Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Greatest Gift: Killington Opens on October 13th!!!!

The Sky overhead was crystal clear - and dark as any good night should be. The stars shone brightly as we unloaded our gear from the car and strapped our skis to our packs. Ski boots were put into walk mode and we began our ascent toward wintery greatness by the light of the silvery moon.

Ever so slowly, the sun began to rise and we were able to turn off our headlamps. As our eyes adjusted to the darkness, we kept having to turn around. The light from the first sunrise of the ski season was poking it's colors out from behind Skye Peak.
And we didn't want to miss a second of the sun's majestic rise.

Slowly - and with great commitment - we weaved our way through the trees and up toward our destination. At about 2500', just past the top of Lower Conclusion, we began to walk on snowy covered ground. My buckles got caught on some still standing grasses as we made our way further upward. But we continued - there was greatness to be had in these mountain today.
We could hear it.

As we got closer, the snow began to cover the trees and we were welcomed into a deafening winter wonderland. I always forget how unbelievably loud snow guns are until I am standing under the first one of the season. Yelling to each other, we grinned in anticipation of what was to come. Yeah, there was more than enough snow for us :)

From the bottom of the snowmaking we quickly dove back into the woods, even more anxious to get up to the top of our wonderful section of what would count a the skiable terrain for the day. What did the middle look like? Or even the top? The excitement was building as we reached the Great Northern Crossover to take a peak at the trail in all its glory...

And it was glorious!

Any other year,
this trail would have laid hidden under the driving guns for days on end.
A base would have to be built up before the hordes of skiers would be allowed to play upon her beautiful white landscape.
Any other year, we would still be waiting.
Hoping.
Dreaming of that moment when the guns would be turned on and
the magic would begin.
Any other year, we would not be skiing.

But not this year.

This year we are making the trek to the top of the Glades Triple on October 13th.

Today,
instead of dreaming,
we will ski.

After the traditional stop at Cooper's Lodge, the safe haven of all True Killington Skiers, it is time to get ready. Because today we are not just here for the hike.
There are puffies and shells that need to be put on quick before our well earned heat goes flying away from us. I flex my fingers to try and bring some feeling back into them as I try to switch my muddy frozen buckles from walk to ski mode.
To SKI mode!
How exciting is that?
And it's back to business.
I switch my Skida hiking cap for my warm and cozy downhill one and dig in my bag for my goggles. A quick sip from the water bottle and my hands into the heaven that is warm and cozy down mittens.
Even if they are lined with frost.

Throwing our skis over our shoulder, we can barely contain our grins.
We come out from around our shelter and there she is.
The top of our glory.
We will be skiing today.
And the ski bum in me wonders:
Will we be the first?

Of course we were.
(phew)
I was up at five in the morning for this moment.

Fresh Tracks on
Fresh Snow
on the First Day!!

Whoop!! Whoop!!

I don't think my grin could have gotten any bigger.
The snow was amazing!!
I mean, starting the first turn we were both so nervous that it was gonna be that fresh snowmaking breakable crust that is usually filled with the postholes of snowmakers.
This snow was fresh, new and blown last night.
Could it have set up enough to be that
wonderfully epic first run of the season
that we we hoping for?

I think our faces say it all:
This was all that...and more.

Because the old Killington Spark,
the one that is the first to open and the last to close,
where ANY day skiing is a wonderful day,
no matter the conditions.
Where the skiing comes first,
and everything else comes in a far distant second.

We are skiing on
ungroomed
unsettled
unperfected
man-made snow
in October.

WHY?

Because this is the East Coast.

Because this is Vermont.

Because this is Killington.

WE ARE SKIERS
WE ARE COMMITTED

Thank You, Killington, so so much.
Today was wonderful.
Today...
Today was a Gift.

Today was just
...and I am using this term in its utmost extent...

today was just
EPIC.

6 comments:

  1. Was there today as well, was a really special day, conditions were not bad even at 3PM!!! Thanks for the awesome update!

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    1. Glad you got to ski!! Even in the drizzle, the bumps and snow were still way better than I ever expecte them to be. Our Killington snowmaking team did an absolutly fantastic job :). Whoop Whoop!!

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  2. "I don't think my grin could have gotten any bigger." I believe it! I'm the same way, any time I can strap in. Nice pics/update!

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    1. It's good to find people with a little bit of the same kind of crazy as me :) thanks for the kudos!!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank You! Here's hoping for many awesome days like this during the season :)

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