Column, Living the Dream

Superstar calls like a siren


We shuffle across the top, avoiding the crux of the mound. Instead, we slide around. Looking down at the luscious field below, still we slide around. Not for any particular reason, but perhaps merely to avoid beginning rather than simply diving right in. It’s too awesome to be there, at the start, looking down at the multitude of possibilities below. So many options, so many different paths, it’s a wonder that we can make a decision and get started at all.

There are some that are so simple. They stand at the top, finishing conversations begun in the parking lot over an hour ago. Stories of greatness, stories so unique and timeless that they will be told in the parking lot for years if not decades. Stories that will be passed on to the next generation so that they might know the history.

But it doesn’t really matter, because nothing has changed. The possibilities are the same now as they were five decades ago. The only difference is that now the stories are passed down from generation to generation rather than just created that past weekend. With each turn of the ski, you might feel that you are creating a new story, your unique story, but you are merely weaving the tales that have already existed.

You can feel the pressure, standing there at the top and looking down onto the field of play. And play you shall. Once your skis start to slide, something magical begins and you can only imagine where it might take you. You might have an idea, maybe thinking that you saw a super sweet line on the skiers right that will take you at least far enough before …

Before what? Before life throws a change of path in your way?  But here, on the Superstar Glacier, you have to be ready for anything. You had to be adaptable, you have to be fluid, you have to listen to your surroundings and you have to innovate beyond your own expectations. Nothing on the glacier is as you will imagine it to be. Each turn, each section, each run is constantly changing almost as if the trail itself were alive. 

The moguls, fed by the turns of skiers and riders, are never the same. They might be larger, they might be cut in half, they might be surrounded by less snow or worse, more yellow snow. You cannot know until you get there, which means you have to be ever adapting. It’s not a race course where the gates are stationary while the ruts only get larger. It’s not a perfectly molded bump course, where the throughs deepen at an expected rate. 

No one on Superstar skis or rides the same. It’s the uniqueness of the skiers and riders that make this trail so appealing. Yes, the snow melts miraculously in the same ‘S’ pattern each year, but the paths through the moguls change depending on who is out celebrating spring that weekend.

  Because it’s not just the Killington regulars anymore. Looking out over the cast of characters that gather, you almost wonder how such a motley group ever came together in the first place. It’s not just that we are skiers, tele-ers and riders, it is so much more than that. Sure, there is the bump squad and a couple of US Ski Team mogul skiers out there. And they are so beautiful to watch sending it down the zipperline, it’s hard to take your eyes away.

But there is also the tele skiers buttering smooth 360s over the crest of the moguls, snowboarders manipulating their boards with their entire body but making it look like they are Gumby, there’s Jibbin’ Joe switching gear every few hours from snowboard to alpine to tele all in one day. There’s the super slow mo gang, riding non-stop but keeping a constant rhythm from top to bottom. The local kids covered in balloons playing a roady game of Mario Kart. Then there’s the zany spring regalia. 

It takes all kinds to make the Superstar Glacier the gathering of Stray Flakes that it has become. The parking lot this past weekend was overflowing and the Killington Road, well, when all the tailgates merge into one big tailgate, we know the weekend has been a success. Whether we prefer the single groomed stripe first thing in the morning or the deep, Volkswagen sized moguls at 5pm, for a few weekends we all come together to celebrate each other and skiing. We look for the characters that come back, year after year, like Radio Ron, making the annual pilgrimage to Killington. 

Superstar calls like a siren and we come. Because all we want is to spend a little more time on the mountain. To spend just a little more time on the hill. See you on the glacier. 

Merisa Sherman is a long time Killington resident, KMS coach, bartender, and realtor at Sotheby’s:

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