Killington 4/6-4/7 2018 (Bear Mtn Moguls)

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Icecoastchef Icecoastchef
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Killington 4/6-4/7 2018 (Bear Mtn Moguls)

I was planning to head out west with a friend of mine who works in the airline industry, but he got spooked by rain in the forecast and cancelled last minute. If it were entirely up to me I would have skied Jackson Hole this weekend in a raincoat, but I put on my big-boy pants, sucked it up and put plan b into action—a 2-day trip to Killington.



I woke up at an ungodly hour on Friday, leaving my house at 4am so I could pick up Brendan on the way up to Vermont. We arrived at the mountain and met up with John at 8:45. I am in the final stretch of a campaign to ski 1,000,000 vertical feet this season, so I decided to spend the entire day on the lifts with no breaks from open til close. Fueled by an everything bagel doused in frozen butter, a large bottle of water and a bomber of Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine, I skied nonstop for 7 hours straight and racked up over 40,000 feet (in pretty challenging conditions to boot). The day started with groomed ice under sunny skies, which quickly became scraped off and covered with light, powdery snow. The flat light combined with “dust on crust” conditions made for a ski day that only a hardened east-coaster could love.



Saturday was a completely different story. I should preface that I’ve long been a critic of Killington, not fully understanding the cult-like adoration that the resort receives from many northeast skiers. Yes the mountain has a massive amount of trails, good variety of terrain and a top-of-the-line lift infrastructure, but with a lift capacity rivaled only by Park City and Whistler, there simply isn’t enough snow for everyone to ski. The trails are often skied off by 11am on the weekends, and the intersections around every corner make it difficult to get in a rhythm or feel comfortable really charging down a trail.



On this day though, my mind was changed because I got to experience Killington at its best. The snow from the day before continued through the night, so we began the day skiing on 4-6” of fresh, light, floaty, dreamy powder under bluebird skies with views for miles. Ropes were dropping left and right, and we seemed to always be in the right place at the right time to ski fresh lines. A friend and client of mine who grew up skiing at Killington have me a locals tour of the mountain, so I learned about some great stashes and even paid a visit to a certain fabled cabin that may or may not exist.



The second half of the day was fantastic. After refueling with some leftover Ramunto’s garlic knot pizza and some cold beer, we headed over to Bear Mountain to watch the moguls competition and ski some of our own bumps. Most of the trails had now morphed into a combination of ice and jumbo-sized loose-granular moguls, but about halfway down everything suddenly shifted to mashed potatoes. As a professed lover of spring bumps, I was in heaven. We stopped on Outer Limits to grab some front-row seats for the mogul competition. I find it simultaneously humbling and motivating when I see people who are significantly better skiers than me. I hope to someday be good enough to compete in the competition myself, but in the meantime I’m proud that I am among those who can confidently ski Outer Limits in challenging conditions to earn front-row seats to watch the experts do their thing.



The energy at Bear Mountain was electric; the base was absolutely packed with tailgaters and people were adorned in everything from 80s throwback outfits to dinosaur costumes. This energy is what makes Killington special and unique. If you are a Killington skeptic as I once was, go ski the bumps on Outer Limits on a sunny spring weekend and experience the contagious good vibes of Bear Mountain.



I’m really looking forward to my end-of-season trip out there the last weekend of April. I’ll be in the K1 parking lot in gym shorts working the grill. If any of you are there, come swing by for a beer!


Brownski Brownski
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Re: Killington 4/6-4/7 2018 (Bear Mtn Moguls)

Looks like a fun couple days. I think the key to getting the most out of Killington is to view each terrain pod as it’s own separate area, which is probably what your buddy showed you to do. Where you run into trouble with the traverse trails is if you try to put together long, big-vert runs.  I’m looking forward to some spring turns up there myself.
"You want your skis? Go get 'em!" -W. Miller
Icecoastchef Icecoastchef
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Re: Killington 4/6-4/7 2018 (Bear Mtn Moguls)

I think it comes down to a couple things:

1) There is a simple equation involving amount of snow, acreage of terrain, and amount of people moved uphill. Even with the amount of snow and terrain they have, Killington moves an incredible amount of people uphill and onto the slopes. On the bright side you never wait in any lines (save for maybe the gondolas on the busiest days), but this comes with the caveat that the slopes are typically skied off by noon.

2) Killington is good for virtually everything, but I hadn’t experienced it being great at anything until this trip. Visiting during the BMMC helped me realize that the electric party vibe is what Killington has in spades. I would add in the most reliable snowmaking in the northeast, great spring skiing and (to repeat what I said above) they are at least good to very good in virtually every metric by which you could rate a resort.

