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Birch Ridge Inn
Snow Stake Picture
of the Day
Birch Ridge Inn Snowstake
Monday, April 14 2014
0 inches. It's done.. back to green mud...

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Killington Snow Report for Sunday, April 20, 2014

Killington Conditions:
Open Trails: 47
Open Lifts: 3
Groomed Trails: 26
Service Conditions: Machine groomed/spring conditions
Average Base Depth: 12" - 30"
24 Hour Snowfall: 0"
48 Hour Snowfall: 0"
7 Day Snowfall: 2"

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Artwork from Peter Gould on display at the Birch Ridge Inn

Artwork from Peter Gould on display at the Birch Ridge Inn 

The Birch Ridge Inn, in conjunction with the Killington Arts Guild, will be hosting an evening with Vermont Artist Peter Gould this Thursday evening, April 17. Peter will be presenting his artwork and discussing his techniques at the inn's Great Room from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

During the evening, Peter will share his penchant for and devotion to representing ideas and places through his artistic perspective. Peter's distinctive paintings are especially well known for being presented on barn boards and doors that Peter gathers from around Vermont.

Killington resort as interpreted by Peter Gould.
Killington resort as interpreted by Peter Gould.

The public is welcomed to visit the inn to enjoy Peter's artwork. All are welcomed to come and participate in a discussion of Peter's works and enjoy a demonstration of his techniques. The event begins at 6:00 PM. Hors d'oeuvres will be be served and a cash bar will be available.

Come and view some of Peter's works at the Birch Ridge Inn on Thursday night.

Sure sign of approaching summer....ski\'s being removed from car.

Sure sign of approaching summer....ski's being removed from car. 

80 degrees????

Thats what the weather forecast is calling for today in Killington. And that's after hitting the 70's yesterday.

The cold 2013-2014 winter season is quickly turning towards thoughts of a warm spring and early summer. Snow around the inn is melting fast. Even though the resort is still nicely covered, the result of all of the snow that they made during the course of the winter, natural snow in the area is quickly melting. Snow at the inn's snow stake hit 0 this morning, a sure sign of things to come.

Guests at the inn this weekend enjoyed great spring skiing and riding conditions on wet surfaces. Sunshine was strong all weekend, except for a period of brief showers early Sunday morning.

Killington resort still has good snow coverage.
Killington resort still has good snow coverage.

Temperatures today are forecasted to hit 80 before a cold front crashes through the region tonight and tomorrow. Snow is actually in the forecast for tomorrow afternoon and evening, proving that winter is not quite done yet... So it goes. However, after watching a weekend of great golf on TV with the Masters Tournament from Augusta GA, my thought are quickly turning to chasing the little white ball down green fairways, versus sliding down steep pitches on the mountain side. Soon.

Where ever you may be, get outdoors and enjoy spring!

20 inches of snow on the ground at the Birch Ridge Inn at Killington

20 inches of snow on the ground at the Birch Ridge Inn at Killington 

It is going to be one hell of a mud season!!!

Since St. Patricks Day I have been awol from the blog. Not intentionally, mind you; just the byproduct of picking up something nasty along the way causing me to take a break for a while. But I am on the mend and looking forward to getting back out on the slopes next week for some spring skiing.

The commercial part of the winter season is winding down at Killington. Even though there is great snow coverage on the mountain, thoughts of the summer to come have invaded the minds of many of the Killington faithful. My news feed on facebook is covered with pictures of friends down south hitting the first golf balls of the season. Most years the winter in Killington plays out this way. We have beaucoup snow to play on, yet few people to take advantage of it.

I was talking with some friends the other night about the phenomenon. We are amazed that thousands of people come out in late October and early November to hike up to one trail covered with man-made snow at the top of the mountain... but only hundreds come out in early April to ski/ride the whole mountain that is buried in feet of natural snow provided by Mother Nature....So it goes

Around the inn we are still in winter mode. A 20 inch base is firmly in place at the snow stake. Warmer temperatures are causing a little melt each day, especially around the periphery of the snow pack. But it is going to be quite a while before Mary has an opportunity to begin tilling her gardens to bring in summer flowers.

Almost 2 feet of snow still surrounds the Birch Ridge Inn. April 3, 2014.
Almost 2 feet of snow still surrounds the Birch Ridge Inn. April 3, 2014.

Of course, if you are in the mood to partake in some spring skiing, and Mary is reporting to me that it is fabulous, the inn is still open and accepting guests. Our restaurant will be open the next couple of weekends on Friday and Saturday evenings of you are in town and looking for a nice dinner.

After that, we will take a break ourselves. We have done a lot of upgrades to the inn over the course of the winter;(carpets, computer systems, phone system, heating system) some planned some not so much. Reviewing the upgrades, making sure we integrated them into the inn's workflow, and pushing contractors to complete punch list items will top the list of spring projects this year.

And then, of course, there is the matter of our own pursuit of the little white ball down the green fairways of Vermonts finest golf courses...

But before we do that, we have the little matter of a winter to finish.

And yes... we are digging out the sun screen so we can enjoy some spring skiing!

Blue skies provide a radiant glow over a freshly groomed Ovation.

Blue skies provide a radiant glow over a freshly groomed Ovation. 

Once again a March storm just before St. Patrick's day has set up a great week of skiing and riding at Killington.

