On May 22, 2024
Local News

Superstar’s iconic spring skiing:a party, a community, a family, a pilgrimage

By Victoria Gaither—Julie McGuire (center with crown and cape) celebrated with friends at the umbrella bar after becoming the first woman to hike and backcountry ski all the highest peaks in the Catskills, a mountain range in the southeastern part of New York state.

By Victoria Gaither

For spring skiers, Killington’s Superstar is like honey to bees. Skiers come from all over to bump that one strip of trail that starts in November and ends in late May or June 1, when possible. A gathering of personalities hanging out at the Roaring Brook Umbrella Bar, many occasionally popping up to take another lap or two with friends. 

On a recent morning, sitting on the deck at the Umbrella bar, Local skiers Rob Kovalesky and James Osler from Connecticut have already made a few turns.

Kovalesky loves winter skiing but says spring skiing has benefits: “The weather is fantastic, and you can extend your season because who else can provide this? I was in line this morning, and people were saying we are the only game in town.”

By Victoria Gaither
Eric Leone and his brother enjoy skiing.

Osler arrived at 7:15 a.m. and tried for the first chair, but “got the fifth chair,” he said, smiling about that fact.

What mattered to him was what Killington is all about, “I love meeting other people who love to do my hobby and passion. I love skiing, and I love the vibe. It’s nice,” explained Osler.

It’s that positive vibe that keeps bringing skiers and riders back.

Ski spring buddies Rob Peterson and Jeff Filipov met last year at the Umbrella Bar and continued their friendship through social media by creating a group of like-minded people who love to ski Killington in the spring.

Peterson from New Hampshire, known as “The Connector” because he has a knack for connecting and building friendships, said Superstar is the perfect place to grow, “By meeting and cultivating friendships on and off the slopes, it’s given me a local community to plug into and I never need to ski alone.”

The guys also had their first tailgate party with Filipov having experience from his college days as a bartender; it was nothing for him to serve up the best drinks, “I worked at a place that had a multi-batch recipe for many of the popular frozen drinks like Pina Coladas, margaritas and rum runners,” explained Filipov.

Julie McGuire cut her celebration cake at the Umbrella Bar. McGuire will soon achieve a life-changing achievement by being the first woman to hike and backcountry ski all the highest peaks in the Catskills.

It’s only during spring skiing at Killington that McGuire gets to see her friends as they all flock to Superstar to make turns together.

In the K-1 parking lot, local kids Greta and Otis Melish celebrated their birthdays with cake and a barbeque, but Greta was thinking about Superstar as she was planning her first run.

Eric Leone was just finishing a run with his brother, donning a bright Hawaiian shirt, when he shared, “Springtime is what Killington is all about. There is nowhere else where you can be yourself, express yourself, and ski how you want.”

The Leone brothers have been coming to Killington since they were kids.

It’s been 33 years since Lee Abraovitz skied Killington with his boys, but a planned trip to New York and seeing a post on social media about a meet-up at the Umbrella Bar brought him over to Superstar to meet new people and experience the magic of Killington at Springtime.

“When I am here, it just feels like my extended family,” Abramovitz said.

That’s the thing about Superstar: It brings out the best in everyone, whether you take turns, hit the bumps, or hang out on the deck. Like bees make honey, Superstar makes magic.

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