Wanderlust {Mount Snow Vermont}

The littles got a BIG “something to do” Christmas surprise this year – our very first ski trip to Mount Snow Vermont!  This is also, not so coincidentally, an item on my 40×41 bucket list (I had to replace the half marathon with something and this seemed like the biggest adventure of all).  Not only will it be the first time skiing for the boys and me, but it will also be our very first time seeing snow outside of Atlanta.  Gulp.  That’s right folks, at age 40 I am finally venturing outside of the South in winter.  HA!

Honey knows his way around the slopes and is thrilled to finally be taking the rest of us.  Here’s a little story for y’all – while most people in college took off summers, he took off winters, moved to Colorado and skied!

We have purchased and borrowed gear for me and the boys and bought vouchers for some lift tickets on Black Friday.  We are traveling with our dear friends and their two girls and will be there for a week.  We are staying at the family home of our friends.

All that being said, I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for survival in cold weather, and would especially appreciate any insight on Mount Snow and the surrounding area!!!  I personally don’t plan to be skiing from sun up to sun down for 7 days :-)

This is bound to be an adventure!!



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25 thoughts on “Wanderlust {Mount Snow Vermont}

  1. Oh wow! Swish-Swish!!!!
    Let me know when y’all go. It is only 2-1/2 hours from our house and the boys may come out and ski with ya. They skied Loon NH last week.

    Layers, Layers :) good wool socks, and pick up a couple of those little foot and hand warmer thingies. Lots of wine for night time… You will be exhausted. I like to have a few hats and glove for the kids incase they get wet and don’t dry out quick enough. Books and magazines for you.

    I am soo out of shape that I am nervous about going. After 2 days last year… I was sore and done. I like doing 1/2 day ski and then 1/2 day relax ?

  2. Layers! We’ve skied in NC, Virginia, WV, Colorado, Utah and Vermont. Vermont was by far the coldest!!! Honey probably knows all this, but be sure to use glove liners and sock liners as well as several thick “made for snow” pairs of socks. Keep some hand warmers in your jacket pockets too. Make sure their bottom layers are wicking. When my kids were younger I would set out their clothes in order of what goes on first so they didn’t mix up the layers but could still dress themselves:) Gloves always seem to get wet, so any time you’re back at the house for a break, stick them in the dryer along with coats. And of course drink plenty of hot chocolate to warm your insides… but not too much bc bathrooms and snow gear aren’t fun. We started taking each of our kids skiing at age 3 (now 18, 16, 13 and 11) and they picked it up really easily. I have a feeling your boys will get it super quick and love it! They may quickly move to snowboarding too:) Have a blast! btw, all of my kids play or have played lacrosse, so I love reading about John loving lax!

  3. Oh my goodness you will have a blast. We just got back from Utah skiing and we go every year. Biggest tip is you need to stay warm if you are cold you won’t be having fun. I swear by the hand warmers. My gloves even have a little pocket to put them in for the day. Also be sure to wear goggles or sunglasses the sun can be intense on the slopes. Enjoy it all and laugh at the falls.

  4. Don’t forget to bring and use sunscreen and chapstick! Also small pre-packaged snack that will fit in pockets.

    Board games are great for the evenings.

    Random ski trip memory: DS was around 3rd grade on our first trip. I took the kids to the bookstore before they went and had them choose a book for the drive. He ended up choosing The Phantom Tollbooth. He read on the way and in the evenings – it ended up being his favorite childhood book.

  5. Ooh, you’re going to have fun skiing and hanging out by the fire with drinks! Now I live in Georgia, but grew up in Illinois and I still visit in the cold months (it’s a whopping 7 degrees this weekend there), you’ll need a good lotion and lip balm. You know to dress in layers and bring all the obvious cold weather gear, but honestly, you’ll just be cold, and you just deal with it. Just keep thinking about how warm you’ll be when you get by the fire. Have fun!!!

  6. Colorado girl here! Living in UT now and am so excited for you to ski! It’s such a great time. I agree about the half day comment above — especially for multiple days a half day is a great way to get the hang of it and then sit in the lodge with hot chocolate :) (plus easier on the wallet). Take some advil before you go to ease some of the falls!

