Killington - 2017-2018

Nov. 8, 2017 - Weds.
While the leaves were well past peak, there were still lovely browns, yellows, reds and green on the hillsides.

Anyone worried as to whether or not Killington will make it on Superstar for the World Cup Race can stop worrying.  It is white T2B and they were blowing snow T2B all day and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future (at least 48 hours more).

In addition to a cool hat, the swag du jour was free lunch.

Crowd was heavy early although the lift line was never more than a few minutes.  While there were a half dozen snowguns running from the pump-house down to the bottom, the guns were off on Rime and Reason, so my ears weren't ringing at day's end. I think that's testament to how deep the snow is already on Rime and Reason.

The surface was firm.  A deep mogul line developed left (while looking downhill) of the towers.  A poorer mogul line developed on the far right side.  The center was edge-able, although a few really bad ice spots developed where the snowguns were running.  I suspect that they weren't adding much snow,  but it was probably more cost effective to keep them running rather than turning off the system.

They were blowing on Upper East Fall and Upper Great Northern as well as a few other places.  Trail count should be up bey the weekend, but I don't see T2B for a while, leaving the walk up 250 steps at the end of the day to get to K1 for the ride down.

I rate it as an excellent opening day!


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Comments

  • Thanks for the first report of the season!

    If only we had photos :(
    - Sam
  • Thanks for the report. I'm debating going tomorrow, but will likely wait til the weekend at Mt Snow with several top to bottom routes. Having the Peak pass this season makes the decision easier. But I really want to ski. Nice job getting opening day.
  • Thanks for the first report of the season!

    If only we had photos :(

    Just look at the webcam!  (And the definition of insanity is encountering the same situation and expecting something different! That being said, I actually did post 2 photos this year :-)  )

  • Nov. 9, 2017 - Thursday
    Biggest surprise of the day: No attempt to expand snowmaking.  I can only assume,they were tapped out on capacity with what they were doing.  The effort continues on Superstar and I think the density of snow-guns is impressive.  

    On the North Ridge, there was no snowmaking on the open runs during skiing hours.  They made snow all day on Upper East Fall and Upper Big Dipper.  By the afternoon,  they did turn the guns on on Upper Great Northern.

    I am surprised that they are not making an effort to get down Snowden, given the fact that by this weekend, they have serious T2B competition from Mt. Snow, Wildcat, Okemo, Sunday River and probably a few others.  While I really enjoy the walk up the Stairway at the end of the day, that's a turn-off for the non-hard-core crowd.

    As for the snow today: It was much better than yesterday, mostly due to grooming.  Bump lines were on the right and left of Lower Rime and the center wasn't nearly as icy today as it was yesterday.  I was surprised that today's crowd was considerably smaller than yesterday's crowd.


  • Nov. 9, 2017 - Thursday

    Biggest surprise of the day: No attempt to expand snowmaking.  I can only assume,they were tapped out on capacity with what they were doing.  The effort continues on Superstar and I think the density of snow-guns is impressive.  

    On the North Ridge, there was no snowmaking on the open runs during skiing hours.  They made snow all day on Upper East Fall and Upper Big Dipper.  By the afternoon,  they did turn the guns on on Upper Great Northern.

    I am surprised that they are not making an effort to get down Snowden, given the fact that by this weekend, they have serious T2B competition from Mt. Snow, Wildcat, Okemo, Sunday River and probably a few others.  While I really enjoy the walk up the Stairway at the end of the day, that's a turn-off for the non-hard-core crowd.

    As for the snow today: It was much better than yesterday, mostly due to grooming.  Bump lines were on the right and left of Lower Rime and the center wasn't nearly as icy today as it was yesterday.  I was surprised that today's crowd was considerably smaller than yesterday's crowd.


    Not blowing on GN the same time as they do on Rime/Reason is going to bite them, now that it's mid November, not October. The masses are going to have much better options for top to bottom this weekend without all the hassle of the stairs both ways.
  • Upper Great Northern SHOULD be tied into any snow making in the glades pod (ya that's right I typed GLADES) in my opinion and for that matter should have snow made on it when ever possible temp wise even if the temps aren't right in the Glades pod but are up there. Pile it up and then push it.
  • Nov. 9, 2017 - Thursday

    Biggest surprise of the day: No attempt to expand snowmaking.  I can only assume,they were tapped out on capacity with what they were doing.  The effort continues on Superstar and I think the density of snow-guns is impressive.  

