NOT ICY, KILLINGTON SAYS

I wrote a little article about Killington last issue that mentioned that it was icy when I skied there.This prompted the following e-mail from Kim Jackson, Killington’s News Bureau Director.”Thanks for the write up about Killington. However, the fact that you mentioned ice for what seemed like a dozen times at least, is killing me! Now I know some surfaces may have been loose and frozen granular, but I honestly can’t remember one day that the whole mountain felt like ice, which is what your story feels like. Anything you can do to temper stuff like this would be great.”

My response was “Obviously you didn’t ski the Saturday I saw you or last Sunday. Luckily I ski on Volkls.”

I’m sure the News Bureau Director at Killington would never knowing lie to a journalist.Imagine, the PR person not being aware that sometimes it is icy there. After thinking about for a while, it occurred to me that although I’ve known Kim for over seven years, I’ve NEVER run into her on the slope, much less on the expert trails that give me so much trouble when they’re icy. (Oops, I said THAT word again). Maybe she only skies on the really nice days or maybe she only skis on the groomed trails or maybe she just reads the official ski reports and BELIEVES them.

When I mentioned the article to John Okolovich, over at the Killington Freestyle Program, he looked at me intently and responded that Killington was “not a PARTICULARLY icy mountain,” and he’s correct. Compared to the way it was 20 years ago or compared to other ski areas with limited snowmaking, Killington is not particularly icy BUT some trails are icy from time to time, especially after it rains and the temperature plummets below freezing.

Well, I STAND CORRECTED, Killington was not icy this year. The light I often saw reflected off the snow in between the bumps was just a visual hallucination. The sound I heard as my skis slid from bump to bump, as I tired to survive while descending Outer Limits was just an auditory hallucination. It has become obvious to me that the debauchery I indulged has finally caught up with me. I’m having “flashbacks”.

So, the next time your skiing at Killington and you see light reflecting off the snow, it can’t be ice, it must just be an optical illusion. If the snow is noisy, it’s just your ears playing tricks on you. STOP SMOKING THAT STUFF, IT’S MAKING YOU CRAZY.

TIPS FOR SKIING “KILLINGTON POWDER”

When you’re planning to go to Killington, no matter what you think the conditions are going to be like, bring stiff skis and get them sharpened. When I lived at Killington, I sharpened my skis almost every morning. When I was skiing a pair of really soft skis, I sharpened them at lunch too. If you ski Killington a lot, purchase a season’s tune-up package from your favorite ski shop. Most shops will sell you an unlimited number of ski tune-ups that include edge sharpening, waxing and Ptex bottom repairs for $100. It’s worth the money.

If you do not have a pair of really stiff skis, you might want to consider renting a pair of high-performance skis for your visit to Killington. All the ski shops have a demo program where you can rent a pair of top-of-the-line skis for just a little more than the cost of the skis found in the rental shop. Pay the extra money, it’s worth it. If you really like the skis, you should be able to apply the cost of the rental to the purchase of the skis.

From time-to-time, I’ll pass on tips I have learned that help me ski “Killington powder” (see I didn’t use the BAD word) and I hope that you find them helpful. “Tune them to turn them,” is the motto of the hard-core Eastern skier. If you ski in the East, remember this. The guys you see skiing down the icy slopes making linked turn after linked turn when you are making a series of skids or worse yet, falling, are skiing on SHARP, stiff skis.

If I should erroneously report that it was icy when I skied at Killington (or any other ski area for that matter), please excuse me. I’m getting old and my feeble eyes might be playing trick on me and my ears aren’t what they used to be ether. I was a”party animal” in the 70’s and it’s finally caught up with me. I can’t help it if I write about the conditions I THINK found. I’ve only been skiing for 30+ years, what the heck do I know!

Killington isn’t icy, their PR department has assured me that it isn’t. Would Killington (or any other ski area for that matter) ever “fudge” their trail condition reports . . . NEVER!