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Posts Tagged ‘Vermont’

1 state in the East : Vermont!
1 ski area : Killington !!
1 lift running : Superstar Express Quad !!!
1 mile of skiing !!!
1 trail : the mighty Superstar
1 lodge : K1-Base Lodge
1 price for almost everyone (7 to 79) : $39 (unless you a pass, vouchers, 2for1, deals, etc). That turns out to under $2.30 per acre.
4-day long ski weekend : Friday to Memorial Day Monday.

Not much to add, for the second weekend in a row, the only lift spinning in the East is found at Killington. That hasn’t happened in over a decade. Monday will be May 25, which isn’t that exceptional in recent history: 2-years ago Killington closed on May 26. At the end of this weekend, the ski area will be the only one in the East to extend their season beyond May 22, twice! It will also mark the 3rd-year in a row beyond 190 operating days. That is more than 20 above the average days per season during the dark 2002-2012 period. The prior to that, Killington had 25 consecutive season above 200 days. The incredible 246 days happened during this time in 1983-84; that is a huge contrast to their low of 153 days 5 seasons ago in 2009-10. That’s more than an 60% difference in amount of operating days.

The writing was on the blog, although not published (I had to go see my daughter’s play this evening), that this might be the last full weekend of the season. That the snow wasn’t going to last as much as hoped and that the “some walking required” was just around the corner.

Two years ago, the resort aimed for June, but it’s hard to keep snow when the East got a waves of Summer hitting temperatures. They did everything they could to keep going and closed on June 26 with top-to-bottom skiing and walking on Superstar. This season last day might look the same if they close on June 1. As the last time, they offer skiing, walking, a lift running for free if they are open. An opening next weekend isn’t out of the question, but currently unlikely.

Hiking, walking, skiing, walking, skiing, walking and riding a lift, it has been done before. So I wouldn’t be surprise if they do it again. I seem to recall a very late May 1985 and especially June 1, 1993 on a cold day where they was probably as much walking than skiing involved, but yeah, it’s skiing in June. I’ve skied numerous times on June 1, it’s May 30 and 31 that I’ve never skied on. :O

Welcome back to the Beast !!! Best of luck for June !!!

Killington VT – June 1 tentative (Friday to Monday, hoping for June 1, less likely May 29-31)
Lift : Superstar Express Quad
Trail : Superstar
Cost : $39US lift tickets – Deals : with pass from another mountain (25% off weekends and 50% midweek).

Making it to June isn’t easy, even for the big guns like Killington; they did it before, but it required some tremendous resources to keep it going. The dynamic has changed since the annual June closings. When Killington moved focus on late season operations from Killington Peak to Superstar on Skye Peak, they fell short 3 times before reaching June on a regular basis again with June 1992. If they are committed into making to June a more regular happening, they have to analyse and make adjustments for next season.

Here is the lowdown from K itself:

4:57 pm 05/21/15–Welcome back skiers and riders. It is Memorial Day weekend and that means four days of fun here in Killington. We’ll start things off Friday with top-to-bottom skiing and riding on the expert-level Superstar Trail. In order to preserve snow we’ve kept the grooming to a minimum, smoothing just a single lane down the middle. The groomers have been working for the last two nights to reconnect the upper and lower sections so we will start the weekend with continuous skiing and riding, though we may have some walking required as weekend traffic takes its toll. Natural melting has reduced the size of the moguls so expect delightful medium sized bumps on Friday morning. Conditions change fast in late May so stay tuned for updates.

Looking ahead, we want to prepare you for the possibility that this will be the last weekend. As we’ve said all along, Mother Nature will decide when we pull the plug, and she’s getting insistent. We do plan to run the lift on Monday June 1, and tickets will be complimentary on that day. There will most definitely be multiple mandatory walking sections by then but if skiing or riding in June is on your bucket list, this could be your chance. As for the weekend of May 29-31, we don’t currently plan to operate because we just don’t think the snow will hold up well enough to handle the weekend traffic. If cooler temperatures prevail between now and then, and the snow holds up, we will reassess closer to the weekend.

