The Wait is Finally Over!!: Opening Day Tomorrow at Killington

The hardest weeks of the year will soon be safely behind us.
We have been waiting
- some could even argue patiently -
for this season of torture to be over.

We started this past week with a torturously tiny flurry.
An amount of snow so freakin' tiny that Vespi didn't try to eat or roll in.
But after months of snowless depressions
(excluding that awesome week in October)
I was more than a little over excited for even just a dinkiness of fresh white wonderfulness.

In fact, on Friday I was late for work.
I had decided to myself that there was snow underneath that damn K Cloud and I wasn't going to stop hiking until I found the snow.
Which didn't happen until I was almost at the top of Snowdon,
a good bit passed the beginning of the cloud.

You would think that one would use up a "late for work" day over two feet of powder. Not me.
It was less than a half inch.

at least the mountain was stunningly beautiful in all her frosty glory.

Something that was creepy was discovering this huge section of blowdown. All of the trees were uprooted and leaning toward the Peak. Obviously, a microburst or some ofther such Sandy-ish freak of nature thing had just come threw and knocked the trrees over in just this one section of the mountain
Insepction of this area might also have contributed to my lateness.

But the week didn't end there.
More snow continued to fall.
I mean, it wasn't as much as West Virginia by anymeans,
but it didn't ease the pain of our decision not to travel through all the damaged areas of the country to go skiing.

So we stayed home.
And got up way too damn early.

We were a huge crowd.
Three lovely ladies,
and four dogs.

Walking in the wee hours of pre-dawn to get up and into the woods before the light came down.

Awesomely, no headlamps were needed even right at the begininng and we could enjoy a kick ass hike up to the cold summit.

I had told a girlfriend of mine she only had to come until we found the snow.
But she didn't turn around when she drove up to the K1 and saw the snow had made it all the way down to the Umbrella Bars.
Cause that meant there would be LOTs of snow at the summit!!

But first we had to move through the dark woods, listening to the crunch of leaves under our feet combined with the whish of silky snow. Our toes didn't get cold, but our hands definitely turned numb after a while. Which reminds me that ai really have to make a decision on my gloves skinning - Outdoor Research or Mountain HardWear.
Anyways, we kept moving upward, with increasing amounts of snow under our feet until we could finally hear it.
You know, that squeek.
The squeeky noise that just the right temperature of snow makes when you step on it. How snowflakes make noise when they heat up and consolidate I have no idea, but the noise is wicked cool and is one of the many things that mark the arrival of winter in the mounatains.

The dogs were having the best time.
Unlike just the day before, Vespi was able to roll in the cool white snow while Coopie spent most of his time simultaneously running and licking the snow from the ground.
Mountain Dogs are Happy Dogs.
Snow Dogs are even Happier.
Shop Dogs are the Happiest, because they get pet all day after a great hike up into the snowy mountains.

And then we were at the summit.
I know it's kind of anti-climactic when you come around the corner and see the top of the gondola...but that is just a weigh station. Once you get up that black metal staircase into the alpine zone, the world changes.
All is quiet.
And it just smells right.
Like Winter.
Like Pine Needles and Snow.
Like Heaven.

And somewhere in all this, the sun rose.
But the only way we could tell was that the world went from
blue-ish white to grey-ish white.

Sunrise in the K-Cloud.
You have to "see" it to believe it.

Here's Wishing Everyone the Best Ski Season Ever!!
May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You.