Magic Mountain ski resort, tucked between larger and more popular ski resorts in southern Vermont, is not a household name, but its trademark black diamond terrain should be first on your skied-there bragging list.

When you make it to the resort base – assuming that cinnamon roll Frappuccino and gentle terrain don’t seduce you to turn to the Stratton resort or Bromley Mountain en route to Magic – you will find that extensive snowmaking, powerful grooming fleets, luxury condos, and spas are missing from the resort scene. But you will also notice a few things that separate this mountain from more well-known ski resorts.

First, Magic Mountain is “no-Louis Vuitton” territory: it is unlikely you will see or surprise anyone with couture outfits or expensive gear requiring mortgage-sized payments. Magic Mountain has a traditional, down-to-earth feel to it, and everything conveys a simple approach to life and business. The only way to draw a positive spotlight from regulars is by making sharp turns going down black diamond trails.

Second, you won’t see lift chair lines or wait for a double chair. Sure, you will notice that the Red Line chair moves at an excruciatingly slow speed, but think about the time you typically waste waiting for a comfy and fast gondola at a big resort on a weekend: you might as well spend those precious minutes on a lift looking at mountain silhouettes.

Third, and most important, it is hard to beat Magic Mountain’s advanced terrain in southern Vermont. Magic Mountain offers a virtually no-limits skiing policy and has a very large number of trees for those looking to ski and ride outside of their comfort zone. Looking for steep trails? Try Magician and its 45-degree pitch. Thinking about a YouTube highlight reel? Try the boulders on the Red Line. Want to escape attention? Welcome to the Hallows glade.

There is one catch, though: for optimal results, you will need fresh powder and the skills to ski intermediate and advanced terrain. Just like any other ski resort in Vermont, Magic Mountain is not immune to Mother Nature’s tricks and unstable winter temperatures. It relies heavily on natural snow to provide “skiable” surfaces. While anything mentioned above would have a negative impact on the operations of just about any resort, Magic Mountain most certainly will be hit harder: on some particularly icy days, you won’t even get a “corduroy,” well-known to all northeastern skiers and boarders, consisting of icy particles. The resort can be “unskiable” on some days, so you might be better off enjoying the local micro-brew in a bar or skiing/sliding at a bigger resort that might have better grooming capabilities.

And yet, when the weather cooperates, you will be hard-pressed not to appreciate Magic Mountain’s unique character and New England authenticity that is often buried under modern luxury real estate developments and fancy restaurant menus at other resorts. The better you handle your skis or snowboard, the better chance you will appreciate its challenging terrain. And when you get the first taste of it, Magic Mountain will be the first name on your extensive skied-there bragging list.

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