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Bumps And Stoke Build For The Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge

A Local’s Perspective On The Annual Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge

Bumps and stoke build for the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge
As many ski resorts get ready to close for the season, here at Killington it feels like the party is just getting started as diehards and amateurs alike prepare for the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge. In the days prior, some are seeking bumps to practice on, others are ironing out their tailgating plans, but whether planning to take part or spectate, anticipation for the weekend is high.

The moguls are on the iconic Outer Limits, that get deeper as the days 150 competitors ski them, nestled between two large jumps and surrounded by the many who come in costume, ready to cheer and tailgate. Competitors ski a qualifying run where the top 16 women and 32 men progress to finals, a sudden-death dual format with the first person through the finish line progressing into the next round, all with big airs and underdog upsets. Killington is still a bastion of mogul skiing, a community who loves to celebrate a competition where anything can happen. To such an extent that when the mountain decided they wouldn’t host the rowdy event anymore in 2012, bumpers hosted it anyway and titled it the “Denial Cup.” The next year the event returned, and recently the mountain acknowledged those winners by engraving their names onto the trophy that sits in Bear Mountain’s base lodge.

Even as skis have grown fatter, there are still quite a few skiers here who haven’t lost their skinny skis and look forward to the event all year long. I am one of them, and can already feel the competition day nerves, the nervousness of practicing mogul jumps that send you straight up into the air, the excitement at the starting gate, the rainbow colored crowd in vintage one pieces, all of it. A friend recently told me that I just needed to “pretend that no one was there” when competing this weekend (I agree!), but it’s an admittedly hard task to practice when the crowd is audacious, and the skiers around you are some of the best mogul skiers anywhere. Anyone can compete though, and competitors uphold that good sportsmanship, helping to support and cheer on others while waiting for their turn in the starting gate.

It’s hard to think of another event that is more of Killington and espouses just how much we love skiing here. Whether you are tuning your skis, seeking out the seeded bumps on Wildfire, or picking out your best eye-turning outerwear, prep work for Saturday continues for many. If you are considering attending your first Bear Mountain Challenge, whether to ski it or to see it, you won’t be disappointed and you will really know that you arrived at the Big K, where mogul skiing is still very much alive, well, and celebrated.

Bumps and stoke build for the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge
— Tricia Tirella, Basin Sports ambassador, Killington local and bump enthusiast  

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Killington Snow Report January 17, 2019 *Winter Storm Warning*

Killington Snow Report, Pre-Dumpage Summary

17° / 6°

 

January 18 Update From Braatencast: Scroll down for older models.

 

Significant Snowstorm To Bury the Green Mountains This Weekend

The models continue to point to a significant snowstorm the Greens and while there are still some small details to work out, the consistency of the model guidance at this point is hard to ignore. It’s actually very impressive that this was modeled over a week out and despite some slight shifts here or there, it has largely held serve. If this works out in the end, it very well may be one of the best modeled storms I’ve seen in years.

This storm will be fast moving and quick hitting, with snow breaking out across VT late Saturday evening and becoming moderate to heavy snow overnight through Sunday morning. The models are speeding up the storm system, so most of the accumulating snow could be out of the area by late Sunday afternoon. Overall, we are looking at a quick 12-18 hour punch of snow that should drop a general 10-18″ of dry snow across the state with some local variance due to banding. Chances for mixing with sleet in S.VT seem to be quite diminished.

Normally with a storm having such sort residence time in our area wouldn’t have me forecasting amounts this high, but rich Gulf of Mexico moisture is going to have a battle royale over New England with a very cold arctic air mass. As the storm system tracks from the Ohio Valley to the southern New England coastline, strong southerly winds aloft will lift this rich moist air up and over the cold dome. This should produce a fluffy snow and for this forecast I went with snow ratios around 13-15:1.

Right now the southern stream energy is crossing the western United States and is becoming well sampled by the weather models. The remaining questions surround Arctic stream energy in northern Canada that still is in a data-sparse region. Certain models like the NAM have been tracking the storm further south over the past few runs because it is flatter with this energy, not letting it dig south like the ECMWF. The flatter that northern wave is, the less phasing and downstream pumping of heights, causing a flatter solution off the East Coast. This piece will need to be monitored.

While that arctic energy could cause a slightly further south track, I also think there could be a near-term tick north with the track in the final 12-24 hours once the Gulf of Mexico opens up for business. Often times with these, strong convection down south will release copious amounts of latent heat into the atmosphere and that can serve to pump the ridge a bit more ahead of the system. The models have a hard time handling that convection and that can often result in a brief near-term tick north with the surface low in a moist dynamic situation like this.

