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.