    On the North Ridge, there was no snowmaking on the open runs during skiing hours.  They made snow all day on Upper East Fall and Upper Big Dipper.  By the afternoon,  they did turn the guns on on Upper Great Northern.

    I am surprised that they are not making an effort to get down Snowden, given the fact that by this weekend, they have serious T2B competition from Mt. Snow, Wildcat, Okemo, Sunday River and probably a few others.  While I really enjoy the walk up the Stairway at the end of the day, that's a turn-off for the non-hard-core crowd.

    As for the snow today: It was much better than yesterday, mostly due to grooming.  Bump lines were on the right and left of Lower Rime and the center wasn't nearly as icy today as it was yesterday.  I was surprised that today's crowd was considerably smaller than yesterday's crowd.


    Not blowing on GN the same time as they do on Rime/Reason is going to bite them, now that it's mid November, not October. The masses are going to have much better options for top to bottom this weekend without all the hassle of the stairs both ways.
    Nov. 10, 2017 - Friday
    Your point is accurate.  Even if they open Upper Great Northern, there is still no T2B run and the stairway is a daunting way to end the day, although I admit that I like it.  Bottom line: Killington's goals appear to be first to open and to make their World Cup commitment.  They seem  willing to concede this weekend to Mt. Snow, Okemo, etc. who do have T2B and with the max pass, even Killington season pass people were saying they were headed for Okemo this weekend.

    I would say that based on the snowmaking going on today the Great Northern route to the North Ridge will be open tomorrow as will be Upper East Fall.  It's possible Upper Double Dipper may also be in the mix. 

    Today was a so-so day.  K1 was on weather hold for more than 1.5 hours.  I suspect it was ice on the haul rope rather than wind.  Wind didn't kick up until the PM.  When the lift finally opened, the skiing was very nice, except the troughs of the bumps on skier's left that bottomed out yesterday had not filled in.  Crowd was bad until about 1PM.  12 minutes at peak.  After 1PM, the line pretty much evaporated.

    I suspect that the crowd on this weekend will be manageable due to T2B availability at competitors' resorts.
  • Peak Cam shows them making their way down Snowdon
  • Peak Cam shows them making their way down Snowdon

    Correct. They started yesterday when they opened Upper East Fall. Thay expect to be T2B by the weekend at the latest; possibly as soon as tomorrow.
  • Looks to be a few more cars in the K1 parking lot than yesterday.
  • Killington reporting T2B on their Facebook and their conditions commentary, but Bunny Buster and others still listed "closed with snowmaking" on the trail report.
  • Nov. 13 and 14, 2017 - Mon. & Tues.
    I think Killington felt pressure to provide a T2B route because their competition was doing so.  The path from the top is Great Northern to either Upper East Fall or Lower Rime.  From the bottom of the North Ridge, there is a short hike uphill to pick up Middle Great Northern.  That takes you to Mouse Trap and then Lower Bunny Buster back to the lift.

    So it's not a clean T2B.  That may change as early as tomorrow.  They are blowing extensively on the missing section of Middle Great Northern.

    I'm not sure why they waited so long to restring the haul rope of the Snowden Triple.  It seems like that should have been a summer project.

    Tuesday, they moved the guns off the T2B route and it was quite pleasant.  Monday, it was heavy wet snow with zero visibility.  No fun at all.

    No line either day.
  • edited November 2017
    With respect to pressure, I don't think it has much if any to do with focusing on Superstar WC snowmaking.  Normally Killington has a month or so of marginal snowmaking weather. They have a massive advantage with their close hydrant spacing and upper-elevation pod.  This year there was no snowmaking weather until a massive shift in the weather pattern that brought snowmaking weather down low.  This kinda destroyed Killington's advantage.  Look to Sunday River which was in the same boat.

