Friday, January 5, 2018

Killington, VT: 12/31/2017

K1 Gondi at Killington, New Year's Eve 12/31/2017.

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

We had debated between skiing Pico and Killington on New Year’s Eve, ultimately deciding in favor of Killington’s gondola for a bit of protection from the predicted cold temperatures. It turned out to be every bit as cold as predicted – well below zero all day – but as long as you stayed bundled up the skiing was excellent with conditions ranging from chalky packed powder on the groomers to boot buckle deep powder in the woods.

Needless to say, crowds weren’t much of an issue other than an occasional wait for the gondi. Following basic cold weather strategies like no exposed skin, frequent breaks, hand warmers, etc. kept the cold mostly tolerable. The few chairlifts that we braved – Ramshead, Snowdon, Snowshed – ranged from merely chilly to brutal, but hey – it’s winter in the northeast.

Minus 12 degrees, mid-morning at K1 base

Cold, who's cold?

Sylvie skiing Highline

Open terrain had expanded considerably since our last visit to Killington nearly a month earlier. The mountain is now close to 100% open including more than 700 acres of “Natural Woods” skiing. The cold weather and frequent warm-up breaks kept us from exploring as much as we would have otherwise, but we still sampled a decent variety of terrain, working our way from K1 to Snowdon and Ramshead, over to Skye Peak and then back to K1. It’s just amazing how huge and varied Killington is.

Beth and the kids on Blue Heaven

Beth skiing Superstar

Heading for the Ramshead trees

Run of the Day depends on who you ask, but mine was on Old Superstar, where wind had sifted the inch of snow that fell overnight into untracked six inch drifts between the moguls. Perfect pitch, perfect moguls, beautiful snow. Lower Superstar, on the other hand, could use a resurfacing (update: looks like they got a 12" resurfacing last night). The hardwood glades off Ramshead were another favorite, reminiscent of the Twister Glades at Gore when they’re in their prime. No pictures from any of these runs, it was just too cold.

Glades off Snowdon

Daniel skiing the Snowdon woods

I really can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than by skiing. Even so, the cold and wind got the better of us by New Year’s Day, so we decided to save our MaxPasses for a more comfortable day and headed for home. Looks like that day may come this weekend (we should crack 10 degrees on Sunday), and the foot of snow that fell yesterday will be a nice consolation prize.

1 comment:

  1. It was really cold and we did summit on Sunday. My nose did get frostbite.. Tomorrow is going to be as cold.

    Great to spend New Years Eve with you..