  7. Yay! So excited for you! Hand warmers and foot warmers are a must. I don’t ever ski without them. Vermont gets extremely cold so make sure you have a ski mask and goggles. When it gets really cold, we make sure every inch of skin is covered. You are going to have the best time, especially since you will be with friends. If you are looking for extra things to do, (and you have a car), drive up to Manchester, VT. It’s about 45 min or so from Mt. Snow and they have a bunch of outlets and the iconic Equinox Hotel and Spa – you may need a massage… I wish we were closer so I could meet you for lunch or something. Our place is in Killington which is about an hour and a half north of Mt. Snow. We will be up there many weekends this winter with these ski-obsessed kids…well one of them is. The little one likes to ski a bit and then lounge with hot chocolate by the fire…that’s my boy! If you decide to explore other areas of VT, another gorgeous town is Woodstock, but that’s about an hour and a half away too. Whatever you end up doing, you will have a great time, though. Vermont is just beautiful! Have fun!…as if I need to tell YOU that!

  8. What a fun trip! We are big winter people. Our 4 year old is starting her 3rd ski season and our 2 year old will try the slopes this year! Apres ski is the best (and my favourite) part!

  9. How fun! I grew up skiing. Truthfully, I don’t love it like some people do, and probably because I’m not great at it even after years of lessons (sigh) but it’s something everyone should try once!! I’m sure Honey will tell you, but..
    Sunscreen and lip balm are key.
    Learning as an adult, so is patience.
    Pizza, pizza, pizza! (both the food indoors and the technique out there)
    Have the best time! I’m sure your boys will adapt quickly and so will you. Good luck!!



  10. My first experience was at Mt. Snow as well.

    I’d recommend taking some time to snow shoe in the quiet with a guide.

  11. My boys are now 9. We started taking annual family trips when they turned 6. I grew up skiing, but my husband had never skied before or even seen snow until we went on a business trip when he was 32 and I dragged him along for some night skiing.

    The biggest thing I see missing from the list you’ve already gotten is lessons! Sign yourself and the kids up for lessons. At least a day. Two would probably be better. Most of the 1st day will be learning to walk in the skis, fall down, get up, leaning how to get on and off the carpets/lifts and starting basic wedge turning. Honey might like a refresher too if it’s been awhile. I hadn’t skied in 20 years so I signed up for 1 day lesson. And boy was I glad I did. It took 4 hours with some gentle reminders before I was swooshing confidently enough again to even consider venturing off the green slopes. And as a previous daredevil double black skiier that’s saying something…

    As everyone else has mentioned layers, layers, layers. If you are cold, you will be miserable. You can find thermal underwear for the kids at least at Costco or Sams in the south for cheap! My mom said they were less than $5. Buy at least 2 – 1 to wear, 1 to dry. While you can really spend some $ on ski clothes, we all 4 loved the artic-x ski pants (from Amazon). They ran $20-30 and kept us all dry with the exception of my son who got snow everywhere including down his pants on a particularly bad wipeout. :) They also dried overnight even when the bottoms were pretty soaked. You might also be able to find ski gear at Burlington for much less than you’d pay in a ski store. Hands down pants over bibs. Buy wools socks and invest in some good waterproof boots for everyone if snow is likely while you are there. And waterproof, insulated gloves, and fleece lined hats. Warm heads, hands, and feet will keep everyone happy.

    Goggles, sunscreen, chapstick and lotion. Everyone will need them. Most ski schools will also require the googles.

    While my kids would have been tickled pink to ski sun up to sun down 7 days a row they are probably the exception rather than the rule. I’d recommend planning to ski every other day. On the off days – look into tubing (with a magic carpet if you can find it!). And I can’t recommend snow shoeing enough for the whole family. We’ve hiked miles into the backcountry, seen elk and all kinds of critters, had snowball fights, made snow angels, snowmen, and just enjoyed fresh powder everywhere.

    Don’t forget the swimsuits! You’ll need it for the hottubs, and hopefully an outdoor heated pool. Have the kids form the letters of their name or snowmen by shaping snow with warm hands/water from the hottub. :)

  12. I second the lessons comment. I’ve had people want me to teach them and that is way too much responsibility for preventing broken bones for my liking! Honey may feel differently but I think it is money well spent. Don’t skimp on your socks or good foundation garments whether you wear silk/long underwear or something more athletic-purpose like Under Armour. I’m also a big fan of everyone wearing a helmet now. I like the hand warmers and feet warmers too especially if you can find the foot warmers that are shaped like an insole have the sticking side to prevent them from bunching. If no one has warned you ski boots aren’t the world’s most comfortable to walk in. It’s awkward. Unless you’re staying ski in/ski out then make sure everyone has good warm, no-slip boots to walk to the lodge from the car and then lock them away in a locker for the day. Also, water water and more water. You don’t realize how dehydrated you get skiing and it will help with the fatigue/soreness of muscles and any altitude headaches you might get. Also, sunscreen. One of the worst burns I’ve ever had on my face was from skiing and not from the beach!

