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Birch Ridge Inn
Fall Foliage Picture
of the Day
Birch Ridge Inn foliage
Sunday, October 19, 2014
The Twog's have won!. Last Fall Foliage Picture of the Day. Watch this space for the Killington Blog Snow Stake.

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Killington Snow Report for Friday, October 24, 2014

Killington Conditions:
Open Trails: 0
Open Lifts: 0
Groomed Trails: 0
Service Conditions:
Average Base Depth: 0" - 0"
24 Hour Snowfall: 0"
48 Hour Snowfall: 0"
7 Day Snowfall: 0"

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Like the Wizard of Id poking his finger skyward, the last Maple of Fall at the Birch Ridge Inn tenaciously holds on to her color.

Like the Wizard of Id poking his finger skyward, the last Maple of Fall at the Birch Ridge Inn tenaciously holds on to her color. 

It is hard to say exactly when it happened, but some time over the last 3 days, during periods of wind and rain at Killington, the Fall Foliage leaf peeping season capitulated to the wishes of Mother Nature. Welcome to Twig Season!

What is Twig Season? It is the period in Killington marked by the following:
A. The majority of leaves on the trees have fallen to the ground;
B. Temperatures markedly turn colder
C. Changing seasons create an extended period of foreboding, overcast, skys.
D. Precipitation increases. Sometimes it is outright rain; sometimes it is a heavy mist.
E. Snow is mentioned in the local weather forecast.
F. All eyes turn towards the mountain wondering when Ski Season will begin.

If you look at the last 3 days, all of those conditions have been satisfied. Including the last one. Buzz around town was about the resort firing up their snow making system with the onset of cold weather this week. The buzz was so strong, that Mike Solomano, the President of Killington, has posted messages reminding people not to get too far ahead of themselves, because the weather forecast for Killington is still calling for above freezing temperatures most of the week.

Such is Twig Season. Cold..damp..foreboding...devoid of color. People chomping at the bit for it to be over. The excitement for the coming winter building. I want to go skiing now!!!

But we have to go through a couple of weeks of it. The ground needs to chill down to support the first snows of the season. That snow will arrive any day now. It may be forecasted as a coming storm. It may be the light mist of Twig Season hitting an unusually cold patch of air as it falls to earth. But when the first snow comes, and everything turns bright and white and pure; all will be right with the world again.

From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank all of the guests and friends who visited with us at the Birch Ridge Inn this fall season. We enjoyed meeting many new faces. We shared your wonderment at how beautiful Vermont is during the Fall. We learned some things about what is going on in the outside world away from the resort bubble of Killington that we call home. We hope you enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed yours. And we look forward to seeing you again, the next time you return to the place we love and call home.

Wherever life takes you, enjoy the world around you. It has been a great fall season at Killington. Now it is time to Think Snow!

Trees around Carriageway at Birch Ridge Inn still showing color

Trees around Carriageway at Birch Ridge Inn still showing color 

Late season "Leaf Peepers" are enjoying the final throws of fall foliage color around Killington. In addition, they have the added benefit of moderate (some would say hot for this time of year) temperatures making their journeys through out Vermont quite pleasant.

A real contrast in weather has set up. We had our first official frost at the Birch Ridge Inn on Monday morning. Not a hard "killing" frost, but roof tops and car windshields were coated in ice crystals. Almost immediately when the sun came up, temperatures started to soar into the mid 70's as a warm front passed through the area. Of course, there will be, if you believe the weathermen, a dramatic end to this unseasonably warm weather with several inches of rain due across the area late Wednesday into Thursday. After that, next weeks temperatures will turn cooler once again as night time temperatures are predicted to be in the low 30's reaching the mid 40's during the day at the 2000 foot level. On the top of Killington, temperatures are forecasted to be colder. With that kind of weather forecast, it would not be surprising for the resort to begin snow making on the upper elevations of Killington next week. Just speculation of course, but stay tuned.

Color in the immediate Killington region is on the wane. Late trees have begun their seasonal shift. While there is still plenty of color left on the hillsides, the leaves are starting to give way to twigs signifying the fall seasons denouement. Throughout the week one would expect some color to remain in the immediate vicinity. However, with the exception of a few stubborn trees, the predicted rainstorm if it occurs as forecasted would be the final curtain call for fall colors in Killington.

