The Mountain Times

°F Mon, April 21, 2014

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Good to know Killington factoids for fun

For those who don't have snow in their backyards, you will be happy to know that there is snow in Vermont! I just finished snow blowing the driveway and deck in preparation for another storm tonight.

So enjoying my hot beverage, I am dreaming of hitting the slopes and making some more mountain memories.
To help you make yours extra special, here's a sampling of fun things to do, delicious meals to enjoy, and new things to try.

CLINICS

World Snowboard Day Freebie, Dec. 30
On Dec. 30, a limited number of free Burton Learn-to-Ride clinics will be offered in celebration of World Snowboard Day. This is a MAX 5 program, up to five students per instructor. This program is for first-time snowboarders only, ages 7 and up and includes a 2-hour group lesson, rental equipment and learning area lift ticket. Reservations are required, call 800-923-9444. Again, the number of free lessons are limited!

Snoe.down program, March 23
The all-ages Winter Music and Sports Festival hits the area with several performances by moe. in Killington and throughout the Rutland Region. For moe. fans who have never skied or snowboarded before, a special Learn-to-Program including a 2-hour group lesson, rental equipment, and learning area lift ticket for ages 18 and up will be offered for $79. Reservations required, 800-923-9444.

Beast Adventures, Jan-March
How about a "Skin & Dine" adventure? You can dun your climbing skins and alpine touring skis and join Dan Egan on an adventure tour/climb that ends at the Ledgewood Yurt for a reward of fine food and fellowship. This is an add-on option for the All-Terrain Programs Jan. 26-27 (moguls, steeps, glades, side country) and February 15-16, 17-18, or March 9-10 Explore the Beast clinics.
Explore Off-Piste terrain with adventure skier Dan Egan. "Exploring the Beast" is designed to teach you how to side/back country ski on alpine touring routes. The course may touch on skills related to avalanche safety, but it is not an avalanche course. The focus is on using alpine and alpine touring ski equipment and techniques competently and efficiently so that you can enjoy side/back country terrain.

For the Ladies, all season!
The Women's Clinics are taught by women and are designed to help skiers and riders master both the physical and mental aspects of the sports. The programs include training sessions with Olympic Gold Medalist Donna Weinbrecht, who is a wonderful teacher and someone who will inspire you.

There is a new She Shreds Ride Camp featuring Burton gear for new riders this year as well.

Youth unleashed
Killington is offering new season-long youth programs for skiers and riders ages 7-18. They will be grouped by age and ability level and instructors will guide them as they explore The Beast while making friends and improving their skiing and riding skills.
Beginners will have the advantage of progressing with the same instructor each week, and those looking to rip it up can set goals for the season together with their instructor. The 10 a.m.-3 p.m. program meets Saturdays, Dec. 15 through March 30, at the new Drop Zone located outside Ramshead Lodge. Lunch is included and participants can attend as many or as few Saturdays as they choose.

Mogul Clinics
Handling the bumps is a great skill to acquire. The beginning will learn on terrain that includes specially 'seeded bumps' on easy and intermediate trails, while the advanced clinic will get you bump bashing down the world-renowned Outer Limits. Adult moguls programs are available Jan. 26-27; Feb. 9-10; and March 2-3, and are open to skiers only.
Monster Freeride Sessions

Park "rats" and wanna-be hipsters, railsters, and jibsters, check out the Monster Freeride sessions with action sports athletes Ian Compton, Jeremy Landy, and friends. For blue ability levels and up who want to take on the park, this season's clinics are:  Youth ages 7 - 18 December 26-28 (3-days), 2012 or December 29-30, 2012 and again in February. Adults 18+ get their chance February 23-24. For more information or to book your program, call 800-923-9444.

