Ski season that is. Well it still has yet to come, but we did get an early season preview earlier this month.
Thursday Oct 14th I caught wind of a bold prediction that high elevation locations in the green and white mountains would see some accumulating snowfall, accumulating as in 6″ plus. Very likely that some early season turns could be had. This thread of hope was all it took to keep me attached to the weather reports from our snow predicting sages. Thursday evening a threw the idea out of a trip to Killington, VT to my brother who I had planned on going backpacking with in the white mountains that weekend, and Stefan. We chose Killington because of the higher elevation and shorter drive for all of us.
Friday, this distant pipe dream came a reality. As the day went on the reports kept getting better for those hoping for an early season schuss. Better yet, ground zero was right on Killington Peak, JACKPOT!!!
As the work day came to a close on Friday, there were already reports of 8-12″ on Killington’s summit. It’s on. It’s on so much you should throw your fat skis in the car and why haven’t I mounted any binding on mine yet, damnit?
Nick and I drove up late to my aunt’s house in Keene, NH to spend the night and split up the drive. Stefan planned to meet us in the morning at the mountain base. After a quick sleep/long nap, we were back on the road and inexcusably bungling directions all over the place. We finally made it to the main gondola parking lot at 8am, Stefan was already there and ready to go.
The late folks hurriedly changed into their gear and started booting up the mountain. I made sure to forget all my snacks in the car (read CliF Bars), DOH!
The 4″ of slush in the parking lot quickly turned into 6″ thick wet snow which got thicker and deeper as we ascended. There was no sign of snow in the town below, but on the mountain it was a winter wonderland.
On the way up, mountain operations began to mobilize, and it gave me the feeling of a secret base 007 was about to infiltrate.
We topped out just under the true summit as our slog was becoming quite the pain in the ass. Time to get skiing!!
It was super thick powder. I was on my skinny now rock skis. In order to get any kind momentum going I had to get way way way back in the back seat. I feel like the conditions were something like that Pacific Northwest cement skiing I hear about.
I feel like nick has five days ever on skis. Looking good, way to get after it!
He spent all summer upgrading the winter gear. Looks like money well spent.
Stefan’s not having fun, today, no, no no.
The snow became much more manageable when we dropped in at the crook of Cascade. The worst of the hazards we had to worry about were a few stream crossings here and there, no big deal. We were able to slide all the way to the car for some carbs, and discuss the rest of the day.
Lack of sleep on one side, and sore shins on the other had us saying so long to the snow and tracking down Vermont’s blueberry and maple syrup breakfast. We finished breakfast up by noon. Late start to the day, except we already hiked a mountain and went for a ski, not a bad fall morning. Not bad at all.
Big props to FIS weather guru Lionel Hutz. He sensed this early season dump well in advance, stuck his guns, and it paid off for all the powder hounds.