    Their advantage allowed them to open two days before their competitors, but their MO of Rime/Reason -> East Fall -> Great Northern -> T2B bit them in the rear as others could make T2B coverage.  They also have a fairly long T2B route.

    That said, they were T2B 4 days after opening which has got to be a near-record excluding the Nyberg years.
  • edited November 2017
    obienick said:

    With respect to pressure, I don't think it has much if any to do with focusing on Superstar WC snowmaking.  Normally Killington has a month or so of marginal snowmaking weather. They have a massive advantage with their close hydrant spacing and upper-elevation pod.  This year there was no snowmaking weather until a massive shift in the weather pattern that brought snowmaking weather down low.  This kinda destroyed Killington's advantage.  Look to Sunday River which was in the same boat.


    Their advantage allowed them to open two days before their competitors, but their MO of Rime/Reason -> East Fall -> Great Northern -> T2B bit them in the rear as others could make T2B coverage.  They also have a fairly long T2B route.

    That said, they were T2B 4 days after opening which has got to be a near-record excluding the Nyberg years.
    I agree with most of what you said, but I think they exhausted most of their compressor power on Superstar and Skyelark and they left crumbs - not for the North Ridge, but on the T2B connection.
  • Have they released a count of guns running at once this year? Last year I think it was like 130-132.  This year they had 5 fan guns on the ground and the tower fan gun as well. Didn't they only use the tower fan gun last year?
  • obienick said:

    Have they released a count of guns running at once this year? Last year I think it was like 130-132.  This year they had 5 fan guns on the ground and the tower fan gun as well. Didn't they only use the tower fan gun last year?

    If that question was directed at me. I don't know.  I do think that the fan guns need a few degrees colder temps than the air/water ones and a lot of their early snowmaking was under the most marginal conditions.
  • Dec. 4/5, 2017
    Killington continues to be superb.  I am especially impressed how nicely Superstar and Skyelark skied and what a great job they did making it skiable for the general public following the World Cup event.

    There are even a run (maybe two) that are open on natural snow - and if this were "the old days", there would have been one or two more open.

  • I've been at Killington a lot, but with no comments, I'm assuming I'm not generating anything worthy of discussion.  PM me if any of you has comments or questions about what's new at Killington.
  • I have been enjoying the trip reports!
  • newpylong said:

    I have been enjoying the trip reports!

    For those who watch the Big Bang Theory and Sheldon's "Fun with Flags", he opts to continue producing the show when he discovers that he actually has one viewer.

    Yesterday was day 11 for me at Killington this season.  

    As of Dec. 12, some of the lower pitch trails near the summit are opening on natural snow, notably Upper Ridge Run (formerly, the West Glade). I suspect that if the South Ridge Lift was in, most of that area could be open on natural snow, but without Bear, there is no lift-serviced way out of the South Ridge.

    The Superstar area is approaching 100% open without expanding to Skye Peak.  Guns are running over there.  Lower Ovation, probably Killington's best sustained steep opened yesterday on a combination of icy whales, soft crud under the guns and breakable crust.  I survived it; I didn't enjoy it; and I didn't go back for seconds.

    The North Ridge is fully open (except Powerline).

    Snowdon is fully open except for the Glades and the trails on which they choose to be natural snow only (Royal Flush, North Star and Great Bear) and the connector to Ramshead (Vagabond?)

    Ramshead is about half-open and Snowshed appears to be close to fully open although I didn't check it out.

    The Canyon has just East Fall and Cascade as the open paths down.
  • edited December 2017
    Skied Killington Saturday.  Considering how many people were there, they move 'em around pretty well.  

    Driving up the access road at noon the headwall on Superstar looked light blue from that distance.  I imagine that had something to do with the water injection from the race.

    Some of the trails were in surprisingly good shape, others not so much

  • Jan. 21 and 22, 2018 - Sun.& Mon.

    The snow was good both days, but Monday was pea-soup fog.

    They have started building the glacier on Superstar.  As a result, there is a crown in the middle of the trail.  This creates a double fall-line basically all the way down on either side of the crown.  No problem skiing it on Sunday with good visibility.  I found it virtually unskiable today, getting vertigo over-steering and under-steering, depending on which way I was turning.
    Question:  Have any of you experienced similar?
  • newpylong said:

    I have been enjoying the trip reports!

