Opposite opinion - Killington Friday 8 Dec 2006
My son and I were also at Killington, and I thought it was great! I went up with low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised. Thumbs up to the snowmakers.
I will admit it was bitter cold (9 deg with a strong wind) and poor visibility - between the overcast and the snowmaking with wind. But that's life.
The North Ridge area (what used to be the Glades was smooth up top with good snow and mini-bumps on the bottom half. For some reason the top half had little traffic, so we did some technique practice/taping. (I suppose it was because most people went over to the terrain park that paralleled it.)
Towards the end of the day they dropped the rope on East Fall from there (which is a steep, fairly short pitch). It was covered in deep snow that was a little heavy but not mashed potatoes. Fluffy whipped potatoes, maybe. In any case, it was good enough that powder technique worked in it, and it was a blast.
(The Cascade runout at the bottome of East Fall was quite bony, but they had it marked thin cover at the entrance to the run. This was the only thin coverage we saw all day.)
The Cascade Headwall was open with good coverage and some interesting big rollers (hard surface but not really ice). It was a challenge for the first day back, esp. w/ limited visibility).
There were even some fairly serious moguls on the left edge of MouseTrap.
The Superstar chair was running, with a loop coming back down (SkyLark to Bittersweet, I think.) The guns had been left in place long enough that each one made a big snowmaking whale ten or more feet tall, many of which were quite steep on the back side. It was great fun to run down the continuous chain of whales. One interesting thing this showed is how much range of adjustment there is in snowmaking. Each whale had a different consistency - a few even had patches of powder.
(I've noticed this before -- when it is very cold, snow guns can
make powder. They don't do it on purpose, I suppose because it is not economical. They are trying to make thick snow to cover the ground. In fact, one day last year I discovered a few guns blowing powder and then saw the crew come back and readjust them so they made more typical man-made snow).
The center of the trail on the Skylark loop had some sections that were ice, which my son liked cause it gave him a chance to try the edge hold of his new racing skis. (Very good, by the way).
I was glad we went on Friday (my son had off school for some random reason). The weekday and cold made for thin crowds (no lift lines) and good snow. I suspect today (Sat) and Sunday were/will be a zoo. I'm also not sure how cold it stayed up there, considering it warmed up a lot down here in Boston.