Inn guests are continuing to report nice colors to the south and west of Killington along the Route 100 corridor through Weston and the Route 7 corridor through Manchester Vermont. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however. Since theses areas usually follow the Killington area by a week or so during normal falls, the reports we are receiving make sense.

With luck the weather will switch to snow making season in the next few days. Where ever you may be, get out doors and enjoy the last days of the fall foliage season.

Overlooking holes 16 and 11 at the Killington Resort Golf Course

Overlooking holes 16 and 11 at the Killington Resort Golf Course 

As "Leaf Peepers" spread out all over the state, there is still plenty of color left in the forests around Killington.

A stunning blue sky erupted over Killington this morning; the product of a cold high pressure system out of Canada that left the mountain tops of Killington covered in frost at dawn. With a virtually cloudless sky yielding 100% sunshine, temperatures quickly warmed by noon to the mid 50's, allowing me the opportunity to resume wearing shorts at least for one more day.

Color around Killington is now limited to the lower elevations below approximately 3000 feet. Late changing maples are starting to show their reds. Oak trees are rusting. And the Birch and Poplar trees are finally getting into the act with their bright yellows. There is still a little deciduous green left in the forest, but by now most of the green that you see across the landscape is the product of pine trees scattered throughout the hillsides.

The forrest immediately around the inn is actively shedding it's leaves. The annual ritual of raking them up will begin in a couple of days when the visitor traffic subsides. Further around Killington, there is decent color still showing on the lower reaches of the mountain. Scenic overlooks, like the one today on East Mountain Road looking over the Killington Golf Course still provide magnificent displays of color.

Guests are reporting nice color in the Manchester and Weston areas. Arriving guests coming through the Berkshires of Massachusetts into the Green Mountains near Bennington Vermont are reporting colorful rides.

Where ever you may be .. keep it in the fairway...And take in some of the fall foliage beauty of Vermont.

Keeping the economy moving, one ski purchase at a time.

Keeping the economy moving, one ski purchase at a time. 

Somebody has to keep this economy going :)

Columbus day weekend in Killington is a fabulous time to update your ski equipment. All the new equipment is in the shops, and what's left of last year is priced to move.

Peter Smith, who together with his wife Ellen, owns of the Forerunner Ski Shop on the Killington Road gently reminded me yesterday that Mary had gotten me a birthday present last year, which I had not had a chance to pick out. He told me to stop by the shop and get my name on a pair on skis while the best picks were left. Dutifully obeying, I found that there was a pair of Head Rally's waiting for me. Score one for the team! (For non-ski aficionados, the Head Rally is an all mountain carver great for aggressive skiers who want to turn, cruise fast down groomers, have some fun in small bumps, yet also handle a medium sized powder day..kinda sounds like how I ski...) I am currently on some Fischer RX-8's. The Rally's are a couple of centimeters shorter at 163 versus my RX-8's at 165, but they are wider in the shovel and underfoot. Now can we have some snow so I can try them out... Please... Pretty please!!!!

I know snow will come soon enough.. And now I have a great pair of rock skis in my RX-8's.. so I will be good at least for a few more days ...

Fall visitors today are getting a nice view of Vermont. The ocean storm tracking off the southern New England coast has thrown some high clouds over the region. Temperatures have been cool in the low 40's (Yes.. I have been in blue jeans and a fleece all day). Colors on the mountain sides have been quite stunning. Random rays of sunshine are illuminating different sections of the forest like a spot light. It is a true colorful display of natural fireworks, without the 1812 Overture in the background or the rumble of cannons(er.. thunder) in the distance.

Where ever you may be .. keep it in the fairway...And take in some of the fall foliage beauty of Vermont.

Snowshed Pond surrounded by color.

Snowshed Pond surrounded by color. 

Columbus day weekend is here. The ultimate weekend for "Leaf Peepers" across New England. And the Green Mountains of Vermont are ready!

Lower elevations around Killington are presenting some beautiful fall scenes. Forests at the 2000 foot level, like those around the inn and at Snow Shed Pond in todays picture, are displaying the full range of fall hues. The green leaves that remained on the trees after last weekends rain storm have all burst forth in a panoply of color.

