Wow, what a great day. The sun was out, the snow softened up a bit, fingers, toes, and noses stayed warm. I wish most days were like today. I say most because I’d still want some days to be stormy and puking snow, but most days could be like today. Everywhere I went it was pretty good. Highline was exceptionally nice, but Superstar and Skyeburst were also notably good. Especially lower Skyeburst where the sun had softened it a little more. And upper Bunny, along the fence from the race yesterday, was creeeaaamy. It looks like we might be in for a great week with lots of sunny skies and moderate, though still wintery, temperatures. We deserve it, don’t you think?
Killington Snow Report, Yeah sun. The sun makes everything better. It’s like bacon in that respect. Or carbon fiber, which also seems to make everything better. I’m a vegetarian, so I’d probably be better off eating carbon fiber than bacon, but I know a lot of people like it. Anyway, yeah, the sun was out in full force today making it feel warmer than it was and improving visibility radically. It elevates the mood. Almost every open trail was groomed today so that was nice too, providing a smooth surface, lightly dusted with granular material. While I was up there it appeared that snowmaking was mainly concentrated on Snowshed but there were snowmakers out and about, getting ready to resurface a bunch of areas. I made a few runs with Dan and he said the Stash was riding pretty well. I took his word for it. The weather looks like it will remain in winter mode for a while now, thanks to orders from that woodchuck in Pennsylvania. Thanks Phil. Other than that, it looks like business as usual for the weekend. Except there is some big sporting event going on this weekend, one of those fringe sports, I forget which one. But you know what that means? Slopes are mine on Sunday afternoon. Unless you want to join me.
Killington Snow Report, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Killington is the place to be when winter flakes out. I do not know of any other resort that has the snowmaking and grooming wherewithal to turn things around Like The Beast. Actually, I’ve heard Hunter does a good job too but it’s a long drive in the wrong direction for me. The snow guns at Killington were pumping it out Beast Style today. Great turns could be had on Skyelark and Bittersweet under those guns but you know what impressed me the most? Mouse Trap. Mouse Trap is in the best shape it’s been in all season, even the notoriously thin skier’s-right side. That crazy robot-looking yellow snow gun just buried that trail. Which is a nice switch from what it usually does, covering the chairs on the Snowdon quad. That was a little good natured dig. I love the snowmakers, I really do. The mountain is in great shape, considering what it has been through. It even looks like winter up there, as opposed to what my house looks like, where I’m starting to worry about having to mow the grass. Incidentally, if you wanted to know what the trails would be like au naturel, you could take a ride down Vagabond. I thought I had hit the jackpot this morning when I got there. It was lightly bumped and covered with about an inch of light fresh snow. Only one or two tracks marred the perfect surface. I thought, wow, I’m surprised this is open but it looks great. It wasn’t. Frozen mogul crust with a light dusting of nothing. Great skiing does not happen by accident that often around here.
Killington Snow Report, Hey look it’s a snow report on Saturday! As you may know, I don’t usually post on Saturday because I don’t usually ski on Saturday, and I didn’t ski today either. However, given the dubious weather of the last few days, I thought it might be interesting to speak with someone who did ski today. It was such a nice day to be outside doing anything that I had a feeling it might have been a particularly nice day to be out skiing. I was right.
My source indicated that he was somewhat skeptical, knowing as he did that rain and mixed precipitation had fallen for the better part of the preceding 24 hours. A cautious first run down East Fall was… Good. Cascade was also good, so good in fact that it necessitated several more runs. My incredulous source next scooted over to Superstar. Surely Superstar would be more characteristic of the expected conditions. Nope, Superstar was great too. Firm, sure, but clad in a pleasantly carveable (I know, that’s not really a word) substance left behind by the strange weather. Furthermore, the nice surface held up and still hadn’t been skied off at 1:00. “How could it be good,” my source asked? “Don’t ask, it’s a gift,” I replied. Some questions just don’t need to be answered.
Greetings snow sports enthusiasts. Something pretty awesome happened today, I hope you had a chance to check it out. What happened was the sun was visible in the sky, with no clouds obscuring it. Consequently, you could see definition in the snow. Which was nice, I was starting to think the world had gone gray and nondescript. The air was warm too and it was just plain nice out. Other than that, the conditions were much the same as yesterday. Fast. My two favorite trails were Highline and Outer Limits. Highline has been under the guns for two days now, so that was an obvious choice, although today the lower part was getting a little wet, so the upper pitch was where the best turns could be found. Outer Limits was good in an unconventional sort of way. It had obviously been heavily groomed and was carpeted in deep, nearly bottomless in fact, sugar. Plus there were fist sized floaters of hard material. I know that doesn’t sound great, but it really was pretty nice. I think bottomless death cookies could be the new powder. Every once in a while one of the cookies would come up and whack you on the kneecap though, and that kinda hurt. Still, it was good fun to ski such a steep trail and have no concern with purchase.
