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Birch Ridge Inn
Snow Stake Picture
of the Day
Birch Ridge Inn Snowstake
Friday, January 29, 2016
4 7/8 inches. Temps just below freezing. Due to fall later in the day.

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Killington Snow Report for Sunday, February 07, 2016

Killington Conditions:
Open Trails: 67
Open Lifts: 18
Groomed Trails: 66
Service Conditions: Machine Groomed/Packed Powder
Average Base Depth: 8" - 20"
24 Hour Snowfall: 0.0"
48 Hour Snowfall: 0.0"
7 Day Snowfall: 0.0"

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Walter at the top of Highline

Walter at the top of Highline 

What a great week to ski at Killington. Comfortable temperatures. Firm, flat, well groomed ego snow. Perfect for easy cruising, or airing it out and flying low to the ground fast and loose.

Killington has done a magnificent job laying down tons of snow on miles of trails across the resort. We even got a little bonus help from Mother Nature this week. If you want a relaxing ski week in the mountains, Killington comfortably checks that one off your bucket list.

In the last 10 days Killington has continued aggressive terrain expansion. Skye Peak and Bear Mountain are now in full service. Bear Claw, Skye Burst, Cruise Control, Needles Eye, Bittersweet, Sky Lark and Superstar are all beautifully groomed. We spent hours making loops off of the Skye Peak, Needles Eye, and Superstar high speed quads. Lots of terrain with good elevation to cover. And it is all wall to wall snow.

For those who enjoy a change from the flat and fast, the Stash is now online with features galore. The features are well sculpted and sharp. The jumps nicely set up for a little air. Lots of fun. (I got spoken too by Mary for taking one of the jumps in the Stash. My knee is still a little busted up... But I could not help myself...)

Snow making started this week on Outer Limits. The resort is aiming to bring OL into service this coming weekend. OL is the ultimate Killington double black diamond. Getting it into operation is a welcomed addition to Killingtons expert terrain portfolio. With temperatures falling through the afternoon today (Friday), they should be getting some good production out of the snow guns arrayed the lenght of OL. it will be a trail to watch in the next couple of days.

Killington has also gotten Great Eastern open from the top of Killington Peak to the Skyeship base on Route 4. Beginner skiers always enjoy the excursion Great Eastern provides through the forests of Killington. The bonus of stopping at the Skyeship base for a Hot Chocolate is always a nice touch as well..

What a great week to ski Killington.
Flat, Fast, groomed ego snow made it a great week to ski or ride at Killington.
Click again to resume rotation.

Back in the basin area of the resort, the resort is finishing up bringing the trails in the Canyon area online. Cascades and East Falls ae skiing nicely. Snow Guns are now doing their magic on Double Dipper. Like Outer Limits, the resort has committed to get the expert terrain of Double Dipper in operation for this weekend. If you want to ski some steeps in the Northeast, Killington has committed to make it happen. You just need to get here.

Snowden was skiing really nice as well. Chute, Bunny Buster, and Mouse Trap were all offering nicely carveable surfaces for beginers and intermediates to use to practice their turns. Highline was resplendent in the afternoon sun most days this week. Highline presented itself as a steep groomed cruiser with soft snow glistening in the low sunshine of late January. Just great for a first run warm up or an easy but challenging last run of the day.

The Killington Resort is really set up nicely heading into February. With cold temperatures in the forecast for the next few days to allow further snow makeing, and some light snow in the forecast, it should be a great weekend to ski Killington.

Let it snow.

On the way to Bear Mountain. Ruts and Chuckles on Gateway

On the way to Bear Mountain. Ruts and Chuckles on Gateway 

It just keeps gettting better and better...

It has been a great week to ski and ride Killington. Crisp bluebird days and wall to wall snow coverage have offered skiers and riders at Killington the most terrain available in the East.

All of the mountains of Killington are now open with a combination of man made and natural snow. A 6 inch powder storm early in the week helped Killingtons snowmakers advance the cause, resulting in rapid terrain expansion across the resort.

All week long we have been skiing on packed powder surfaces. Most of the terrain is reasonably soft for January. There are a few wind blown sections which are scoured down to the hardpack, but they are both few and far between, and in predictable locations.

Off of Killington Peak, the North Ridge area is in good shape. Cascades and East Falls are flat and fast. This time of year they are also dark as the sun does not rise above the Peak on the north side of the resort. Highline looks beautiful. It has been closed for racing most of the week so I did not have a chance to ski it. Of note, the Snowdon Triple chair was being load tested today. A sign that it will be put into service soon.

Off of Skye Peak; Superstar, Bitter Sweet and Sky Lark were all skiing great. The upper Superstar headwall was wind scoured, but very edgeable. Middle and lower Superstar are machine groomed granular. The sun shadow comes into play again on the lower part of Superstar, so be careful as your eyes adjust to the darkness.

