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I felt pretty strange putting my board on my car Friday, as I headed out
for the weekend.  I wanted to be prepared to drive north instead of south
on Monday morning.  All the effort I put in on Friday (finding gear,
packing the car) was rewarded Sunday when I called the K snow report to
hear that there was some natural snow and that they would be definitely
opening Monday.

I arrived at KBL at about 930 and there were about 70 cars there already.
 I went into KBL but had to go back to Snowdon to get my pass.  Got my pass
after about 20-30 minutes and got to the top of the Canyon about 1030.

Jay Spins' report of the snow conditions is right on.  The coverage was
very good for opening day, and in fact I would take those conditions all
most everyday, except for the number of people on lower Rime.  I would add
that there were some sweet bump lines on Lower Rime that were finally
visible when they turned off the snow guns about 2.

I ended the day at about 3 and went down the access road.  Outback wasn't
going to open until 5 (Monday they have all you can eat pizza from 5-7).
 So I left K and stopped at Long trail for a sandwich and a double bag,
where I check my altimeter watch.  I only rode 11,000 vft but it took me 18
runs to do it.

A great start to the season!

Garry Waldeck

-----Original Message-----
From:   Jay Silveira [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
Sent:   Monday, October 25, 1999 11:39 PM
To:     [log in to unmask]
Subject:        [SKIVT-L] Killington 25OCT99

        Despite the fact that I've lived in VT for a great portion of my
life (especially my adult life), I still get caught off guard by the
magical snowstorms that sometimes hit the Green Mountains.  I sat
happily through our "rain" event in Burlington on Friday-Saturday, and
while I can't say I didn't ponder what it would be like to have all that
precipitation as snow, that's a bit of a dream when the calendar says
October.  Temperatures in Burlington were in the mid to upper 40s, so I
didn't expect much more than a couple of slushy inches in the
mountains.  I first started getting suspicious on Sunday morning, when I
clicked on my weather radio and heard a report of 11 inches new snow on
top of Mt. Mansfield. Wha?  I immediately thought of hitting the web and
doing some more research for the day, but I had plans and it would have
to wait until the evening.  That evening, I collected my messages from
SkiVT-L, and what appeared but reports of a foot of natural snow at
Killington!  That coupled with the snowmaking that had taken place over
the weekend = !!!!!!  I had already missed out on the 14 inches of
natural snow that Jay Peak had received earlier this month... I was
going in to work late tomorrow ;)
        As I headed south to Killington in the morning, clouds still hid
most of the higher peaks, but blue sky started poking through in places
and before long I could see that the highest peaks were PLASTERED with
snow!  The most remarkable thing about the snow was that on the smaller
2000' peaks, there was nuthin', just flat out nuthin'.  This was a major
elevation event if I've ever seen one.  As I caught my first glimpses of
Killington from I-89, it was nice to see, in contrast to the usual strip
of white on a brown background, MANY strips of white covering the whole
mountain.  I was intrigued by this very tight snow line phenomenon (none
of the smaller peaks anywhere near Killington had visible snow) so I
kept careful track of the first point at which I saw snow beside the
Killington access road.  The first visible patches appeared at 2450',
just as I neared the Killington Base Lodge.
        This early season skiing setup was the fourth transport
variation I've seen at Killington in about as many years.  You hopped on
a truck right behind the Killington base Lodge (they checked you for a
lift ticket to get on the truck), and they transported you up the
Spillway trail to the bottom of the Canyon Quad.  You then showed your
ticket again, and rode the Canyon Quad to its terminus.  From this
point, you had not one, not two, but a luxurious THREE trail options.
This is a treat for an opening day at Killington where you are generally
restricted to a single route.  From skier's right to left the options
were Upper Double Dipper, Upper East Glade, and Upper Rime.
Unfortunately, at the first crossover, you were forced from all trails
to finish on Lower Rime, which along with upper Rime, had snowmaking in
progress.  Once you finished your run, you rode the Glades Triple Chair,
which brought you back up to the top again.  When you were done skiing,
you downloaded on the Canyon Quad, and then they transported you by
truck right back to the lodge.
        As I rode up the Canyon Quad, I observed that natural consistent
coverage started out around 3000'.  At that level, there were about 3-4
inches of snow, and by the top of the quad (approx. 4100' via
altimeter), it seemed about 10 inches, but was difficult to judge.  I'm
not sure if they made snow on Upper Double Dipper, but I took one look
at it and dove in.  These were some of the sweetest first day turns I
can remember, a nice packed powder base, with a couple of inches of
loose snow on top.  For all I know it could have been all natural snow I
was skiing on?  Not only that, but I had the trail virtually to myself
since people seemed more plentiful on the other routes.  These dreamy
conditions ended all too soon and I was forced to cut left and merge in
with Rime.  Snow guns were blazing, and the snow was a bit heavier, but
it was still quite nice and coverage was excellent.  I made sure that I
checked out each route before I had to go.  Rime had guns blazing top to
bottom, but I guess they are loading it to try and get through any warm
spells.  East Glade has similar conditions to Double Dipper, with
perhaps a bit more use.  I had my season's pass, but I checked the price
and it was $25 for the day.  I'm not sure if they plan to change that
any time soon, but call to make sure.  If the weather holds, hopefully
Killington will be able to stay open from here on out, now we need to
see... who's next?

J.Spin

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