Category Archives: Winter

Ski Trail Names…Do They Do the Trails Justice?

So we’re finally ready to hit the slopes. The trails are open and more snow is on the way. So which trail to do we do first? Sometimes, we think we should go all out and hit a tough one, then other times…we think…let’s start slow.

Ski Trail Color Symbol Downhill Alpine North America Europe Japan Vintage - Signs of the Mountain

So we start checking out the trail map and see the names. It makes us wonder? What if they didn’t have the colored trail symbols next to the names? Would we feel like we understood the type of trail is was by the name?

So we started searching some trail names. We had to share a few:

  • Alta: Amen and the Devil’s Castle  (Making sure they have heaven and hell covered)
  • Jay Peak: Deliverance (Love it!)
  • Snowbird: Barry Barry Steep (That’s helpful)
  • Lake Louise: Ghastly! (Feel like we should have an English Pipe while traversing down this one)
  • Attitash: Idiot’s Option (That’s just daring us to go down it)
  • Sunday River: Agony (Thank you for the heads up)
  • Snowmass: AMF (We’re told it stands for Adios Mother F….)
  • Sugarbush: Ripcord, Rumble, Spillsville and the famous, Exterminator
  • Stowe: Lookout! (Need we say More)
  • Mad River Glen: Vixen (Believe it or not, this is a beginner trail…)
  • Snowbird: Steeper than Hell and Steeper than Shit (These leave no room for misinterpretation)
  • Whistler: Doom & Gloom (Someone needs a happy pill)
  • Breckenridge: Lower Psychopath & High Anxiety (Or a therapist…)
  • Aspen: Naked Lady (More info please…)
  • Mt. Snow: Jaws of Death (We think it’s named, just Jaws now…chickens)
  • Vail: Tourist Trap (Telling like it is for the beginner slope)
  • Sugarloaf: Widowmaker (See…that’s all it needs…one word to give us  full description)

Photo Credit: Authentic Trail Signs

Now, you get our drift…snow drift that is! The point is…with these names, you know what type of trail it probably is and what you’re in for. Depending on the day (and our mood) we may be feeling a little like a “Slowpoke” or a “Lower Psychopath.”

If we’re ever leaders of the free world — our first rule of business would be to change all the names to reflect the type of trail it is. For example, if you looked at a trailhead that said, Breakfast Blend, you’d know it was a pretty easy trail. If it was Break-Up Alley, you’d know that was a rocky, steep and treacherous path. Right?!?

So think about some fun names while your heading up the lift…What would be your Blue Circles and Black Diamonds?

Until then,

We are heading ”OUT TO LUNCH.” (That’s an easy trail, just in case you didn’t know.)

Our best, Heather and Andrew

Christmas Week and Holiday Break






Snowmaking happening up on the mountain. Colder weather coming soon!

Well, It’s officially here…Winter!

Today officially starts winter and we’re happy to say that we’re finally feeling it! This past weekend, it snowed but even better news was it was cold enough for the mountains to make snow. This week, during Christmas,  we’ll get a day or two of warmer weather but around the corner the cooler weather is coming to town!

As you know we are taking December 24 and 25th off to celebrate Christmas with our family and to give the Mad River Barn team a chance to be with their families as well. BUT THE DAY AFTER we’ll be well rested and ready for you!  The pub is already hopping and there are lots of fun things to do and see in the valley if you want to do more than ski!

Pub at Mad River Barn Design by Joanne Palmisano

Of course, we’d love it if you came and hung out with us in the pub — or watch a game on the big TV or play a game–air hockey, shuffle board, and foosball, in the game room.

Draft Beers at Mad River Barn Vermont

Try one of our local beers on tap — or even better — the local chamber of commerce is listing some organized brew tours next week!  Visit some awesome breweries and let someone else do the driving!

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Teach your kids how to play cribbage. When do you get a chance to sit down and play a game? Cribbage rules here.


Check out Andrew on the FAT BIKE. These conditions are perfect for this type of biking.


Our friend Gabrielle, snowboarding on the slopes — taking advantage of the snowmaking days!


Trail map for Shelburne Farms. In the winter, when the Inn at Shelburne Farms is closed, the trails are still open. They are free this time of year and you can bring a dog (on leash) which you can’t in the summer months. The trails and views are amazing, worth the drive.

