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Birch Ridge Inn
Snow Stake Picture
of the Day
Birch Ridge Inn Snowstake
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
6 1/8 inches...Weather.com predicted a foot! How can the Weather Channel be so wrong.




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Monday, Nov 18, 2019
Personal ski season day one...check!
Let our personal ski season begin.  Getting equipment on in the K1 parking lot at Killington

Let our personal ski season begin. Getting equipment on in the K1 parking lot at Killington

Let our personal ski season begin.  Getting equipment on in the K1 parking lot at Killington

Let our personal ski season begin. Getting equipment on in the K1 parking lot at Killington

The alarm went off at 7:45 this morning.

The night before we had spent a couple of hours finding our ski kit. No matter how hard you try at the end of the last ski season to clean it and put it all away together, there are always items that escape. If we're not careful, there can be a large round of "Where is my blankety blank" as we try to find all of the stuff to support our skiing habit. We've done that on the first day of skiing before... we were determined not to do that this year... and for the most part we succeeded.

With the kit found and packed the night before, and a bowl of raisin and spice oatmeal in the microwave, we proceeded to get ready for our first day on the mountain of the 2019, 2020 ski season. With the exception of a little banter about "boots on in the house" or "boots on in the lodge", everything went very smooth.

"Boots on in the house" won, which means Mary puts her boots on at the inn, and I put my boots on in the parking lot. With all of the construction taking place to build the new K1 base lodge, it only made sense to ski from the car. No matter what approach we would find in the parking lot, some hiking would be required. But it is easier to go straight to the lift, than it is to schlep all of the kit to the far side of the K1 lodge away from the construction and then put it all on.

An artifact of Boots on in the house .... Making helmet adjustments in the K1 parking lot before beginning our ski day.
An artifact of "Boots on in the house" .... Making helmet adjustments in the K1 parking lot before beginning our ski day.

With all of our kit assembled, we headed off across the parking lot towards the K1 Gondola. We were in what was originally "Bay 3" in the lot. To reach the K1 Gondola we needed to climb 2 sets of stairs and traverse around the K1 Gondola car storage shed before arriving at the lift. Carrying only skis and poles, it was not a bad walk at all. Plus the exhilaration of actually committing to our first day of skiing this season also took the sting out of the walk.

The stairs across the parking lot bays heading towards the K1 Gondola.
The stairs across the parking lot bays heading towards the K1 Gondola.

The next obstacle to overcome was the RFID pass gates at K1. The first time through each season is always a challenge...Will they work? or will I need to go to guest services and have something fixed. They Worked! We dodged that bullet.

The gondola ride up was uneventful. We rode up with some KMS staff who had a bunch of kids with them spread out over multiple cabins. As we got about halfway up, the cloud deck eveloped the cabin. Not a great sign for the first day of skiing, but totally predictable for Killington where a storm is due to move in later in the day. To our relief, the clouds were not on the ground at the top of the mountain. Visibility was decent, in flat light. Anytime you can actually see the trail you are skiing is a big plus on the first day out.

Mary on Great Northern from Killington Peak
Mary on Great Northern from Killington Peak

Of course we skied right to the new North Ridge Quad. We had to partake in the newest edition to the Killington lift portfolio. Several items to note.... it's fast, it's smooth, it does not creak or make strange sounds at every stanchion. Ski patrol still has a funky corral at the lift entrance at the bottom which was annoying, but given the crowds this new lift has seen over the last few weekends, it is perfectly understandable. Oh... did I mention it's fast!

It's so fast, several of our friends advised us to exit the chair at the top quickly so the chair does not catch up to you as it swings down the return line. So when the chair reached the top, exit promptly we did. With no problems what so ever....

The new North Ridge Quad... what a sweet ride.
The new North Ridge Quad... what a sweet ride.

In addition to K-Peak, Snowdon was open today for skiing and riding.
In addition to K-Peak, Snowdon was open today for skiing and riding.

Being the first day, and with low light conditions, it was not a ski till you drop day. We took a few runs down Rime and Reason, and a few runs at Snowden on Bunny Buster and Mouse Run. Conditions everwhere were primarily a mix of natural and man-made snow that was skiing soft and pliable. Just perfect for our first day out.

Snow season has definitely arrived at Killington. If you haven't already, find your equipment, and get ready for your own personal first day of the season. It will be fun. Let it snow!





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