Overall, I’m going with a blend that would include 0.6″ (far NW VT) to 1.5″ (SVT) across the state though most locations will likely fall into a 0.8-1.3″ water range. Applying 13-15:1 ratios to that yields the shown snowfall. Now, this water may be a bit less than some model guidance but I still think with an open wave at the mid-levels preventing good easterly moisture transport that QPF amounts could end up slightly below current model values.

The other caveat will be mid-level banding as the models are showing good 700-850mb frontogenic forcing between the warm air coming in from the south and arctic air to the north. That battle zone looks to run from the southern Adirondacks through Killington area and into central NH/ME. That’s where we could see localized rates of 2-3″/hr and someone could rack up a lot of snow in a short period of time as that stronger banding punches the snow growth zone. Very fluffy snow can stack awfully quickly in those situations. I may need to amend the location of that band as the near term guidance continues to fine tune the location. Some models, like the ECMWF lift that band further north into C/N VT but climatology tells me it often sets up further south in VT in lows that track along the southern New England coastline.

After snow tapers off later Sunday afternoon, we’ll see off and on snow showers in the mountains into Monday with maybe another inch or two of accumulation but you won’t be able to find it. The winds are going to get fierce behind this storm on Sunday night and Monday with brutally cold temperatures. Mountain temperatures on Monday won’t sniff zero degrees and serious wind chills will be present in the upper mountain elevations. Dress warmly if planning to enjoy the powder and exercise patience with Lift Ops teams as those winds on Monday will likely be problematic.

Enjoy the storm and I’ll update as I feel is necessary.

Killington Snow Report

As I left for work this morning my thermometer read 4 Degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, that’s cold- but after last seasons -20 everything feels warm. That being said, everyone has been chattering about this weekends storm. Rental reservations are up, hotel bookings are up, and the local’s are brushing the dust off their powder sticks. But what is really supposed to happen this weekend? Like most weather predictions it’s incredibly hard to predict storms like this. The fact of the matter is that we’ll see some snow. It could be 8″ it could be 18″ but it will be some sort of a powder day. So what are should we expect? I again reference Scott Braaten, Stowe Snow Report, and Weather Pattern Geek. Scott’s Braatencast on Facebook is a great reference for winter weather predictions.

An active week of weather is on tap for the Green Mountains, with the hype already building for a big MLK Weekend snowstorm. Prior to that we have a few smaller systems to contend with and a near term concern for some light icing in the mountains of central and northern Vermont tonight. I’ll break this post down by event, with discussion regarding the potential storm on Sunday saved for the end.

Today saw some light freezing drizzle across the northern Greens due to moisture trapped under an inversion just above the surface. The thick stratus deck produced a mix of light snow and light freezing drizzle, but from all accounts there was no impact to the snow surfaces except visibility was an issue this morning from goggles freezing up from the mist. We should see those conditions persist tonight and tomorrow morning in the high terrain until an arctic cold front moves through tomorrow afternoon. A light glaze is possible overnight inside the clouds that will reside above 2,000ft.

Tomorrow afternoon a decent arctic cold front will swing through towards the end of the ski day. With good surface convergence along the front coupled with upslope flow into the northern Green Mountains, a quick 1-3″ of snow is expected in snow squalls from Sugarbush to Jay Peak. Isolated amounts up to 4″ are possible in the highest elevations where any squall may linger. Winds will increase behind the front and it will get very cold for Thursday. In fact, Thursday will be the day to wear everything you’ve got as temperatures will stay below zero above 3,000ft with wind chills approaching -40F at times.

Another weak storm system will approach us Thursday night, bringing with it southwest flow aloft and warmer temperatures for Friday. The energy aloft driving this system is quite weak and the system will be moisture starved, but a fluffy 1-4″ snowfall looks like a decent bet on Friday morning across most of Vermont. Any remaining light snow showers should taper off by early Friday afternoon, followed by another shot of arctic air to start the weekend.

Saturday of MLK Weekend will see increasing clouds and cold temperatures, with highs in the single digits in the base areas and below zero at the summits. If heading to the mountains for the holiday weekend, dress warmly. It is late in the day on Saturday when things start to get interesting.

Now, I’ve seen a lot of mentions of possible accumulations already for the weekend but it is still 5 days away. That is an eternity in weather model land. If some models are even struggling with Friday’s weak storm system, how are they going to know what Sunday will do?

