Sunday, January 24, 2010

1-24-10: Skiing at Killington

Long day of skiing and driving yesterday. Myself and the usual skiing crew (of which I am the newest member by a couple years) headed up to Killington up in Rutland, Vermont. It's arguably the best skiing resort in Vermont, and perhaps all of New England. I had never been, and was looking forward to the chance to see what it had to offer.

I have to say, it's now my favorite resort, at least in Vermont. I liked Okemo, but the amount of terrain Killington has puts it on top for me. I also thought the people there were very friendly, and it helped that it wasn't too busy of a day.

The lady and I left New Haven at 5:30AM, picked up our friend Lauren in Hamden, and then headed up the long I-91. After one stop we ended up at Killington at around 9:30AM. Made good time. Lauren has a "Killington Club Card," which enabled us to get lift tickets for $50 (a ~$25 savings). I had been looking at the trail map all week, and was given the advice to try the Great Northern Trail, which starts at the top of Killington Peak and traverses all the way down to Ramshead. I've found that I need a good warm-up run on a green trail before doing anything fancy, and I enjoyed the venture down. It gets pretty flat in some spots, which I didn't mind too much, but after making it down, I was very warm from all the poling.

After a quick drink of water I hit the blues on Ramshead. I started on Swirl, which is not groomed and overall pretty easy for a blue. I wanted to work on my edging, but really didn't do enough of it. I mostly wanted to work on building up speed and getting used to going fast down the hill. I did accomplish that goal, with great success. I was movin'! After Swirl I hit Header, which goes straight down Ramshead. Since we got there a little later, I needed to make my way closer to K-1 Lodge for lunch, so I then went over to Snowdon.

I liked Snowdon. I thought the blues were a little more challenging, but I did pretty well on Bunny Buster and Chute. I was so confident (and probably stupid), that after my second run down Bunny Buster, I tried my first black diamond run. Mouse Trap is a short and sweet introduction to steeper terrain, so if you're at Killington and are looking to try a black diamond, I strongly recommend Mouse Trap. Just a note: stay left. I went right, and hit the bumps. I was, however, able to make it over to the hard packed snow and made my way down. When I got to the bottom I had a feeling of such immense exhilaration that I couldn't help but yell "YEAH!" Great, great feeling. I had survived my first black diamond run.

When I met up with my friends, they were quite surprised. The lady was happy, and asked if I'd want to do it again after lunch. Certainly! But... they'd closed down Bunny Buster for the afternoon to do race training, and there wasn't a good way to head over to Mouse Trap from other trails. So, we hit up Skye Peak until my legs got too tired, and I ended my day at 3:30PM. I was very, very satisfied.

So far, a great ski season. I do need to really work on my edges if I want to do more black diamonds, so the next time out (maybe not for a couple weeks since it's supposed to rain a bit), it's edges time on the blues.

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