First snow at The Inn at Shelburne Farms along Lake Champlain in Shelburne, Vermont.

The Inn may be closed this time of year but the miles of trail systems are open! Enjoy!


Joanne’s friend Sarah Lavoie took this amazing picture of Church Street in Burlington the other day. An evening out on the town would be another great outing!

The Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce has a large list of HAPPENINGS and EVENTS! Art Shows, Bands Playing, Tours, Workshops, Cooking Classes, Cookout and more! Don't miss out on the fun happening during the holiday week!

The Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce has a large list of HAPPENINGS and EVENTS! Art Shows, Bands Playing, Tours, Workshops, Cooking Classes, Cookout and more! Don’t miss out on the many things to do in and around the Mad River Valley and Sugarbush.


Hope to see you during the Holiday Week and this coming winter!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season,

Our best, Heather and Andrew








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Happy Holidays From Our Family to Yours!

We’re ready! The decorations are up (thanks Joanne) and we just had a very fun staff holiday party. We’re looking forward to having you visit us soon. We wanted to share some pics with you to help get you in the spirit to come visit us!

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Joanne always makes a mess :)– but we love her for it. Thanks Joanne for putting up the holiday décor this year.


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Joanne’s little holiday DIY — wrapping the Poinsettia plants. She cut the top part of the gold foil.

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Then she ripped craft paper and hot glued it to the foil.

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Then she wrapped in it twine.

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I’m sure it does not surprise you that she glued on a vintage plumbing handle — in keeping with the Mad River Barn motif.

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Here is our dear friend Joanne (the designer of the Inn, Pub and Restaurant) in her Mad River Barn attire — flannel shirt, jeans and her winter hat.

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Of course, the inn would not be complete without the lighted star. Andrew found a great place for it — you can see it from the road.

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Love the holiday vignettes around the inn–they are getting us in the spirit.

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Look how cozy the game room looks. It’s ready for you!

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Even the bar has some festive décor. We love it so much we may leave it up most of the winter (and no…it is not because we are too lazy to take it down… mostly, not because of that.)

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That’s right! Welcome!

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Let the party begin! Here’s Andrew with Jerry, our dear friend, and bartender of the year–no century — no millennium! Honestly, we don’t know what we would do without Jerry. Thank you!

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Sergjio, chef extraordinaire, Andrew and Jerry — getting the staff holiday party started!

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Yup! A gorgeously displayed platter or lobster tails — that’s right — lobster tails — Sergjio — went all out on this menu –nothing but the best for our staff.

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Sergjio really out did himself on all the food. This holiday Yule Log cake is amazing — I mean look at it — it looks like real bark!

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Andrew, our new sous chef, is putting out the oysters…Yup, oysters. (Don’t you want to work for us :))

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Then came the cheese platters…

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Then the charcuterie…

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Andrew helping put it all out.

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Heath, another amazing bartender and staff member with his lovely wife, Melissa.

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First fire of the year, and lots of great gift exchanges.

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The staff mingling. They’re getting to enjoy the pub tonight!

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You gotta love Will! He always has the best attitude and spirit. A great attribute for an amazing bartender.  And he is a lot of a fun at a party. Will… who’s jacket did you throw on? We think that is Heather’s, another amazing staff person.

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Gary, our all-around helper- lugging, hauling, building–you name it, with his lovely wife, Jean.

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Meredith, Jenny, and Adrienne — who won’t love being here with these fun gals. We’re so lucky to have them as part of the MRB team.

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Another course of food!?! Yes — homemade Ramen noodles — not your store bought ones we can tell you that. AMAZING!!  Sergjio, really, how lucky are we to have you as our chef!


This may be one of the last times we can relax before the busy winter season begins. Rachel, one of our amazing serves, our dear friend Tracy, myself, and Jess, another amazing staff person, all enjoying each other's company. What a lovely evening!

This may be one of the last times we can relax before the busy winter season begins. Here we are…Rachel, one of our amazing serves, our dear friend Tracy, myself, and Jess, another amazing staff person, enjoying each other’s company. What a lovely evening– celebrating with our MRB family! We hope you get to meet them all and see why we think we are the luckiest people around!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS…See you at the BARN soon!

Our Best, Heather and Andrew