As more and more resorts go the way of feaux European flavor, Stowe Mountain Resort remains a throwback—a ski area that accents a great community rather then devours it.

To get to the mountain you have to drive through the quintessential New England town with its iconic white steeple rising from the snow-covered neighborhood. Which, in Stowe, is how it should be, as much of the charm of the resort is its setting in the northern Vermont hamlet at the base of the state’s highest peak. Over the next ten years, Stowe will attempt to add to that charm with a new alpine village in its Spruce Peak area, complete with hotel, restaurant retail shops, and a new base lodge.

With skiing roots in the 1930s, Stowe is certainly long on history and Old World charm. But there’s also terrain in the form of three peaks, 485 skiable acres, and 2,360 vertical feet to go along with 333 inches of annual snowfall.

To truly find what you’re after here, you need help. A trial map will only get you so far—the best skiing at Stowe lies outside the resort boundary, and finding your way around it requires local knowledge. If you’re lucky enough to find that local “guide,” be prepared: Off-the-map terrain at Stowe—even the short summit hikes above the resort—can be frightening, even deadly. It’s very possible to get in over your head. Cliffs, ice falls, and steep shots in tight spaces fill the backcountry. It’s only fitting that the skiing be as old-school New England as the town itself.