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Birch Ridge Inn
Fall Foliage Picture
of the Day
Birch Ridge Inn foliage
Monday, September 24, 2018
Overcast and cold. Temps in 40's most of the day. Rain expected Tuesday.




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Dark clouds hide construction taking place at Killington Resort

Dark clouds hide construction taking place at Killington Resort 

The race is on between the Killington Resort and Mother Nature.

Dark foreboding clouds veiled all of the construction activity taking place at the resort today. From ski tunnels to new lifts to lift storage buildings, the resort is crawling with teams of workers moving about with equipment ranging from simple shovels to heavy equipment and helicopters.

The scene in the K1 parking lot in the picture below illustrates some of the scope of the activities.

The new support barn for the K1 Lift is clearly visible in the background on the left of the picture. In the foreground left, you will see lift components for the new Snowden Six Pack.

Construction trailers and the Snowden Six Pack base components span the middle of the frame with various large pieces of conduit. To the right of the frame, the Helicopter to be deployed to install the lift towers at Snowden and South Ridge sits grounded by the cloud cover. To the far right, workers are moving iron components around. Unseen are the large dump trucks hauling dirt and stone everywhere.

It is truly a full blown ballet that is taking place on the mountain to coordinate all of the activites. The K1 parking lot has turned into a massive construction staging area.
The K1 parking lot has turned into a massive construction staging area.

Major projects being worked and (hopefully) completed before the onset of winter include :

-Refurbishing the K1 Gondola including a new haul line, and new cabins.
-Construction of a barn at K1 to protect the cabins from the weather when the lift is not operating
-Removal and redeployment of the Snowden quad
-Re-installation of the Snowden quad to the other side of the resort on South Ridge.
-Construction of a new 6-pack bubble chair on Snowden with new towers and support buildings
-Construction of multiple ski tunnels around the resort to eliminate high traffic crossover points between Expert Terrain and Beginner Terrain
-Installation of 44,000 feet of new snow making pipe with includes a combination of replacements and new installations
-New RFID system to replace lift ticket scanning at each lift
-Regrading and trail improvements at Snowden to support the new Six Pack
-Dirt moving everywhere

The race with Mother Nature towards winter is on.

Wherever you may be, get out and enjoy the end of summer and the early fall season...Snow will be here soon enough!

The change to fall colors has finally started.

The change to fall colors has finally started. 

It is finally starting.

We have been watching the trees around Killington to determine when the fall leaf peeping season might begin. Usually by this calendar date fall colors in the mountains are starting to emerge through the summer greenery of the mountains. But with climate change taking place (and while I hate the political paint brush people put on that term, it is really happening folks), the seasonal boundary between summer and fall is definitely moving.

But it looks like things are finally starting to change.

The colder, darker, weather of the early part of last week set up a trigger condition to tell the trees in the area to begin shedding there summer finery. Last week there was a six day stretch where sunlight was muted by copious high cloud cover and full blown overcast. Evening temperatures were down into the 40's with upper elevations nearing the high 30's. While this impact was not instantaneous, driving around town today clearly revealed that the change has in fact started to take place.

It is still way too early to make any predictions on the progress that the trees will make as they shed the chlorophyl in their leaves. Over the last several days we have seen mostly sunny conditions with warm and humid nights. This may slow down the process, or it may not, depending upon what happens over the next couple of days. Suffice to say the ouija board will stay in the closet for another week or so before we make any predictions. it is all part of the fun of the fall season.

Wherever you may be, hopefully you are staying dry, and can enjoy the changing seasons.

Beautiful day at the Birch Ridge Inn at Killington

Beautiful day at the Birch Ridge Inn at Killington 

With an absolutely beautiful weather weekend on tap for the Green Mountains of Vermont, we welcome all of our guests who are visiting the area to participate in the Vermont Beast Race, the Vermont Ultra, and the Vermont Sprint as part of Spartan Weekend.

Each year thousands of people descend upon Killington to test their physical and mental endurance on a challenging obstacle course spread out over the 6 peaks of the Killington Resort. From the start at the Snow Shed Base Lodge, many participants will face a vertical climb from 2000 feet to Killingtons 4241 peak while crossing many obstacles ranging from barbed wire, to ponds, to fire pits along the way. Everyone is challenged, many complete the course, but all usually leave with the satisfaction that they have stood up to "the beast".

At the inn this weekend, we have our normal dinner service starting Friday and Saturday nights at 6:00 PM. We have added several pasta dishes to our menu for those who want to "carb up" on Friday, or replenish their energy stores on Saturday. In addition to the restaurant, we will also be serving dinner in the bar in the Great Room. Reservations are recommended this weekend for the restaurant due to the large number of people in the area (very similar to a winter weekend.) For reservations, please call the inn at 800.435.8566 or 802.422.4293. Dinner at the bar is of course first come-first served.

On a somber note, while many will be experiencing the outdoors this weekend in Killington from a positive point of view, our thoughts are with the people in the mid-Atlantic and southern states as they battle with the problems created by hurricane Florence. Vermont went through that special kind of liquid hell with hurricane Irene. We hope people are staying safe and that the recovery from the storm proceeds quickly and humanely in the coming weeks.

Wherever you may be, stay safe and hold your loved ones tight.

New slippers to ward off the coming cold nights

New slippers to ward off the coming cold nights 

Over 20 years we have met some very nice people who have gone from guests to friends. 2 very special people are Grace and Sal from Auburn.

Every year Grace knits us new slippers to keep our feet warm as the seasons change. Unfortunately the drive to Vermont for them has become harder over the years. But even though they could not visit with us this September, the slippers arrived right on que to coincide with the arrival of cold weather on Saturday night. Two very special people who are dear to us.... Thank you Grace and Sal!

