Stratton, VT 03/22/08

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Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:28 pm

I never figured that a weekend at Stratton was in the cards for me, but I got an invitation to meet people from a really interesting non-profit group at the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships, so I headed up after work on Friday. The forecast was for near-perfect spring weather all weekend and that's exactly what we got on Saturday. Cloudless skies and temps in the mid 40s softened almost everything, especially on the skier’s right side of the mountain.

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PR Mastermind Matt Yemma in the bumps

I’d never been to Stratton before, so I was stunned to see the extent of development for a mountain of this size: hotels, condos, and homes all over the place. I assume that if the economy hadn’t turned south, Intrawest would’ve kept on building. While a lot of the trails were, as many people complain, too boulevardy, I found several winding EC specials and a decent amount of low-angle woods in Upper Kidderbrook and Sun Bowl.

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Kidderbrook Woods

Today, clouds came in with intermittent light snow, so the hardscrabble didn't soften as much as yesterday, but I still found a bunch of trails that were skiing nicely.

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James on Black Bear

With most of the diverse crowds from the U.S. Open finals gone, I got a good taste of what Strap-On is like on a normal weekend -- hedge fund managers from Connecticut and their spoiled wives and kids. A lot of them looked like the type of people that would work at AIG. As a goof, I considered walking up to one of them and DEMANDING MY TAX MONEY BACK.

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At least they're honest about where their sympathies lie

While the skiing was very good, the real fun of the weekend was meeting all the people from The Chill Foundation on Saturday. Originally created 14 years ago by Jake and Donna Burton (founders of the snowboard company) to provide teens and pre-teens from underserved backgrounds with equipment, lift tickets, lessons, and transportation to nearby mountains, they soon realized that the snowboard-learning experience could be used as a springboard to teach them how to get past their present circumstances and succeed in life. You’d never guess that any of these polite, well-spoken, and motivated kids, brought in from 14 cities across North America, were from at-risk environments. In fact, they were the polar opposite of the snotty, ill-mannered snowboarder stereotype that skiers (who, me? 8-[ ) often grumble about. A great story, I’ll have more details in an upcoming article.

A few shots of the Chill crew and the U.S. Open:

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Jake Burton Signing Fan Apparel

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Two-Plankers In The Minority

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Airing Out

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Photo Op
Last edited by jamesdeluxe on Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby Admin » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:32 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:Image
Photo Op


Couldn't resist that one, could you?
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Re: Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby Patrick » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:30 pm

Admin wrote:Couldn't resist that one, could you?

:lol:
Wonder if that is really James next to Miss Vermont? Looks more like 2d-cardboard cutout of him or photoshop?

James, where is your right hand? And did Mrs Deluxe knows about it? :lol:
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Re: Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby Admin » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:37 pm

Patrick wrote:James, where is your right hand?


Apparently doing nothing. Otherwise she wouldn't be smiling. :wink:
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Re: Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:14 pm

Admin wrote:
Patrick wrote:James, where is your right hand?

Apparently doing nothing. Otherwise she wouldn't be smiling. :wink:

To paraphrase Charles Emerson Winchester: "when will you gentlemen realize that your petty fantasies cannot measure up to my real life?!?!"

Here's something ski-related to think about... to serve 583 acres of skiable terrain, Stratton has four high-speed six packs and one 12-person gondola. :shock:
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Re: Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby Geoff » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:36 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:Image


Where did they find a contestant with teeth? ;)

I'm considering driving down to Stratton tomorrow to use up one of my two comp tickets. It should be a few degrees warmer so I might have better luck finding corn snow.
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Re: Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:39 pm

to serve 583 acres of skiable terrain, Stratton has four high-speed six packs and one 12-person gondola.

Does that result in a Hunter/Mt. High level of trail congestion? Probably only in certain places I'd guess.
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Re: Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby Marc_C » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:44 pm

Geoff wrote:
jamesdeluxe wrote:Image


Where did they find a contestant with teeth? ;)

I believe she invited him to her next family get together, where they're all mighty proud of her:
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Re: Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:22 pm

Tony Crocker wrote: Does that result in a Hunter/Mt. High level of trail congestion? Probably only in certain places I'd guess.

Correct. Certain trails were like rush hour at Penn Station, but along the far sides (especially skier's right: Kidderbrook), it was almost desolate. Three or four times, I went down the entire 2,000 vertical feet without seeing one person, quite an accomplishment if you saw how filled the parking lots were. And if you ducked into the woods (more glade skiing than I would have expected, and I'm sure they aren't reflected in the skiable acreage reported, as at most EC hills): total silence.

Like most places, the cliches are true, but I didn't find Strap-On completely without merit... and I was there when it was running at full capacity. If I could go on a weekday with that kind of lift speed when the trees are at 100%, I'd figure out a way to enjoy myself.
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Re: Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby Marc_C » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:14 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:Like most places, the cliches are true, but I didn't find Strap-On completely without merit... and I was there when it was running at full capacity. If I could go on a weekday with that kind of lift speed when the trees are at 100%, I'd figure out a way to enjoy myself.

Actually when I lived in central CT, I skied Stratton fairly often and it grew on me. It was attractive because:
1) within day trip range
2) about the same drive time as Mt. Snow but with more interesting terrain ('cept for Mt. Blow's North Face area)
3) a tiny bit shorter drive time than Okemo, but with far more interesting terrain
4) actually pretty easy to get away from crowds once you figured out how most people ski it
5) when conditions were marginal, their grooming was quite excellent
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Re: Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby rfarren » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:39 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote: but along the far sides (especially skier's right: Kidderbrook), it was almost desolate.


I've found that to be similiar to my experience with Stratton. I really liked Kidderbrook. Three winters ago I went up there and they had gotten something like 6-8 inches. The mountain was a mob scene. The gondola was a sardine tin. It may hold twelve people but would be better holding 4. However, kidderbrook was a delight. I remember going off into the trees on the skiers left off of kidderbrook, although it may have been one of the other trails in that general vicinity. Anyhow, my point is that the skiers right side of stratton for whatever reason seems to get less traffic.
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Re: Stratton, VT 03/22/08

Postby Harvey44 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:25 am

Geoff wrote:
jamesdeluxe wrote:Image


Where did they find a contestant with teeth? ;)


She has pretty nice teeth too, I think. Nice TR!
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