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Birch Ridge Inn
Snow Stake Picture
of the Day
Birch Ridge Inn Snowstake
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
23 7/8 inches. Snow overnight. Most on ground for the season.




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2018 Birch Ridge Inn Christmas Tree

2018 Birch Ridge Inn Christmas Tree 

The holiday season is coming to a close.

Around the inn, Christmas decorations are slowly being put away; being replaced with Mary's collection of snowmen. By weeks end, they will be scattered around the inn dancing their odes to Ullr to encourage copious snow around the inn. (Some night I think that they are all going to come alive like some cheesy Dr. Who episode.)

For the first time since the holidays we were able to venture out on the slopes today. It was definitely a cold day on the hill. Conditions were generally flat and fast with loose powder on most surfaces. Snow making operations are taking place at many strategic locations around the mountain, most notably on Outer Limits and at the half pipe at Bear mountain.

The new 6 pack "Bubble Chair" on Snowden is a thing to behold. The whole nature of skiing Killington has radically changed with this welcomed addition to the resorts quiver. it is now quick and seamless to traverse across the entire resort, instead of having a major choke point at Snowden. And the new chair is surprisingly warm even on a day like today where temps were struggling to get out of single digits.

Last Saturday, the winner of this years contest to guess the number of ornaments on the 2018 Birch Ridge Inn Christmas tree was announced. 223 ornaments adorned the tree this year. 289 people entered this years contest with guesses ranging from a minimum of 55 to a maximum of 3900. 160 guesses were over the 223 number and were disqualified under "Price is Right" rules.

M Fitzpatrick won the first prize with an exact guess of 223. They win a "Champagne dinner for two" to the Birch Ridge Inn for their efforts. Second place, and a $50 gift certificate, goes to Phill Fallo with a guess of 220 ornaments. Congratulations all!

Where ever you may be, Think Snow!

Killington Resort readies for Christmas

Killington Resort readies for Christmas 

Christmas week is here.

After an unprecedented stretch of fantastic early season ski conditions, right on schedule Mother Nature threw us a curve ball late last week. We have not even skipped a beat!

So much natural snow fell in November and December that over an inch of r@!n could not wash away all of the snow on the ground. Around the inn, we still are surrounded by white with a 6 inch depth at the snow stake in the inn's back yard. On the mountain, where snow making operations have been going around the clock for weeks, base depths are even higher with the resort for all intents and purposes fully open to receive holiday guests.

Holiday visitors will experience a lot of changes at Killington this year. New gondola cabins are operating on the K1 gondola. The Snowden 6-pack "Bubble Chair" is fabulous. We have ridden it countless times since it opened several weeks ago. It will truly change how people ski at Killington. And the tunnels.... 3 to be exact at strategic locations on Skye Peak and Snowdon to redirect green square skiers away from black diamond slopes and eliminate dangerous cross-over traffic. All your favorite trails are still there. Some have been redesigned. Others have been re-opened (Great Eastern - Snowshed Crossover) All are covered with snow and ready for the holidays.

The Killington Basin covered in snow.  Don't forget to check out Bear Mountain on your visit.
The Killington Basin covered in snow. Don't forget to check out Bear Mountain on your visit.

At the inn, we have been working full tilt for the holidays. Mary has all the decorations out for holiday cheer. Our chefs have been very busy preparing the holiday menu for sold out seatings on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. (As usual we are also seating people first come - first served in the bar if you want to stop by and join us for dinner.)

Christmas wood!
Christmas wood stacked for the holiday season.

The wood has been stacked, the liquor cabinet is stocked, the wine cellar is filled... We are ready.... (Of course I just need to wrap my presents.... but that waits till everyone goes home on Christmas eve so I can greet Santa)

The staff has tonight (December 23rd off). Most don't really know why other than to spend time with their families. But some of us still remember. I still swear I see Frizz making rolls in the kitchen every day. We miss him and the many members of our family and friends who won't be here physically to celebrate the holidays with us. But, as they say, "The show must go on"!

Wherever you may be, we hope your holiday preparations are nearing completion so you can have a Merry Christmas! and of course "Think Snow"!

Can you count the ornaments on the 2018 Birch Ridge Inn Christmas Tree???