In fact, most of the players on the field responsible for the potential storm are still located over data sparse regions of the Pacific Ocean and northern Canada. The models right now are making a lot of “assumptions” based on satellite data. In my opinion it won’t be until Thursday when we really get a good feel for what will happen. By that point the energy involved will finally be adequately sampled and the models will have a much clearer picture of how this will shake out.

When talking about data sampling, it means that by that point the weather systems responsible for our storm will now be over portions of North America (such as the United States), passing over airports, radar sites, weather balloon launches, and even getting passed through by hundreds of commercial aircraft. All of those things collect data which then is fed into the supercomputers that the weather models run off of. The more complete a picture the models can get of the atmosphere at initialization, the more accurate the outcome will be. Right now the pieces of the puzzle are still over data sparse regions, so the models are making assumptions on variables that can have huge downstream effects.

Basically the bottom line is, there is great uncertainty in the sensible weather outcomes at this lead time. What is known is that a good sized storm is likely to form in the lee side of the Rockies, but where it tracks is still very much up for grabs.

The attached graphic includes the three possible tracks that seem most likely at this time. The furthest south track would include heavier snows in the Catskills, Berkshires and southern New England, with lighter snows north. The currently modeled track wants to cut the low pressure system near the south coast of New England or even inland a bit through southern New England. That would produce heavy snows for the Green Mountains and would likely also include at least some mixed precipitation into southern VT. The furthest north track would produce a snow to sleet/freezing rain type event across most of Vermont as warm air aloft punches northward.

My gut instinct is telling me most of Vermont will remain all snow and it will only be a question of how much. Very cold arctic air pressing down from the northwest should be enough to force this storm to track east and not over us. I’ve seen some comments tossing around very large amounts of snow, but this system looks to stay progressive as an open wave in the mid-levels. That would make widespread amounts of heavy accumulations (say 10-12″+) quite difficult to achieve in a fast moving system. The system will have copious amounts of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, but without a closed mid-level center moving underneath us, we wouldn’t get that easterly flow of moisture advection off the Atlantic. That should serve to keep expectations in check until this becomes clearer in a few days.

Like I stated earlier, I think by later Thursday we should have a pretty good idea of how this will pan out but there are still plenty of options on the table. In the end, snow seems more likely than not at this point in time and I’m cautiously optimistic that we can finally get a snow event to coincide with a holiday weekend on the slopes.

Written January 15, 2019

 

January 16th Update (Scott Braaten):

Decent shift south last night in the model Ensembles, better news for SVT/Berkshires/SNH. Still great snows up here though. The pressing cold from the NW is trying to shunt it south and east. It’ll be a battle…

 

If you don’t make it up for MLK Weekend, long term forecasts look good too. So the snow will be sticking around for a while. Just remember to layer up and be safe!

This year we’ve partnered with the Karr Group (Foundry, Pickle Barrel, Jax, Charity’s) as well as Lookout Tavern. Special thanks to both of them for supporting our business and our snow reports.


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Killington Snow Report January 9, 2019 *Powder Alert*

Killington Snow Report- Powdah Alert In Ktown

Overcast with Snow Flurries H 29° / 21°

 

Killington Snow Report

 

After a rather lackluster December it finally snowed here in Killington, Vermont and today’s Killington Snow Report shows it. Now right before I sat down to write this snow report, Killington Resort stated that they received 10″ of fairly optimistic snow. Having myself just been on the hill I’d say that yeah, that’s a rather optimistic total. It felt like more than 5″(as they reported this morning) but definitely less than 10″ based off the untracked places I ventured into. I started over on Superstar, my usual haunt just to see what the steeper slopes held. It seemed that grooming was done early yesterday on this pod and the base was firmer than anticipated. Light fluffy mashed potatoes, hiding layers of crunchy quesadilla. It seemed the steeper angle got skied off rather early so I decided to head over to Snowdon and see what the lower angle slopes had to offer. It’s funny for me to hear myself say, yeah let’s go lap Snowdown. Because only a year ago it seemed much less appealing. So I skated over to the 6-Pack and enjoyed the 4-minute lift ride up. Even on a delicious midweek powder day like today, there was no line at the 6-pack and I have yet to ride the lift with six people on it. So much for those nay, sayers who questioned the deterioration of terrain off my now newly favorite lift.