The Superstar Express Quad will run 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Friday; 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Memorial Day. Stay tuned right here for updates.

Operating Day: 189

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Mid-May ski areas since 2006 :
2015 : Killington (June 1?)
2014 : St-Sauveur (May 19) and Killington (May 18)
2013 : Killington (May 26) and St-Sauveur (May 19)
2012 : none
2011 : St-Sauveur (May 22) and Jay (May 15)
2010 : none
2009 : none
2008 : none
2007 : none
2006 : none

Last chair in the East since 2006:
2006: May 5 – Bretton Woods
2007: May 6 – MSS, Killington, Sugarbush, Wildcat
2008: May 11 – MSS
2009: May 4? – Sugarloaf on Monday?*, MSS, Jay and Sugarbush
2010: May 3? – Sugarloaf on Monday?*, MSS and Jay
2011: May 22 – MSS
2012: May 6 – MSS
2013: May 26 – Killington
2014: May 19 – MSS
2015: May 25 or possibly June 1? – Killington

* I wasn’t able to confirm definitely that Sugarloaf was open an extra day in 2009 and 2010.

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Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2015 post:
Early Easter, late Spring : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 1
Melting…snow and list are melting : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 2
Falling temperatures, snow and options – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 3
May or May not? Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 4
May be on Mothers’ Day, Maybe June? – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 5
Mid-May exceptions? – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 6

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The early May heat and rain took its toll on the snow and remaining ski areas. Jay Peak didn’t make it to Mothers’ Day while St-Sauveur closed out its’ season last Sunday May 10: 9 days earlier than the previous two seasons. Killington has confirmed that they be open Friday to Sunday this weekend and they are still hoping to make it to Monday June 1, but nothing can be taken for granted this time of the season. Temperature has dropped this week, so there is always hope unless you want to open your swimming pool soon.

Killington VT – June 1 tentative (Fri-Sun only then weekends, Memorial day and June 1)
Lift : Superstar Express Quad
Trails : Superstar, but probably not Skye Lark and Bittersweet
Time : 8am (9am Fri) to 5pm
Cost : $54US lift tickets – Deals : with pass from another mountain (25% off weekends and 50% midweek).

Here is the lowdown from K itself:

3:05 pm 05/14/15–Another May extended weekend is upon us – and it’s going to be a good one. We had some rain pass through this week – but have no fear, Superstar is still going strong.

For Friday, we’ll be grooming Superstar top to bottom, but only along the center of the trail. You’ll find soft bumps on the sides, and the middle will bump up nicely throughout the day too. Skyelark and Bittersweet are probably done for the season – we’re going to evaluate Friday morning to see if they can open.

Open terrain is for intermediate and advanced skiers and riders only. Be aware of spring conditions and thin cover; ski or ride with care.

The Superstar Express Quad will spin 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Friday and 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

K-1 Lodge is open Friday through Sunday too offering tickets, rentals and guest services from Killington Sports (lower level). Food and beverage service will be available at K-1 Cafe, with Mahogany Ridge and Roaring Brook Umbrella Bars open for all your apres ski needs.

The Superstar Express Quad will run 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Fridays and 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through May and hopefully into June (closed Mon-Thur). We also plan to be open Memorial Day, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Stay tuned right here for updates.

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The Big Question ???

The question I’ve gotten from some people is… “Wow, there is still skiing?” As demonstrated from this blog, most ski areas don’t even come close to opening in May, but there is always someone somewhere spinning in May.

“Yes, but it’s mid-May? Isn’t that exceptional?”

Let’s see, the last three seasons had MSS and Kmart go beyond the mid-May.

The 2015 Eastern ski season had Killington and Mont St-Sauveur open last weekend, the later closing on Mothers’ Day; last year we had 3 resorts still open with Jay Peak closing on Mothers’ Day. Last season St-Sauveur and Killington gave us an extra weekend respectively closing on May 19 and 18. It was the same sorry in 2013 with MSS closing again on May 19 and Kmart closing on May 26, their latest closing day since 2003, just falling short from their openly aimed June objective.

