KILLINGTON, Vt. (October 8, 2002) - Although fall foliage peak colors are nearly two weeks late, Killington's snow is right on time this season. After waiting for low temperatures at higher elevations to "blow the mice out"- test the snow guns - for the past few weeks, Killington snowmakers found their window of opportunity last night and created a ribbon of white snow on Cascade, an upper elevation trail. As a result, Killington is the first to make snow in eastern North America for the 2002-2003 ski and snowboard season. While snowmakers did make snow last night, the resort will not yet be open for skiing and riding to the public. In the next few weeks, Killington expects to be the first to open in eastern North America for the 42nd consecutive year.
"We watch the weather very closely during the early fall, searching for a high pressure system that will bring us the cold temperatures that we need to make snow," said Dave Lacombe, snow surfaces manager at Killington. "While it's exciting to be the first to open, having a premium snow product is extremely important to us and right now we don't have the weather patterns to make enough snow to create a fun snow surface. We'll wait until we have consistently cold temperatures before we open to the public, when we can be certain there is enough snow for a good number of people-say 200 to 300-to enjoy the trail for several hours on opening day. When we officially open, hopefully within the next few weeks, we want to stay open at least through Memorial Day and oftentimes we'll be open into June."
Killington traditionally sets the pace for early season skiing and riding in the East. By having access to a large water resource like Woodward Reservoir, located in nearby Plymouth, Vt., Killington has the ability, once open, to expand terrain quickly gearing up for early season skiers and riders. Water from Woodward Reservoir is transferred through a seven-mile pipeline connection from the reservoir to two existing snowmaking reservoirs at the resort. By Thanksgiving, Killington typically has two to three times more open terrain than the nearest competitor and terrain is available for all abilities from easier terrain to the most difficult of trails. On average, Killington provides skiers and riders with more than 75 trails accessed by 13 lifts in early December.
"Fall foliage colors and the beginning of snowmaking season typically coincide here at Killington," said Gillis Lynn, vice president of marketing and sales. "It's a pretty awesome sight, with bright reds, yellows and oranges then a streak of white snow making a path through them. We've been in high gear since June, planning for a great winter. It's refreshing to see the snow finally arrive thanks to our snowmaking team."
Killington opened Nov. 6 last season. Its earliest opening was Oct. 3, 1994. To monitor opening day status at Killington, skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to visit Killington.com, where they will find an "Opening Day Watch" page with the latest information, weather reports and status. Early season ski and stay 4-Day Long Weekend packages, particularly for the first weeks in December, are available from $213 per person and include four days skiing or riding and four nights lodging. For more information or to make a reservation, book online at killington.com or call 800-621-MTNS.