|Birch Ridge Inn
Fall Foliage Picture
of the Day
|Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Glorious sunshine. The tip of the trees starting to change color.
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not trobled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet..." Matthew 24: 6-8
Today was a day filled with contrasts at Killington. From the weather at the resort, to the resort personnel, to the lifts, to the conditions of the trails, if you were a glass half empty person you had a terrible day...if you are a glass half full person, today had moments that were "glorious".
The weather today has sort of set the stage. In the space of the morning we had calm, 40 MPH winds... we had clear skies, we had fog, we had freezing R@!n, we had ice pellets, we had fluffy light snow, we had driving hard nasty wet snow....and as I look out my office window as I write this blog we have sunshine!
The weather, of course, translated into the resort in unpredictable fashion. Around the base lodges we had parking attendants that were just miserable trying to direct traffic. We had people shoveling and snow blowing heavy, wet, crusty snow. But then you go to bag check, and the guy taking the bags is bright and friendly... you go to the Bear Mountain Chair (more on that later) and you would think that the girl scanning the passes was at a party, she was so happy to see people coming through her line.
The lifts could not make up their mind... were they going to run, or were they going to stay home for the day. The K1 Gondola was moving before 9:00 AM, but in the wrong direction. All of the cars were being pulled off the cable and brought into the barn. In the early morning, the Sky Burst Quad and the Needles Eye Quad seemed to be suffering the same fate. They were moving, but they did not load until well after 10:00 AM. But never matter, between the Superstar Quad, the Bear Mountain Quad, and the Northbrook Quad (aka "The Chair to No Where") maneuvering around the mountain was achievable (if you overlook skiing under the tuna nets on the old Snow Shed Cross Over to get back from Bear Mountain. The nets had spots in the middle which were tied up, creating a hole to ski thru. Not sure if the holes are officially sanctioned, but they were there...And it was the only way from Bear Mountain to the rest of the resort when the Sky Burst Quad was not loading..).
The weather also created some interesting ski conditions. Visibility was always being challenged be it fog, ice, or wet. Groomed surfaces were initially quite loud, as the grooves created by the grooming machines glazed solid overnight. Un-groomed surfaces initially were a mish mash of chunky, crusty, soft bumps, slick booms. Skier traffic after the first hour or so took care of all of the surface flaws to reveal a nice, soft, generally compliant surface caused by yesterday snow mixed with the stuff coming out of the atmosphere today.
We spend the morning on the Sky Peak side of the resort. Upper Sky Burst was groomed flat and fast, with the aforementioned loud grooves. Lower Wild Fire was nice and soft, with some small bumps developing. Upper Wildfire was somewhere in the middle. It was groomed flat, but it did have some surface features which prevented mindless cruising. People were skiing Superstar. Not sure if the ropes were down or people were just poaching. It did not look fun. We won't talk about the Snow Shed Crossover....
Cruise Control was set up nicely. I did find a nice, soft, small bump line on skiers right on Lower Cruise Control in an area left untouched by last nights groomers. Out of necessity, we did several loops down High Road on the Chair to Nowhere. It was soft, but at times it was also choked with skier traffic.
Bittersweet was cum se cum sa. If you could see, you could find lines with small bumps and soft snow. On those times when skiing by braille was required, I found myself getting bounced around a lot going down Bittersweet. So it goes.
Skylark was generally very nice from top to bottom. I think because of the lift situation, not many people were using Skylark this morning. The upper part was a nice cruiser with some areas of small bumps (really turn spots) kicked up by skier traffic. Lower Skylark had good soft lines down both skiers right and left.
Superstar was not groomed and looked, shall we say...interesting. I think if it were a beautiful sunny day, we would have gone down Superstar, but as the picture of the Umbrella Bar taken from the Superstar Quad highlights, there was a lot of fog in the base area which kept visibility down.
Yesterdays storm at Killington saw 4-6 inches of snow fall over the area. The forecast for today calls for a similar amount, with the majority falling overnight. If you are planning on coming to Killington this weekend, have a safe drive. You will be rewarded with a mountain that is continuing to improve with every snowflake falling from the sky.
Let it snow!!!