“Yes, but those are exceptions, right?

I read from your past blog posts that they were only one season between 2006 and 2012 where someone in the East was open until May 15. (In 2011 Jay and MSS closed respectively on May 15 & 22)”

I guess we can call this period the dark ages of late-season skiing in the East. The perennial late-season extender Killington stepped away from their traditional on last to close mantra. During the 2006-2012 period, Killington didn’t surpassed its rivals for “last closure” once and its average last closing day for those seasons was April 28: Falling to make it to May in 3 times in 7 years. It was also the first time that the once mighty Beast had fail to offer skiing in May since 1974. During this dark period, Killington’s had 3 of the 4 earliest closures since 1969, making it worst time for Killington late-season fans in two generations.

Mid-May ski areas since 2006 :
2015 : Killington (June?)
2014 : St-Sauveur (May 19) and Killington (May 18)
2013 : Killington (May 26) and St-Sauveur (May 19)
2012 : none
2011 : St-Sauveur (May 22) and Jay (May 15)
2010 : none
2009 : none
2008 : none
2007 : none
2006 : none

And How Late Can It Go???

Prior to 2006 (ie. Kmart dark ages), Killington made it to mid-May in every year between 1977 and 2005 : 27 out of 28 seasons. They closed on May 12 in 2004. Even better, in half of those years, Killington closing day occurred 14 times in June.

Killington has written down June 1 as their end of season goal, but has fallen the last time they officially mentioned the month of June as their goal? Is this year the year that they make to June again? In the last millennium Killington was synonymous with the longest season and June skiing when from 1982 to 1997 their stopped spinning into June for 13 out of 16 years. The last time Killington closed in June was back in 2002: it definitely feels like it was in the past millennium.

Flashback to brighter days : Killington VT : Thursday June 11, 1992

Welcome back to the Beast !!! May you continue spinning into June !!!

Last chair in the East since 2006:
2006: May 5 – Bretton Woods
2007: May 6 – MSS, Killington, Sugarbush, Wildcat
2008: May 11 – MSS
2009: May 4? – Sugarloaf on Monday?*, MSS, Jay and Sugarbush
2010: May 3? – Sugarloaf on Monday?*, MSS and Jay
2011: May 22 – MSS
2012: May 6 – MSS
2013: May 26 – Killington
2014: May 19 – MSS
2015: beyond May 17 and tentatively June? – Killington

* I wasn’t able to confirm definitely that Sugarloaf was open an extra day in 2009 and 2010.

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Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2015 post:
Early Easter, late Spring : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 1
Melting…snow and list are melting : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 2
Falling temperatures, snow and options – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 3
May or May not? Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 4
May be on Mothers’ Day, Maybe June? – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 5

Read Full Post »

The Good and the not so good weathersituationoutlook of the season’s May skiing.

The Good:

The great Winter and cold Spring helped more Eastern ski areas spin into May in at least a decade. We counted 9 ski areas with spinning lifts last weekend. From Massachusetts’ Wachusetts reopening for one day passing through Maine’s Sunday River annual free skiing event Ski Maynia and all the way to one last weekend spinning the lift with 100% open terrain on natural snow in remote Eastern Quebec’s Mont Miller: it was an excellent weekend of Spring skiing in the 9 remaining open ski areas across the East. It was announced prior to the weekend than it was going the last chair of the season of 6 of them (Wachusetts, Sunday River, Mont Miller, Sugarloaf, Sugarbush, Wildcat). Three ski resorts, Jay Peak, Mont St-Sauveur and Jay Peak, pledged to reopen this coming weekend or at least try.

2015 : 9 (MSS, Killington, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Wildcat, Sunday River, Miller, Wachusetts)
2014 : 6 (MSS, Killington, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Comi)
2013 : 4 (MSS, Killington, Sugarloaf, Sugarbush)
2012 : 1 (MSS)
2011 : 7 (MSS, Killington, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Miller?)
2010 : 3 (MSS, Jay, Sugarloaf)
2009 : 5 (MSS, Killington, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf)
2008 : 4 (MSS, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf)
2007 : 4 (MSS, Killington, Sugarbush, Wildcat)
2006 : 2 (Bretton Woods, Killington)

As you can below, there is always some skiing happening in the East in May and generally always found in Vermont and Quebec.

