EARLY SEASON SKIING AT KILLINGTON by Paul Maraschiello

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With such a poor ski season last year in the East, I decided to get in some skiing before the holidays, so I headed up to Killington. There had been some snow in New England around Thanksgiving but things had warmed up and all the snow had melted . . . Mother Nature was not cooperating. Having lived in Vermont for many years, I knew that Killington's snow-making capability was one of the best.



ACCOMMODATIONS
I was staying at the Inn of the Six Mountains on the Killington access road. I had a nice room with a bath and cable TV with a DVD player. This resort serves a really nice complimentary continental breakfast each morning in the restaurant. They had eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, cereal, bagels, fruit, juice, coffee and tea served buffet style. Amenities include an outdoor pool and indoor pool, health club, and a hot tub. They have a complimentary ski shuttle to take you to the slope. Additional, amenities include a library, an arcade/game room, ski storage and a bar.

Guestrooms at Inn of the Six Mountains feature a safe for your valuables , coffee/tea makers, and phones with voice mail. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, complimentary toiletries, and hair dryers. Dial-up Internet access is available and housekeeping is available daily.



The inn has 99 spacious guest rooms and 4 one-bedroom family rooms with rates ranging from $99 - $250 per room depending on the accommodations that you need. Call (800) 228-4676 for a reservation and tell them that you read about them in the Ski Bum News.



SKIING
After a good night's sleep, I had a great breakfast and then headed up to the slopes to make a few turns. I was a beautiful day. The sun was out and the temperature was around 30 degrees and Killington has 39 trails that were open. I parked in one of the satellite parking lots by Rams Head and rode the shuttle bus to the main Killington lodge.



As this was my first day on the slopes, I decided to take it easy. There was a line for the K1 Gondola, so I skied another 20 yards to the Snowdon Triple Chair next to the Gondola where there were only a half a dozen people on line for the chair. I rode up and spent the morning skiing Bunny Buster, Upper Mouse Run, Mouse Trap and Lower Mouse. I rode the Snowdon Quad Chair where there was a very small line and tried to sort out my new equipment. I made several runs and then went in for lunch.



I the afternoon, I went back to the Snowdon Triple Chair and made a couple of runs and then headed over to the North Ridge Triple and made a couple of runs down Rime. They were making snow on Superstar and Cascade, so I avoided those trails. I don't like skiing under the snow guns.



Then I skied down to the K1 Gondola and rode to the top of Killingotn Peak and skied Upper Great Northern back to Ryme and then down Great Northern to Chute and back to the Killington Base Lodge.



I called it quits for the day around 3 PM and stopped in to the new Roaring Brook Umbrella Bar for a beer. I was told that my old friend, Tom Raybeck was tending bar there, so I had a beer and caught up with my old friend while checking out this new addition to the drinking scene at Killington. The bar was filled with the apres ski crowd, drinking, eating chili and everyone seemed to have a good time. Afterwards, I headed back to my room to rest.



After a little rest and a shower, I went to the Lookout Tavern for dinner and a beer. I stopped in at Casey's Caboose for a nightcap and then went back to my room to rest up for another day of skiing.



The next morning I had another great breakfast at the Inn of the Six Mountains and then headed up to Killington. The weather had turned to winter. The wind was blowing and it was snowing. They were still making snow on Superstar and Cascade, so I decided to again ski the trails on Snowdon.



I was a little sore from the pervious day's skiing. As you know, you use muscles skiing that you don't otherwise use, so you are always a little sore after the first day on the slope. I had another good day on the slopes and headed back to Lookouts for Happy Hour.



I met a coach for the Killington Ski Club who knew many of my old Vermont friends. He worked with Johnny O (Okolovich), the Ski club Manager and he knew my buddy Tex and many of my old Killington cronies. I had a really good hamburger for dinner and then headed on my way. It was a really good weekend at Killington and just what I needed to start me ski season.

KILLINGTON STATS
Killington Peak (Summit) 4,241' (1,293m)
Skye Peak 3,800'
Ramshead Peak 3,610'
Snowdon Peak 3,592'
Bear Mountain Peak 3,262'
Sunrise Mountain Peak 2,456'
Base elevation (Skyeship) 1,165' ( 325m)
Summit elevation 4,241' (1,293m)
Base elevation 1,165' ( 325m)
Vertical Drop 3,050' (957m)
Skiable Acres 752 ( 469 ha)
Miles of Trails 71 (135 km)
Trails 140
Easier 28%
More Difficult 33%
Most Difficult 39%
Lifts 22
Uphill Capacity 38,315 rides per hour
Gondolas 2 high speed, express gondolas with 3 separate loading points
Quads 9 quads including 5 high-speed express quads
Triples 3
Doubles 2
Surface 6 surface lifts (including 3 Magic Carpets)

I love Killington and if you have never skied there, put them on your short list. They have some of the best skiing in the East and I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

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