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Killington, Saturday November 20th, 2004

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:22 pm
by Patrick
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!!!


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.

Best trails:

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.

Worst place:
Great Northern ? a human flow of skier from Glades across Snowdon.
Bottom of the Snowdon Quad (no snow ? mud).

Other trails:
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.

re: Killington, Saturday November 20th, 2004

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:19 am
by Geoff
OK. Here's my Saturday report:

We woke up at 6:45. Made a pot of tea and ate some cereal. Started booting up in the living room around 7:45 and we were in the season pay parking lot next to the K1 at 7:55. We rode up in the box and did some runs on the Glades, err, NorthRidge triple. It was pretty bullet-proof other than the terrain park on upper East Glade, err, Reason. We skied out and came down via Highline which was groomed death cookies. We walked through all the demo tents and over to the Superstar quad. We did a bunch of laps there until it got uncomfortably busy and quit for the day. Skyelark/Bittersweet was definitely the best snow on the mountain.

We went out in the rain on Sunday for a couple of hours. The skiing surface was fantastic. We stayed on the Snowdon lifts since the masses were all doing K1 laps. By skiing Mouse Trap to lower Chute, you could completely avoid all of those people and have the mountain to yourself.

re: Killington, Saturday November 20th, 2004

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:56 pm
by Ryan
Hey Patrick,

It's one of the Ryan's, I should say the one without the dreads.
It was great to cut up that afternoon with you and the other Ryan. He says hello as well incidentally. In case you are ever into a little small mountain (I use that word very loosely) skiing we both instruct at Peek n' Peak in south east NY as do unfortunately both of our ex-girlfriends. Give us a shout some time if you are in the area.

As for my take on Killington last weekend:
It was fantastic. I'm from Pittsburgh in Western PA and there will be nothing open around these parts for at least another 2 weeks. We are looking to get some colder weather soon but will still need 5-6 good cold days before anything can be blown open. Killington was worth every minute of the 10 hour drive to get there this past weekend.

When we arrived on Thursday night at around 3:00 AM we did not feel like getting a room for a couple of hours so we just slept in the truck in the lot. This worked out well because we were there and ready when the first gondola went up at around 8:40. I must say this was my first early season trip to Kmart so I had no idea what to expect. When I got off the top of K1 and rounded the corner under the gondola to hit Downdraft, which we had noticed immediately on the way up, I was shocked. I have skied it before in mid season but had no idea that it would be open in the middle of November. It was not just open but bumped up wonderfully with very good coverage from edge to edge.

Although there were a few thin spots scattered over the mountain I was very impressed with what they have managed to pull off given the number of good cold nights that they have had. The most notible had to be the bottom of the Snowdon Quad. It was a complete mess with far more mud and grass than anything that even looked like snow. I'm sure that they have this fixed by now though.

If you are into parks the 5 mid sized features that were up on reason were adequate. I am not much of a rail/box guy so the 4 lower features, stacked 2 by 2, did me little good other than the ok launch ramps. There was however a good strong drop in ramp at the top that led conveniently to a table top that was around an 6'high X 15'. Not too bad once again considering the month.

Over all this was a very worthwile trip. For the record I think I can safely say that the Ryan's will be returning to Killington next November.

Re: re: Killington, Saturday November 20th, 2004

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:30 pm
by Admin
Ryan wrote:Hey Patrick,

It's one of the Ryan's, I should say the one without the dreads.
It was great to cut up that afternoon with you and the other Ryan. He says hello as well incidentally.

Anybody remember the Newhart Show? Not the first one, but the second one, where Bob Newhart plays Dick Loudon, the Vermont innkeeper?

"Hi, my name is Darryl. This is my brother, Darryl. And this is my other brother, Darryl."

Re: Killington, Saturday November 20th, 2004

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:43 pm
by Patrick
Hello Ryan and Welcome to First Tracks,

I would be surprised if I would be in your area. I think the odds are greater about for you guys coming my way?

A small mountain with an ex-girlfriend working there, talk about a nightmare scenario.

A good friend of mine had the same experience, however it was at Whistler and she left him for another instructor while he was in New Zealand getting their summer teaching planned.

Once I have the pics from K, I will let you know.

Admin wrote:"Hi, my name is Darryl. This is my brother, Darryl. And this is my other brother, Darryl."

Marc, It was:
"Hi, my name is Larry. This is my brother, Darryl. And this is my other brother, Darryl."

Re: Killington, Saturday November 20th, 2004

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:24 pm
by Admin
Patrick wrote:Marc, It was:
"Hi, my name is Larry. This is my brother, Darryl. And this is my other brother, Darryl."


re: Killington, Saturday November 20th, 2004

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:11 pm
by hamdog
the 3 Daryl's from Slap Shot, the movie? the Hanson brothers? weren't
they all named Daryl too? memba that one? haha. best hockey movie
ever. :lol:

oh well. that's off subject.

re: Killington, Saturday November 20th, 2004

PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 11:52 am
by Ryan
I agree Patrick that the chances are FAR greater that I would be heading up your direction. Being that you actually have these funny things called mountains and resorts with more than a 750 vertical feet. I'll let you know if we are heading that way though. There is some talk of going to Stowe this weekend but I'm not sure.

So this is a great forum I must say. One in which people actually do post. There are other ones out there that I have tried out but no one replys to anything or even reads it for that matter.

As for the ex's... no. It is not very cool. Thankfully mine took off to Glasgow Scotland so she won't be back a bunch but the other Ryan's... She will be there in all of her glory.