Killington, Thursday, 3/20/14

Killington
Overcast, snow showers, fog, wind, 30-35 degrees
Powder

It was the first day of spring but you would never have known it today at Killington, VT. It snowed all night and we woke up to about 3-4" of fresh snow down the road from the mountain. Up on the peak they easily got 4-6" It was a rather heavy, wet snow and it was just around freezing when we got to the mountain around 8:30 am. It was overcast and still snowing and would continue to do so on and off all day. A few times it looked like the sun would attempt to come up but it never happened. It stayed overcast and the top half of the mountain was encased in fog all day. The wind would pick up as well although it was marginally less windy then the day before.

For those of you who love powder and soft bumps, this was your day. With temps just above freezing (30 degrees up at the peak) the snow remained pretty soft most of the day. It was downright warm when we took our first run down at 9:30. We started at Snowshed and skied down High Road to the Skyeship Gondola. The top of Skye was foggy and windy with lots of blowing snow. We made our way down Great Eastern to Cruise Control, which was groomed with lots of loose powder on top. We made a few runs down Cruise Control. I ran down Panic Button and Needles Eye which weren't groomed and had lots of chopped up powder. Not our kind of conditions so we decided to stick with the now barely groomed "groomers". The nice, fast smooth corduroy of the day before was a memory on this day. Some love it, I prefer fast groomers but we enjoyed ourselves even though mounds of powder were the order of the day.

We ran down Skyelark to Bittersweet and I decided to check out Superstar. Turns out Superstar was the "Super Hill" of the day. Beautiful mounds of light, fluffy powder coated the headwall and the rest of the trail. It was downright awesome! The top 1/3 was shrouded in fog so it was "ski by feel" but it was so soft and powdery that it wasn't a problem, although it freaked my daughter out. But I finally got her to go down Superstar with me, although it was only once.

I, on the other hand, spent most of the late morning running down Superstar. It was about as perfect as it could get. Not bumped up but not icy. Just hard packed with lots of powder and some seriously nice runs to be had. By 1pm my daughter was ready for lunch so we skied down to the K1 Gondola and headed up to the Peak Lodge.

Unfortunately the beautiful views of the day before was nowhere to be seen as the peak was still encased in fog and clouds. By 2pm we hit the slopes and decided to try out the Canyon area. Unfortunately the Canyon Quad wasn't closed and many of the fast groomers we'd enjoyed so much were all bumped up. Eastfall was one of them and as I don't like bumps it was a one time run. I passed on Cascade although in hindsight I wish I'd tried it because although it was pretty windblown, it had obviously been groomed and might've been similar to Superstar and just as enjoyable but with the fog and wind I wasn't as inclined to try it.

The peak was so windy and foggy we decided to head over to Snowdon. It was less windy there. Things were a bit less chopped up (except for Mousetrap, which was pretty bad) and upper Chute, which wasn't groomed. There was some NICE windblown fluffy powder on Bunny Buster and lower Chute was in nice shape as well, but the ultra-slow Snowdon Quad was getting tedious so we decided to head over via Frolic to Ramshead and took a quick run down Header and got stuck on the Ramshead Quad as it stopped and remained motionless for 10 minutes. :thumbdown: It was all flat groomers at Ramshead and we lost interest so headed back to Snowdon and ran Bunny Buster, which was wonderful from the top of Snowdon to the K1 Gondola.

It was nearing 3:30 so after a quick chocolate covered waffle (I LOVE those and unlike at Hunter they are open midweek at Killington :thumbup:) we headed up the K1 Gondola and began to make our way over to where our car was parked at Snowdon. I was strongly tempted to try Superstar again but the winds had picked up and it was snowing heavily at this point. Unfortunately because of the dropping temps, a lot of the wet, soft powder was getting crusty and icy so we took the easy way down via Skylark and High Road back to Snowdon.

A nice day and my legs were feeling it going through the powder and bumps and spending a good portion of the morning on Superstar. For those who love fresh powder the good news is that it's been snowing in some shape or form for hours and now, as I look out the window at 11:15pm on Thursday night, it's snowing and blowing like crazy. They are predicting snow showers for Friday and accumulating snow for Saturday. The downside is that it's supposed to be quite windy but even with the 30 mph gusts we had today all the gondolas were running and it was only really windy in certain spots.

Not sure why but the mountain seemed more crowded then the usual Thursday. There were a lot of college students like my daughter who are on spring break and one couple with a kid in high school told me that some public schools had off this week. I think a lot of people are just here to grab the great conditions why they can before spring really decides to settle in, although I don't see that happening anytime soon if you look at the weather forecasts.

It may SAY it's spring on the calendar but here at Killington one look out the window at all the snow lying in huge piles and the snow falling like crazy from the ski says that old Man Winter is still firmly in control so I was happy to get out and enjoy it and suggest you do too! :snow:

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