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Birch Ridge Inn
Snow Stake Picture
of the Day
Birch Ridge Inn Snowstake
Thursday, January 11, 2018
14 3/8 inches. Warm. First day of melting in weeks.

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Killington Snow Report for Friday, January 19, 2018

Killington Conditions:
Open Trails: 102
Open Lifts: 20
Groomed Trails: 73
Service Conditions: Machine Groomed/Packed Powder
Average Base Depth: 15" - 24"
24 Hour Snowfall: 0.5"
48 Hour Snowfall: 7.0"
7 Day Snowfall: 9.0"

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Snowmaking on Superstar with Killington Peak in the background.

Snowmaking on Superstar with Killington Peak in the background. 

Kudo's to the Killington Resort for a fabulous ski day at the resort.

It is hard to believe that it was only 2 weeks ago when the snow stake at the inn was at 21 inches. Much has changed since then.

Today was a glorious day to ski at Killington. Bright blue sky, cool temperatures in the low teens, no wind, snow making guns laying down velvety powder everywhere. It is hard to believe that we are going into the first weekend of March.

Conditions on the mountain were mixed. Base conditions were firm as the surfaces have frozen after melting in the warm temperatures of the last 2 weeks. Some areas were beach sandy, as the base has been ground up repeatedly with the freeze thaw cycles. Some areas were sweet and carvable. Machine groomed packed powder in cold areas of the mountain has held up quite well. Other surfaces were pure velvet where snow making operations are taking place. Bumps are generally missing, as the warm weather has effectively flattened all surfaces. Natural terrain in pretty much done, but at Killington has over 70% of the mountain covered with snow making, one hardly notices. The woods are at your own risk at best. You better know where you are and have some local knowledge, or it will be a long walk out. However, even with the exceptions, today was just a beautiful day to be skiing Killington.

Lower Skyburst
Lone snow gun on Lower Skyburst

We started the day as we often do at Bear Mountain. Upper Skyburst was flat and fast. The middle was knarly with chunks and death cookies. Lower Skyburst was groomed but soft with beach sand developing.

Blue sky over Wildfire.
Blue sky over Wildfire

The Stash to lower Wildfire was nice. Grooming in the Stash was firm with a few artifacts from the snow cats. Wildfire did not suffer the chuncks of Sky Burst but the bottom was once again getting granular.

Mary and Ruts on the Sky Peak Quad.  A full armor day.
Mary and Ruts on the Sky Peak Quad. A full armor day.

Sky Peak Quad in bright sunshine
Sky Peak Quad in bright sunshine

While it was a full on armor day, as temperatures were in the low teens in the morning, the bright sunshine and the lack of any significant wind made riding the lifts quite tolerable. Not spring with the jacket open tolerable, but there was no shivering or complaining going on either.

Needles Eye Quad
Needles Eye Quad

After Bear Mountain we traversed to Cruise Control and Needles Eye. Cruise was groomed corduroy with a few ice patches mid slope. Needles was flat and fast. Skiers left was more granular due to deeper snow making coverage. Skiers right was getting thin. Don't try to ski under the Skyship unless you plan on a new pair of skis in the near future.

Lower Bittersweet
Lower Bittersweet.

Lower Superstar
Lower Superstar.

Bittersweet was nicely covered top to bottom. While the surfaces were granular, they were very pliable for carving. Skylark from the top was nice. Lower Skylark was your basic skating rink. Our skis are well maintained so setting an edge was not a problem. But Lower Skylark would present some problems for those who are not prepared. Superstar was beautiful. On middle Superstar you had your choice of sweeping whales on skiers left, or beautiful velvet on skiers right. Lower Superstar was getting the full 21 gun salute. It was soft and creamy. Really nice.

Mouse Trap getting the full treatment.
Mouse Trap getting the full treatment.

Snow guns were also delivering the goods on Snowdon. Great Northern and Mouse Trap were getting the treatment during the day. North Ridge saw snowmaking earlier in the week, and maybe last night. There will be plenty of intermediate and beginner terrain available for the weekend.

Rime and Reason
Rime and Reason

East Fall
East Fall

Upper Rime
Upper Rime

Rime and Reason skied very well. East Fall was soft with some granular developing. Double Dipper was getting narrow, especially at the merge point with Down Draft. Down Draft was closed. Cascades also seemed closed as no one was skiing it, but we did not venture over to it to find out. Cascade is scheduled for snow making later this evening according to the Mountain Operations report.

All in all it was just a beautiful day to ski. Saturday also looks good, although it will be colder with some wind. But the mountain is in very good shape if you want to partake.

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

Snowshed under the gun at Killington

Snowshed under the gun at Killington 

After a couple of wild weather days, cold winter air has returned to Killington. And the resort has answered in kind.

Early this morning, the Killington resort refired their snow making system.

Killington's condition report highlights the following: "With Wednesday's warm weather in the rear view mirror, Killington snowmakers are excited for a weekend of frosty temperatures. In order to take maximum advantage of the cold forecast, Mountain Ops is bringing in several additional compressors and ramping up snowmaking capacity to a level never before seen in March. By mid-morning, we should have as many as 35 guns running on the lowest section of Great Eastern, and more guns on Superstar, Skyelark, Snowshed, Highline, and Lower Chute. Weekend forecast: 100% chance of a Beast Blizzard in Killington."

The resort is clearly making a play for the spring season. I can not think of a time over the last 20 years where the resort has added extra compressors so late in the snow making season. It says one thing.... the resort team is serious in their battle to provide great spring skiing and riding to visitors to Killington. Killington is not giving up on winter yet... neither should you. Plan your spring visit to Killington with that in mind.

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

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!

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