Featured, Local News, Ski and Snowboard, Sports

100 Day Club turns 10, some aim for perfect record

By Ethan Weinstein

Since its founding nine years ago, the Killington 100 Day Club has garnered hundreds of members. At least 10 are hoping to make this season their 10th straight with at least 100 days on snow — what might yet be called the 1,000 Day Club.

Paul Holmes, of Killington, is one of those looking to achieve that impressive goal. Holmes first skied Killington on a warm week in 1967. Traveling north from college in Philadelphia, he and some buddies made friends with a similar group of college-aged women, skiing what little terrain was open.

By Amie Holmes
Paul Holmes and his golden retriever Maggie ski Mouse Trap at Killington in the late spring.

“One of the girls had lace-up ski boots. I was much cooler than that, I had buckle boots. Each morning for the whole week I helped by lacing up one of the girl’s ski boots for her,” Holmes said. “I guess you could say I really made the best of the week because two years later, in June 1969, I married one of those college girls.”

Louise and Paul Holmes purchased a building lot in Killington East in the spring of 1975, working on a house throughout the year and completing the build by fall 1967. They’ve been skiing Killington as much as possible ever since, eventually moving to Killington full-time in 2007.

Killington’s matchmaking power seems to be common among the 100 Club’s most devout. Jim Nimal, one of those members, first skied Pico in 1963, and started skiing Killington in 1995. “First date with my wife was skiing Pico in 1973,” he said. Since retirement 11 years ago our mission was start opening day and then 100 consecutive days no matter the weather.”

To hit the 100-day mark, most people need to live in Killington full-time. But even before that step, Killington already felt like home to Paul Holmes. “On occasion over the years folks I have met while skiing would ask where I/we lived. I often answered, ‘Killington.’ That usually would generate a response of confusion as they knew we traveled from Connecticut each weekend. I’d clarify by saying something like, ‘Oh we just work in Connecticut five days a week, we do all our ‘living’ right here in Killington.’”

Lynn Munssinger, who became a full-time Killington resident after years of skiing at the resort, had long dreamed of becoming a local. “I skied here occasionally during college and for some years after, but once I got to the point in life where work and family circumstances allowed me to move full-time to Vermont, there was only one place I wanted to be,” Munnsinger said.

“I really had no clue when I first got here how great it would be to find people with the levels of enthusiasm and love of skiing you see here. Or is it craziness? I don’t know of another ski area where people can’t wait to run down stairs and ski a single blue trail over and over again in the fall, or line up an hour or more in any weather to make first chair, and then slide down a muddy headwall to get to the last of the bumps in the late spring,” she added.

Not only is the broader Killington community so enthusiastic and tightknit, but the 100 Club has itself become a community.

Rob Kovalesky helped to start the group nine years ago working with the resort, and each year, more and more people have managed to ski 100 days.

For Jim Nimal and his wife Jackie, both nine-year members of the club, fellow skiers have become like family. “This year the first week of November I had open heart surgery at Dartmouth but because of all our skiing friends my wife always has ride offers and someone to ski with,” Nimal said. “I must thank Rob Kovalesky for starting the 100 Club — what a great thing that has been!”

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