|Birch Ridge Inn
Snow Stake Picture
of the Day
|Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Not much but frozen solid.
|Killington Snow Report for Thursday, November 20, 2014|
Open Trails: 16
Open Lifts: 3
Groomed Trails: 15
Service Conditions: Machine Groomed/ Packed Powder
Average Base Depth: 8" - 16"
24 Hour Snowfall: 0.0"
48 Hour Snowfall: 0.0"
7 Day Snowfall: 3.0"
|feed provided by Killington.com Snow Report|
Brrr.. Low 20's all day....
Yesterdays mess with snow, sleet, and r@!n was followed up by a blustery cold front. If it was not frozen before the sun went down last night, it will be rock solid as the sun goes down tonight. Winter has overtaken the Killington region. Where are my hat and gloves again???
The resort is taking advantage of the cold weather to pump out some man made powder across the resort. While yesterdays storm left them with some trail resurfacing to accomplish, by this afternoon the resort was making snow on Killington Peak, Snowdon, and Rams Head. The near term focus seems to be focused on getting some novice and intermediate terrain open as we head into the Thanksgiving period. With cold weather firmly entrenched in the area until late in the weekend, the Resort should be seeing some good snow production leading to more open terrain in the next few days.
Around the inn we have wrapped up winter preparations. The yard work is done. Anything left can be done in the spring. The ongoing task of minor building repairs continues. (The inn is a very large building after all). The first ski packages have been ordered for this coming weekend for guests from Killington. I visited with my mother down on Cape Cod last week. Mary is off doing shopping with her mom this week. And Chef Frizzie is back to work as the restaurant re-opens for the winter season this coming Friday November 21st.
Here is the latest video installment of our ongoing search for the perfect..... It is a little too early to use that word yet. Let's pay homage to the Pilgrims and celebrate Thanksgiving first.
Where ever you may be...Stay Warm. And Let it snow!
Well..... it has to happen some time.
With Killington being open for the season for 9 days, and a ski pass in my possession for 7, it was about time that I ventured out on the mountain... Finally
With the hordes of other's skiing and riding on Veterans Day, I dug out my equipment (a task in itself) and rode the K1 Gondola to the peak. Killington has a couple of legitimate trails open (Rime and Reason with their lower cousins).
Killington has a couple of legitimate trails open (Rime and Reason with their lower cousins). My first run, fittingly, was in the bumps on Upper East Fall. Nice soft moguls in the sun. The best that spring skiing conditions could offer for New Zealand. But this is November and Killington and skiing in such warm temperatures was a little stange at best.
2 runs, 2 25 minute lift lines, and a hike out. Done... 1st day under the belt with hopefully a lot more waiting for me this winter.
Of course, as we head into winter, we have some other things up our collective sleeves as well. Stay tuned....
Let it snow!
Busy...busy...busy.. This getting ready for winter stuff is a full time job!
It has been a busy week around the inn as we get everything ready for winter in Killington. Twig Season, being dull and gray, is conducive to getting work done. The warm blue sky of summer, just perfect for chasing little white balls down green fairways, has given way to a damp and dismal atmosphere just perfect for raking leaves, moving wood, hard-packing the driveway, and attending to the other items that need to be done before the first winter snows hit in earnest.
While I have picked up my ski passes (both downhill and uphill traveller), we have not yet had the urge to venture out onto the high slopes of Killington. From 18 years experience at the inn, we know spending time during twig season getting the inn in shape for winter will pay back with huge dividends in free time later in the winter when ski conditions will be prime. So we head outside, face the dull gray atmosphere, hold our faces firm into the light drizzle, and do what needs to be done to prepare for winter.
We have all been doing our share outside. Mary has brought down all of her gardens. She spends so much time on them each summer to make sure they make the grounds around the inn look beautiful. Now they are mounds of dirt, waiting to be covered by the first winter snows.
Chef "Frizzie" has been running the brush cutter. Most of his time has been spent on the Killington Road trimming the ferns which take over the hillside in summer. We try to trim them this time of year so that the area is receptive to early snow storms.
