It’s tough for some of us to think about skiing or riding when the temperature in Westerly is creeping near the 70ºF mark. In February. And there isn’t a speck of snow left on the ground. In fact, daffodils and a few other early bloomers are poking greenery up through the not frozen ground. Many are thinking spring is sprung and skiing and riding is done for another season. But the ospreys aren’t back just yet, and for me that’s the true marker of the start of spring.
I got to spend a couple days on the slopes in Vermont with my daughter Allison and her boyfriend Rob. We hit Killington and then Okemo. I thought I would share a few thoughts, especially for those thinking the season is over. It’s not.
Despite temperatures creeping into the 40s and even low 50s in central Vermont, you have to remember that nearly 4 feet of snow fell just prior to the onset of warm days. Yes, there has been a bit of rain, but not bucket loads. And the warm has been interspersed with temperatures allowing snow making. And when snow making occurs, they blizzard the slopes.
Bottom line? Last Sunday was tough because the quick drop in temperature didn’t allow much time to groom and recuperate. But Monday was sublime on the slopes of Killington. The day started firm and fast, warmed to soft, carve-loving condition, then firmed up again late in the day for a few faster runs to simply crush already fatigued muscles. Sure, there were a few spots where glacier ice showed through, but those spots were few and far between. It was a great day of skiing and riding, and The Beast was very welcoming.
Tuesday found us at Okemo. It was snowing when we arrived. Lightly, but snowing. The sky turned azure blue from horizon-to-horizon, and the temperature crept up into the mid-40s. We played in “hero snow” all over the mountain. Things got a bit sloppy right down at the base of the slopes, but it was perfect everywhere else. Okemo has a good base, and there was abundant snow everywhere we went on the mountain.
Now we have a few days of cold. Up in Vermont they are seeing single digits. And the snow guns are firing a blizzard everywhere at every ski mountain. Get away this weekend and embrace the cold once again. Enjoy some firm, fast snow. Steal away next week and enjoy some soft, buttery snow as a bit of warmth returns.
Early next week this skier is headed north to Smuggler’s Notch, and then Sugarbush, for a few days of fun. I’ll check back in and let you know how things are looking, but so far they continue to look pretty good. Avie’s still has a couple more bus trips heading north, including the Customer Appreciation trip to Okemo on the 19th. Hope to see you on that one.