Originally Posted by <><>
Skied there on Saturday. It was cold in the morning, but for Late Nov the conditions were fine. There was a good top layer (thanks to the snow guns) from about 8:30am to about 2pm. Patrol was dropping ropes on a few trails as the day went on but still had to ski through the snowguns, stopping more then I would have liked to, to clean off the goggles.
Overall, I say they did a good job opening what they could by Saturday. I talked to one of those "Mountain Ambassadors", who told me that Killington is trying to open 100% of the mountain by Dec 15th.
They have got alot of work to do.
100% open? That just ain't true. Bear Mountain isn't even scheduled to be open until the day after Christmas. The schedule is to have Snowshed (and I guess Rams Head) operating on December 15th. ...sooner if they get sustained cold and some natural snow help though the Snowshed base lodge is being worked on at the moment. The plan is to get everything open you can see from the Killington base lodge ASAP. That includes Downdraft, Double Dipper, and Ovation. With the predicted cold weather, the next two weekends should be very nice.
For a Thanksgiving with no natural snow assist, it was the best I can remember in 25+ years. Killington has gone back to the pre-ASC strategy of offering terrain for advanced skiers. When ASC operated the place, they squandered snowmaking capacity blowing Rams Head and Snowshed plus all the trails needed to interconnect them with the rest of the mountain. That terrain invariably melted out.
For advanced skiers, the amount of terrain available by Thanksgiving Sunday was pretty impressive given that it had thawed on Wednesday and Thursday. Superstar top to bottom. Downdraft headwall to Cascade off the K1. East Fall. Highline. Mouse Trap. Skyelark top to bottom. Lower Bittersweet. Cascade on Saturday morning was the best I'd ever seen it on a non-powder day. Nice velvet whales produced by dry snow guns in single digit temperatures. I did six laps first thing in the morning. Thursday was great spring skiing. The rest of the weekend, you just followed the snow guns and had a big grin on your face.
It wasn't crowded. On Saturday, the main parking lot and the Vale lot were full with cars halfway down the access road. In other years, Snowshed and Rams Head lots would have been full with cars all the way down the road to below Rams Head. I never hit a significant liftline. I rarely had that Killington "run down like a dog" feeling. I had no problem finding a seat in the bar on Saturday and the lodge was pretty empty the other days. A $60 day ticket, no novice terrain, and a $1000 non-blackout season pass did the trick.
If you were an intermediate, you probably weren't all that happy. The trail pod off The Glades ^h^h^h^h Northridge triple didn't get resurfaced and was pretty slick by mid-morning. Ditto the terrain on Snowdon like Chute and Bunny Buster. If you were a novice or had little kids doing 'pizza' and 'french fries', you were pretty much banished to a very icy and busy Great Northern descent down from the K1 or the two Snowdon lifts. I saw a few never-never snowboarders but the overall yahoo factor was quite low.
This is my first epicski post in a number of years. I've been elsewhere...