It seems that as of this season, Dylan has finally reached the point where he could handle a day of spring bumps at Killington, so we headed down for some skiing on Saturday. We were actually hoping to bring the boys out for some Superstar mogul bashing in May, but rumor had it Killington’s lifts might be done after the weekend. With nice sunny weather available, we decided we’d better get down there.
Although the drive down is only about an hour, it was replete with unexpected scenery that was in places, rather amazing. I’m not sure if it was because of the very early onset of warmth we had at the end of winter, but something has conspired to make this spring’s foliage some of the more colorful I’ve seen. Because of the way that the various yellows, greens, oranges, reds, purples, pinks, and even white are coming out, it’s acting like a second round of fall in terms of foliage. I’ve not noticed it much around Waterbury and Burlington, but we started to see frequent foliage displays in the Randolph area along I-89, enough that I had to actually pull out my camera as we approached the White River Valley. We found impressive views of color through Bethel and Stockbridge, and even down to the Pittsfield area. The White River certainly wasn’t raging, but it was looking as beautiful as ever and we saw lots of people out in Canoes and Kayaks. South of Pittsfield, the foliage colors seemed to taper off as we got into the higher peaks of the Killington area, where few if any leaves were out.
Views of the snow on Killington’s slopes were visible from way back on I-89, and we pointed out the views to the boys. The boys have been down to Killington in the fall, but it would be a new area for them in terms of skiing. In fact, it was the first time that any of us have been skiing at Killington since returning from Montana, and the first time we’ve headed south of Waterbury for lift-served skiing this season. We told the boys that between the bump skiing and party scene that is Killington in the spring, they would be in for quite an experience.
I generally haven’t headed down to Killington for spring skiing until May, and there were certainly more people partying it up than I was used to, but also more trail options. The mountain has usually been down to just Superstar when I’ve been there, but on Saturday they also had Skyelark and Bittersweet available. There was also plenty of snow on the trails up near Killington Peak for those that wanted to traverse or earn some more secluded runs.
Ty was pretty funny at the start of the ski day. I think he generally skis enough that he’s not bursting with anticipation to get on the snow, but as we first rode the Superstar Quad on Saturday and he saw what the skiing looked like, he blurted out something to the effect of, “I just want to jump off right now and ski!” We got a kick out of his unexpected enthusiasm.
Coverage was generally wall to wall on Superstar with just a few spots of thin cover that warranted caution. If the boys ever sat down to rest or wait for others in the group, they would disappear below the sea of bumps. If just their heads were sticking out it looked a lot like they were swimming in a white sea. Bittersweet was lots of fun, with some mellower bumps, and we did two round of follow the leader on there that the boys really enjoyed. After Dylan was kaput, E took him to the car while Ty and I hit a final run on Skyelark. Skyelark had a section near the bottom that was getting thin with the best tracks on the sides, and unless they moved any snow it would probably be the first route to become discontinuous. I will say that after spending my first day riding Superstar and friends on Telemark skis, I have an even greater appreciation for Rossi at all those annual Broken Rib/Missing Tooth Tour days at Killington.
On the way home we wanted to stop at the Peavine Restaurant/Pub in Stockbridge, but noticed that they weren’t opening until Sunday, so we continued on into Bethel and ate at Cockadoodle Pizza Café – everybody loved the name. It feels like an old house, with some of the various rooms serving as seating areas with eclectic mixtures of tables and chairs.
So after a weekend with a definite spring skiing feel, it sounds like we could be back into some powder for the midweek period. At this point, Jay Peak appears to be the hot spot with roughly a foot or more of snow anticipated, but potential accumulations look nice right down the spine of the Northern Greens through the Mt. Mansfield/Bolton/Camel’s Hump area. The predictions on the latest storm total snow forecast maps from the Burlington NWS even look like they have jumped up a bit from where they were this morning. Powderfreak says it’s a classic northwest upslope flow setup, which is good news. We didn’t seem to have quite the payload of upslope events this season compared to what we sometimes get, so hopefully it will be another nice reprise of winter with some powder days like we had a week ago. We’ll see how it plays out.