13,888 – The perfect number?

Skiing in New England is good again! All it took was a visit to Killington this past weekend and presto the S.G. is very fired up, and looking for more snow covered surfaces to devour. .

Granted, the last couple of weeks have been a difficult stretch for many of us skiers in New England. The weather finally began to cooperate again early last week, providing both precious natural snowfall and invaluable snow making temperatures.

Killington took full advantage of the later. Last week the open trails went from somewhere in the mid 70’s on Wednesday up to a weekend high of 136. That is an impressive turn around for only a few days and nights of hard (and expensive) work.

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a view of the Skyship gondola

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The Snow Surface was plentiful, cold, consistent and fast. Exceptional conditions – all things considered. Every person I spoke with — acquaintances and strangers alike — raved about how good it was.
07/08: It seems this is the season of change for many New England areas. Killington is absolutely in that group. Most notable difference this season = the big guns in charge, read – new owners.
First Impressions of the old haunt.
1. They finally have real lift mazes. The method of corralling the visitors with old rubber tubes bent into an arch and screw to a 2×6 never really cut it. People would either move or step over them, myself included.
2. There were barely any lift lines to speak of on both Saturday and Sunday to use the new mazes.
3. New signage points in locations that are more appropriate.
4. A lot of well-groomed snow coverage on the trails, especially around the edges.
an unidentified skier on Superstar enjoying the good coverage

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Some Year (2007) over Year (2008) numbers for MLK weekend at Killington.
+ 32% = the increase on open terrain
+15% = the increase in unique visitors
103 (2007) vs. 136 (2008) = open trails
13,888 = the total number of folks on the mountain that were scanned on Saturday.
Note: That number represents the actual total skiers/riders that were on the mountain. It does not account for multiple runs. It is everyone, tickets & passes.
Q: What other ski resorts can handle that type of crowd and still put out an exceptional product?
A: Very few, but none in these parts do it better than Killington, overall.
Honestly, I was so impressed by the job they are doing up there. Some friends of mine drove up on Sunday to make some turns and then catch the Patriots game. They have a ski house in Weston, VT. They visited another mountain on Saturday and could not stop the rampant dialog about how much better the conditions were at Killington. I am not making this stuff up.
Driving Home: I could not have been happier with my weekend’s results.
best run on Sat, Cascade – all natural snow

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S.G. moment: Last week I listed out a number of reasons for making the call to head up to Killington. All of them were valid. One of them was the HOPE for the possibility of Lake fueled snow as the cold air rushed in on Saturday and Sunday. This never happened. It has before though, and it undoubtedly will again. In fact, it never even really seemed that cold even though Summit temperatures on Sunday morning were right around zero degrees.
Killington is without a doubt flexing the muscle of the planet’s largest snowmaking operation.
Go have a look-ski for yourself!

Think Snow,
S.G. ~ all photos