Keeping her streak alive, once again today Mary skied at Killington without having to worry about sunscreen.
With a brief respite from the mountain to attend to weekend inn guests, Mary and I headed back out to ski this morning right at 9:00. Temperatures were in the low 20's. Winds were blowing towards 20 MPH. To cap it off, for most of the time this morning, the resort was capped with a moist, cold, cloud that created a soft gauze like patina of ice crystals on our goggles. Ah... skiing in New England! But the snow surfaces were GREAT and gravity leads you down hill... so what's a little visibility issue between friends. In the words of our friend, Billy Mac... "Point em down hill you chicken sh..!"
We started our day in the K1 Gondola headed towards Killington Peak. The cabin was thick with french accents, as it is school break week in Montreal. Many of our canadian friends are making their annual ski trek to Killington with a good mix of adults and children of all sizes. At Killington Peak we observed the crowd. Most headed down Great Northern towards Cascade, North Ridge, and parts north on the resort. Seeing that, we headed south on Blue Heaven to Bear Trax across the top of the resort to Bear Mountain. Trees at the peak were thick with rime ice, the product of the moisture in the cold cloud condensing on the tree branches. At the end of our traverse, we made our descent down Bear Claw to lower Wild Fire. Snow surfaces were for the most part soft, although due to the cold temperatures they were a little firmer than last week. A quick boost up the Skye Peak Quad set up our next run down the Stash. Light fluff covered the surface, as there had been minimum skier and rider traffic when we entered the area at 9:20. We exited via the Viper Pit and lower Skye Burst, both of which were groomed flat and once again reasonably soft. For the rest of the time on the south side of the resort we did loops on Cruise Control, Needles Eye, Bitter Sweet, Sky Lark and Superstar. Lower Sky Lark was probably in the best shape it's been in all season, with nary a hint of hard pack down it's fall line. Superstar was soft rollers. The lower headwall was trying to develop a few bumps, but as there was light skier traffic the bumps were failing to organize. Our last few runs of the day were off the Snowdon and Rams Head Quads. We hit Snowdon at around 11:45 after being on the south side of the resort for 2 1/2 hours. I lead Mary down Frolic to Timberline on Rams Head, taking a peak at North Star and Vagabond along the way. (Vagabond had nice regular bumps on it on Friday when I was skiing with Ruts. But bumps are not Mary's friends, so I could only look upon it in anticipation of another day.) Timberline is set up with a terrain park with numerous features. Most are rollers caped in a ramp, or some kind of rail. It was a nice, though exhilarating, break from the steeper terrain to the south. After a quick boost up Rams Head, we finished with a simple run down Caper to Great Northern ending up at the Bay 1 parking lot about 20 feet from the car. On the ride home we had the quintessential Northeast skier conversation... Is it better to have a warmer February and a colder March? February, as the record books will show, was warmer than average, though still plenty cold to support copious amounts of snow. It's all up to March to stay cold (and give us a little more snow) to keep the snow surfaces nice through Killington's long spring skiing season. We voted for a colder March! Speaking of voting... tomorrow is Town Meeting day in Vermont. In Killington we are having a Town Informational Meeting tonight. Voting is to take place tomorrow from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM at the Killington Town Offices. If you live in Killington....Go Vote! Let it snow!