Brownski Brownski
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Re: Killington 4/6-4/7 2018 (Bear Mtn Moguls)

Icecoastchef wrote
I think it comes down to a couple things:

1) There is a simple equation involving amount of snow, acreage of terrain, and amount of people moved uphill. Even with the amount of snow and terrain they have, Killington moves an incredible amount of people uphill and onto the slopes. On the bright side you never wait in any lines (save for maybe the gondolas on the busiest days), but this comes with the caveat that the slopes are typically skied off by noon.

2) Killington is good for virtually everything, but I hadn’t experienced it being great at anything until this trip. Visiting during the BMMC helped me realize that the electric party vibe is what Killington has in spades. I would add in the most reliable snowmaking in the northeast, great spring skiing and (to repeat what I said above) they are at least good to very good in virtually every metric by which you could rate a resort.
You're right of course. When I saw this the other day it reminded me of an old thread and I made a mental note to dredge up the prodigy's formula.
snoloco wrote
What ski areas have the highest lift capacity to lowest acreage and vice versa?


Hunter has a combined capacity of 14,600 pph and 250 acres.  That forms a skiers per acre per hour ratio of 58.

Windham has a combined capacity of 13,200 pph and 270 acres.  Skier per acre per hour ratio is 48.  

Belleayre has a combined capacity of 9,000 pph and 170 acres.  Skier per acre per hour ratio is 53.

Plattekill has a combined capacity of 3,000 pph and 130 acres.  Skier per acre per hour ratio is 23.

Mount Snow has a combined capacity of 27,700 pph and 530 acres.  Skier per acre per hour ratio is 52.

Gore has a combined capacity of 17,600 pph and 460 acres.  Skier per acre per hour ratio is 38.

Whiteface has a combined capacity of 14,200 pph and 300 acres.  Skier per acre per hour ratio is 47.

Mountain Creek has a combined capacity of 13,980 pph and 160 acres.  Skier per acre per hour ratio is 87.

Killington has a combined capacity of 36,200 pph and 800 acres.  Skier per acre per hour ratio is 45.

Okemo has a combined capacity of 28,100 pph and 600 acres.  Skier per acre per hour ratio is 47.

Steamboat has a combined capacity of 32,000 pph and 3,500 acres.  Skier per acre per hour ratio is 9.


Not surprisingly, Mountain Creek has by far the highest skier density.  Steamboat was included as a western example.  Even Plattekill puts a number of people on the trails that is 3 times as dense.  With the Catskill mountains, Hunter definitely has the most, and Belleayre and Windham are similar.  They're also similar to the Vermont mountains I included.
"You want your skis? Go get 'em!" -W. Miller
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Killington 4/6-4/7 2018 (Bear Mtn Moguls)

I like the concept of this but I feel like the acreage is an arbitrary number.

Nice TR!
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
Marcski Marcski
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Re: Killington 4/6-4/7 2018 (Bear Mtn Moguls)

Agreed. The trails at Hunter and Windham are definitely more than 2-2.5x as crowded as Platty's. Plus Sno's example assumes the lifts are filled to maximum capacity. That only happens a few times a season at Platty.
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Killington 4/6-4/7 2018 (Bear Mtn Moguls)

I think... how do you really know the acreage? How do you measure the acres in the trees? I think some areas do trail acreage and sound measure boundary to boundary?

One more thing, I never find myself at Plattekill thinking "I wish there were fewer people here."

They are almost all friends.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
D.B. Cooper D.B. Cooper
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Re: Killington 4/6-4/7 2018 (Bear Mtn Moguls)

You're also assuming that all trails are skied in equal proportions.
Sent from the driver's seat of my car while in motion.
SuperSkiMom SuperSkiMom
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Re: Killington 4/6-4/7 2018 (Bear Mtn Moguls)

In reply to this post by Harvey
Harvey wrote
I like the concept of this but I feel like the acreage is an arbitrary number.

Nice TR!
It is true If you know where to go at Killington, even on a busy day you can avoid the crowds.
JamesP JamesP
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Re: Killington 4/6-4/7 2018 (Bear Mtn Moguls)

Hunter is opening new blue and green terrain,which should spread things out even with a new lift. Too many lower intermediates or beginners try the Belt Parkway making it more dangerous than most advanced terrain there. The real key to Eastern skiing is something sadly that is  unattainable for many, go on a weekday. About ten years ago my daughter's spring break plans fell apart and I had a some light days  at workand we went up to Killington mid week.  I will admit we hit good conditions, but the skiing was as good as any I've had out west.
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