Pass to powder

TRIPLE MAJORBolton Valley, Jay Peak and Mad River Glen offer a joint college student season pass that allows access to all three resorts — without blackout dates — and night access to extensively lit terrain at Bolton Valley four nights a week. Jay Peak offers plenty of natural skiing with a good mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain.The only downside is the distance — from Burlington, it’s an hour and a half drive.Mad River Glen is more of an expert skier haven. A resort whose access is restricted to skiers, Mad River has the country’s only remaining single chair lift, but the steep, narrow trails provide 2000 vertical feet of some of the best terrain in Vermont.Bolton Valley, a resort with an undeniable local feel, boasts Vermont’s only Burton Progression Park, which is fitting as Bolton is a mere 23 miles from the Burton Factory in South Burlington.Bolton features great deals, such as a flexible ticket program that enables skiers and riders to choose when during the day winter sports fans want to ski and ride.  Price: $269Acres: 1500Trails: 185 trailsLifts: 19StoweStowe Mountain Resort can be considered the most challenging ski area on the East Coast and has the terrain and snowfall that can keep skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels entertained. Of all the major resorts in close proximity to Burlington, Stowe does the best job of grooming and sustaining both man-made and natural snow.Stowe has the longest trails in the East and holds the distinction of one of the oldest mountains in the country.However, a student pass, daily tickets ranging from $54 for early and late season to $84 for peak days — which are every Saturday plus holiday weeks — Stowe hardly seems worth it.Price: $425 in the early season and $735 during the regular Acres: 485Trails: 116 Lifts: 13SugarbushSugarbush is a resort with something for everyone and is a great place for people of all ages.For a resort of its size, Sugarbush is surprisingly convenient and, while not cheap, it is less expensive than major resorts both to the north and south.A drawback to the Bush can be said to be it its navigable terrain. With six peaks, there are many lifts and traverses going cross-mountain, making it rather easy, especially with crowds, to end up somewhere other than was the intended destination.Price: $319 through Nov. 1 $419 after Nov. 1Acres: 508Trails: 111 Lifts: 16