From here I pretty much spent the rest of my time skiing off Snowdown. By far the best snow I could find was off this chair and it kept filling back in after each run. Every run got better and better and it was hard for me to ski back to my car, it really was quite good. I opted to not ski the woods but our Snowboard Guru, Clarke did and when I caught up with him on the lift he said, “if you knew where to go the trees were quite good and that a lot of snow had moved in there from the wind.” We needed this, and after a depressing December it was great to ski some New England Powdah! I will say to those powder junkies arriving this weekend to dress warm. Undoubtingly the snow will be quite excellent this weekend but it will also be quite cold. We have heated mitts, gloves and all the accessories in between to keep you toasty this weekend. If you’re on the fence, go- trust us. It might be cold, but it will well be worth it. Hopefully, this snowy momentum continues through the weekend and into the rest of the month. Fingers Crossed.

 

Killington Snow Report-2-2

 

 

Killington Snow Report-3

This year we’ve partnered with the Karr Group as well as Lookout Tavern. Special thanks to both of them for supporting our business and our snow reports.


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Killington Snow Report January 4, 2019

Killington Snow Report Brings Snow, Sun and Groomers

Sunny, H 38° / 25°

 

Killington Snow Report
Jean’s thumb will be present throughout all our photos today.

Killington Snow Report, Before we headed out for turns we decided to try out the new Hotronic Light Compression Sock. Carol, one of our talented bootfitters helped us with that. Truthfully I have never used a sock that added a little compression while filling in small nooks in the boot.  It also aided in the entry and exit making my life easier. Moreover, the sock actually made the boot warmer and more comfortable; truly amazing. The Skiing was great for what we’ve been given. Yesterday we received around 4 inches of snow which helped fill in the “should I really be skiing this” areas. Local Ktown resident Merisa Sherman even found some runs in the woods, albeit they were crunchy. But besides that the groomers were great. We stuck to Skye Peak to get those early morning rays. That early morning sun made this side of the mountain ski phenomenally. A few inches here and there has made for great packed powder and granulated groomers.  This weekend looks to be good with moderate temps coupled with quite a bit of open terrain.

See you on the hill.

 

 


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Killington Snow Report Jan 2, 2019 Happy New Year

Killington Snow Report Brings Bluebird Skys And Cool Temps

Calm Sunny Skies, 24° / 16°

 

Killington Snow Report

 

Today’s Killington Snow Report brought firm conditions, and if you’ve been paying attention to the weather up here well you have to be optimistic about the future. Today, we took out stiffer carving skis to navigate the groomers and headed out for morning turns. Things started out on the new 6-Pack Bubble for a trio of ripper runs. This pocket on the mountain had some of the best grooming of the day. We then headed over to Skyburst and Wildfire which were also both excellent. Fast and firm but guns were blasting in Ktown and over at Pico, and if anyone can recover from some less than ideal weather over the holiday week, it’s the Beast. So fear not, snow is on the way for tomorrow and we should rebound quickly.

 

I’ve also included the weather data below because I find it interesting. Scott Braaten is a Snow Reporter over in Stowe and weather geek. He contributes considerably to the Facebook Group Ski + Ride VT and The Braatencast. Below is a graph showing the snow stake in December 2007. Scott explains the details in the quote below but if you remember 2007 brought the V-Day storm which was one of the deepest powder days I’ve ever experience in the east. Enjoy!

 

Killington Snow Report
Data and Quote Below provided by Scott Braaten. Scott is the Snow Report for Stowe Mountain and a major contributor to the Ski Ride VT Facebook Group. Graph and Quote describe Mount Mansfield Snowpack.

Here’s one of the biggest thaws I can remember and it looked like it all worked out. After a record December in 2007 where the mountains saw over 100″ of snowfall, it was in the 50s and 60s with rain for a few days to start January.

The Stake lost 2 feet of depth in 48-72 hours. It was the end of the world at the time. But in the end that season is still one of the best winters I can remember on the mountain.

These types of events happen quite frequently in the records from late December through mid-January. Even great winters have been shown to have large thaws.


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Killington Snow Report December 7th- Mid Winter Powder!

