Mount Mansfield

About the Mountain

Located in Underhill, Mount Mansfield is the highest peak in Vermont. Many people don’t realize that, if you turn your head 90 degrees, this mountain has a face, complete with chin and nose. Hike between the two and you will surely find a mouth. Mount Mansfield is one of only three peaks in the state with alpine tundra. Don’t take a wrong step and smash the precious tundra or the peak troll will ream you out. The tundra’s delicate nature is owed to having survived since the Ice Age, so you know that it has seen some serious stuff.

Mount Mansfield was named after the town of Mansfield, Vermont, which in the mid-19th century was dissolved into Stowe and Underhill after proving too gnarly to inhabit. If state-of-the-art base lodges and 5 star hotels aren’t your thing, take a ride up the toll road and hike the famous Long Trail to the summit for a true taste of what Vermont is all about.

Killington Peak

About the Mountain

Long before Killington was called by its current name, it was called Pisgah. That name, of course, is strange.

Nowadays, Killington is home to Killington Resort, the largest (and often considered the best) ski resort on the East Coast. Outside of the snowy winter season, visitors can make use of the myriad hiking and biking trails. There is also a full 18-hole championship golf course on the mountain, because honestly, why not? In the 1990’s, Killington Resort bought Pico out of bankruptcy and has since taunted Pico passholders with the possibility of connecting the two mountains.

For most of the history of Vermont, Killington was located in a town called Sherburne. It wasn't until 1999 that the town voted to revert to its original name of Killington. The origin of the word "Killington" itself is unknown, though it calls to mind either a bloody battleground or a super evil villain. Perhaps he goes by the name Old Jack Killington, but it seems fairly unlikely.

Mount Ellen

About the Mountain

Mount Ellen, the female counterpart of the popular Sugarbush Resort, is situated in the so-named Mad River Valley, in the town of Warren. Prior to her formal matrimony to Abraham, Ellen went by the name of "Glen Ellen", originally operating as her own ski resort from 1963 to 1977. Her marriage to Abraham, whose slopes she had often gazed upon but never ridden, was orchestrated by Roy Cohen. This union proved fruitful, and Sugarbush is now widely regarded as one of the most cherished resorts in the Northeast.

In comparison to the other mountains in the Green Mountain range, the etymology of Ellen’s name is less obvious. As history tells it, Mount Ellen was named after a character, Ellen Douglas, from Sir Walter Scott’s popular 1810 poem The Lady of the Lake. The name was furnished in the 1920’s during the construction of the Long Trail, presumably by workers who were reading Scott’s poem at the time. The Lady of the Lake, in an awkward turn of events, would later inspire the tradition of cross-burning.

Camel's Hump

About the Mountain

“Ta wak be dee esso wadso”. For those of you who don’t speak Abanaki, that roughly translates to “resting place” or “sit-down place”, the original name given to the fourth highest peak in Vermont. Presently this peak is known as Camel’s Hump, a name given in 1798 when Ira Allen poetically remarked that the peak resembled a “Camel’s Rump”.

The iconic “rump” is perhaps more famous than its height, which tends to be the case when looking at a nice rump. Although some have said that the peak looks volcanic, it was actually finely crafted by the movement of a terrifyingly slow and destructive chunk of glacial ice.

Camel’s Hump is among the most popular of the Vermont’s state peaks for recreation along the famous Long Trail, and contains some interesting sights to see. In 1944 a B-24J bomber on a training mission crashed into the side of the summit; a wing section of the plane still remains for all you outdoorsy looky-loo’s.

For those of you who still find it exciting to collect state quarters, you may have noticed that Vermont chose Camel’s Hump to finely represent the picturesque and quirky landscape of the Green Mountain State on its slice of U.S. currency.

Mount Abraham

About the Mountain

In 1881 this hefty lump of ground was known as Potato Hill before being renamed after the most brutal vampire hunter and 16th president of the United States, Mr. Abraham Lincoln.

A lesser known fact, Mount Abraham is one sweaty face of a mountain. It perspires down the Southeast face into Lincoln Brook, down the Southwest side into New Haven River, and the Northwest drains into Beaver Meadow Brook, which also flows into New Haven River. All of Abraham’s perspiration drains into the the glorious Lake Champlain, and knowing all of this information is not very useful.

The summit of Mt. Abraham lies along the Long Trail and can be reached from the south via Lincoln Gap, or the north via Lincoln Peak. Regrettably, camping is not permitted, so don’t plan on pitching your tent. There is, however, a super dope spot to set up camp a mile to the south called Battell Shelter. Though we have never been, it seems worthy of Lincoln himself.

Stratton Mountain

About the Mountain

Stratton Mountain stands as the highest point of Windham County, both literally and financially. It has served as quite a trend setter and launchpad for ideas since its forming 500 million years ago. In 1909, James P. Taylor conceived the idea of Vermont’s Long Trail. It was during the Long Trail’s construction that Taylor’s friend Benton MacKaye envisioned an even bigger trail that would extend from Georgia to Maine, what would come to be known as the Appalachian Trail. No one likes a one-upper, Benton. What a jerk.

Stratton is known for helping Jake Burton Carpenter give birth to a beautiful baby snowboard. He built his first board while living nearby in Manchester, and the Stratton Mountain Resort was the first major ski resort to openly accept snowboarders.

With its Stratton Mountain Security, this mountain is undeniably the most legit in all of Vermont. The Winhall Police Department can be found patrolling via Ford Expeditions and Honda Pilots, so you had better be on your best behaviour while partaking in activities on this majestic beast. Atop its summit sits a fire tower that is open to the public to climb, as well as a small caretaker cabin that is “climb-at-your-own-risk” (the caretaker might not be pleased).

Stratton is rumored to be a monadnock. We’re fairly certain that isn’t a thing, but if it is, Stratton is one hell of one of them.

Pico Peak

About the Mountain

Pico Mountain, born Pico Peak in 1937, was raised by the Mead family and grew up to be Pico Mountain Ski Area. By the time it was established, it was one of the first commercial ski resorts in Vermont, and in 1940, adopted the first T-bar lift in the US. Last year Pico celebrated its 75th anniversary, and gosh, has she aged gracefully.

In 1997, the resort on Pico Mountain was bought by Killington Mountain Resort, but ski trails were not cut to connect the two. Currently, the only way to access either mountain is alongside a sewer line. In addition, most Killington passes grant access to Pico, but Pico passes get you nowhere close to Killington. Come on, Killington. Respect your elders.

Pico comes from the Italian word piccolo meaning small, and is a prefix in the metric system meaning trillionth. This is completely unrelated to the Pico Mountain we all know and love.

Jay Peak

About the Mountain

Jay Peak, located just five miles south of the Canadian border, is just about as close to the powder of the West as you will find on the aptly named “ice coast”, boasting an annual snowfall of 355 inches of fluff. The mountain is flanked on both sides by brothers of the same name, Big Jay to the southwest and North Jay Peak to the north.

All of the Jay’s get their name from the town of the same name in which the mountain is situated. The town itself was named after John Jay, the revolutionary diplomat, for reasons unknown.

The peak is accessed by the famous aerial tram, providing incredible views of both the United States and Canada. The tram, however, came at a cost: in order to construct the tram house at the top of the mountain, excavators had to shave off just the tip of the mountain.