    For those who watch the Big Bang Theory and Sheldon's "Fun with Flags", he opts to continue producing the show when he discovers that he actually has one viewer.

    Yesterday was day 11 for me at Killington this season.  

    As of Dec. 12, some of the lower pitch trails near the summit are opening on natural snow, notably Upper Ridge Run (formerly, the West Glade). I suspect that if the South Ridge Lift was in, most of that area could be open on natural snow, but without Bear, there is no lift-serviced way out of the South Ridge.

    The Superstar area is approaching 100% open without expanding to Skye Peak.  Guns are running over there.  Lower Ovation, probably Killington's best sustained steep opened yesterday on a combination of icy whales, soft crud under the guns and breakable crust.  I survived it; I didn't enjoy it; and I didn't go back for seconds.

    The North Ridge is fully open (except Powerline).

    Snowdon is fully open except for the Glades and the trails on which they choose to be natural snow only (Royal Flush, North Star and Great Bear) and the connector to Ramshead (Vagabond?)

    Ramshead is about half-open and Snowshed appears to be close to fully open although I didn't check it out.

    The Canyon has just East Fall and Cascade as the open paths down.
    I'd expect open terrain to double by Wednesday

    Skied Killington Saturday.  Considering how many people were there, they move 'em around pretty well.  


    Driving up the access road at noon the headwall on Superstar looked light blue from that distance.  I imagine that had something to do with the water injection from the race.

    Some of the trails were in surprisingly good shape, others not so much
    Leftover blue dye from the GS races. 
  • I'm confused by lotsoskiing's post above. It is dated today (1/23/18) at 11:21 AM.  But it seems to be from about 6 weeks ago.  What am I missing?

  • edited January 23
    I dunno but the side to side blueishness I saw early December on the headwall wasn't leftover dye.  It was this sort of faint purply blue (on the trail, not the jacket)  and a lot steeper...

    image

  • edited January 23
    They don't put that much die down.  Other than some extreme situations, just a few meters of die above and below the turning gate of GS only.

    Blue = ice.

    1) They injected a lot of water onto Superstar for the races. Then the softened surface.  

    2) We've had several rain-freeze cycles. 

    Regardless, the top softer tilled snow was most likely scraped off leaving a more compact surface below. This has different light penetration properties and thus the different color.
  • Mar. 5, 2018 - Mon.
    Awesome day.  4" powder which opened many glades and made icy spots edge-able (usually). 

    Observations:
    - Snowguns were running all day at key intersections: the kind of snowmaking one would expect in November and December, but not March.
    - Glacier on Superstar: Seemed smaller than last year.  Hope this doesn't mean an early closing.
    - Expansion for 2018-9 Season: 
    --- Apparently the Bear Mtn. Lodge was another pot of money that the $16M announcement.
    --- The "new" South Ridge Chair will be the old Snowden Quad.
    --- With the removal of the Upper Snowden Poma and the changing of the Snowden Quad to a 6-pack will increase skier traffic on Snowden by about 15% with no increase in downhill routes. 
    --- With the poma moved to Ramshead, the racing on Bunny Buster will be gone and will make an extra blue-square trail available to the general public


  • Mar. 6, 2018 - Tue.
    Another spectacular day at Killington

    1. Snowguns were running pretty much all day.  They definitely have not thrown in the towel  on this season.
    2. Superstar Glacier: I got two inputs.
    a. Although the glacier appears smaller than last year, the snow has been spread over a wider area
    b. Killington is looking for a 72 hour window below 20° so they can just pour out the snow most efficiently. There seems to be such a window in next week's forecast, so they haven't kissed off a June closing.
  • nice reports Joshua. I was there Sat. and was much impressed with the snowmaking going in all kind of places and the snow coverage was much better than expected even down too RT4.
  • Remski said:

    nice reports Joshua. I was there Sat. and was much impressed with the snowmaking going in all kind of places and the snow coverage was much better than expected even down to RT4.

    I never made it down to Rte. 4, but both sections of the Skyeship were running both days. 
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