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PITCH PERFECT: Vermont Rules SKI's Top Steeps in the East

The Upper Madonna LIftline at Smugglers' Notch Resort earned the top spot on SKI magazine's list of best steeps in the East. (Photo courtesy Smugglers' Notch Resort)
A ski patroller swoops down through Paradise at Mad River Glen. Paradise earned a spot on SKI magazine's list of Top 5 Steeps in the East. (Photo by Jeb Wallace Brodeur)

Challenging terrain isn just one of the many aspects Vermont ski areas are known for, so it's no surprise the Green Mountain State dominated a recent article from SKI magazine entitled, "5 Seriously Steep Eastern Runs."

Vermont ski areas laid claim to spots 1, 3 and 4 in the article's Top 5:

No. 1 - Upper Madonna Liftline, Smugglers' Notch Resort

Easily one of the best spots in northern Vermont to catch sight of the most ripping skiers and riders on terrain that lets their skills shine. As the article says:

So you like an audience? You can practically touch the chairs overhead from the Liftline entrance. Fifty-something-degree pitch, boulders, mandatory air depending on coverage. Gnarly.

No. 3 - Black Magic, Magic Mountain

One of southern Vermont's best-kept secrets for lovers of pure, pulse-pounding pitch got some well-deserved love in the story:

Narrow, largely under the liftline (no pressure), and boasting 40- to 50-degree pitches, Black Magic descends 500 hair-raising vertical feet before funneling into Black Line, another 800 vertical feet.

No. 4 - Paradise, Mad River Glen

One of the true crown jewels in the "Ski It If You Can" legend of MRG, this hair-raising run off the iconic single chair drew raves from SKI:

Sustained 40-degree pitch accompanied by every type of terrain out there—bumps, trees, cliff bands, rock outcroppings, etc. Mad River Glen's Paradise will make you work for it, but it is well worth the effort. 

There were certainly a few others we would add to this list (call us impartial, but Vermont really should have owned all five spots). Devil's Fiddle at Killington Resort, Green Beret at Jay Peak Resort, Giant Killer at Pico Mountain, Goat at Stowe Mountain Resort and Rumble at Sugarbush Resort all deserve mention in a conversation about best steeps in the East. What is your favorite?

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