On November 17, 2021

Chatting with Killington die-hard Rob Kovalesky

By Ethan Weinstein

Kovalesky has skied over 100 days at Killington for the last nine years, and this season he hopes to make it an even 10. The Mountain Times talked with him about his history at Killington, some of the stand-out memories at the Beast, and what skiing means to him.

Mountain Times (MT): When did you first start skiing Killington?

Rob Kovalesky (RK): I’ve been a Killington loyalist since I was a kid, and I’ve been skiing there since 1965.

I taught my girlfriend, who has become my loving wife, how to ski there, and our son and our daughter. So, you know, we’ve lived through a lot of different experiences.

MT: What are some of your all-time memories at Killington?

RK: Christmas Eve, 1969 — never forget. It started snowing. My family and I went to midnight mass — we were Catholic — and we came out of church at Christ the King down in Rutland, and it was snowing like crazy. Well, I gotta tell you, it snowed for four straight days, and we got 48 inches of snow.

I’ve lived through incredible things like the gas shortages. When back in the ‘70s you couldn’t get gasoline, Killington used to, believe it or not, fill your car so you could get back home.

Rob Kovalesky has skiied over 100 days nine years in a row. He hopes to make 10 this year.

In 1995, Oct. 4 and 5, we were skiing from the old Double K chair, where you would go up to the top, come around Boomerang and they called it Goat Path, which today is Great Northern, and you would ski to the mid station and then have to reload the chair to go back up. It was like an out of body experience, because you’re coming down with all the beautiful colored leaves up there on the Cascade, and you got this white surface around you. It was breathtaking.

February ‘17, we had 14 inches of powder. And Mike [Solimano] opened the old Snowden lift —before the Six Pack — he opened it at 7:30 to let people go up and come down and float it. It was like an out-of-body experience. I actually had snow like coming up into my face and over my head.

MT: What does skiing mean to you? What role has it played in your life?

RK: I love skiing, because, first of all, it’s the closest thing that I’ve felt to flying like a bird, you know, just soaring down the hill. I’ve always felt it’s a way of life. It’s not just a weekend endeavor, but it’s a lifestyle. And I’ve always viewed it as good for your heart, your mind, your body and your soul.

For me, skiing was a big motivator. In life, two keys to success are attitude and effort. And it’s all about setting and exceeding goals. I knew I wanted to ski — I got bitten by the bug. It’s helped propel me to do well in business, and be able to buy a house, raise a family and be able to eventually buy a place up at Killington.

When I was a kid, I worked for a ski tour company out in Long Island in New York. We would get up at three o’clock in the morning, a guy would pick me up, bring me to the facility, we would load buses with rental equipment; we’d go out to the local junior high or high school on Long Island, and we’d do a day trip. It was great because my family wasn’t wealthy, we couldn’t really afford to ski a lot. I used to put in from, you know, let’s call it three o’clock in the morning, until sometimes 9:30-10 o’clock at night by the time you would get back and then unload the buses and all of that. And I got paid $10 a day. I got a free lift ticket.

MT: What’s in been like helping to start the 100 Day Club?

RK: As the founding charter member of the 100 Day Club at Killington, I’ve had the pleasure of skiing and riding and getting to know so many members, and it’s not about me, it’s about them. It’s their incredible passion and commitment to Killington. It’s served as an inspiration for so many guests that we’ve all met both on and off the slopes.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Large turnout for Hartland school budget info session

May 23, 2024
By Curt Peterson The May 21 Hartland school budget information session may be the best-attended school board gathering in recent history — an estimated 40 people attended in person at Damon Hall in Hartland, and another 41 tuned in online. Hartland voters had already approved the $11,040,567 budget 320-311 on April 2. But a petition…

20 degrees above average: May temps soar

May 22, 2024
By Erin Petenko/VTDigger Vermont is forecast to hit temperatures in the upper 80s Tuesday and Wednesday, far above normal for this time of year, the Vermont branch of the National Weather Service reported on Monday, May 20. Parts of the state, particularly the Champlain Valley down to Rutland in the west and the Connecticut River Valley regions to…

Gov. Scott vetoes bill that would’ve restricted bee-killing pesticide

May 22, 2024
Staff report On Monday, May 20, World Bee Day, Gov. Phil Scott vetoed legislation meant to protect bees and other pollinators from a widely-used neuorotoxic pesticide. The bill (H.706) would  eliminate most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) in Vermont, which have been associated with alarming losses of managed and wild bee populations. Neonic insecticides are used on…

Piper takes on 10 marathons in 10 days, for charity

May 22, 2024
By John Flowers Salisbury’s Chip Piper will have run more during the next 10 days than most of us will run in a year. And he’ll be doing it for an important cause. Piper on Thursday, May 16, began running the first of 10 consecutive marathons in 10 days — a staggering 262 miles —…