The barrage of ski and snowboard company stickers plastered onto everything and anything on campus can only mean that the hardest decision for UVM students is on the horizon: which pass should you get?
While Big Ten students have football and Ivy Leagues have academics, UVM students have the winter season: a three-month period dedicated to endless shralping, shredding or whatever you may want to call it.
Just as with R.E.M. and Sublime, all good trios must eventually come to an end the once glorious Triple Major ski pass is now history. The trio disbanded after last winter, but in turn there are a multitude of options.
Jay Peak, the former powerhouse of the Triple Major, now offers a solo pass as well as a pass with Burke. Although Jay Peak is almost two hours away, it redeems itself as being one of the largest hills in the East with great glades.
Another new duo of the season is Smugglers Notch and Bolton Valley. Smuggs offers a low-key experience compared to resorts like Jay Peak or Stowe. They are more about the experience on the hill, not at the waterpark.
Bolton, the closest of the bunch and only 30 minutes from campus, isnt the largest mountain but is perfect for quick ski trips that dont fill the entire day. Another redeeming quality is the night skiing, offered every Thursday and Friday.
The much-loved Stowe pass continues to offer students great skiing at one of the largest ski resorts in the East. The one downfall to this pass is its appeal: everybody and their mom gets this pass and the lift lines are worse than the line at Brennans.
The local-oriented side of Sugarbush, Mount Ellen, offers a solo pass as well as a pass teamed with Mount Lincoln, the other half of Sugarbush.
For the skier looking for ski days spent almost entirely off trail, Mad River Glen is the place for you. While it is solely for skiers and only has a handful of snow blowers, this hill offers rugged terrain and is home to the famous single chairlift. This pass can be bought with Mount Ellen and Lincoln.
Moral of the story: find friends, find passes, go ski and have a blast. Life is good.