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Is Killington Open Yet? FAQ Version 1.0 Killington Logo, direct from their web site

Ski Vermont!

The Is Killington Open Yet? FAQ

Version 1.0
October 10, 1995
This is a mini-FAQ (Frequently Answered Question) to address the question which is regularly asked each fall on various online forums related to skiing. Killington Ski Area is located in central Vermont, USA, North America, Earth.

1. Is Killington open yet?

Beats me. Why don't you call their snow phone and ask them.

Snow Report Hotline: (802) 422 - 3261
Killington Switchboard: (802) 422 - 3333

2. When does Killington open?

You should be aware that early to mid October skiing relies on below seasonal normal temperatures.

The following table is from the 1989-90 Killington trail map:

SeasonOpen / Closing dates
2001-2002November 6 - ???
2000-2001October 31 - May ?
1988-1989October 13 - May21
1987-1988October 12 - June 1
1986-1987October 10 - June 3
1985-1986October 28- June 1
1984-1985November 2 - June 2
1983-1984October 20 - June 21
1982-1983October 17 - June 16
1981-1982October 20 - June 15
1980-1981October 14 - May 27
1979-1980October 10 - May 23

They opened on October 1st around 1991 or 1992, closed a few days later when normal weather returned, and reopened a few weeks after that when the weather cooled down again. Their official opening date in 1995 was Tuesday, October 17. They were closed again by Wednesday afternoon, opened again Monday, October 30.

Once they open, Killington tries to stay open, but early October openings rely on colder than seasonal normal weather. Usually, they stay open for the season from late October or early November onward.

3. What weather do they need to make snow?

Below freezing. In general, the forecast for the north central Vermont valleys should be below freezing at night and only in the low 40s in the daytime. Vermont zone forecasts can be found at the University of Illinois weather machine and at Lyndon State College (a slower link than Illinois).

Cold October weather usually comes when the jet stream kinks and delivers a continental polar airmass over the region. If you want to try to gaze into the future, you can look at the MRF (Medium Range Forecast) and ECWMF (the European model) forecasts. Pay attention reading the maps - the lines and pretty colors means different things from map to map.

4. How does Killington open so early?

By aggressively making snow on an upper elevation trail.

The trail that K. opens early on is Rime on Killington Peak. Sometimes Upper East Glade as well, snow permitting. This is the deal:

  • Ride in the back of a pickup truck from KBL (Killington Base Lodge) to the start of the Canyon Quad chair.
  • Ride up Canyon Quad - unload at the top of the Glades area.
  • Ski the Glades terrain.
  • When done, ride up Glades triple, walk 50 feet to the top of the Canyon Quad, ride the quad down, and then ride the pickup truck back to KBL.
These trails have a very high snowmaking hydrant density -- there are hydrants every 50 or 75 feet, so they can do a lot in a short time. The elevation served is between about 3,450 and 4,160 feet.

5. What is open at Killington?

See above, initially just one run on K. Peak.

In early to mid November, Killington expands to Snowden Mountain, Superstar, and the Snowshed novice area. Depending on snowmaking weather, by Thanksgiving, sections of Bear Mountain may be open. They usually have the gondola open full length by Christmas vacation week.

6. They ripped out the Killington chair to put in a fancy new gondola. What's the new plan?

New K1 Gondola is scheduled to open by Thanksgiving, and the resort will attempt to open in October even though the K-chair is no longer an option. The plan is to make snow on the Rime trail, and operate the Glades triple. Guests will access this terrain by riding the Snowdon Triple or Quad. They will then be transported (by what, we don't know) to the bottom of the Glades. After a day on the slopes, the guests will be transported back to the top of Snowdon where they will be downloaded.

7. Why should I want to ski at Killington?

If they are the only place open, you can usually golf or do something else - e.g. Not Ski. When other ski areas are open you can and should ski other areas. Individual preference for a ski area is something you should decide by visiting many ski areas.
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Last modified November 07 2001 09:10 AM

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