I have been out with my rake cleaning up parts of the front of the inn, and readying the Snow Stake. All of the leaves have been removed from around it. The height markers have been touched up to help make them visible for the camera. The stake has also been re-leveled and re-zero'd in the ground.
I also took apart the snowblower to get it ready for it's annual work out. In addition to changing the oil, I also stripped the gearbox; re-lubricating the works in the process to keep it running smoothly.
Mary was not around when I got everything back together. It is hard to see if it is really working right, as the works are in the front of the machine, and the operator, your's truly, is in the back. Not to be denied, however, I used my trusty Iphone to shoot a short clip reminiscent of a scene from the cult movie "Lawnmower man". Now I just need about 2 feet of snow to play with to really make sure it is working...
Winter is in the way. Let it snow!
It's done. The first skiing and riding of the 2014-2015 season in the North East North America took place today at the Killington Ski Resort. Kudo's to the resort for getting the job done by making snow during the cold snap the area experienced over the last 48 hours.
Mary and I did not partake in the festivities today. As luck would have it, the cold snap also put the first real strain on the heating system at the inn for the season. The heat has been running for about a month, but with temperatures dipping into the low 20's last night, both heating furnaces were called into action. Unfortunately only 1 responded.
There is a reason we have 2 furnaces. On very cold, -30 degree winter nights in late January, we need both furnaces online to heat the inn. Under normal heating demands, the heating control system at the inn rotates furnace operation, so that one furnace does not see all of the usage. Sometime last night, both furnaces were called into action at the same time. When they did, a circulating pump on one of the furnaces decided it had had enough and decided to fail. Fortunately we on on good rapport with our plumbind and heating contractor, so they dispatched a person to the inn this morning to investigate/repair the situation. But so much for skiing...so it goes.
Skiing and Riding took place today in the North Ridge area starting at 11:00 AM. Tomorrow(Tuesday November 4th) the lifts start turing at 9:00 AM. Killington will be providing lift serviced skiing on Rime and Reason, plus they will have a jib set up in the Reason Park to allow those inclined to show off their stuff. Open terrain is for advanced skiers and riders only. Lift tickets for those who do not have a season pass are priced at $49.00
This is just the start of what is hopefully a long season at Killington. Mary and I hope to get out later in the week, if all goes according to plan.
Let it snow!
Do you know where your snow pants are??
UPDATE!!!..Just after I posted this blog, the Killington Resort announced that they will begin ski operations for the winter this coming Monday November 3rd. Monday will be limited to Season Pass and Express card holders. (That's one of the perks for being a loyal Killington skier.) Day ticket sales for those without passes will begin on Tuesday November 4th. Winter Is On!!!! END OF UPDATE.
All around Killington questions similar to this are being asked as the winter season is on the verge of beginning at Killington. With fall foliage visitors clearing the area last week, the break between seasons has been a short one. But it's time.
On the mountain, the resort turned on the snow making system. When lift serviced skiing will begin is anyones guess, Mother Nature being a quirky lady. But I can bet that a few people will be making the trek up to the top of the mountain to partake in the ribbon of snow laid down by the resort in the next few hours or so.
Visit the full Birch Ridge Inn website at birchridge.com.
On top of the work started by the resort, this morning we experienced the first snow falling from the sky at the inn. Not measurable, mind you; it basically melted as soon as it hit the ground as the ground is still too warm at this altitude to support snow. But it was a not so subtle reminder to get things ready to go, because winter will be here soon.
Over the last week, I have been busy working on our website to support our winter business. In addition to being able to find out everything about our inn, on birchridge.com you can also use our ski package calculator to get a full quote for your snow vacation at Killington including lift tickets, rental equipment, and lessons.
In the next couple of days, Mary and I, like many of our friends, will be loading our personal quivers with our ski equipment. (I still have golf clubs in my car for instance.) But winter is coming. Time to get ready.
Let it snow!
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!
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.