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Snow making ongoing on Killington Peak on Rime and Reason

Snow making ongoing on Killington Peak on Rime and Reason 

I expect to see the King of Spring make an appearance on the slopes of Killington any day now.

Over the last couple of days, an unusual stretch of warm weather has given ground back to winter. Seizing the opportunity, the Killington Resort fired up it's snow making system to once again add to their stockpiles of snow. While the warm weather of the last few weeks has cut into the overall base depths on trails around the mountain, skiing and riding conditions are holding up quite well given the resorts attention to snow making during cold stretches and their grooming fleet.

Yesterday snow making was taking place across the mountain. High traffic areas where some trails cross were getting the full treatment. And while some expert terrain was also under the snow guns, in homage to the many skiers and riders who visit Killington during the spring, the resort was seriously blowing snow off of Killington Peak through Snowden in the North Ridge Area and all along Great Northern. By building up base on those trails, the resort will be able to offer beginner and intermediate terrain well into the spring skiing and riding season.

On our skiing adventure around the mountain, we visited most of the peaks. Rams Head was well covered, with Swirl and Easy Street skiing edge to edge. Yodler back to Snowdon had some thin spots showing, but they did not require a high level of attention to avoid. Snowdon down Chute and Bunny Buster were skiing well. Great Bear and North Star had some thin areas where the ski patrol was putting out bamboo warning stakes.

Off of Killington Peak, the Canyon was in good shape. Rime and Reason were seeing some snow making love. East Falls was machine groomed granular with good coverage and edge control. Cascades and Double Dipper looked in good shape. Down Draft on the other hand did not look enjoyable.

Bear Mountain was becoming beach sandy at the bottom of Sky Burst and Wild Fire. Cruise Control and Needles Eye were will convered but becoming thin. A snow storm for these trails is definitely needed. Bittersweet, Sky Lark, and Superstar all were skiing well. They will be in service for quite a long time as base depths are fairly robust.

Overall, skiing was very good. We have another 2 day warm up in store for Wednesday and Thursday followed by winter weather returning for the weekend. March is usually the snowiest month of the year in Killington. Keep your fingers crossed.

Where ever you may be, get out and enjoy the winter season. And remember...Let It Snow!

Mary with Killington Peak in the background

Mary with Killington Peak in the background 

You don't get many days like this every year.

Today was just a beautiful day to be out on the slopes of Killington. Skies with intermingled between high cirrus clouds, bright blue sky, and brilliant sunshine. Temperatures were in the mid 40's. Ski surfaces were soft and silky. It was just a nice day to be on the mountain.

We took a quick jaunt around the mountain this morning before heading back to the inn to do our Presidents Week tasks. Parking in the Vale lot, our first run was down Caper from the Rams Head Lift. A (oxymoron) quick trip up the Snowdon Quad found us on Bunny Buster. We crossed in front of the K1 Base lodge heading to Supperstar next.

Off of Superstar, we circled around Skye Peak for a run down Skye Burst to Dream Maker to Cruise Control. Conditions at Bear at 11:30 AM were very soft. Cruise Control, Needles Eye, and Bittersweet were slightly firmer, as they do not face directly south into the sun.

After a couple of laps on the Superstar Quad, we cut back across K1 for a leisurely ride up the Snowdon Tripple. (It was just too nice a day to be stuck riding in the gondola.) A couple of loops throught the canyons as the Canyon Quad was running and we were done for our morning excercise.

Enjoying the mountains on a late winter day is just a beautiful way to get some exercise, some fresh air, and to leave the world in our rear view mirror for a few hours. I highly recommend it.

Where ever you may be, get out and enjoy the winter season. And remember...Let It Snow!

Lamb Lollipop small plate at the Birch Ridge Inn

Lamb Lollipop small plate at the Birch Ridge Inn 

With President's day now behind us, we can comfortably declare that the second half of the winter season in Killington has begun. Long, warm, beautiful ski days are generally the rule, punctuated by a few massive snow storms to keep the season rolling. When you add in the glacier construction that the Killington snow makers have been working on over the last couple of weeks, it is easy to understand why the ski season in Killington easily extends most years well into May, and sometimes beyond.

Warm, sunny, weather over the President's day weekend has compressed the current snow pack down to the mid-February "slime storm" layers. The light powder that fell over the last 10 days has for the most part evaporated with the bright sunshine that has blessed the resort. The dense snow pack that fell in early February is now laughing at the sun. Although in the end the sun will get the last laugh, at least for the next month of so the sun will not be high enough in the sky to punch through what Mother Nature gave us earlier this winter. Natural base depths around the inn at approximately 2000 feet are holding at the 13 to 15 inch level. The higher altitude of Killington Mountain will have even larger base depths, not including all man-made snow Killington puts down on most ski trails.

