Mad River Glen is one of two ski areas in the country to use a single chairlift – that is, a chairlift which seats just one person at a time. The other single chairlift is operated at Mt. Eyak which is located and owned by the City of Cordova, Alaska, and operated by the Sheridan Ski Club.
Mad River Glen became one of Vermont’s first major ski areas when the Single Chair began carrying skiers to the top of General Stark Mountain in 1948. From the very beginning, Mad River Glen has been unique, a place where skiing is a sport not an industry, working with nature not against it. Mad River Glen began a new era in 1995 when its skiers came together to form the Mad River Glen Cooperative.
Mad River Glen offers forty five trails with a wide variety of difficulty. They range from the flat, open greens of Birdland to the large number of steep, moguled trails that dominate much of the mountain. These are the trails that have given Mad River its reputation as the hardest ski area in the Northeast.
They have been kept much as they were when they were first cut, often by the skiers themselves, decades ago, and many are gladed and have natural features lying just beneath the snow; rocks, logs, bushes, etc. Even among these black diamond trails there is tremendous variety; the ambiguous short but steep Waterfall is sometimes rated a black diamond and sometimes an intermediate blue square, and the infamous 38 degree pitch of Paradise is still only rated at a black diamond, when it would earn two or three of those diamonds at other ski areas.