by Paul Maraschiello

Due to the superb snowmaking and grooming at Killington, an early ski trip just before Thanksgiving could add up to some great skiing at the largest ski area in the East . . . at bargain prices. When I lived at Killington, I would start skiing right after hunting season and ski well into May. For me, anytime is a good time to ski Killington. The ski season there usually runs from mid-October to June but the good skiing starts at the end of November and BEFORE Thanksgiving weekend, the rates are ridiculously inexpensive.

I called the Killington Lodging Bureau and booked a room for us slope-side at Snowshed. Another great place to stay is the North Star Lodge a moderately priced hotel. This moderately priced lodge that includes a full hot buffet and breakfast every Saturday, Sunday and holidays.

They had done a really good job blowing snow on Snowdon Mountain and the terrain was just right for an old ski bum like me to show off in front of his young stewardess friend. She was an intermediate skier and was very challenged by the Chute, Bunny Buster, and the other trails that were opened. None of the expert trails were opened yet, but they were blowing snow like crazy. So I was content with giving my friend private lessons all day long. After all, there is more to being a ski bum that knocking yourself out the expert runs . . . there are always pretty women in need of tutoring on the snow and there is nothing wrong with looking good on an intermediate slope!

We woke up early the next day, with the light streamed through the windows. The air was crisp and the sun was shining, a light dusting of snow had fallen that night.


After skiing we went back to our room to relax and freshen up. For dinner that evening, we went to the Pasta Pot, one of my favorite Italian restaurants at Killington. I've been eating there ever since they opened and have many memories associated with that place. The owner "Pasta Pete" is a real character but more importantly, he is an EXCELLENT Italian chef. I ordered the mussels over linguini which are a specialty of the house. The portions are large, the mussels are spicy and I order them when ever they are on the menu. After an hard day of skiing at Killington, dinner at the Pasta Pot is always a taste treat.

Donna Weinbrecht waited tables there and along with my buddy Tex Lintz, the year she won the women's division of the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge, beginning her victories that led to Olympic gold. That was an excellent year for the Pasta Pot, their dishwasher also placed first for the men at the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge, you could say it was a clean sweep, with Pasta Pete (the owner) inadvertently becoming a major benefactor of the sport of freestyle at Killington.

We caught the weather just right. Every day there were a few more trails open, so I was never got bored and Dawn was constantly challenged. We had four days of perfect weather and excellent skiing before any of our other ski fiends even began to THINK SNOW.

If you can head up to Killington before the real ski season starts, in late November, you will find that the rooms are cheap, the slopes are uncrowded and there are lots of terrific bargains in the shops. If you are interested in getting in as many vertical miles as you can this season, head up to Killington as soon as possible. This year, they will be blowing snow as soon as it is cold enough and you can't beat the early season rates. Look for me on the slope. I'll be the slightly older ski bum skiing with the pretty young lady, giving pointers to her on the snow and looking great on the intermediate trails, making perfect turn after perfect turn all the way down the mountain. If you ski as often as you can, some day you might be that slightly older skier who looks so fine coming down the mountain.