Can you count the ornaments on the 2018 Birch Ridge Inn Christmas Tree??? 

Where has 2018 gone! Two weeks to Christmas.... 3 weeks to 2019... Even in the Green Mountains of Vermont it has been a race....

But now comes the "Fun" part or the year.

The 2018 Birch Ridge Inn Christmas Tree is officially on display. This years tree is the "Family" tree decorated with multi-color lights and traditional glass ornaments. The tree measures in at just over 13 1/2 feet from floor to ceiling. And of course, as the 'Family" style tree demands, there is tinsel everywhere!

It has become a Christmas Tradition at the inn to have our guests and many locals come and have their pictures taken beneath the tree. For the second year in a row, we are having a fun contest around the tree. Last year we counted lights. This year, instead of lights, we are counting ornaments.

The rules of the contest are very simple. Just visit the inn and fill out a contest entry form with your best guess. Using "Price is Right" rules, the person who guesses the closest to the correct number of ornaments on the tree, without going over the number, wins. You can fill out your entry form any day during the holiday season, right up to 9:00 PM on Friday January 4th. The winning entry will be announced in the Great Room on Saturday January 5th at 6:30 PM. No purchase is necessary and you do not need to be in attendance to win.... but you must come to the inn to get your entry form to enter the contest.

The prizes are simple. The person guessing the correct number of ornaments wins a Champagne dinner for 2 at the inn. The runner up, wins a $50 gift certificate. Last years contest featured lights. There were 4137 total lights on the 2017 Birch Ridge Inn Christmas Tree. Ignigo Salazar was the closest with a guess of 4100. Peggy Golonka came in as the runner up with a count of 4080 lights.

While we have been busy getting the inn ready for the holidays, we have taken a few hours out on the mountain enjoying mid-winter conditions. Killington has thus far been blessed with multiple feet of snow in late November and early December. Last weekend, virtually the entire resort was open for skiing and riding; certainly something we have not experienced in a while.

Mary taking a break from making her turns on the mountain.
Mary taking a break from making her turns on the mountain.

Finally one big shout out to a special lady. Mom turned 90 years old last week. As feisty as ever, I was down on Cape Cod for several days to mark the occasion with my brothers and sister.

Happy birthday Mom!
Happy birthday Mom!

With the cold temperatures yielding ideal conditions for the resort to continue to make snow; skiing and riding should continue to be great as we lead into Christmas week. If you are planning a trip to the Green Mountains during Christmas week, you will not be disapointed.

If you are inn Killington this coming weekend, stop in and say hello and enter the tree contast. But no matter where you may be ---> "Think Snow" <---

Heavy snow causes the birch trees to sag over the drive way of the Birch Ridge Inn

Heavy snow causes the birch trees to sag over the drive way of the Birch Ridge Inn 

Bring it on!

It has now been snowing for 3 straight days. Starting late Monday, the Killington region has been blanketed with well north of a foot of fresh snow. The snow is of the heavy wet variety. Sierra Cement versus Champagne Powder. But with the possible exception of the amount of effort required to remove it from some surfaces, the snow is just great at the resort to lay down a solid base for the ski season.

The resort is expanding terrain at a breakneck pace, keeping up with the bounty given by Mother Nature. In addition to K-Peak, and Snowdon, Rams Head opened today for lift serviced skiing and riding. Superstar, site of last weekends Audi FIS World Cup is scheduled to open to the public tomorrow. Needles Eye is very close. And rumors are spreading about Bear Mountain. Truly incredible to have this much open terrain in late November.

At the inn we are busy getting ready for weekend skiers and riders, and decorating the inn for the holidays. The 2018 Birch Ridge Inn Christmas Tree was raised in the Great Room on Tuesday. The "Official" public ceremony to light the tree will take place on this coming Saturday December 1st at 6:30 PM.

Preparing to raise the 2018 Birch Ridge Inn Christmas Tree.  Click on the picture for a video
Preparing to raise the 2018 Birch Ridge Inn Christmas Tree. Click on the picture for a video

Assuming I can get away from my snow blower for a couple of hours (thats a good thing by the way not a complaing) , we are planning on taking a break from work to take some runs on the mountain tomorrow. We will report back then on conditions so you can prepare for your weekend escape.

