Killington 2018-9

edited October 20 in Trip Reports
Oct. 19, 2018 - Fri. - Opening Day

What a spectacular day! While officially scheduled to open at 10AM, in fact they started loading people on the K1 just after 9:30. (I wonder when Sunday River started loading their lift - also scheduled to open at 10AM.)

The "party favor" for opening day was a gator. There were supposedly 300 of them and I know they ran out, so there were over 300 people there for opening day.

The conditions were a little crunchy in the first hour, but as the temps rose and traffic did its magic, the surface got really nice with wonderful moguls (not the gnarly kind as exist in May on Superstar.)

The weather was beautiful with sunshine and comfortable temps. The lift line maxed at 5 minutes between opening and 11:30. After that, the lift line pretty much disappeared. Unfortunately, I had an early evening commitment and had to quit at 1:30.

For those who remember opening days, they usually have Upper and Lower Rime + Reason. The bonus was Upper East Fall (East Glade for us old timers). That prevented the serious crowding on Lower Rime.

The snow was deep and full width.

Comments

  • Well I'll steal Chucks pic to imagine what it looked like

    Great start Joshua!
    Wow skiing inOct, leaves still on?
  • The grand illusion of photography: It looks like mid-winter, but to the left, right, below and above the photo, there is no snow!

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  • Nice to get at it Joshua. How long was the line for the NRT?
  • edited October 20
    Styx Grand illusion

    I knew you could post a great pic!
  • A picture from Joshua?! Thanks for sharing!
    - Sam
  • Did the Upper Snowdon Poma get relocated to Ramshead? I heard no updates from Killington this summer about it.
  • edited October 20
    In process.

    Skiing looks great. East Glade is a great early season treat.
  • Re the photo: I took it for an FB posting and figured that as long as I had it, I'd give ciscokid a minor heart attack :-) by posting it here.

    Longest lift line was about 5 min. between 10:15 and 11:30.

    As to the Upper Snowden Poma: I neither saw it nor was I near either the place that it was or the place where it is supposed to be. Answer to IBrake's question: I don't know.

  • Now that's strange, JS does Facebook I dont
  • Thanks for the report and nice picture. Looks like a beautiful day out there.
  • Wow, nice stuff before Halloween. Good to see enthusiasm and a crowd!
  • thanks for sharing the report and PHOTO! ;) ;) ;)

  • Thanks for the report. I'll be there tomorrow hopefully skiing some new snow, but likely dust on hard pack.
  • Nice early season conditions today on Rime/Reason, with the Reason/ Upper East Fall combo providing the better surface. It snowed a bit, maybe an inch, and it was a foggy, ski by feel kind of day. Good time skiing with SJ member Madpatski. If he sees this, a big if, he took some great pics
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  • Wow looks good. Wow how's madpat our northern neighbor?
  • Oct. 25, 2018 - Thursday
    Jeremy (nelsap) made a nice report at:
    http://www.snowjournal.com/discussion/2124/killington-oct-25-2018

    A couple of things I'd like to add:
    1) While I hate the noise and the wetness of skiing though snow guns, I recognize the need for it at every opportunity the weather permits it, if they want to stay open despite some of the early season warm spells.
    2) Killington diverts half or more of their early season snowmaking to Superstar for the World Cup, but the trail is not available to guests. That slows their ability to open Great Northern.
    3) The layout of Killington is such that they are no longer set up for the early season product. There are several reasons for that:
    a) Places like Mt. Snow Sunday River and Wildcat are opening without the long walk within days of Killington's opening. While I like the walk up and down the Heavenly Traverse Stairway, a lot of people don't. The good news: It does keep the crowd down.
    b) Killington had the perfect layout for early/late season skiing on the old Killington FG Chair with their "load-only" mid-station. Running one lift they were able to provide nice intermediate skiing from the summit to the midstation (which was located at the spot where Cascade branches to the west and become the Cascade Headwall).

    The answer:
    1. Install a loading mid-station on K1 at that point. Probably expensive but probably would need the least permitting.
    or
    2. Install a short chair from that spot to the top. This chair would serve three functions.

