For the past few years, I’ve jumped at the opportunity to get on snow as soon as the lifts start spinning. Early-season skiing isn’t about trail count or base depth, but more about satisfying the itch of getting on snow and recharging your own personal Winter stoke. There’s also the novalty of sliding on snow when most people least expect it. “You went skiing today?“. Yep, and it was amazing!
The 2018-19 season kicked off in the East at Killington Resort (VT) and Sunday River (ME) on Friday October 19th. Having to work the weekend, I rounded up some of the PB staff for a trip up to Killington on Monday October 22nd (Monday is our typical day off this time of year). The weather was just crisp enough to have to pack extra layers and plan like it was mid-winter. The truck was packed and the anticipation was off-the-charts.
As we approached the mountain, you could immediately see how powerful Killington’s snowmaking is. Superstar was getting pounded by snow guns as they prepare to host another Women’s World Cup Event in November. You can just tell that their snowmaking is so legit.
We booted up in the parking lot and hit the K-1 Gondola for the ascent up. From there, it’s an adventurous 300 step catwalk down to the North Ridge Triple (until top to bottom, or interconnected trails open up soon). We actually passed several people who were walking back from skiing and most were covered in snow, a sure sign that the guns were blasting on the 2 open trails as well.
Once we made those first turns, it all came back so quickly. It was by no means a groomer day, but more of a zipper turn experience. Quick, short turns were the key as visabilty was a bit low on this particular day and there were definitely a fair amount of people on the trails. However, the snow was soft, the vibe was awesome and everyone was just enjoying the experience and celebrating the start of a new season.
From here, hopefully the weather stays cold enough for the mountains to keep making snow and opening more terrain. Mount Snow is opening on Saturday October 27th and I expect others may not be too far behind either. Early season skiing and riding is so worth the experience. Trust that you do not need “rock skis” or have to worry about thin cover. They are cranking out an impressive amount of snow which is making for some very nice early-season conditions. It would definitely surprise you.