Wherever you may be --->"Think Snow <---

Killington Resort totally covered in snow

Killington Resort totally covered in snow 

The Killington Resort is "Fast and Fearless".

This week is what it is all about. Killington once again will take center stage in the ski racing world with the Killington Cup; a highly favored spot on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Tour for female ski racers. It is truly hard to moderate the excitement that the event brings to the area.

Killington has re-invigorated ski racing in the north east with their technical abilities to make snow in November. And the ski racers, the crowds, and the media are all converging once again to participate in the party at Killington over Thanksgiving Weekend. For the third year in a row, Mother Nature has provided Killington with cold temperatures to allow the resort to offer "Superstar" to the best female ski racers on the planet. And this year, Mother Nature had a bonus. Unlike last year when media had to be a little careful with their camera angles, this year everywhere you turn there are mountains of snow. The fastest female ski racers on the planet in the Slalom and Giant Slalom will ski with a backdrop of mid-winter conditions on every turn.

But don't let the party put a damper on your personal ski adventure. Killington will have the most open terrain on the east coast available for skiers and riders this entire week. Snow flurries, snow showers, and an outright snow storm are in the forecast for Killington this week, allowing the resort to continue their efforts to build open terrain. Currently Killington is offering top to bottom skiing and riding on the Killington Peak side of the resort. In addition to the early trails opened in the North Ridge area, Killington has also brought online skiing and riding in the Canyon area including Lower East Fall and Cascade, in addition to skiing and riding on Snowdon on Highline, Great Northern, and Lower Bunny Buster.

Killington's summer infrastructure work is coming online. The new cabins are being put on the K1 gondola. Initial reports have been very positive for guests who have ridden them. The first tunnel on Snowden is also opened. This should radically change skier congestion during busy periods at the resort. Work is continuing on the new Snowden Six-Pack. While it is not going to be operating over Thanksgiving, the resort is making comments locally that it will be brought online the last week of November. We will see if that happens due to the test schedules required to certify new lifts, but the message from the resort is very positive. It certainly will be available in December to support growing crowds of skiers and riders as the winter season builds.

If you would like more detailed information about the Killington Cup, the resort has extensive information online. I found the Fast and Fearless to be especially motivating with the short video clips from locals preparing from the event.

If you can get to Killington this Thanksgiving, you will be rewarded in many ways. From the excitement of World Cup ski racing to exposing your inner beast to the challenge of personally skiing/riding Killington, it will be a weekend to remember.

Where ever you may be, give thanks and Think Snow!

Birch Ridge Inn Covered in snow

Birch Ridge Inn Covered in snow 

In what is a good omen for the Thanksgiving Holiday period and the World Cup at Killington, heavy snow blanketed the area last night into the morning hours. 3 inches of heavy, wet, snow fell around the inn, bringing the total at the Birch Ridge Inn snow stake to just under 6 inches. With cold weather and more snow in the forecast, it looks like the region will be set up nicely to celebrate Turkey day in style.

Wherever you may be, Think Snow!

The Birch Ridge Inn;  waning fall colors backed up with a skim coat of snow!  Thursday. October 18, 2018.
The Birch Ridge Inn; waning fall colors backed up with a skim coat of snow! Thursday. October 18, 2018.

The season is flipping. Overnight the area was hit with the first snow storm of the upcoming winter. Starting with heavy sleet, the precipitation changed to heavy wet snow, blanketing the inn with a couple of inches. Plummeting temperatures through the night froze the snow solid this morning, forcing anyone attempting to drive to search our their ice scrapers to clean windshields. Ah... the joys of winter.

The Killington Ski Resort announced yesterday, with the snow storm imminent, that they would be open for skiing and riding for passholders only on Friday October 19th (tomorrow). Snow making operations are in full swing on the mountain today, as temperatures are struggling to get much above the freezing mark at lower elevations. Lifts for pass holders start turning Friday at 10:00 Am. Skiing and riding for the general public begins on Saturday.

Where ever you may be, enjoy the change of seasons. Wear sun screen if you must. But we are thinking snow for the mountains of Killington.





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