After a 4 1/2 year hiatus, I was back at Killington. First time in November since 1991. Saturday was my first opportunity to leave Ottawa (ie. For Montreal) and probably my last before Christmas. So I made the most of it.
After seeing the less than convincing reports on Ste.Anne's opening weekend and Tremblant opening the top mountain this weekend with probable hordes of skiers, the choice was pretty clear in my mind. It had to be Killington. Sorry folks, but St.Sauveur and Camp Fortune (15 minutes from downtown Ottawa) were not going to do it for me. The fact that the Loonie hasn't been close to this height in years (1993) wasn't bad either.
Friday night: picked-up my new Rossignol B1 in my favorite small shop in Montreal.
Saturday morning: 5:30am (planned departure time). Woke up at 5:45am, [censored] the alarm clock stopped in the middle of the night. Quick Breakfast and made a quick lunch. Left Montreal at 6:30am sharp. Montreal is 187miles (290km from Champlain Bridge) and 3 hours away.
This was going to be a solo trip. 100th solo ski day since 1981-82, 45th Killington visit.
What a beautiful drive, just 20 minutes away from MTL, in the middle of the plains between the city and the ever-expanding suburbs, I could see through the morning fog, the sunrise just behind Mt.Sutton. The view through my windshield was beautiful, Mt. St.Hilaire, Rougemont, St.Grégoire, Sutton, Jay Peak, Smugglers' and Mansfield. Unfortunately, I never take time for pictures in the morning, especially this morning.
Going to Killington in November and zipping through U.S. Customs in record time, cheap American dollars, this trip had a definitely a 80s feel to it.
Heading down on Interstate 89, I had a glimpse on. Look like they had one run on Skye Peak, that was definitely confirm one hour later when I hit the access road. Finally arrived at Killington at 9:45am, I was parked all the way to Pitts-field!!! GIVE US THE REPORT, MAN!!!!
Killington ski report for the day mentioned 19 trails with 7 lifts (K1, Glades triple, Snowdon triple and Quad, poma and Superstar Quad). That last addition probably explained the new pricing, $47, up from $39 the previous day when the SS quad was not running.
It was Customer Demo Day, which might partially explain why my car was park a time zone away. The skiing was great. I have to lift my hat at Killington with what terrain was opened, especially opening the Upper Downdraft headwall.
Conditions were generally good, coverage was excellent. Someone definitely needed to have shape edges to fully enjoy this day, especially with the skier heavy traffic. Loose granular conditions were the norm, as someone got closer to the KBL.
Started skiing at 10:30am. Skiied generally Snowdon and Glades area with one top-to-bottom run. The line-ups weren't too bad, maximum 3 minutes using the single lines. The worst line up were for the K1 and the Glades triple. Glades area was fairly crowded.
Lunch at 1:00pm at the summit.
Afternoon at 1:30pm, re-did Downdraft and probably one more run on Glades. The traffic was still pretty heavy. Decided to do laps off the poma (poma was out-of-order for at least 15 minutes). At the end of the day, skied with 2 Ryans from Pennsylvania. Toward the end of the day, we decided to go all the way to the bottom. Notice that the Superstar Quad was running (I had noticed that it was closed at 12:30pm) and did the last two run on Bittersweet. Someone had told me that Bittersweet was a bowling alley in the AM (one run and one express Quad), however at 3:45pm, we were virtually alone. This is a nice long run and fun to ski when it isn't crowded.
The Ryans had skied the previous day and mentioned that the run had virtually no snow on it when the guns were turned on that night. Good job Killington.
Upper Downdraft (headwall) - nice and steep. Amazed that they decide to choose it for an early opening. However it was a bit of a drag to have to ski all the way down via Snowden and get back on the K1 to access that trail again. No, I am not going to talk about the double again.
Highline (a ban of thin spots coming out in middle pitch by the end of day) - Best steep, overall satisfaction of the day. Spring conditions.
Upper East Fall - relatively quiet for the crowded Glades area.
Bunny(?) Next to poma. Sorry Joe, this trail is definitely a better course trail than mogul run. A lot of fall away pitches, fun to ski.
Mouse Trap ? it was bumping up nicely.
Bittersweet when the Superstar Quad was functioning.
Great Northern ? a human flow of skier from Glades across Snowdon.
Bottom of the Snowdon Quad (no snow ? mud).
Rime and Reason(?) snow park.
Mouse Run and the Killink.
Bottom Bunny Buster and parallel trail lower kept the skier density manageable.
Overall, it was a great day, best November skiing a had in a long time (ie. Last year was my first year skiing in November since 1991). I can't talk about Kmart without adding a few negative points. I took a few pictures, however K will already have over 120 trails open by the time I get the pictures finished, scanned and posted.
Pet-Peeve of the Day:
I guess someone heard Joe complaint about the SkiKey racks, I saw one, however I only saw one!!! And my Ski lock was all the way in the Pitts-Parking.
Lifts and Alarm Clock not functioning properly (Superstar Quad being closed for at least 3 hours + poma problems).
Crowds (I have seen worst) and $47 lift ticket.
Skier (didn't see any boarders) taking/making cell phone calls on the trails/liftlines, etc.
Guys that pee in toilets instead of using urinals (you will understand when you have a young kid). Not really related to that ski day.
Boarders that sit in the middle of the trail with is back turn at you. Man, is that brave or stupid, especially when you consider the skier traffic Great Northern near the open Snowdon trails (ie Mouse Run)?
edit: re-edition and improved version of TR on Ski Mad World
. Same text and more pictures.
Last edited by Patrick
on Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.