    Either of those options would:
    a) It would provide an alternate way to the summit if the K1 can't operate.
    b) It would provide another intermediate route on Killington proper during mid-season
    c) It would reduce the need for the Superstar Glacier because the higher elevation would hold the snow much better.
    d) If they did get a crowd late/early season, they could add the North Ridge without walking.

    I think Killington realizes how important the early and late season product is to their reputation and ultimately their bottom line.
  • I've often wondered why Killington hasn't done a number of the things that you suggested. I feel like it would make them more attractive for early season skiing and also allow them to have a longer season
    - Sam
  • I've often wondered why Killington hasn't done a number of the things that you suggested. I feel like it would make them more attractive for early season skiing and also allow them to have a longer season

    If you'll notice, Killington is still emerging from the deferred maintenance issues that began in the last 5-years of the failing of ASC. When POWDR took them over, the new management wass clueless about the importance to the Killington mystique of their early and late season product. As a result, the improvements made starting with K! essentially dismantled that aspect of their infrastructure. Mike Solimano has been bringing Killington back, but their pockets aren't deep enough to do it all at once.
  • Let’s just have Cannon do it!!!
  • edited October 26
    ciscokid said:

    Wow looks good. Wow how's madpat our northern neighbor?

    Hey Cisco, Patrick is doing great! He just can't stop skiing! Here is one I stole from his Instgram with my sorry ass in back

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    Edited to say it looks like the insert pic is working once again!
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  • edited October 26
    The last time I skied off the Killington Double Chair for late season skiing was in May of 1990. While Upper Cascade and Upper Downdraft where fun, I don't remember skiing from the chair unload to the mid-station without some walking required.

    Downdraft Headwall nearly always burned away, requiring a steep scramble down to Upper Cascade. It's not easy to maintain late season snow on Upper Great Northern.

    I agree though that a mid-station on K Gondola could work. I don't know why they didn't go the Chondola route with upgrading K. Chairs would be easier to unload.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • Any chance of madpat coming to SJ 1/6 at Crotched?
    Looks like he'd fit in w JS and us old grey beards
  • edited October 29
    I'll make sure he knows about the meet up. I don't want to speak for Patrick, but he's usually busy with race training most every day in peak season.
  • Nov. 1, 2018 - Thursday

    The mountain was pretty empty today with drizzle and light rain much of the day. The skiing is great and the offerings were expanded since my last visit:
    From Killington Peak:
    - Great Northern to Rime
    - Downdraft Headwall
    Upper half of North Ridge
    - Rime
    - Reason
    - Upper Double Dipper
    - High Traverse
    Lower Half of North Ridge:
    - Rime
    - Upper East Fall

    It did provide nice variety. At the end of the day (or for lunch), the stairway was required. No sign yet of Killington providing a way down without using the walkway.

    Snow on Superstar and some of Skyelark looks good for the World Cup, but it won't be available to the public until December.
  • edited November 15
    Nov. 12, 2018 - Mon.

    No change in open terrain since my Nov. 1 report. T2B is advertised for Weds. the 13th. Based on the weather and the ongoing snowmaking, they should make that.

    The grandstand for the World Cup Race is being delivered and set up. There should be no problem for Killington to make pass snow control for the race. I heard it was already 12 feet deep on the headwall.

    Pretty crowded today with AM lift lines at 7 to 8 minutes.
  • these reports are better than the webcams! They did pass snow control this morning

  • Nov. 15, 2018 - Thurs.

    Some non-snowmaking terrain opened including the West Glade. Snow is very skiable on much of the mountain and has been liberally poached. Word is, Patrol has pulled a lot of tickets. All sorts of (temporary) construction going on in anticipation of the World Cup.

    Extensive snowmaking ongoing on Snowdon as well as East Fall.

    I saw one of the tunnels today for the first time. The traffic pattern for it is unclear. The jury is out as to whether or not it will help anything, but I give them credit for trying.
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