More ski areas need to offer 8:00 A.M. first chairs. Arriving at the summit of Vermont’s second highest peak forty minutes after sunrise was a treat. A warm glow bathed a mountain caked in white, floating over an undercast. I never expected to find beauty at Killington this morning. But low expectations make for delightful surprises.
That is the theme for this season. Delightful surprises happen when you expect the worst. Or when you don’t expect anything at all. Just set the alarm, grab your skis, and go. Because that is what we do. No matter how bad it gets, we are still making turns. And that sure beats the alternative.
I arrived at Killington expecting crowds, dangerous skiers, and rock hard bumps. I am pleased to report that there were no crowds! But the few bumps that I found were rock hard. And I was almost involved in my second ever collision with an out of control skier.
But thankfully, there was natural snow. Upper Double Dipper, Mouse Trap, Mouse Run, Chute, and MTS all skied delightfully enough to warrant a mid-morning change over to fatter skis. Mouse Trap’s powder bounty involved significant bush whacking and thwacking. A cornice jump off the Bowling Alley dropped me into powdery bliss and a rock garden on skier’s right of Lower Chute. It was gloriously unexpected.
Killington’s offerings are impressive given the lack of snow and warm weather. Open terrain stretched from Skye Peak to Ramshead with all lifts spinning throughout these regions. It took the better part of the morning to ski all of the non-beginner trails at least once each. And thanks to ski on lifts, there were many reruns.
Again I am forced to concede that Killington is well on its way to reclaiming its readopted title of The Beast. Though its script logo is still at odds with the mantle. I can appreciate Killington now for what it is (condom machines in the bathroom and all), what it once was, and what it supposes it is trying to become once again. Just give us skiing into May and the title will truly be yours.