Mid-Winter Like Skiing On Fresh Snow and Sun

Hi 23, Lo 0 (Fresh Snow, Blustery Sun)

Killington Snow Report

Killington Snow Report, With 5″ new inches on top of feet the previous week, The Beast is skiing mid winter.  Needles eye was perfect today as was Highline and Superstar. But the weekend will be the highlight of this momentous week. With the Snowdon Sex·tu·ple opening tomorrow as well as Bear Mountain the endless winter keeps on rolling. With so many trails and lifts opening, we expect the lift line traffic to thin out and for there to be more room for everyone. If you’re intrigued (or questioning) the update to the Snowdon Quad (now 6-pack) they will be having their christening ceremony in the morning. If you’re into toasting with Champagne at 9 AM maybe we’ll see you there- we’re just excited to enjoy a 4-minute lift ride and many more laps on Snowdon Mountain in our future.
We will hold our Season Tuner Demo Day on the 16th, join us to test the newest skis 2019. 
Killington Snow Report


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Killington Snow Report: November Tree Skiing November 27, 2018

Lot’s of “unamed” tree skiing/ Killington Snow Report

Weather: Cold Enough For Snow, Lots Of Snow. 10″ at Opening bell, but felt like 16.

 

Killington Snow Report
Name The Trees!?

 

Well, today’s Killington Snow Report started with a very interesting drive into work today. Route 100 North was shut down (and still is) due to downed trees from this very heavy and thick snow we received overnight. The valley saw periods of R-like accumulation making for tough conditions on the roads. But Killington saw snow and lots of it. The mountain is saying 10″ fell but the locals are saying 16″. It’s thick that’s for sure but this thick snow is just what we need to build a base and keep the momentum going for months. And yes, we did get into the woods. Who would have thought that we’d be skiing bottomless tree runs in November! If the endless reports of substantial powder hasn’t made you contemplate calling sick to work for tomorrow and Friday well, the Snowdon Sixpack is expected to open by the weekend.  So here’s to powder, bubble chairs, and serious fun!

News From The Shop:

  • Want wider skis or snowboards for the weekend? Call us and reserve a pair! We will book up on the wider sticks and decks.
  • Lot’s of holiday savings on apparel and clothing in store
  • On-the spot mounts and tuning.
    • So long as we’re not seriously busy we can accomodate most on the spot service work.

P.S: Don’t Forget to Swing By Lookout Tavern For Free Happy Hour Wings and Daily Discounts on Menu Items.

Killington Snow Report
Access Road First Thing
Killington Snow Report
Bottomless Woods.

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Killington Snow Report November 23: Local Perspective

Post-Thanksgiving Burn Off

Weather: Hi 22, Lo 11 (Though -6 was reported this morning off River Road)

Words and Photo By Basin Ambassador Rob K

 

 

Wow! What a great day on the slopes for today’s Killington Snow Report. We were able to get some exciting turns in to work off that Thanksgiving dinner and stoke the adrenaline for tonight’s fireworks to kick off Women’s World Cup Race weekend! The 19 inches of fresh snow the last eight days combined with Killington’s incredible snowmaking since mid-October made for a fantastic snow surface.

It started at a cold 6 degrees but with golden sunshine, gators and a ride in the new K-1 cabins every third or fourth run it was very enjoyable. By late morning temps reach mid-teens. The snow-capped trees made the mountain resemble January instead of November.

Get here ASAP to enjoy terrific conditions and cheer the women racers on Superstar. Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

 

Don’t Forget:

  • To ask us about our rental discount program with Lookout Tavern
  • To Shop Our Black Friday Sale (Ends November 26th)
  • To Watch World Cup!

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Killington Snow Report November 21st

Killington Snow Report: Mid Season Conditions in November!

Weather: Hi 25, Lo -1

 

Killington Snow Report

 

Basin Sports GM, Jean got out with his family to make some turns today and reported back about on-mountain Killington Snow Report conditions. It’s pretty unreal how much coverage we have this early in the season. The Canyon quad is spinning offering access to the steeper terrain in Killington. In particular trails like Cascade and Downdraft were scary good- especially when skiing on a pair of Atomic Vantage 86Ti’s. The snowpack was good (though most skiing recently has been good, ha!) and was a mix of packed powder and fresh snow. It feels like it’s been snowing non-stop for the past few days and the mountain is showing it. Plus, if you haven’t heard the new Snowdon Bubble chair is expected to open before December! Whahooo!
Now, the best way to enjoy Thanksgiving and this holiday week, in general, is to one, eat lots of food, enjoy the company of your family and attend the Beast World Cup this weekend. We’re expecting a generous turnout, lots of great skiing and many sore throats and “headaches” the following day.

Notes From The Shop:

  • Lookout, Vermont Adaptive, 14th Star Brewing Fundraiser (Learn More)
  • Black Friday Sale: Select Brands 20% Off till November 26th
    • Arc’teryx
    • Helly Hansen
    • Phenix
  • Ray Returns to the boot bench Mid December
    • We have four other licensed bootfitters available for fittings!

 

Killington Snow Report


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