By Brooke Geery
Killington welcomed skiers and riders back to the slopes on Friday, Nov. 20, giving passholders exclusive access for three days before opening to the general public on Monday, Nov. 23. In a season that will definitely be like no other, excitement was high, but expectations were tempered after a week of warm temperatures postponing the original opening day from Nov. 14.
But skiers’ patience was rewarded with top-to-bottom turns accessed by the K1 gondola, Snowdon six pack and Northridge Quad. Snowmakers hammered Great Northern, Rime, Reason, Bunny Buster and Chute and groomers laid fresh corduroy.
On Reason, the Woodward pop-up park offered a variety of features.
Warm temps on opening day Friday made for spring-like conditions with ample coverage and lots of soft snow to push around. The plethora of terrain and lifts spread people out and lift lines were pleasantly short.
When the weekend crowds descended on The Beast, the resort was ready, with elaborate lift mazes and capable lift operators giving directions to keep everyone safely separated.
Spirits were high — even the Killington Locals Facebook group had nothing but good things to say about opening day.
“Love it when a plan comes together,” posted Mendon resident Phil Fallo. “Pretty damn near perfection. Everything ran smoothly from the parking to liftline management. Great snow and everyone was well spread out. Kudos to the mountain!”
In addition to loading chairs at lower capacity, facemasks are required at all times at Killington this season. Luckily, face masks have long been part of most people’s ski attire. Very few mouths and noses were visible in the crowd, Friday.
Another new health-related measure at Killington for 20/21 season, is that the resort is now smoke free. Smoking is prohibited in all resort areas, except parking lots.
Parking reservations are also required this season and are enforced with a check point on Killington Road.
“We are requiring parking reservations this season to help us manage the number of people at Killington so we can shred it, not spread it,” the resort stated in a news release.
Currently, daily parking reservations are available from Nov. 23 through the end of the season, but some days are already sold out.
This year, the resort is suggesting skiers use their cars as a base lodge, but K1 was open for retail, restroom access, bag check and limited food and beverage options. The lodge sported a new layout to abide by state capacity regulations and to accommodate physical distancing and contact tracing. The Peak Lodge was also open with restroom access and grab-and-go snacks only — no alcoholic beverages. However, many skiers brought their own to enjoy in the parking lot.
Also new this year is the“Killington Resort” app, available for Apple or Android phones. “The app will help you make the most of your days at The Beast with real-time lift and trail status, lift wait times, tracking and more,” according a news release.
For more information visit killington.com.