Day twenty-nine: almost halfway to my season goal of sixty. I never thought approaching thirty days would feel like an accomplishment. But with two months remaining of this craptastic season, I’ll be extremely happy to hit thirty on Mount Washington next month.
A terrible season puts things in perspective. Killington making it to April 22nd this year is a significant accomplishment. In past years, closing this weekend was considered an “epic fail”. And if not for a late season dump, this weekend would not have been possible. So there is some perspective, it could always be worse no matter how bad it seems to get.
Two and a half routes were open including Superstar, Skyelark, and Bittersweet. High Road provided a cross over with minimal walking required to avoid the longer walk to Upper Skyelark from Superstar Headwall.
Lower Skyelark was open but decidedly broken. Skiing back to the Superstar Quad from Skyelark required some mud skiing but was doable. Kudos to Killington for keeping Skyelark open despite mandatory walking and thin cover. The kudos are somewhat moot from a practical perspective as the skiing on Superstar was superior.
Superstar Headwall was a rocky, one groomer wide affair. This nasty entrance dumped out unforgivingly into alternating soft mounds and icy patches. The remainder of Superstar was variable, sometimes good, often not. Brown colored icy base snow did not soften. The bumps skied well where lines were available without icy interruptions.
Killington deserves praise for their early and late season commitments this season. Killington opened first this season in conjunction with Sunday River. And now, Killington joins Jay Peak as one of the last two northeastern areas to close. Normally, an April 22nd closing would hardly be considered a victory. But during a season like this, Killington could easily have let the Superstar Headwall fully separate and call it a season done last weekend.
Two years ago, Killington closed on April 24th despite ample coverage (twice as much coverage as this year). Adding insult to injury, a major storm slammed the mountains during the following week, but Killington still refused to reopen and honor their original closing day commitment. The contrast is striking. Major props to Killington for truly pushing this season as far as it could practically go.