Today was a day for steep. Our first 2 "warm up" runs were straight down Superstar. Groomed from edge to edge, it was just beckoning to be done multiple times right from the get go this morning. On both runs, I ducked in on skiers left beside the lift on the lower headwall. With the speed I was carrying from the mid section, it felt like I was free-falling for the first hundred yards as I crested the lower headwall. I held the line as long as I dared prior to making a series of S turns to scrub off speed before traversing back to the lift. With the trail groomed impeccably, it was just the right thing to do.

Not to be left out of the action, we then turned our attention to Ovation. Middle Ovation was just like Superstar. Lower Ovation was not quite as kind. It was like skiing in the dark over the blade of a serrated steak knife. With our eyes being blinded by the sun shining off of middle Ovation, the traverse down the lower headwall at 9:30 am was into pure darkness. The darkness also held the cold on the trail, freezing the groomed corduroy into a saw toothed deck that chattered the base of the skis and erratically gripped the ski edges all the way from top to bottom. Ovation got the heart pumping, and added an adrenaline rush to match the feeling of accomplishment about arriving at the bottom still standing, but it was definitely not a do over at 9:30 am in the morning.

From Ovation, we entered a more normal pattern, heading to Bear Mountain for a run down Bear Claw. The Stash, Bear Claw, Wild Fire, Sky Burst, and Dream Maker were all a little mundane after our steep beginning. Each was groomed nicely. Minimum skier and rider traffic insured that they would all be high speed cruisers, which was ok give we were still a little amped up by Ovation.

We next headed to Cruise Control figuring we would do some laps in the Needles Eye pod. On the way back up the Skyship, we caught sight of Vertigo. It looked interesting so I "inspected" it on our next run down. Low and behold, the headwall was covered in super soft fluff. The run out to the bottom had been groomed on Sunday so it was relatively flat with some small features. It was a definite top to bottom do-over (how often does Vertigo become a do-over?). It was so nice, we even got Mary to take in on our next run down.

After another run down Superstar to carry enough velocity to ski to the K1 Gondola, we headed towards Cascade. I entered Cascade via FIS, hugging the the tree line on skiers right. The Canyon chair promptly brought us up again for a run down Rime; followed by a run down a bump ladened Ridge Run before a final run out down East Falls. By now we were out for over 3 hours skiing steeps lift to lift with out a break. Time for lunch (Fungus burger at the Lookout) before heading off to an afternoon of work. (Or as Mary says... napping at my keyboard)

Happy St Patricks Day! Let it snow!

Chuckles, Ruts, and the beautiful Miss Jane ponder our next move at the top of Bear Mountain.

Chuckles, Ruts, and the beautiful Miss Jane ponder our next move at the top of Bear Mountain. 

Broad boulevard trails, skinny narrow woods trails, lift lines, power lines, tree lines, steeps and deeps.... My legs are shot!

Check out Lower Superstar to the left of the lift. Check out Upper Wildfire. How about Northstar and Great Bear. Needles is wall to wall soft bumps. Pick your favorite woods trail... any woods trail for that matter. The ropes have even been dropped on the Fiddle. (We did not have enough gas left for the Fiddle today.)

With soft snow everywhere, this is the weekend to be at Killington.

Nap time...

Let it snow!

Ruts and Chuckles in the powdha on Needles Eye

Ruts and Chuckles in the powdha on Needles Eye 

Those who made the trek to the Killington Resort this morning were rewarded with almost 2 feet of fresh powder. The mountains of Killington were nicely blanketed in a high density snow with a consistency midway between "Sierra Cement" and "Champagne Powder". The snow density was great for copious face shots this morning, but also will have some staying power as it mixes with Killington base.

We started on a trail this morning with only 1 track on it at 9:00 AM. (The track was made by the Liftie who was waiting for us at the bottom with a big grin on his face...) A consistent 2 feet of snow with drifts signifcantly higher got our legs working as we bounced down the trail. It was a precursor for the rest of the morning.

After our first run in untracked, we entered a more usual pattern. The Stash was awash in fresh snow everywhere. It was so deep in places that some of the norrmal terrain features were hidden from view. After the Stash, we did Dreammaker, which was excellent from top to bottom. Ruts augered into the middle of Dreammaker, doing a double eject in the process. After a short 5 minute search for his skis in the snow, we were back on our way bounding down the trail.

We meandered all across the resort. Everything we were in was just great. For one of our last runs, we found ourselves at the top of Northstar. By now it was cut up into a mogul field... but we did it anyway. Lots of fun making our way through 2 to 3 foot bumps of soft snow.

Overnight I would expect that the resort will be doing a lot of grooming to stabilize the base. It should be a great weekend of skiing and riding in new soft snow.

Let it snow!

Heavy snow falling on the Birch Ridge Inn

Heavy snow falling on the Birch Ridge Inn 

An intense, heavy, snowstorm is blanketing Killington in heavy snow. Snow is anticipated to be falling for the next 36 hours leaving snow measured in feet across the area.

Snow began in the Killington area around 6:00 AM this morning. By 10:00 AM, 3 inches of new snow had fallen at the Birch Ridge Inn snow stake. Heavy snow is continuing to build up with snow expected through mid-day tomorrow.

This snow storm should provide skiers and riders with great condition on the slopes through early spring. The initial snow is of the heavy, dense variety. Temperatures are expected to drop through out the day causing the snow volume to increase as it's density decreases. Anyway you look at it, tomorrow will be a "powdha" day in Killington.

Let it snow!

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