Saturday, October 16, 2010

-Trip Report- Killington: Skipping Purgatory (October 2010)

I feel like I've done something wrong.  For me,  Halloween is the official end of Fall and then there's a full month of misery (also known as November) before winter.

Put simply: I skied on October 16th.  Before Halloween. Before Thanksgiving.  Before Daylight Savings.  Something's wrong.

When I learned an early season nor'easter was headed for New England, my first thought was, "Oh Great.  Now no mountain biking this weekend."

I had already planned to do some mountain biking and hiking on Saturday and Sunday with my friends Gered and Brad up in Vermont.  When I arrived in White River, however, I learned that more than a foot of snow had already fallen on Killington, with more to arrive that night.
So Gered, Brad and I got up early and headed to Vermont's second highest mountain.  The drive over made us doubt the reports we had heard.  Not only was there no snow to be seen, the leaves were still in full Fall glory.  As we drew closer on Route 4, though, we caught our first glimpses of Killington through the clouds- and witnessed the snow on its upper reaches.

We were greeted at the base with an almost empty parking lot and joined the four other cars right next to the lodge.  We threw our packs on and were on our way up the snow covered trails.

We weren't the only ones who had heard of the snow, as there were already first tracks in the snow. However there were still plenty of untracked paths.

We traversed over to the ski lifts and started our ascent up the mountain.

The snow grew deeper as we boot packed up the lower reaches of the mountain.  The water bars left large drifts, which slowed our progress up the mountain.

After passing the steepest pitches we stopped to don the skins, and continued up. 

We flew up the rest of the mountain.  The snow was still falling, and fog rolled in obscuring our view.

We eventually reached the peak, and enjoyed the view of the inside of a cloud.

We celebrated just below the summit with some congratulatory Vermont brews and a pepperoni pairing.

Finally, it was time to put the skis on and find our first turns of the season.

The heavy snow made for difficult skiing.  But we weren't complaining.  It was October 16th and we were skiing in Vermont.

After a stop at the Longtrail Brewery (get the Teriyaki wings!!!) our day was complete.  What a way to start the winter of 2010-2011.

Watch the Video here.


  1. Looks like a great day! My husband will be so jealous that you've already gotten a day of skiing in. :)

  2. I don't think I've ever skied this early. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come!

  3. I,ve Skied Killington as early as Oct. 9th with lift service. The Killington Dbl with mid station was still there.

  4. I've hiked and skied Smuggs as early as Halloween before but kudos for first freshies, and earning free turns at The Empire/Killington!

  5. We were joking that it is probably the only time of year that K-Mart isn't crowded.

    I found out later that all the gnarly terrain is down on Bear Peak. I'll have to check that out some other time.

  6. I've added video goodness. I recently got a helmet cam and fooled around with the Windows video editor.