It’s the beginning of autumn, and that means it’s time once again for Vermont’s Killington Resort to fire up the snowguns and go on record with the earliest opening date. Last night, Killington brushed off the snowguns and took advantage of chilly weather to produce some snow. The resort traditionally tests out their snowmaking equipment as soon as temperatures permit - “blowing the mice out,” as the resort says - but isn’t able to open a healthy number of trails until mid-November. But the resort tries to open at least one trail so they can claim the earliest opening date in North America - a record they have held onto in recent years.
Last year, Killington opened a trail on October 2; the year before, Killington started running a lift on October 4. Killington may beat last year’s opening date, if cold temperatures linger.
What is October skiing like at Killington? Last year, Killington first opened the Rime trail, and charged a flat rate of $10 for lift tickets. Skiers and boarders were advised that thin and bare spots existed, and some walking past bare spots was required. But hey, skiing is skiing, right? A lot of people arrived to take their inaugural run down Rime trail, even as mountain bikers on adjoining trails enjoyed the fall foliage.
Things took a turn for the worse last year, when rain and warmer temperatures hit Vermont in late October. By October 31, the resort was struggling to remain open. But colder temperatures soon returned and the resort was once again off to a healthy start.
If nothing else, Killington’s annual “pre-season opening” - which many view as a marketing ploy - is a good reminder that winter arrives early in Vermont, and it’s time to get those skis tuned up.
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
There are no reader comments on this article yet.