Sunday, May 29, 2016

Snowing in May @ The Beast

The morning was warm and sunny both in Canada and US, as it should be in mid-May. Ted was planning to have a sunshine-filled ski day. But by the time we reached Killington, it was snowing.  Winter conditions!

Fortunately, I had a extra jacket in my luggage, problem solved. But, it didn't help much with the skiing. I hadn't skied properly in two months, and Ted hadn't had much skiing this year either. At this time of the year, Killington's Superstar is the only open lift and ski run, but it is a demanding, steep moguls run. On the previous weekend, the easier Skye Hawk run still had snow, and would offer a welcome break from skiing the bumps all day.

The snow on Skye Hawk had mostly disappeared during the week. But today's snowing was covering the grass with a dusting of snow, so I decided to take my chance and try skiing it. I was able to ski it almost to the end, though at few points I had to step with my skis to avoid damaging them on rocks.

It is a rare opportunity to ski in these conditions in May. And Killington is one of the only two open ski areas in eastern North America. They are open for an amazingly long time, given that it has been a bad snow year. The trick is of course snowmaking. Superstar still had as much as ten meters of snow in the middle of the run.

And it was a rare opportunity to ski with Ted as well. We've known each other for 10+ years, worked in the same team, saw each other in conferences, and always talked about going skiing together. But somehow it never turned into reality until now. Very happy that we got to do that now! I am on a long business trip in the US, wanted to keep weekends free instead of working through them, and the few ski areas still open made it possible for both of us to drive to the same one.

I also got to stay at Ted's and Andreas wonderful, hi-tech and energy-efficient, passive home in Brattleboro. Thank you!

On the way back to Boston for my meetings, I also stopped in the New Hampshire ski area, Granite Gorge. It had no snow left, but seemed like a friendly local ski hill, including the Volkswagen Kleinbus sporting Bernie stickers and the "Live free. Shred hard." slogan.

Volkswagen Kleinbus at Granite Gorge:

A traditional American hotel room, perhaps, in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

Ted and me on the lift at Killington:

Top of Killington:

The closed run, Skye Hawk:

Snowing at the parking lot:

Snow covered areas that had been previously all clear:

Google Maps knew that on May 16, Granite Gorge would not be open :-) :

Photos and videos (c) 2016 by Jari Arkko and Ted Lemon. This blog is also available at TGR. Tämä blogi löytyy myös suomeksi.

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