March is hostorically a great month to ski at Killington. Longer days moderate the temperatures. Holiday crowds dissipate to serious skiers and riders. The barbeque grills get fired up. The spring party begins.

At the inn, we are still going strong. Bookings through February into March have been solid. The restaurant has been getting rave reviews. Our Lamb Lollipop small plate pictured in today's blog is just one of the many delicious items we featured on our menu over the holiday weekend.

Where ever you may be, get out and enjoy the winter season. And remember...Let It Snow!

Bucket loader clearing snow at the Birch Ridge Inn

Bucket loader clearing snow at the Birch Ridge Inn 

Snow...snow...snow.... Light, fluffy, bright white, beautiful snow..

Killington has seen storm after storm this week. Even after compression, the snow stake has seen over a foot added to the snow total on the ground in the last week. So much snow, that in order to maintain any semblance of order in the parking lot at the inn, we needed to call in the heavy equipment to clear out the snow banks.

It should be a great President's weekend, and a great President's week to visit Killington.

Where ever you may be, get out and enjoy the winter season. And remember...Let It Snow!

Ongoing snow making operations adding to the powder coating on Lower Skye Burst

Ongoing snow making operations adding to the powder coating on Lower Skye Burst 

For those of us lucky enough to live in Killington, and those fortunate enough to be visiting the area, the last 2 days on the slopes of Killington have been among the best in years.

Unquestionably, ski conditions at Killington are great. The early week slime storm, the subsequent firming up with cool temperatures, followed ny 6-8 inches of fine powder have made it a wonderful time to be in the area. While not "Epic", as there was not quite enought powder yesterday to develop a full float on the skis, it was very very good.

Beginning our journey around the mountain, yesterdays powder was packed down overnight by Killington's grooming fleet. At Bear Mountain, grooming operations appeared to have taken place on the majority of the terrain. Outer Limits was groomed abour 4 cats wide. Surfaces were firm with no ice. There was no difficulty in planting an edge to execute turns along the entire trail.

Right of OL, Wildfire was skiing excellent from top to bottom. Upper Wildfire was wonderfully soft packed powder. Lower Wildfire was slightly firmer, due to additional skier and rider traffic funnelling from Bear Claw.

Under the Sky Peak Quad on Skyburst saw more of the same. Residual powder was found along lines against the trees on the right and left sides of the trail. Snow making operations using tower mountain guns was taking place on lower Skye Burst. Soft, fine snow was being produced as the temperatures this morning on the mountain were in the single digits.

Cruise Control, Needles Eye, and Dream Maker were all in great shape. We did multiple laps on the Needles Eye quad this morning, interspersed with a warm up ride on the Skyeship. The quad was fairly warm as there was bright sunshine, and relatively little wind.

Ending today we turned our attention to Bittersweet, Skyelark, and Superstar. Superstar was as good as it gets when it's turned into a groomed cruiser. Snow making was taking place on Skyelark as the resort continues to build up terrain for a solid spring skiing season. Bittersweet was ok. Upper Bitter was soft. You could rip carving turns from side to side as there were relatively few people on the mountain this morning. Lower Bitter lived up to the Bitter name. A 10-20 MPH upslope wind was blasting the trail. Combined with temperatures in the low single digits, it basically froze anyone skiing it. We had planned on taking a final run down Superstar.... but the wind on Bitter sealed the deal as we headed to a warm K1 base lodge.

Opportunity did not bring us to the Basin side of the mountain this morning. With the cold temperatures overall, we decided to stay on the Bear Mountain / Skye Peak side of the resort to take advantage of the winter sunshine. Yesterday however was a different story. In the powder we did multiple runs on the underutilized terrain of Snowdon. At 11:30 in the morning on Thursday we were still getting first runs down Vagabond and North Star. We looked lovingly at the un-touched terrain of Great Bear, but we respected the "Trail Closed" rope that was across the trail. I am sure that they were all skiing and riding great today as well.

Killington is all set up for a great weekend of skiing and riding. And with more snow in the forecast, it looks like the season is settling in to be long and strong.

Where ever you may be, get out and enjoy the winter season. And remember...Let It Snow!

Upper Dream Maker at Killington resplendent in sun and snow

Upper Dream Maker at Killington resplendent in sun and snow 

A friend of mine sent me the title of todays blog in a text message this morning.

Several items to sooth the soul....

