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Friday, Jan 26, 2018
Mid-winter ski conditions at Killington. Snow making refresh cycle underway to compensate for Mother Nature
Snowmaking in progress on Killington Peak

Snowmaking in progress on Killington Peak

Snowmaking in progress on Killington Peak

Snowmaking in progress on Killington Peak

It has been a wild January.

At Killington, we have seen temperature swings approaching 90 degrees in a 48 hour window. Early in the month the area more resembled the North Pole with night time temperatures approaching 30 below zero F. During that period it was so cold that it was basically snowing all the time, as the cold temperatures were squeezing every last drop of moisture out of the atmosphere.

Lately, we have seen more of a temperature yo-yo. Some days it seems like Killington is actually near Atlanta Georgia with temperatures aproaching 50 F. Other days it is back down in the deep freeze with daytime temperatures in the single digits and night time temperatures approaching -10F. We did get unlucky during one of the warm spells and caught a r@!n storm which stripped away a foot of natural snow around the inn (and on the mountain). But that storm was followed by several very cold days, solidifying the remaining base to create a very resilient surface for the resort to work with. And work they have.

Snow making operations taking place around the Killington Resort  Taken January 26, 2018
Snow making operations taking place around the Killington Resort Taken January 26, 2018

A combination of items have allowed the Killington Resort to continue to improve overall conditions. First and foremost, the base that they built during the period around the World Cup races in late November is exceptionally deep. In addition to their past efforts, as todays pictures witness, the resort is not sitting idle. Snow making has continued around the clock when weather condition have allowed. Virtually every trail with snow making on it (meaning basically every trail) has experienced a surface refresh over the last week. Last weekend, we witnessed huge snowmaking efforts on all of the black and double black diamond terrain. This week we are seeing it across the resort, with renewed efforts along blue and green trails. While I can not say it is part of the resort's strategy, as we are not involved in it, I can say what we have witnessed. And the snow making team is working hard.

This week we have been out on the mountain several days, as is normal. Many days this season have been difficult picture days, due to weather conditions. From camera freeze-ups on below zero days to heavy fog on above freezing days, taking pictures this year has been interesting. That being said, the conditions we have been experiencing overall are a testament to the hard work of the resort team. Yesterday, for instance, we took a top to bottom run down Skylark. By all rights, we were expecting to be skating down lower Skylark, which we have done many times in the past. What we found was a firm but well groomed surface. Because of all of the World Cup snowmaking, the resort was able to allow the grooming machings to go deep to break up the hard pack surface created by earlier week above freezing conditions. Words do not properly explain it, but overall the surface was impressive.

Please remember, this is the east coast. Overall conditions are firm, flat, and fast on machine groomed granular. We joke with our friends out west who continually confuse east coast conditions with ice. The basic rule to remember about ice is that it only found in two places.....in your cocktail glass apres skiing; or in those locations where there is fish underneath it. (Ok... I will give you some untreated parking lots as well.)

If you are coming to Killington this weekend, you should find well groomed ski surfaces with moderating temperatures. It looks like the storm the Weather Channel has been busy hyping all week will go to the south of us, leaving us in sunshine and mild temperatures most of the weekend. Snow showers are predicted to follow on Monday, but then again that is a Weather Channel prediction.

Wherever you may be.... Think Snow!

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