    See if your resort offers tubing or snowmobiles. That’s always a fun break from the slopes. We have never done more than 4 days of skiing.

  13. You will love the beauty of Vermont! My husband and I went on a romantic winter trip to Vermont over 20 years ago and skied at Mt. Snow. We did take lessons (something I recommend for first timers) and really had a blast. We were lucky because they had just gotten over a foot of snow the first night we were there. After being in Colorado, Honey might not be as impressed with East Coast skiing but it will be great for the boys since they are beginners.

    The real high light of our trip wasn’t the skiing though. It was taking a night time horse drawn sleigh ride through the mountains and woods of Vermont. It was truly like being in a Currier & Ives painting. We rode up to a cabin in the woods and drank hot chocolate in front of the fire before heading back down the mountain. I can still remember those big Belgian horses pulling us through the snow with sleigh bells ringing. Your boys will love it!

  14. Cheese fondue with hot, crusty bread.
    Cherry brandy.
    Chocolate fondue.
    LLBean pajamas.

  15. I grew up in Western Massachusetts, about an hour south of Vermont, so I second all of the comments above concerning bundling up and layering for cold weather!! And yes, sunscreen, you will be amazed at how the sun reflects off the snow.

    If you and your friend should need a girl’s afternoon off the slopes I’d suggest heading south just a bit into Massachusetts to go to Kringle Candle. It’s right off of I-91 in Bernardston (website has good directions), not far at all from Mt. Snow. Not sure if you’re a fan of candles but Kringle was founded and is owned by the son of the founder of Yankee Candle and as far as I’m concerned they are much nicer candles than current Yankee Candles (family no longer owns Yankee). The store is fun (with much more than just candles) and across the street is Country Barn which is fun to look around. And I HIGHLY suggest a meal at the Farm Table. I drag my husband there every time we’re up. You could also head 20 minutes further south from Kringle and go to the actual Yankee Candle flagship store in Deerfield but honestly it’s become quite a tourist trap, Kringle is quainter. However, this is a local (or former local) talking.

    Brattleboro is supposed to be a cute town to check out, I haven’t been there is a while so I can’t vouch, although my cousin lives there now and loves it.

    Have fun! Meanwhile, I’m off to prep for our incoming weekend snowstorm here in NC. I moved south to avoid this stuff!

  16. We go to Mount Snow every winter and throughout the year. Our very good friends have a house there. The mountain is a great mountain for first time skiiers. They also have tubing which is a lot of fun, you should do that one day as well!
    I would suggest to do lessons for the littles and if you don’t then don’t be too venturous. The biggest thing with skiing is to take it slow. It is so much fun but just don’t push it. There is a fun restaurant called The Last Chair. Check that out – games for kids and good food. The town of Wilmington is very charming – you would love it! A great fancy restaurant if you have an adult night is Cash and Kiln on Main Street. The best breakfast is called Dots. THey have a great story after the hurricane that destroyed the town about 5 years ago. ON their town hall you can see how high the water went.

    an hour and half away is the town of Quechee, VT. That is where SImon Pearce is made – you can see the glass being built and the falls there are impressive. Maybe a nice trip. They also have a great restaurant.

    Let me know if you need any other ideas – h ave so much fun!

  17. Having only skied once, I did enjoy an incredible experience of snowmobiling through Yellowstone and that is something you may want to consider when the boys are older. You are one with nature and it is breathtaking.

    But the real reason I popped back on was to say how incredibly informative all of these comments are! I am really enjoying all of the FABULOUS tips ~ for any cold adventure! :-)

  18. Lessons – Lessons – Lessons! We are avid skiers and always go at least once a year. We don’t live close enough to snow to ski frequently, so lessons help us a lot. To keep everyone safe, a little advise from a pro is critical. I would also recommend that you warn your boys in advance about the boots and the gear. Skiing is a lot of fun, great exercise, and a treat for anyone who loves being outdoors – but our girls always grumble the first time we put on all those layers and bundle up. Also, be diligent about the boot fit (and poles and helmets). I assume you are renting, so just be sure to check and double check the boot fit to save your shins and keep everyone comfortable. Goggles are a must. You might check out TJ Maxx and other similar stores for socks and unders. We have even found good gloves there! Have fun and don’t let a little cold and soreness discourage you! In skiing – the challenge is part of the reward! I’m looking forward to your GoPro video!

    1. I second the lessons part – It is worth the time upfront to make sure you have an injury free vacation! That and hot tubs – hot tubs are MUST at the end of the day!

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