Recent history of May lift spinners:
EAST : 10 times/10
QC : 9 times/10
St-Sauveur : 9
Miller : 2?*
Comi : 1
VT : 9 times/10
Killington : 7
Sugarbush: 7
Jay : 6
ME : 7 times/10
Sugarloaf : 7
Sunday River : 1
Saddleback : 1
NH : 3 times/10
Wildcat : 2
Bretton Woods : 1
MA : 1 time/10
Wachusetts : 1

* I wasn’t able to confirm that Miller opened in May 2011

The not so good news for snowlovers outlook:

The weekend warm weather has continued into this week and forecast calls it to the reach 30c (mid 80F) before this heatwave is over with a slight chance of T-Storms. The snow will continue melting fast. That lead Jay Peak to called it a season and not reopen for skiing for one final time on Mothers’ Day weekend. So instead of three areas to choose from like on 2014’s Mothers’ Day weekend, the choice is now down to two: Mont St-Sauveur and Killington. So it’s down to two, the same two for the last three seasons. St-Sauveur and Killington are saying they’ll be open this weekend, but things can change fast this time of the season.

LIST OF 2 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY OPEN THIS WEEKEND
Open DAILY : 0

Jay Peak VT – May 10 (weekend only -tentative)

St-Sauveur QC – May 10 (weekend only – tentative on weather forecast)
Lift : L’étoile
Trail : West Hill 70
Time : 11am to 5pm
Cost : $20CDN lift tickets

Killington VT – June 1 tentative (Fri-Sun only then weekends, Memorial day and June 1)
Lift : Superstar Express Quad
Trails : Superstar, Skye Lark, Bittersweet
Time : 8am (9am Fri) to 5pm
Cost : $54US lift tickets – Deals : with pass from another mountain (25% off weekends and 50% midweek).

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How late will it go? Will be the last weekend at MSS or will they add an extra weekend like last May? Killington has written down June 1 as their end of season goal, but has fallen the last time they officially mentioned the month of June as their goal? Is this year the year that they make to June again? In the last millennium Killington was synonymous with the longest season and June skiing when from 1982 to 1997 their stopped spinning into June for 13 out of 16 years. The last time Killington closed in June was back in 2002: it definitely feels like it was in the past millennium.

Last chair in the East since 2006:
2006: May 5 – Bretton Woods
2007: May 6 – MSS, Killington, Sugarbush, Wildcat
2008: May 11 – MSS
2009: May 4? – Sugarloaf on Monday?*, MSS, Jay and Sugarbush
2010: May 3? – Sugarloaf on Monday?*, MSS and Jay
2011: May 22 – MSS
2012: May 6 – MSS
2013: May 26 – Killington
2014: May 19 – MSS
2015 : tentatively June at Killington?

* I wasn’t able to confirm definitely that Sugarloaf was open an extra day in 2009 and 2010.

Killington is looking to get back to their traditional place, as first to open and last to close. If they close in June as hoped, they’ll have been the last to close in third time in the last 4 years.

Last to close in the East since 2006:
St-Sauveur QC : 7 times (tied three times) – last day in the East in 7 out of past 8 seasons.
Killington VT : 2 (tied once)
Bretton Woods NH : 1
Sugarbush VT : 1 (tied)
Sugarloaf ME : 1 (tied)
Wildcat NH : 1 (tied)

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Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2015 post:
Early Easter, late Spring : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 1
Melting…snow and list are melting : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 2
Falling temperatures, snow and options – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 3
May or May not? Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 4

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It’s not only about the skiing, it’s about the adventure and the variety of the experiences.

stowe_rd_20140601

June turns : I’ve ridden the lift and ski numerous days at Killington in 1990s. I’ve also ridden lifts in British Columbia in 1988 and most recently in California and Oregon. I’ve even driven up Mount Washington on a couple of occasions or hiked to the Tuckerman Ravine. Heck last year, I’ve even skied a huge patch of snow in the Laurentians at Mont Avila.

