Tuesday, January 30, 2007

skiing in Vermont

I haven't done a weekend wrapup in a while, mostly because my weekends haven't been interesting lately. This past weekend was a bit of an exception. I went up to Killington on a weekend ski trip. It was the first time I'd been skiing since I was in college. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I hadn't forgotten how to ski. It was like riding a bike -- it came back to me immediately. I hadn't been to a mountain like Killington before, so I wasn't used to having six different lodges to choose from, or so many different slopes and trails. And I'd never even seen a gondola lift before. The conditions were perfect: it snowed lightly all day Saturday so there was a layer of fresh powder, it was cold but not bitterly so, and on Sunday we got out early enough that we were among the first people on the slopes after the lifts opened. I was disappointed that I had to leave on Sunday afternoon, but my legs were tired and my arms and back ached from using ski poles. I'm already thinking about another trip up to Vermont before the end of winter, and I'm considering buying my own skis again. I could save a lot of money on future trips by investing in my own equipment.

One big difference between Killington and the resorts I used to frequent in high school (Seven Springs and Hidden Valley in western PA) is that Killington doesn't have nighttime skiing. When I used to go skiing after school on Fridays, we'd get a twilight lift ticket that was good from midafternoon until 10 PM, and after 5 PM the resort turned on the artificial lights. Killington doesn't have any lights, so the lifts shut down at 4 PM. Maybe it's cheaper and easier to install lights at the smaller resorts. Killington's peak is 4200 feet, while Seven Springs is just under 3000 and the overall resort is much smaller. I didn't miss skiing at night, however. It's easier to see the icy patches and other skiers during the day, and artificial lighting doesn't provide the same visibility. Besides, after skiing from 8:30 AM to 3 PM or so on Saturday, I was too tired to think about the possibility of skiing any later in the day. And if I'd had the option of skiing at night, I'd have missed relaxing in the outdoor hot tub and soothing those aching muscles.

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