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newb going to kton.. help

mriceyman

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heading up on friday morning from jersey. have the 2 fers for saturday and sunday that im gonna use. thinking of hitting mt snow on the way up on friday. when im at kton on sat n sun what lifts should we hit or stay away from? we are above average skiers that def dont want to wait forever for a lift. ive never been in the middle of the winter let alone early season. any pointers you guys can give would be mucho appreciated. thanks:spread:
 

mister moose

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Early season like this the advice is completely different than when the whole mountain is open. Last weekend the Superstar Quad was way less crowded than the K1 gondola, but really, lift lines weren't a problem anywhere.

Snow conditions are going to guide you more than lift lines. Pre Christmas crowd levels should be modest.

www.killingtonzone.com for daily reports and conditions.
 

bdfreetuna

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Only K1 gondola, Superstar quad, the lifts on the north ridge on Killington and Snowdon / Ramshead will even be open. This time of year Killington skis like a much more average sized mountain, mostly centralized at the K-1 base lodge.

There's no lift lines more than a few minutes anywhere at K right now. Probably the north ridge has the most people running quick laps up there. Even that line isn't bad though.

I'd park at K1 base, ride the gondola up and have fun exploring whatever runs are open. If you're spending 2 days there you will easily ski all the open terrain several times. Don't sweat it, hope you get good snow up there (will probably be up Sunday myself).
 

skiersleft

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It's early season, so you don't have many options, although Killington does have the most open terrain in the East right now. Here's a summary of the peaks/areas that are open and the open terrain that you can ski in each peak/area:

(1) Ramshead - this is Kton's family area. About 1000ft vertical. Easy street is a very easy trail. It's where beginners go after they graduate from the bunny slope (snowshed at Killington). The other option is Caper trail. This takes you to Snowdown Mountain and K1 base lodge area via Great Northern. You can also loop back to Ramshead by taking Caper to Lower Great Northern.

My recommendation is to avoid Ramshead unless you get bored with the rest of the terrain, which might be the case given that it's early season. If so, do a couple of runs here. Lift is a HSQ, but it can get crowded with families and kids who don't know what they're doing.

(2) Snowdon Mountain - This peak features mostly intermediate terrain. About 1000ft vertical. Mouse Trap is a short black trail that often bumps up. This is a love or hate kind of place. Personally, I don't enjoy skiing here unless it's tree skiing you're looking for, and that's not open (obviously).

The reason why I don't enjoy skiing here is that Great Northern intersects all trails here making for some nasty choke points in which several trails intersect. Locals call these choke points the "Mixing Bowl" and "Bowling Alley". These areas can get dangerous on weekend days and ridiculously crowded.

The lift is a slow fixed grip quad. Ride is long and can get cold. Locals call the lift "Slowdon".

(3) North Ridge Area - This is a ridge between Killington Peak and Snowdon Mountain. It is accessed from Killington Peak by taking Great Northern to East Fall, Rime or Ridge Run and then taking the North Ridge Triple. It can also be accessed from Snowdon Peak off the Snowdon Quad or Triple and taking Killink trail to North Ridge Triple.

This is Killington's early season setup. About 600FT vertical. The terrain here is mostly intermediate. Runs are fine and it is no longer crowded because terrain has expanded. I like this area after Killington expands, as it is seldom crowded. I would make several runs here.

(4) Killington Peak - Accessed by taking K1 Gondola from K1 Base lodge. You can ski Great Northern from K Peak to Snowdon or Ramshead. It's a long "easy" run, but riddled with intersections which make it more "dangerous". Off the gondola you can also ski downdraft and cascade "headwalls" if you want more challenging terrain. Nothing else open here. From here you can access North Ridge and Snowdown and Ramshead. You can also access the Canyon area and Skye Peak.

(5) Canyon Area - The only trail you can ski here is Lower East Fall which is a black trail that often gets very icy. Some like it, others don't. I don't care much for it, but I guess it provides variety early season. Accessed off Killington Peak via Great Northern to Rime/East Fall to Lower East Fall or via North Ridge triple to Rime/Upper Dipper/ East Fall to Lower East Fall. You can then take the Canyon Quad to do it again.