FOOD: APRES TO FINE DINING

Motor Room
For a truly adventurous après-ski happy hour, try a trip to the Motor Room, which is the top terminal for the former Devil's Lift Quad at Bear Mt. This is on my must-do list for 2013 since I enjoy trying things new and different. This experience includes an enclosed cabin snowcat ride and Happy Hour atop Bear Mountain with its stunning views. The Motor Room adventure includes hors d'oeuvres and libations, and of course the return trip to the Roaring Brook Umbrella Bars. The snowcat departs for the tour at 5 p.m. sharp. Purchase tickets at any open ticket window or call 1-800-621-MTNS.

Yurt fine-dining
If you're looking for a quiet, romantic and certainly memorable evening, there is nothing that tops a groomer-drawn sleigh ride to the Ledgewood Yurt! There's an impressive "stretch limousine" sleigh ride that was designed and built by Killington, using seats reclaimed from a former chairlift and runners patterned after the K-2 Apache ski radius!

2--Good -To -Know -Killington -Factoids --Yurt --courtesy -of -killington -resort ---IMG_0306

The Yurt dinner sleigh departs from the Roaring Brook Umbrella Bars up by the K-1 Lodge (at the top of the Killington Access Road). Guests should arrive at 6 p.m. to enjoy the complimentary hot apple cider before boarding the sleigh for its sharp 6:30 p.m. departure. The experience is limited to guests 21 years of age and over. Members of a party can be booked together at a table but need to specify that when making a reservation.

Having dined at the Ledgewood Yurt, I can tell you that my husband John, who many more of you know than know me, heartily endorses this five-course gourmet experience. It is not the "same old, same old." Not even close!

The menu features interesting foods with an emphasis on using local and regional products. It was created by Greg Lang, executive chef at the Killington Grand Hotel and Resort, and is prepared nightly by Geoff Donavan and his crew.

When you arrive at the Yurt, you'll find warm Stone Milled Oat and Whole Grain Maple Bread
with Vermont Cultured Butter on the table. The chef will begin the evening with an explanation of what has been prepared for you so you can appreciate the nuances of this fine dining experience.

The first course features a George's Bank Scallop, which is comprised of Creamy White Polenta, Lobster Medallions, Armagnac and Saffron Cream with a Roasted Broccoli Rabe on Walnut Crostini.

After the cheese and salad courses, your forth experience features Tender Medallions of Naturally Raised Beef and Bison Tenderloins, which are uniquely paired with Black Truffle Potato Pave', Whiskey Glazed Vermont Bacon, Roasted Golden Beet Flan, Spiced Mountain Huckleberries and a Barolo Bordelaise.

The entire extravaganza is capped off with a Mango Mousse-Midnight Chocolate Torte, Candied Kumquat set in Anglaise that has been dusted with Matcha Powder and garnished with Cocoa-Spiced Marcona Almonds.

Now if you prepare anything remotely like that at home, please invite me to dinner!

Also new this year are eight family nights, the exception to the age 21 up rule.

The Ledgewood Yurt will operate on Fridays and Saturdays and select additional dates. Advance reservations are required (866-809-9147.) Booking at least two weeks in advance are recommended.

FAMILY ACTIVITIES

Snowcat drawn sleigh rides are offered at 5 p.m. every Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, through March 16. Rides depart from Cooper's Coffee in Snowshed Lodge. Dress appropriately for the weather and enjoy a 20-30 minute sleigh ride at dusk on Killington's trails. Tickets can be purchased at any open ticket window, online, or by calling 800-621-mtns. Seats are limited, so purchase early so as not to disappoint anyone.

The Killington Tubing Park is now open daily for the holiday week 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Tuesday, January 1 it will also be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thereafter, it operates Thursday through Sunday plus "peak" days through March 24 - conditions and weather permitting.

Freebie!
Introduce someone to skiing or riding any day during the 2012-13 season and when they purchase a Learn To Ski & Ride package, you'll receive a FREE lift ticket valid the same day. Offer cannot be combined with any other offers and discounts and is valid for ages 18 years and older with at least 48-hours in advance reservations required by calling 800-923-9444.

Hopefully, you'll find a few things here to peek your interest and help you create some memorable moments on the mountain. Happy trails and Happy Holidays, too!