How about car-assisted June patch skiing? Okay this isn’t as hardcore as some maggots chasing California patches, but it all belongs to the same passion and madness.

Toll Roads and Autoroad in the North East: Whiteface, Washington and Stowe. Today marked the first time I made the drive up Mt. Mansfield. Toll Road accessed skiing in Vermont? Is there such a thing? VT_Ski invited me to come see and ski.


No snow on Madonna


We skied on this road the last time we were at Smugglers’ Notch a few months ago

MTL_Ripper joined me for this adventure in the really Green Mountains. Back to Stowe after skiing tons of vertical in late April; that will not be the case today. Driving to Stowe from Montreal is so much nicer and shorter through the Notch, but the beautiful June weekend border crossing plus the Sunday sightseeing, garage sale and church going drivers conspired against us.

Prior to crossing the Notch, we passed Smugglers’ Notch will didn’t seem to have any significant visible snow patches. I was slightly concern at this point, however once on the outside side, MTL_Ripper could see a few patches including one huge pile at the bottom. There was no other skiers in sight at the Toll Road gate and we thought that we had missed our rendez-vous. That is when VT_Ski arrived.


Toll Road and the green runs


Snow…that we didn’t ski

The Toll Road is a classic ski trail which people used to earned-their-turns and ski prior to lifts being installed. Unlike some of the old trails, the road is now actually a long flat green in the current Stowe Trail Network, but isn’t that flat when you are driving switchbacks surrounded by trees. VT_Ski started pointing out patches as we slowly drove up. Some of the patches were small, some flat. The goal was to start at the top then drive our way down.


Nosedive : Patch One of Four


Patches Two and Three

The Nosedive Patch was first : Third part. We parked next to the trail and surveyed the land. There seemed to be a series of three patches. We couldn’t see the length of the third patch located between the last two corners on this historically trail, but it was definitely the longest and most interesting one. Unfortunately when we got to the top of it, the actual end of this patch had just been out of our initial view and wasn’t much longer.

There were reported that snow-covered the entire length between both corners; now it was less than half. Regardless of the shortness of it, we clicked it and did some surreal June turns on a 17-meter vertical slope numerous times. The sun was hot and water was popular. A few hikers smiled when they saw that some people were actually skiing. There was another patch lower down passed the last corner, but we decided to focus on the prime one.


MTL_Ripper getting started on Nosedive


Nice background view of Spruce and Madonna


VT_Ski and the Notch


MTL_Ripper milking with VT_Ski looking on


“Let’s do this again”


VT_Ski going some snow maintenance


Threading the line


The last meter

As we skied, the snow at the end was getting thinner and thinner. After 8-9 runs, we decided to checkout the other major patch we noticed driving up.

The Sunrise patch. This time we were directly visible from the people driving up. This snow patch had roughly the same vertical with perfect cream cheese corn, mellower and longer. You could see the water slipping on the edge of the patch. They were also a few annoying mosquitoes and small black flies. The thickness varied from left to right with up to 2-3 ft on the trail downhill edge. What can you do or so little snow? You can have fun!!! Traverse unto the parallel patch to maximize skiable snow. A few snowboard tricks. Snow spraying. And last, but not least, I added an extra 7-meter vertical by skiing on green grass and making it within 2-meter vert from the car. We did 7 runs on Sunrise which made us at about 200 meters for the day. It was time to head down and celebrate our day with a beer from our Vermont friend at the bottom. Thanks VT_Ski!!!