(6) Skye Peak - accessed via Superstar Quad or via Killington peak by taking Great Northern to Bear Trax to Launch Pad. Here you can ski Superstar, which is one of Killington's signature trails. It has a steep headwall that feels more like double black. The lower part of superstar is also steep. The middle part is relatively flat. It's a nice long (1200ft) vertical run. Gets bumped up if it softens up. Definitely a must ski. Headwall can get really icy. Here you can also ski Skyelark and Bittersweet, which are more intermediate. This gives you three top to bottom options about 1200FT of vertical off Skye Peak.

I enjoy skiing the superstar pod. The lift is a HSQ and since Superstar is steep, the lift ride is short. I would spend much of my time skiing here. If it gets too crowded, head to the Canyon/North Ridge area via the K1 Gondola.

Hope this helps. Have fun!!
 

mriceyman

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thanks for the replies. yea i can imagine how different it is up there when almost all open and big crowds. good to hear not to bad of lines for lifts. im not gonna judge the mtn by what we ski this weekend im just fired up to get out there and for half price. i guess ill park by the gondola then go from there. if anybody wants to make some turns together we can make arrangements here. thanks again
 

skiersleft

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skiersleft.. thanks for the breakdown!!!

No problem! Forgot to mention Highline is now open. This is a fun relatively steep trail that is accessed off Great Northern before you get to the Mouse trap trail and the Mixing Bowl area of Snowdon.

Highline is a nice trail, but is unfortunately often closed for racing. Not sure if that will be the case this weekend. This is a good trail to take in order to get back to K1. If it's open, hit it for sure.

I'm assuming you can ski advanced terrain. Highline/Cascade and Downdraft Headwalls/Superstar Headwall and Lower Superstar are all advanced terrain that would be tough for an intermediate skier.
 

mriceyman

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No problem! Forgot to mention Highline is now open. This is a fun relatively steep trail that is accessed off Great Northern before you get to the Mouse trap trail and the Mixing Bowl area of Snowdon.

Highline is a nice trail, but is unfortunately often closed for racing. Not sure if that will be the case this weekend. This is a good trail to take in order to get back to K1. If it's open, hit it for sure.

I'm assuming you can ski advanced terrain. Highline/Cascade and Downdraft Headwalls/Superstar Headwall and Lower Superstar are all advanced terrain that would be tough for an intermediate skier.
Im gonna make sure to reread ur input on saturday morning so its fresh in my head. my buddy is about average intermediate but i love the advanced stuff. thanks again
 

mriceyman

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FWIW looks like weather will be above freezing and breezy with clouds and a few showers.

Ya been following the weather and it looks like some spring skiing. Hows the base on most of the trails? Can it take this warmup plus the weekend warmup or will some trails close?
 

skiersleft

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Ya been following the weather and it looks like some spring skiing. Hows the base on most of the trails? Can it take this warmup plus the weekend warmup or will some trails close?

Regarding conditions/weather for this weekend:

(1) Yes, most - if not all - trails can take this warmup plus the "weekend warmup".
(2) The weekend warmup is not a really significant warmup. Right now the official forecast for 2600FT calls for a high of 40 on saturday with a low of 32 and a high of 39 on Sunday. That's above freezing, but it's not that much above freezing, so don't expect it to be spring skiing. It might be on the soft side, but not sure it will get that soft. And that's good. Don't think there will be much melting.
(3) There's orographic snow expected beginning tomorrow night and perhaps through Friday. So it's not out of the question that we get several inches before the weekend. Not a lot, but 3 or 4 inches will help freshen things up.
(4) The weekend forecast is 5 days out. Models have been waffling. Temps may end warmer or lower than that, so don't fret too much about it.
 

bdfreetuna

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Skiersleft taking thorough to new levels! I agree tho Superstar quad probably has the best action right now. I could take runs down Superstar and Bittersweet all day and be happy. Actually I have done that plenty of times in the spring ;)
 

skiersleft

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Skiersleft taking thorough to new levels!

