SUNSHINE & IRISH MUSIC AT KILLINGTON
by Paul Maraschiello

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I headed up to Killington for some skiing before the Christmas holidays. It turned out to be a great weekend that was highlighted by sunny skies, plenty of snow and perfect skiing weather.

ACCOMMODATIONS
I was staying at the historic Inn At Long Trail built in 1938 and restored in 1977. I have driven by this iconic bed-and-breakfast ski lodge at the top of Killington pass a thousand times but this was my first time staying in this quaint lodge. I was delighted when I found that I was staying at a lodge with an authentic Irish Pub.

Every weekend they have live Irish music and provide a wide variety Irish whiskey, Guinness, LTA, Smithwick's, and Harp on tap, not to mention my favorite Bailey's Irish Cream and other beer, wine and cocktails. The menu at this pub had the usual pub fair with burgers and Irish specialities like Guinness Stew, Shepherd's Pie, Corned Beef & Cabbage and other pub offerings. What surprised me was the gourmet items on the menu that included a Seared Duck Breast which I selected at the suggestion of the bartender. This was a served with wild rice, apple cranberry chutney and other delicious vegetables topped with a fig sauce.

I had elected to eat in the bar so I could enjoy the Irish music that was provided by the live band Craic Agus Ceol. This band did a great job, not only playing all the Irish tunes any frequenter of Irish pubs know, but they also played a number of songs that I have never heard . . . and they played them quite well.

This lodge has a spacious dining room where they serve a sumptuous breakfast that ranges from specialty omelets with ham, sausage or bacon and home fries or pancakes, French toast, and other delights. Bring a big appetite because the breakfast which is included in the price of the room is HUGE.

The lodge has an inviting fireplace in the large common room where you can relax with the other guests. My room was cosy with a private bath and a view of the Long Trail. The staff was very friendly which added to a very pleasant stay in this rustic Vermont lodge. If you are interested in a very enjoyable stay in a classic Vermont lodge with an in-house Irish pub, I can heartily recommend the Inn at Long Trail. Room rates range from $89 per night (before Dec. 19) to $275 for a fireplace suite during the height of the ski season. The McGrath family are gracious hosts, so call (800) 325-2540 to book a room and tell them the Ski Bum News recommended them.

SKIING
I awoke to a spectacular sunny day with a perfect temperature for skiing. After downing a hearty breakfast, I hopped into my car for the short drive to the Killington ski resort. I was greeted by blue skies and plenty of snow. As this was my first ski trip of the season, I decided to take it easy. I rode to the Snowdon Triple Chair next to the Gondola where there were only a half a dozen people in 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 enjoyed the uncrowded trails and lack of lift lines. I made several more runs and then went in for lunch. There was a Jingle Jam event happening at the Terrain Park and here are the results:

GROM SKIER - 1st Max Tarricone, 2nd Scottie Candee, 3rd Connor Green
GROM SNOWBOARDER - 1st Jack Kohan

WOMEN SKIER - 1st Miranda Holson, 2nd Cali Bredice
WOMEN SNOWBOARDER - 1st Maggie Leon, 2nd Jamie Trayer

MEN SKIER - 1st Kevin Merchant, 2nd Brecken Durke, 3rd Devin Beayon
MEN SNOWBOARDER- 1st Tim Major, 2nd Dave Parnell, 3rd Bobby VanHouten

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

I had fun skiing all the trails that I enjoyed when I lived at Killington full-time. I even tested my skill on the little bumps that I found on Mouse but I did not push myself on my first day on skis. I called it quits early and headed back to my room to rest and recuperate. After a delicious duck dinner followed by a little Bailey's Irish Cream and plenty of Irish tunes, I was off to bed.

The next day, it was overcast and snowing a little but the temperature was mild and a few snow flurries are always welcome at a ski area. I continued to ski many of the trails that I had skied the previous day. I decided to check out the new restaurant on Killington Peak and I was impressed. The view from this eatery is impressive and the fireplace, TV screens made the visit enjoyable. I spent the rest of the afternoon skiing and enjoying my trip to the largest ski area in the East.

STATS:

Seven mountain areas make up Killington Resort and our sister resort, Pico Mountain. While Pico Mountain is not connected via our network of lifts, it is just 5 miles away and convenient shuttle service is offered daily between the two resorts.

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'

Pico Mountain Peak 3,967'

Base Elevation (Skyeship) 1,165' (325m)

Vertical Drop 3,050' (957m)

With a Killington lift ticket or season pass, you have access to seven mountain areas, including Pico Mountain at Killington.

Skiable Acres 1,509 with 73 miles of trails Easier 28%, More Difficult 33%, Most Difficult 39%.

There are 22 lifts including 2 Gondolas, 9 Quads including 5 high-speed express quads and 3 triples, 2 doubles and 6 surface lifts including 3 Magic Carpets.

Terrain Parks/Pipes

The Resort offers multiple terrain features for snowboarders and freeskiers in six terrain parks including Burton's The Stash, an all-natural inspired terrain park with more than 50 features as well as two pipes.

Bear Mountain - 18-foot Halfpipe, The Stash and Dream Maker

Ramshead Mountain - Easy Street Progression Park, Timberline, Neffland on Timberline, a Halfpipe on Timberline, a

Early Season - Reason in North Ridge Area

Mouse Run on Snowdon Mountain



If you have never skied Killington, put it on your short list. Even if you've skied this mountain before, plan another visit. I've skied Killington since the 70's and never get tired of skiing this world-class mountain. After all, this is where I became a real Ski Bum.

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