Skiing at Killington is fantastic. We have had 2 weeks of constant snow. We have alternated between base building slime storms, light fluffy powder, and a near constant "snizzle". All of which has been converted by the resort into some of the best skiing and riding conditions in years... (well at least 2 years..)

The inn is doing quite well.... On the lodging side of the business, weekends are very strong. We are seeing some softness early in the week (ignoring the upcoming Valentines and Presidents weeks). But, we were also expecting that due to a hangover from last season. We currently have a few rooms available for late February. Early bookings for March are coming in strong. If you plan on coming to visit us, you should book sooner rather than later so you don't get skunked out of a room at the inn.

Our restaurant is just killing it... Chef Colin and sous chef Max are putting out the best food on the mountain bar none.... Merisa is rocking the bar. Our Vermont product program with selected Vermont beers and distilled spirits has been warmly received by our guests.

So why no blogs....

Quite frankly, I feel like we have begun living in an alternative universe. If you have seen Amazon Prime's interpretation of the Phillip K Dick novel "The Man in the High Castle", you might understand what I mean.

I hinted at my feelings in a blog on January 12th. Out of respect for the office of the Presidency of the United States, I am choosing to hold my words to myself. For now, if you visit with us at our bar, we can have a lively conversation.

But I leave you with one last thought.... What did ordinary Germans do in 1933?

In 1933 a new German government was installed, even though a majority of Germans did not vote it into office. The history of ordinary German people seems all but forgotten as they were overcome by the events of the day that lead 6 years later to the start of World War 2 and the attendant horrors of the holocaust. In our time, the Constitution of the United States has checks and balances built into it which should keep a a president with dictatorial tendencies under control. Will It? Did ordinary Germans in 1933 think the same about the Weimar Constitution that governed them. Did they even notice the "Enabling Act" of 1933 which gave their Chancellor the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag, effectively leading to a global tradegy?

Without impuning anyones character, we tell ourselves that our time is different; that our laws are different; clearly the players are different. We believe that the character of our nation is different. But is it???

Where ever you may be, get out and enjoy the winter season. And remember...Let It Snow!

Killington Peak bathed in sunshine

Killington Peak bathed in sunshine 

It sure looked nice this morning when we headed out the door to ski. The sun was out. The temperatures were in the low 20's. A light dusting of snow painted a patina of white on the frozen surfaces. Optimisim run rampant.

Mother Nature had other plans.

Arriving at the mountain, groomers were still out trying to work their magic on Bear Mountain. A wierd little "Tidy Bowl" had developed on the mountain side of the K1 Base lodge. From best we could tell it was some left over blue snow marking compound mixed in with some of the run-off from Cascade from this weeks weather. It was an interesting sight. Never matter... off to the K1 Gondola we skated.

Our first several runs were in the North Ridge Area. Rime and Reason were well covered. Grooming operations left them covered in frozen corduroy. Plenty of stuff to turn on, but the foot massage was set to high. Great Northern was slightly softer as we did a left hook back to the North Ridge Triple. East Fall would have skied better on the second run if we had done one instead of running out to Superstar. East Fall was set up perfectly flat. If one follwed th sage advice of an old friend ("Point em down hill you chicken s@!t") then East Fall would have been nothing but a fast cruiser. But instinct said to turn to check speed, so it took some care to keep skiing versus skiding.

Lifting to the top of Superstar, we headed off the back to Bear Mountain. Bear Claw was a crusty mess of death cookies. Lower Wildfire was flat and fast with a few trail features that required evasive action. Upper Skyburst was a combination of flat and fast and death cookies. Take you pick. Lower Skyburst was in the process od developing a beach sand consistency, the result of groomers continiously working the surface.

The Needles Eye quad required multiple do-overs. Cruise Control on skiers left was quite passable. Midde Cruise Control was covered with ejecta which the tails of people skis were launching airborne. Needles Eye was totally flat and fast. It was your basic ice corduroy rocket ride. Bittersweet was a study on contrasts. Upper Bittersweet was both horrible and great. The first time through we skied in a crowd. With a mixed up surface, it was not fun. The second time around, everyone had disapeared. Upper Bitter skied quiet nicely with no one on it. Lower Bittersweet was another story, which once again included copious death cookies.

The outlook for the weekend should improve. With temperatures falling and surfaces firming up, the resort's grooming fleet will be out in full tonight working the mountain. In addition, snow making operations were resuming across the mountain today as temperatures fell. it will be chilly this weekend, so dress accordingly. But above all... have fun on the mountain.

Where ever you may be, get out and enjoy the winter season. And remember...Let It Snow!

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