What about tomorrow? Well, forecasters seem to be having trouble reaching a consensus again. Precipitation will happen, that seems certain. Personally, I wouldn’t be disappointed with any solid precipitation. In fact, my forecast is for 2-4 inches of cream cheese frosting and I’ll be out there first thing because I love cream cheese frosting. On carrot cake or on the slopes.
Killington Snow Report, By keeping my expectations low I lay the groundwork to be blown away by the conditions. Not that it happened today, I’m just saying, hypothetically. But seriously, I did have low expectations today and I was somewhat pleasantly surprised. We were facing one of those all too common thaw-freeze cycles today, where yesterday’s warm temperature and water hazards become today’s cooler temperature and impact resistant surface. These are the days when I’m glad I have my pass at Killington. I’ve seen what happens at other resorts under similar conditions and it’s not pretty. The Beast knows grooming. One look at the closed Superstar Headwall is all you need to see what the conditions could have been like, if the Beast had not been so diligent in grooming. For those of you who did not get a look at it, let’s just say it was pretty shiny. But that was not the case on most of the mountain where skillful grooming and snow making created a surface that, while definitely firm, was surprisingly receptive to edging. And fun. Superstar, excluding the aforementioned headwall, was quite nice. So were Bunny, Mouse Trap and Lower Chute on Snowdon. East Fall was a little chunky, covered with rattly balls of doom, and I never made it over to Cascade because the Canyon and Northridge chairs were not running today. I didn’t get over to Bear either but rumor has it that Dream Maker is under the guns right now, and so is High Line. Bottom line: better conditions than I expected today, and good prospects for even better conditions tomorrow after another cycle of grooming. To alliterate, The Beast bounces back.
Killington Snow Report, An incoming warm front made for comfortable temperatures and soft snow today. Visibility was variable but Kevin and I found Snowdon to be most enjoyable. We even poked around in some low-angle trees and no one got hurt. Or, I should say, no one got any more hurt. Kevin already has a bum shoulder but, as long as he doesn’t move his right arm too fast, he’s okay. It was nice that my extremely dull and neglected skis had plenty of purchase today and I could take photos with my gloves off indefinitely. Always looking at the bright side, right? So far there has been no precipitation but the weather man is talking smack. I’m hoping that if it does get wet the temp stays just high enough to give us one more day of soft snow. It’s going to set up eventually, I know that, but I’ll take one more day of comfortable mushiness, won’t you?
Killington Snow Report, Surprised is how I would describe my reaction to the conditions today. There were some genuinely good turns to be had out there today and Superstar was where the best of them could be found. The guns were piling up the snow on the lower two-thirds of Superstar and, by some serendipitous stroke of luck, they were oriented in such a way that they weren’t in your face. It was the perfect storm of machine-made skiing awesomeness. Bear had some good skiing too with a smattering of freshly blown snow covering much of the available terrain. You can probably expect this to be the case for the near future as the Beast is paying particular attention to grooming itself for national television. I’m referring, of course, to the Dew Tour. The Dew Tour is going on right now, as I write this, and will be going on through the weekend. Some of the world’s greatest slopestyle and superpipe athletes, both the snowboarding and skiing varieties, are here, in Killington for this highly sweetened and caffeinated event. I shot some photos over there today during slopestyle and superpipe practice sessions but somehow managed to completely miss the scheduled qualifying rounds. That’s the kind of timing I’m known for. You should all get over there and check out the fancy setup. They’re giving stuff away too.
Best of luck to all the competitors. Be careful out there, please.
Killington Snow Report, Today was a transition day. Transitioning from warm and soft to cold and highly resistant. You had to have seen that coming though, right? The upshot is that Superstar is on the receiving end of some heavy snowmaking artillery. As for the conditions, things were pretty firm and fast today, but consistently so at least. There appeared to be some technical difficulties getting lifts and trails open, so that was kind of limiting. The wind howled over night and was still quite strong this morning, which might have had an impact. Also the temperature has fallen about 30 degrees so far since it peaked last night, which might have caused some icing problems. I’m trying to remain philosophical about the weather. I’ve learned over the years that getting upset about the weather is the epitome of futility, so on days like today I take a few less runs and drink a few more cups of coffee. It’s not like you can complain, I mean we did get 18 inches of snow last week, right? What will tomorrow bring? If I can get over to Bear tomorrow I’m going to check out that Dew Tour thingy. I’ll take some photos and tell you all about it.