Lower Sunrise


MTL_Ripper heading for the Upper Sunrise 1 & 0.5 patches


VT_Ski on Sunrise with Toll Road in the background


The edge still had 2-3 Feet depth


VT_Ski trying to extend the snow patch


MTL_Ripper


There was a parallel patch. I was truly Mad and skied from Patch 1 to Patch 0.5


VT_Ski raising corn with MadPat looking on


Bluebird


MadPat’s turn


Wait for it


Straying


Adding a few extra meters


Last tracks from white to green

We headed into beautiful town of Stowe and dropped by the Vermont Ski Museum plus I had to pick up a gift for myself. MTL_Ripper was totally stoked by seeing his old snowboard on the Museum wall.

Before heading back across the Notch, we spotted the bottom patch at the bottom, which was the remaining part of the big air. It was short and steep. It would have been fun, but it was already late and time to headback. Looks like that patch while survived into July and be the last surviving ski season snow patch in Vermont. Okay, so what I’ll I do for July turns?


Vermont Ski Museum in Stowe


MadPat loves old skis


MTL_Ripper’s old board

On a more serious note: Take your time to drive through the Notch; it’s beautiful plus someone our a motorcycle missed a tour and crashed. You don’t need to be in the Alps to noticed serious mountain road accident.


The Last Patch


Stowe Gondola side and Mt.Mansfield

MadPat’s Gallery:
Stowe VT – June 1, 2014

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Log

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Log Detail

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Haynes and Jet shinning all the way across to Canada


Gray Jay

After the previous day’s late start for what I thought was going to be my last day at Mont St-Sauveur and their last weekend of the season; I showed up at 7:30am for a meeting place in Brossard. The One, J’hais le damé durci and I were meeting up for a carpool for Jay Peak’s last day of the season.

An early start for Mother’s Day as some people had early evening plans. Killington was the only other ski area, besides MSS and Jay open this weekend. Each of them had roughly the same amount of runs open.

It was initially announced that Jay Peak would have three trails open this weekend; the normal late season Jet and Haynes on Stateside and the green Interstate serviced by the Metro Quad on the Tramside. As we were driving south towards the border, we could see Haynes and Jet shinning from afar.


Trailside parking

We virtually parked in the liftline of the Jet Triple. It was wet and muddy, like a skiers’ Woodstock. The atmosphere of a great day at the hill was building up. People were parking and getting ready for some tailgating, eating, drinking, tanning and some skiing. Very different from a rain on a previous last day a few years ago.

The morning started with a low cloud cover and cool breeze, definitely not the hot Summer t-shirt type weather from the previous day at MSS: snow pants and vest it was. First down Jet then Haynes; the snow was soft corn, unlike the frozen salt snow from MSS the previous day. There was also Montrealer-Angel’s Wiggle that was official open which stopped just short walk from the Bonnie and Stateside Hotel or the Jet triple. The part of the snowpack had collapsed from the running water and melted leaving a giant trench in the middle of the trail. JLDD explored and bushwacked the trees between upper UN and Haynes while I skied and hoped on and between patches on Derrick’s. All on snow on this side were on the snowpiled Haynes and Jet.

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Angel’s Wiggle, The One and snowhole

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Can-Am Hike

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Stateside Action

The advantage of being parked virtual on the side of the trail is that we could drop layers when the sun came out and the temperature became to rise, we also stop to get some fuel (food and drinks). It didn’t take long to get around the open terrain, so next up about a hike up or skin up for The One towards Can-Am; no, we didn’t bother checking Interstate on Tramside. From our vantage point from high above at the top of Can-Am, we saw only one skier slowplowing. The mountain was quite as the action was all on Stateside’s two main trails. In fact there would have a few more skiing options as they were plenty of white all over the mountain. As most previous Jay May Trips, Can-Am was the cream of the corn. Real butter corn, pealing corn on the unskied bumps on continuous snow on the nice steep pitch.

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Can-Am Corn

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Kitzwood: The Bear is out of his Den

This was a relaxing day as we soaked in the rays from the outdoor tables next to Stateside to eat our lunch drinking beer. The atmosphere was happening when we got back to the Jet. We found a line of snow between the trees in Kitzwood and I skied over dirt connecting the patches on Northway and Hell’s Crossing.

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : The Jet in full Cornapallooza!!!

