Friday, December 9, 2016

Killington, VT: 12/08/2016

I don’t do too many reports from Vermont, but I had the opportunity to ski mid-week at Killington yesterday. I’ve skied at Killington many times over the years, but for some unknown reason it always seemed to be in marginal conditions. This time, thanks to recent natural snowfall plus an expansion of Killington’s already massive snowmaking operations (dividends from last month’s World Cup event), I got to see the mountain at its early season best.

Killington, Thursday 12/09/2016.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

After meeting up with my partners, we toured around the mountain checking out conditions in the various open terrain pods. It’s impressive how much terrain is already open. Groomed trails were generally packed powder and coverage was excellent. A number of natural snow trails were left ungroomed, perfect for an early season mogul workout on the small bumps that were forming.

Wide open and uncrowded

Some afternoon sun peaking through

Without any real plan – none of us knows our way around the mountain all that well – we ended up on Superstar just before lunch. Expert terrain can be hard to come by early in the ski season, so skiing a 1200’ vertical black diamond – the scene of the World Cup races two weeks earlier – was like an early Christmas gift. I had been worried that the racing events would have left Superstar an ice sheet, but grooming crews did an amazing job getting the trail into condition for the general public after the races.


My ski partners had to leave early, so I headed back to ride the Superstar Express quad for the rest of the day, racking up another half dozen laps. While Superstar itself was great, the real highlights were Ovation and Old Superstar, a pair of natural snow black diamonds. Both trails dump out into Superstar around its midpoint, so it was the best of both worlds. Even better, the light on-and-off snow we had all day really started to pick up by midafternoon. Like most people, I generally prefer to ski with a partner, but I’ll take a half dozen solo laps on great terrain any time I can get it.


More Superstar

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve shown a bit of anti-Killington bias in the past, but maybe that’s a result of a few less-than-stellar experiences. I’m glad to say I’m a fan now.

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