Needles Eye and Cruise Control were excellent. Small bumps are developing on skiers right on Needles. I am nursing a bum knee so I did not venture into them, but they did look tempting.

Skye Burst, lower Wildfire, and Bear Claw all were superb. Upper Wildfire was not groomed resulting in a wind blown hard pack mess. A couple of passes with the groomers will get it in shape for the weekend.

The resort was still making snow in the Stash. Visible mountains of snow at that. I would expect the Stash to open any day now.

Unfortunately, the winter storm that it hitting the Mid-Atlantic looks like it will miss us. A strong, cold, Canadian high pressure ridge is over Killington right now, giving us crisp temperatures and blue sky. We will probably see some increased cloud cover this weekend from the southern storm, but not much more based upon the local forecast.

Where ever you may be, have a great weekend.... Think Snow!

Ruts and Rick on the Superstar Quad

Ruts and Rick on the Superstar Quad 

After being sidelined for over a week with an inflamed knee, this morning I went to the mountain to catch a few runs. With the exception of a heavy overcast due to an approaching storm, ski conditions were "glorious".

While most of those in attendance early this morning departed immediately for Bear Mountain, which was opened this morning for the first time this season, we exited stage left off of the Superstar quad and worked our way over to Needles Eye. We were rewarded for our efforts with 3 beautiful runs all by ourselves down Needles Eye, Cruise Control, and Bittersweet to High Road; all serviced quite quickly by the Needles Eye express quad.

Snow surfaces at Needles Eye were machine groomed packed powder. On Needles Eye itself, the surface was noticably deeper on skiers left, under the trails snow guns. However, this came at a price. On the first run, when we were by ourselves, the surface on the left was moderately soft and creamy. Several hours later, after much skier traffic, it was broken up and chunky. Skier right, on the other hand, maintained a nice smooth patina over the intervening hours. This was probably because it gave the appearance of thin cover, resulting in many fewer skiers and riders along the right side of Needles Ere. More for us to enjoy.

Once people discovered the Needles Eye pod was empty, we made the obligatory journey over to Bear Mountain. Today the resort was featuring Sky Burst for advanced skiing and riding, and Bearly for novices. Access to Sky Burst was limited to the top of Sky Peak, as Bear Trax was not opened today. Snow piles were clearly in evidence on Bear Trax waiting for a groomer to move them around. From the looks of it, it appears likely that Bear Trax would be open some time over the weekend.

Sky Burst had a groomed packed powder surface. Some marbeling was taking place in areas where skier traffic had broken the surface. Snow guns were opperating at the very top of Sky Burst, and also in the Viper Pit area. Snow guns were also seen operating on Bear Claw and parts of Wild Fire; most likely in anticipation of those trails opening some time over the weekend as well.

Before leaving the Sky Peak area, we did progressive runs down Bittersweet, Sky Lark and Superstar from top to bottom. All three were beautifully covered with the exception of some slight scratchiness on Bittersweet just below the Needles Eye quad (and I am really splitting hairs here...)Sky Lark was really nice from top to bottom. Superstar was just delightful. As we had been skiing most of the morning before hitting Superstar, we were able to basically cruise it directly from top to bottom knowing that the surface was going to be very reliable the whole way.

To close out the morning, we did 4 runs off of the Snowdon Quad. These included multiple runs down Chute, Upper Royal Flush and Mouse Run. Chute skied very nicely on skiers right near the trees. Upper Royal Flush was a little boney. Being a natural trail, we were skiing in the windblown snow against the trees on skiers right. Because skiers left was showing grass, very few had ventured down Upper Royal Flush. Ruts and I held a tight line down skiiers right, which was a lot of fun as it was a decided change from the packed powder groomers we had been on all morning.

The mountain is contining to expand terrain. Looking at the snow making assets they have deployed, I would expect the trail count to increase dramatically over the weekend. While we won't see Outer Limits, I would expect the rest of Bear Mountain to open shortly. In addition, on the Killington Peak side of the resort, work continues on Cascade, which should brought into the trail mix as well.

This weekend will see skiiers and riders descend upon the area. If you are out on the slopes, remember to be polite in the lift corrals, and respect the down hill skier or rider. Ski safe.

No matter where you may be spending this Martin Luther King Weekend however..... Think Snow!

Fresh snow, cold air, and sunshine envelop Killington

Fresh snow, cold air, and sunshine envelop Killington 

Cold air and snow has descended upon Killington bringing some relief to the area just in time for the ski season critical Martin Luther King weekend.

3 plus inches of snow fell across the area last night. This was on top of the output being made by Killington's snow making system as temperatures were in the low 20's overnight.

All eyes are now turning south towards a developing coastal storm which has the potential to bring more snow into the area over the weekend. While it is too early to confirm that the weather pattern has shifted for the good in this El Nino winter, we will enjoy good snow making temperatures and natural snowfall while we can.