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Bar service lift

Back under the Jet, the smooth groomed corn had turned into moguls, skiing in shorts, jorts or bikini galore, beer drinking at the top and the bottom at the cars next to the BBQs, on the lift or having beer runs. There were some Famous and not so famous internet skiers from both side of border and various ski forums showed up on this beautiful. This was the day, the Mother of Closing Day Celebration. This wasn’t Woodstock, it was more like Cornapallooza!!!

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : Skiing with bikini…

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : …and Beer

Picture by JLDD
Picture by JLDD : The season and people are coming undone at the bottom of The Jet trail side parking


The One and JLDD at the end of the day Beer Lot


It ain’t Alaska, but it was still a great day


Suburbia Life : 7:30am at 10-30 back at 5:30pm


Ontario Sunset


That’s all folks!!!


MadPat’s Gallery:
Jay Peak VT – May 11, 2014

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After a decade of turning its back to its reputation of the earlier, latest, longest, biggest season skiing in the East, there were signals that the lost years were over and sounds and cries that the “Beast was Back”. The evidence was two consecutive October openings and missing June skiing by only six days last season making it the longest ski season in the East again…after all these years.

MadPat hadn’t returned to Kmart since May 2005 and I was curious to return to see if Killington was really mighty again? Had Kmart returned to its glorious Spring days of the last millennium. For this mission, I enlisted Lucky Luke, frequent Kmart late season skier and partner from the 1990s. We hadn’t been together at K since June 1997.


Lucky Luke finding peanut butter in the Squat


Foggy view

The night before skiing, I joined Lucky Luke to squat in a huge unfinished home just North of the Vermont border. A quiet early crossing into rural Vermont until we reached the metropolis of Stowe. Our first glimpse of Killington was on I-89 where we saw the low clouds hanging over Skye and Killington Peaks. I hadn’t been this far South on I-89 in a long time, but still remember the road. A major things had changed since my first visit almost 30 years this May.

Once we arrived at K-Base, we noticed a few things : it was gray and colder than anticipated. Temperature was just 34F.

Major deception!!!


What? The K1 Gondy isn’t going?


Gondies in garage

I used to be a regular at Kmart in the late Springs back in the good date (1984-1997). What I saw yesterday wasn’t the domination that existed back then. I was shock and disappointed when we arrived yesterday morning. Not that I forgot my ski pants and had to ski … in jeans, but that so little was open. Killington was only running the Superstar Express. Three hour drive for only 9 open trails which was actually less if you could it as actual ski runs? Lucky and I were so much looking forward to ski more than the usual “last Killington” terrain of May. It wasn’t going to be…the official morning runs were limited to Bittersweetness…and some Skye Lark. The steep pitch of Bittersweet was even bitterclosed with a bit-of-snow.

To make matters worse, some people were calling it a day, because everything was frozen and chunks without any grooming. There wasn’t any open bumps when we got to the top of Skye Peak, only refrozen chunks of corn. Superstar wasn’t flat, nor bumpy, but it was closed as well as the Skye Hawk bumps. Luckily that would change later on.


Superstar


MadPat skis in jeans


Superstar Headwall


Flying Luke


Flying Corn


On bottom Superstar


Superstar last’s bit


Skye Hawk


Lucky on Skye Hawk – best “official” bumps of the day


Some Bittersweetness


No walking required to overcome deception

But sometime you need to seek out “joy” and overcome deception. There was so much that we had looked forward to ski…runs like Needle Eye, Panic Button, Vertigo…which I remember skiing with my pregnant wife in late May ‘97. This wasn’t Late May 1997 and it wasn’t open. And what about the double diamond steep Ovation…or was Lucky Luke just seeing double again? Maybe it was just Vertigo? Late season skiing at Killington from the mid 1980s also brought back memories skiing runs of the K Peak like Downdraft with some walking required…but not possible today. It’s neighbours also looked very good. The Killington Peak Double with a midstation is long gone and the K1 Gondola is in the garage for the remainder of the ski season.

