Killington - 2017-2018

joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
in Trip Reports Posts: 1,802
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!


Comments

  • Posts: 2,011
    Thanks for the first report of the season!

    If only we had photos :(
    - Sam
  • ChuckstahChuckstah advanced
    Posts: 348
    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.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,802

    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 :-)  )

  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,802
    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.


  • ME2VTskierME2VTskier advanced
    Posts: 108

    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.
  • RemskiRemski advanced
    Posts: 362
    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.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,802

    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.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 750
    Peak Cam shows them making their way down Snowdon
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,802

    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.
  • ME2VTskierME2VTskier advanced
    Posts: 108
    Looks to be a few more cars in the K1 parking lot than yesterday.
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 938
    Killington reporting T2B on their Facebook and their conditions commentary, but Bunny Buster and others still listed "closed with snowmaking" on the trail report.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,802
    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.
  • obienickobienick expert
    edited November 14 Posts: 938
    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.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    edited November 15 Posts: 1,802
    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.
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 938
    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?
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,802
    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.
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