Guests taking the K1 Gondola this morning were delighted with the contrast between the fresh blue sky, the high mountain pine forest of Killington peak, and the colorful Killington Basin valley. While twig season is at our doorstep, we have a few more days to enjoy Mother Nature's fall show.

For Columbus Day weekend, it looks like an ocean storm will be traversing New England well to our south. The noon time forecast today for Killington for the weekend was calling for high clouds on Saturday with temperatures in the 50"s. Sunday should see bright sunshine and perhaps a touch warmer. Monday the weather forecasters are calling for more of the same. Although I have not surrendered my shorts yet in favor of blue jeans, if you are visiting Vermont this weekend, bring some layers to deal with the changing temperatures.

Where ever you may be .. keep it in the fairway...And take in some of the fall foliage beauty of Vermont.

Pico Mountain enrobed in fall color.

Pico Mountain enrobed in fall color. 

There are few things in the town of Killington which bring unbridled excitement in many of it's citizens. While I was out and about town (in my shorts no less.. Have to get the body conditioned for cold!), I was stopped several times and asked if I had heard the news... The first couple of times I played dumb. But on the third try, I had to succumb and repeat what I had heard. According to a friend of a friend who was hiking on Killington peak early this morning, precipitation from the sky was falling in a solid state. Yes Virginia, rumor has it that Killington Peak saw it's first hint of snow this morning.

After a busy fall season, with Columbus Day Weekend at hand, most in town are looking forward. Many are planning breaks to warmer climes for a few days or weeks. But everyone is planning to be on the mountain playing in the snow it relatively short order. It won't be this weekend, or even next week. But the calendar is firmly in October. And the resort has been very good about opening for (limited) skiing and riding the last week of October the last several years. Mother Nature will need to lend a hand; and usually she has been accommodating. Watch this space for further details.

Today is quite cool and blustery. Temperatures are barely scraping 50 with a strong gusty breeze. Fall colors along Route 4 towards Rutland are limited to the lower elevations; the upper elevations have been scrubbed clean by recent rains and wind. Twig season is not yet at hand, but by the end of next week the fall colors will basically be done around Killington.

"Leef Peeping" over the Columbus Day Weekend should be fairly robust, with solid color showing on the Route 7 corridor west of Killington. For those who are not looking at the foliage, the Killington Ski Club will be holding their annual Columbus Day Ski Swap Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you are in the market, you will find some great deals on used and new ski equipment.

If ski gear is not your thing, the Chaffee Art Center is holding their 53rd annual Art in the Park celebration in downtown Rutland on Saturday and Sunday. This years festival of everything art in the Green Mountains will see over 80 vendors showcasing their unique handcrafted art. It is one of the signature fall events on the Rutland calendar.

If you are coming to Vermont this weekend, the weather looks like it will warm up slightly. But is is fall after all, so bring some warmer clothes and plan on layers.

Where ever you may be .. keep it in the fairway...And take in some of the fall foliage beauty of Vermont.

Moving firewood into  the Birch Ridge Inn.

Moving firewood into the Birch Ridge Inn. 

In a sure sign that the seasons are rapidly changing, I hauled the first load of firewood into the inn to feed the fireplace in the Great Room. While it is still a bit too warm to light the fireplace yet, we migh be able to sneak in a fire or 2 over the weekend when temperatures are expected to dip lower.

Today has turned into another nice day in Vermont. Light showers in the early morning hours have given way to partly cloudy skys with puffy fair weather clouds. Temperatures are comfortable in the mid to high 50's. I am still in my shorts, but guests are starting to reach for their sweaters and light jackets.

Peak fall color has started it's normal northeast to southwest shift. Color in the Killington area is recovering, but it is nearing the end. Color on the eastern side of the Green Mountains is also nearing an end, as the forest canopy began it's march from leaves to twigs several weeks ago.

On the western side of the Green's, in the Lake Champlain Valley and the Route 7 corridor, fall colors are coming into their own. Beautiful colors are being reported along the Route 7 corridor from the Lake Champlain Byway near Burlington all the way to the southern end of the state in Bennington. This is a very natural process, as the western slopes of the Green Mountains receive much more sunshine that the eastern slopes. Hence the tree canopy lasts longer.

of course, it is like Mother Nature timed everything just right to align with the Columbus Day Weekend.

Where ever you may be .. keep it in the fairway...And take in some of the fall foliage beauty of Vermont.

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