Where ever you may be..... Think Snow!

Ruts, Suzy and Cathy enjoying some snow and sun at Killington

Ruts, Suzy and Cathy enjoying some snow and sun at Killington 

It has been a good week to be skiing and riding at Killington. Cold temperatures have allowed the resort to use their snow making system to the fullest. From the beginning of the week where they were repairing available terrain to weeks end were terrain expansion was in full swing, the Killington Resort has been doing what it has been known for for years...Make snow!

Early in the week, skiing and riding were taking place in the North Ridge area, off the Snowdon quad, at Rams Head from Caper to Vale, and in the magic carpet areas. By weeks end, Snowshed has now come fully online, Superstar is now open top to bottom, Needles Eye is now open, and further terrain expansion after a reprise for some warmer weather this weekend is all but certain.

I was on the mountain Monday and Wednesday. Mary was out this morning. Conditions across most of the resort are machine groomed packed powder over a firm base. Windblown areas, like the link between the top of Superstar and Skylark are down to the hardpack. But please don't confuse these conditions with ice... there are no fish under the hardpack.

Today the resort opened the Needles Eye area with skiing and riding down High Road, Needles Eye and Panic Button. The resort also opened Highline and is planning to continue to make snow on Cascade. Previously during the week the resort opened Superstar from top to bottom, Bittersweet, and Snowshed. Terrain across the resort is now available for all skiing/riding levels and abilitites with a good mix of Black, Blue and Green trails.

Merisa reported last night at the bar about the condition of the woods. Pure woods are still too dangerous with a shallow layer of fluff over a very thin crust. As we have not had any significant natural snow fall (about 3 inches in the last week at the resort) it will be a while before the woods are safe for most skiers and riders. But we will undoubtedly have that to look forward too later in the season.

Last nights Small Plate Thursday hosted by Jack Daniel's was a great success. We had an excellent turnout in the Great Room who were educated on the nuances of Jack by our friends at Horizon Beverage (Tyler) and Brown Forman (Bob). We sampled Jack Honey, Fire, Old Number 7, Gentleman Jack, and Single Barrel Proof. This year Killington will be celebrating the 25th "Taste of Tennessee Week" the last week of February. Put that on your calendar as it is always a great week in Killington.

Where ever you may be..... Think Snow!

Small Plate night with Jack Daniel's this Thursday night at the Birch Ridge Inn.
Small Plate night with Jack Daniel's this Thursday night at the Birch Ridge Inn.

This Thursday night at the Birch Ridge Inn - Small Plate Thursday hosted by Jack Daniel's. Chef Reggie has created a selection of Jack Daniel's inspired small plates. Merisa will be at the bar with a tasting progression of Jack Daniel's fine Tennessee Whiskey, and other Jack Daniel's cocktails. And the inn's holiday tree will be making it's final appearance of the season. The festivities will begin around 6 in the Great Room at the inn. Hope you can join us. But if not, where ever you may be.... Think Snow!

Snow covered forest behind the Birch Ridge Inn

Snow covered forest behind the Birch Ridge Inn 

Happy New Years. Goodbye 2015.... Welcome 2016!

2015 has been a strange year for us in Killington. We entered the year with the trauma of losing a friend. But we made the transition... "turned the corner" a couple of times, and have continued to maintain a stoic yet optimistic view of what the future holds for all of us.

Leaving 2015, "El Nino" created interesting problems for those of us living in the north country. The ski season has seen it's fits and starts during the early winter. The resort has done a fantastic job managing through this period. And "El Nino" be damned, the mountains are always with us, presenting us with an ever changing tableau of opportunities to enjoy being out with nature.

2016 will see "El Nino" lingering. But (optimistically) it looks like a weather pattern change is nearing with seasonal cold temperatures making an appearance.

For some reason, I do have an earworm stuck in my head today. The melancholy Cole Porter tune "Everytime we say goodbye".

We love each other so deeply
that I ask you this, sweetheart,
why should we quarrel ever,
why can't we be enough clever,
never to part.

Ev'ry time we say goodbye
I die a little,
ev'ry time we say goodbye
I wonder why a little,
why the gods above me
who must be in the know
think so little of me
they allow you to go.

When you're near
there's such an air
of spring about it,
I can hear a lark somewhere
begin to sing about it,
there's no love song finer,
but how strange the change
from major to minor...

ev'ry time we say goodbye.

Once we get the holidays behind us, I would expect my melancholy feeling to rapidly vanish after a good day or two in the fresh air on the mountains.

In closing.... To those we have lost in 2015... thank you for being in our lives. You will be missed.

To the friends we have kept through out the years... your friendship is one of the most valuable things we cherish.

To the new friends we made in 2015, we hope 2016 sees that friendship mature and blossom.

Where ever you may be, welcome 2016. Happy New Year. Think Snow!

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