I'm trying, my friend. I'm trying! Just want to do what I can to make sure that the OP has fun in my home mountain. It's easy to have a not so good experience at K if you don't know where to go. As you know, it's so spread out that it's difficult to navigate if you don't have guidance! So I'm trying to do my best to ensure that the OP has a good experience and returns to the mighty K.
 

bdfreetuna

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It is a mighty mountain(s). Great place to meet ladies too. I think it gets overlooked and taken for granted sometimes, because it is so mighty, especially mid-winter with everything open. I take it for granted myself mid-winter and ski other places. Perhaps this year I will set aside a couple peak season weekends to ski Killington and enjoy it's total might, which I have not enjoyed in its totality for several years, actually.

Snowdon is a clusterfuck though and whenever I get sucked into that area I can't wait to get out. I actually enjoy some of the terrain on Ramshead though, some nice long cruisers. And of course Killington is completely underrated for its tree skiing, which IMO includes some of the most challenging and steeper tree skiing on the east coast. It's just not famous for this because they have so much else going on already.
 

skiersleft

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It is a mighty mountain(s). Great place to meet ladies too. I think it gets overlooked and taken for granted sometimes, because it is so mighty, especially mid-winter with everything open. I take it for granted myself mid-winter and ski other places. Perhaps this year I will set aside a couple peak season weekends to ski Killington and enjoy it's total might, which I have not enjoyed in its totality for several years, actually.

Snowdon is a clusterfuck though and whenever I get sucked into that area I can't wait to get out. I actually enjoy some of the terrain on Ramshead though, some nice long cruisers. And of course Killington is completely underrated for its tree skiing, which IMO includes some of the most challenging and steeper tree skiing on the east coast. It's just not famous for this because they have so much else going on already.

You're right on all counts. It's great to hear that you like the hill. It's one of the best in the East, although I understand why it might not be for everyone. Funny I feel the same way about snowdon. Total mess. Like you, I prefer to ski Ramshead over snowdon, at least as far as groomers are concerned. Header/Easy Street/Timberline/Caper are fun easy cruisers.

However, I do enjoy Snowdon very much when the trees are in play. Low Rider is one of my favorite tree runs at K. And Patsy's is not bad. And then you have the ones that will remain unnamed. But Squeeze Play at Ramshead is also a very cool tree run, albeit not a challenging one. It's very fun, though, and long. Almost 1000 vertical of fun tree skiing is cool. And it's also a great tree run for introducing friends and family to the beauties of tree skiing.

BTW, if you do come up mid season, let me know. Perhaps we can make a couple of runs together.
 

bdfreetuna

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What I like about Killington is in spite of its massive size and apparent success, it remains a skiers mountain.

Okay they had the Dewzie tour last year and that sort of got in the way. But overall compared to some places I could name there is less godawful development on the mountain, less tourist crap. Just a few bars, clubs, ski shops, restaurants and motels on the access road.

And on the mountain itself you are completely not distracted by the fact you are on a big mountain with a ton of terrain. At the top of K you can go any direction (almost) and ski for miles and miles.

K1 gondola is probably my favorite lift of all due to its comfort, speed, and all the fine ladies I've met riding up that thing. Not to mention all kinds of awesome people. There is something special about that ride, never a dull day on the K1 gondola.

And never a dull day at Killington in any case. That much can definitely be said for it. I would not be surprised if 40% of my total days skiing were at K this year, but it's too early to tell :) As someone who can't wait to get on skis as soon as possible and doesn't want to put them in the garage until absolutely possible, I nothing short of love the place.
 

ScottySkis

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I have not been to K in a long time but what everyone here is saying I agree with pretty massive and lots of snow fall with good trees, just one note is vertical for any one trip down is 1600 feet unless you ski a whole lot of flat stuff fyi.
 

steamboat1

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What's the matter with Snowdon? Besides the glade skiing it also has some of what I consider the best runs on the mountain. Northstar, Great Bear, Vagabond, Royal Flush offer some of the best natural snow skiing on the mountain. Add in snow making trails Highline & Conclusion & that is some awesome line up. I also like the slow Snowdon quad. It gives me time to recouperate after skiing such awesome terrain. I don't think you guys know what you're talking about.
 

mriceyman

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you guys are the best.. the input is great.. im hoping after this weekend it will give me the motivation to hit K in midweek in say february. i went over the trail map with your guys suggestions and i can see when its 100% open this place could be wicked cool. only 2 days to go til my ski season starts. cant friggin wait!
 
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