Wherever you may be, keep warm as the seasons change in Vermont.

The Killington Resort from Superstar thru Snowdon, Monday September 3, 2018.
The Killington Resort from Superstar thru Snowdon, Monday September 3, 2018.

We hope you are enjoying a beautiful Labor Day.

And wherever you may be, where it is still summer in the northern hemisphere, don't forget your sun screen.

Mary\'s gardens are in full bloom around the inn

Mary's gardens are in full bloom around the inn 

Hmm... that was a quick summer!

As we continue our journey through life, it is amazing how time just flies bye. Living in the bubble we call Killington does shelter us from some of the chaos of the outside world. But at the same time, if it were not for taking pictures all the time, one would wonder where does all the time go.

Overall, it has been a good summer at Killington. The weather, as anyone who lives on the east coast of the United States knows, has had it's ups and downs. During this summer we have had many days with uncharacteristicly large amounts of rainfall, hot temperatures, and high humidity. But when we compare our 80 degree days to the weather some of our guests from the metro areas along I-95 have experienced, the weather and temperatures in Killington have been good. Overall, a very nice summer in Killington.

Below is a "brief" photo synopsis of our summer...

Golf in May on Cape Cod
We started the summer with our usual family visit to Massachusetts.
In the middle of it, we took some time for a couple of rounds of golf on Cape Cod.

New floor going down in Owners Quarters bathroom
After vacation, we started renovating the bathroom in the Owners Quarters.
Here is a look at the new floor Bill put down.

New Plates
The restaurant re-opened for the summer season in late June.
We bought new square plates for the chef so he could properly present his handi-work.
Here is a leek-wrapped poached halibut with sweet potato mash.

Mary at GMNGC
We have enjoyed more than a few nice rounds of golf in Killington.
Here is Mary on the 14th tee at Green Mountain National Golf Course

Chef Colin at Killington Golf Course
We have had a couple of rounds with Chef Colin this summer.
Here is chef teeing off on the 16th hole of the Killington Resort Golf Course.

Chef Colin building party platters
Chef has been hard at work all summer.
Here he is showing some house cured salmon which he is about to incorporate onto a serving tray for a party at the inn.

K-town black bear
We have hosted a lot of visitors.
The K-Town black bear has been a frequent guest this summer.

Hiking Deers Leap
We have done a few hikes this year to get the legs in shape for ski season.
Mary took me up Deers leap. It was only right that I took her picture as we hiked back down.

Hiking Killington
One of our more memorable hikes was a trek to Killington Peak with our friends Chuck and Jane.
We tried to take an "Easy Route" which brought us up Great Eastern.
All was going well until we ran into about a mile of excavation work putting in new snow making pipe.
Ah... but this is what adventures are made of...

Lunch at the Peak
To celebrate our climb to Killington Peak, we stopped in to the Peak Lodge for some refreshments.
The margarita's were great!

Back at the inn
But at the end of the day, our life revolves around the inn and our guests.
Mary caught taking a picture of a ramikin of venison chili with pastry puff in the Great Room

We hope you have had a great summer as well. We are now busy preparing for the Fall Foliage and Winter seasons. Drop in and join us for a beverage the next time you are in Killington.

And what ever you do, where it is still summer, don't forget your sun screen.

Mary planting dahlia\'s in the Great Room to start them for summer.

Mary planting dahlia's in the Great Room to start them for summer. 

Our last inn guests for the 2017/2018 Birch Ridge Inn season checked out on Sunday morning. While there is plenty of snow on Killington for hardcore skiers and riders to enjoy, the casual snow sports enthusiast has packed their gear and started to change their outlook to summer activities. And so have we.

It takes a little bit of work to move the inn from a winter to a summer footing (and the converse is also true). When the restaurant went on hiatus 2 weeks ago, we tore apart the kitchen and did a very deep cleaning. With the last inn guests checking out, we have started to do the same with all of our guest rooms to ready them for summer visitors. Deep cleaning rooms is as it sounds. Mary and her housekeepers, with some heavy lifting on my part, move all of the furniture, remove the mattress and box spring, and clean every nook and cranny in the room.

As a change of pace, we also go outside of the inn and clean up the grounds from winter. Fall leaves still hide in various places. Tree branches from the numerous winter storms need to be collected for disposal. Gardens need to be prepped for flowers. Of course this all happens when the weather is a little more agreeable. This morning, for instance, we woke up to more than a coating of fresh snow on the ground.

While waiting for the weather to work outside this time of year, Mary takes over the Great Room and converts the front half of it into a green house. With some strategically placed plastic tarps, and numerous plastic boxes, Mary distributes about 200lbs (I know, I carried it in from the back of her car!) of planting soil to get her summer dahlia's "started". While it is way too cold outside right now to do this, the solar radiation coming into the Great Room from the front windows is just right. By the end of the month, most of the bulbs will have started to send off shoots and they will be ready to be moved to their proper summer garden spots.

All of the work is not done in the "physical" world. This week the web site for the inn was updated for the summer season. Gone are the pictures of snow covered mountains. In their place are green hillsides, golf courses, and flower gardens. Instead of ski packages we have golf packages. We also have programs for the Long Trail Century Ride, AJGA, and the Killington Wine festival loaded if your plans have you coming to Killington for any of these events.

Thank you to all of the guests who stayed with us at the inn this last season. We hope that you have enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to seeing you again during the 2018/2019 season.

Wherever you may be, keep the ball in play.... Think Spring.... and don't forget your sunscreen.





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