Eventually conditions corned up, bumps bumped up as the rope dropped on Skye Hawk and Superstar. Not the best bumps on the mountain, but the Skye Hawk bumps and lower Superstar started looking real sweet for coming weekend. Like the conditions, we eventually up having a great time, but we had to make a take a few steps and duck the ropes of deceptions to take matters in our your hands.


Nets to catch poachers???


Dizziness Subtype


Lucky seeing double


And getting dizzy


MadPat is sick


Unmarked obstacles


Skiing the best bumps on the mountain


…Numerous times


Late season = some walking required


No ropes here…


Lucky skiing Down towards a nice cool Draft


Nice corn cool icy draft


Corn skiing orgasm = wet jeans


Going down like a nice draft beer


Some nice deceptions


Lucky heading towards the bar

In hindsight, if we looked at quality/price/open terrain/distance (for us) analysis, Sugarloaf or Jay with each close to 40 open runs would have been a logical preferred choice. The Beast is awake, but not back to what it was, the “Dominator of Spring”, but at least it is a late season game once again.

And the question that is always ask : “Is Killington going to make it to June this year?” It is my observation, but from what I saw yesterday on Superstar and my recollection from the 1990s. Unless May is cold, I would be surprised if K make it to June this season.


The Ovation required us to go an encore


…on a Green run


Final Acclaim


Downing Drafts

20140429_kmart
Day’s Log

MadPat’s Gallery:
Killington VT – April 29, 2014

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As observed with my own skis last Saturday and mentioned in the last post, Hang Over!!!

As planned, Killington is open for Friday to Sunday with no word on a closing date, however…

Some people are hoping that MSS and/or Jay will change their minds and give us an extra weekend. Odds are low, but I’ve also seen a snowstorms in May. MSS made it to May 19 last season.

Well, Mont St-Sauveur decided to add an extra weekend and open for Victoria Day weekend. The ski camp is over, so they’ll open at a normal 9am. Is it MSS’s last weekend? They aren’t saying, but this has a sense of Déjà Vu from last season. MSS has a special problem, the ski run and their waterpark overlap. The MSS waterpark open on June 9 and they need to clear the snow. Oh yeah, they also have Game #1 between the Rangers and Canadiens game at the bar. Geez, the NHL scheduling afternoon games again. This is not a Canadian hockey tradition.

As for Jay Peak, last I checked, they were definitely closed for the season.

So, instead of only Killington open, there are two options for this weekend. Although the forecast isn’t great, they’ll be skiing.

Mont St-Sauveur :
Weather
Price : $20 for all
Run : Hill 70 West
Lift : L’Étoile Quad
Vertical: approx. 607′ (185m)
When : Saturday to Monday May 19
Time : 9 to 5

Killington :
Weather
Price : $54 (for adults) – (passholders or lift ticket from anywhere this season? 50% off on Friday or 25% on weekend).
Run with walking required : Skye Lark-Bittersweet, Skye Hawk and Superstar*
Lift : Superstar Express Quad
Vertical: 1199′ (365m)
When : Friday to Sunday May 18
Time : 8 to 5 (weekend – 9am on Friday) 9am start for Saturday*

For the record, so far this hasn’t been much different from last season. MSS closed on May 19 while Kmart stretch it out to May 26. May 19 isn’t the latest for MSS; they closed on May 22 in 2011 and made to June 2 once. As for Kmart, they closed regularly in June in the mid 1980s and 1990s.

* Update : May 16 : 6:00pm
Killington is down to Superstar according to Friday evening condition report. Odds of skiing ending this weekend in the East has increase.

** Update : May 17 : 4:30pm
It’s official; Killington will be closing tomorrow, Sunday May 18. No confirmation from MSS if Monday is their last day.

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Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2014 post:
Spring skiing is just starting, but …
Where Are We At? – Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 – Part 2
Late Easter, Late Spring, Late Skiing – Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 – Part 3
The Day After Easter Monday – Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 Part4
May Skiing : Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 Part 5
May It, No Ski It : Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 – Part 5 1/2
Oh Mother !!! Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 Part 6
Hang Over !!! Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 – Part 7

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