reveal all the secrets. My favorite runs have been when I was led through the woods to a secret little run (I’d share where but I don’t know what I’m at liberty to say). So, make friends on the lift, learn about the mountain from someone who has been here a few more years than I have, and I can promise you at least a little bit of fun.
Every day I’m able to learn something new. Whether it’s from an article on the SugarBlog (basically online locals) or someone I met in the lift lines, I’ve always appreciated the generosity of their tips. So, if you see me out on the mountain, I’m still accepting recommendations and always happy to give them out as well. But the best way to expand your experience is to befriend a local and hit the hill, just make sure to buy them a beer at the Wünderbar afterward.