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Birch Ridge Inn
Fall Foliage Picture
of the Day
Birch Ridge Inn foliage
Monday, September 24, 2018
Overcast and cold. Temps in 40's most of the day. Rain expected Tuesday.




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Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
Stunning spring skiing conditions at Killington
Bill and Mary at the top of Double Dipper on Killington Peak

Bill and Mary at the top of Double Dipper on Killington Peak

Bill and Mary at the top of Double Dipper on Killington Peak

Bill and Mary at the top of Double Dipper on Killington Peak

We usually do not go out on the mountain to ski on weekends. Weekends are prime time for businesses at Killington, so we spend our time appropriately tending to activities around the inn. Today was an exception.

In all fairness, it's late April. Our restaurant went on hiatus last weekend until June. We spent the week taking the kitchen apart and putting it back together again to make sure everything was cleaned from the season. The sun was shining brightly. Temperatures were in the mid 40's. it has literally snowed almost all week. So at 10:30 AM, after Mary was done with breakfast service for our weekend inn guests, it was boots on and off to the mountain we went.

They say that God looks after drunks and fools. We are neither, but God was looking out for us anyway. We drove up to the mountain, and by all rights we should have been parking in Bay 5 at the K1 Base Lodge with a 500 yard walk to the nearest lift. But instead, as we turned to enter the parking lot, a large pick up truck left a cavernous parking space for us right at the entrance to Bay 2 just below the K1 Gondola. The space was so big my Honda CRV and another small SUV comfortably slid into the freshly vacated spot. I put my boots on, we got the skis out of the car, and casually strolled to the K1 for a ride to Killington peak.

Bright sunshine was the order of the day on K peak. Surfaces on Great Northern and FIS on the way to Rime and Reason were great. 2 inches or so of soft spring snow covered a slightly firm base. On K peak there was not enough loose snow yet to form substantial bumps. Mid-winter cruising was mostly in order. Rime, Reason, and Upper East Falls were all similar. Upper East Falls did develop some slightly larger bumps; probably the result of more skier traffic making the first turn off Great Northern from the K1 Gondola. We did several laps on the North Ridge Triple before cutting across the top of the mountain to go to Skye Peak.

At Skye Peak, we discovered that the resort had dropped the ropes on Needles Eye to the Snow Shed Crossover. Panic Button was bumped at the entrance with flatter conditions on the actual headwall. Middle Needles Eye was soft, creamy, bumps from top to bottom. Of course, the Snow Shed Crossover itself was flat back to Low Road for the traverse to the Superstar Quad.

From the quad, I went down the Superstar headwall while Mary made the traverse across Skye Peak to the top of Bittersweet. The Superstar headwall at noon time was pure mid-winter. A very firm surface with a fine loose powder coating with relatively large bumps made the trip down the headwall "technical". Lots of people getting off of the Superstar Quad were avoiding the headwall, which made it just right for the few random skiers like myself who ventured on to it. Meanwhile, Mary was getting her exercise climbing across the top of Skye Peak. Once at the crest, she said she was greeted by a collection of 2 to 3 foot bumps in the merge area from the Skyeship(which is closed for the season).

We met up on Bittersweet. Upper and middle Bittersweet was a collection of small "spring" bumps. Not really bumps per se, but a collection of minor obstacles which signaled appropriate areas to do pole plants and make turns. Lower Bittersweet had considerably more bumps. Skiers left and the middle had 2 to 3 foot bumps at mostly regular intervals with good lines. Skiers right was fairly flat. Obviously there were a bunch of skiers and riders on the hill earlier this morning who were basically side slipping down the right side of lower Bittersweet.

On the next loop I did upper Ovation to Lower Superstar. Upper O was well bumped in many spots. Between bumps was firm, but the spring sun was working it's magic making everything softening up. Lower Superstar was Lower Superstar on a late April in Killington. Sizable bumps were developing along skiers left underneath the lift line at the crest of the lower headwall. It was work, but it was good at the same time.

To finish our time on the mountain, I took a final lap down Sky Lark. Upper Sky Lark was a mid winter cruiser with some soft, shallow, spring bumps thrown in to make sure you were paying attention. Lower Sky Lark was really bumped up. A good work out before a short trip to meet up with Mary at the Ubar before heading back to the inn.

How long is the snow going to last is the 64 Thousand Dollar question. At this point it is up to Mother Nature. Superstar is deep and firm, both highly prized conditions for this time of year. Skye Lark might last as long as Superstar, as the coverage on Sky Lark is also substantial from the early buildup to support the World Cup. The resort has already announced plans to run the K1 gondola next weekend to support skiing and riding off of K Peak. So at least in their minds, and they should know, the season still has plenty of legs.

In the mean time, if the forecast stays true this week, I predict a round of golf this week in my future. Such a great time to be in the mountains with so many varied opportunities to play outside!

Wherever you may be, whether its skiing/riding or chasing that little white ball, get out and play!.... Think Spring!





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