Killington Ski Resort

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Killington Mountain Resort & Ski Area
View from the top of Killington Peak (4,241 feet (1,293 m))
View from the top of Killington Peak (4,241 feet (1,293 m))
Location Killington, Vermont, US
Nearest city Rutland
Coordinates 43°37′33″N 72°47′52″W / 43.62583°N 72.79778°W / 43.62583; -72.79778 (Killington Mountain Resort & Ski Area)
Vertical 3,050 ft (957 m)
Top elevation 4,241 ft (1,293 m)
Base elevation 1,165 ft (355 m)
Skiable area 752 acres (469 ha)
Runs 141
Longest run 6.2 mi (9.9 km)
Lift system 22 lifts: 2 Gondolas, 5 express quads, 4 quads, 4 triples, 2 doubles, 5 surface lifts
Lift capacity 37,535/hr
Snowfall 250 inches
Snowmaking 71%
Web site Killington Mountain Resort and Ski Area

Killington Mountain Resort & Ski Area is a ski resort near Killington, Vermont. It is the largest ski area in the Eastern United States, and has the largest vertical drop in New England at 3,050 feet. [1][2]

History[edit]

In 1954, Perry H. Merrill, the Father of Vermont's State Parks and Alpine Ski Areas and Vermont State land lease officer,[3] wanted to see a ski resort developed on Killington Peak, the second highest mountain in Vermont. Preston Lee Smith agreed to work with him to develop this area. Killington opened December 13, 1958.[4]

In the 1960s the resort continued to expand at a pace "well above industry standards."[3] Many new trails were created and Smith had beginner trails accessible from every lift. In the 1960s, Killington installed snowmaking equipment, which had been invented in the 1950s, but was considered a banana belt luxury. Several low-snow seasons proved their value.[3]

Killington introduced the ticket wicket in 1963 to prevent skiers sharing lift tickets, while also not damaging ski clothing.[5]

In late August 2011, the Killington area was damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. Irene caused flooding and damage along US Route 4, the road leading into Killington. The resort was damaged by excess runoff from Roaring Brook, which lifted the Superstar Pub off of its foundation, condemning the structure. Killington has since repaired damaged infrastructure, and is operating at full or near-full potential.[citation needed]

Ownership[edit]

Date Owner Notes
December 1958 Sherburne Corporation initial development
November 1984 S-K-I Limited stands for Sherburne-Killington-Investments, a reorganization of Sherburne for stock issue[5]
February 1996 American Skiing Company originally LBO Resort Enterprises Corporation[6]
May 11, 2007 Powdr Corporation and SP Land Company Park City-based Powdr Corporation is the operator; SP Land Company will do real estate development, including a ski village, probably beginning in 2009. SP Land is an affiliate of Ski Partners LLC, which is in turn affiliated with E2M Partners LLC, a private equity fund.[7] SP Land was formed in 2004 and acquired most of the developable land at the base of the resort.[8]

Powdr has announced that it will stop honoring "lifetime" lift passes issued by the previous owners after two years. A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of about 800 pass holders.[9]

Skiing Killington[edit]

Located in central Vermont, Killington has 141 trails and 21 lifts, extending across six interconnected mountain peaks. A seventh peak, Pico Mountain, was purchased by Killington in 1996, but operates as a separate resort. There have been proposals to connect Killington and Pico with a series of lifts and trails since 1998, but no plans have been finalized.

The main peak, Killington Peak (4,241 ft (1,293 m)), is the second highest in Vermont and has the second greatest vertical drop in the east (3,050 ft (930 m)) after Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, New York (at 3,430 ft (1,050 m)).

The mountains that make up the Killington resort separate the town of Killington (with its access road) from the city of Rutland, Vermont.

Trails[edit]

View of Bear Mountain base from the top of Outer Limits, a steep mogul run

The resort offers trails ranging from beginner to expert. Trails include "Outer Limits" a double black diamond mogul trail. The longest trail in the eastern U.S. is the 6.2-mile (9.9 km) beginner run, "Juggernaut". Part of the mountain is set aside for terrain parks, with five snowboard and alpine parks. Killington has a teaching area for first-time skiers, the "Accelerated Learning Area".[citation needed]

Killington has one of the east's largest[citation needed] half-pipes located at Bear Mountain for a portion of each winter season. There are boarder cross terrain[clarification needed] and at least three to five major trails with ramps and jumps.[citation needed]

Mountains[edit]

A sign pointing to Devil's Fiddle and Outer Limits, some of the steepest trails at Killington
  • Snowshed, devoted to beginners, is serviced by three lifts. It is an open slope, with a lodge and restaurant at the bottom. The adult ski school is located at Snowshed. Most condos and the Grand Hotel are located at the bottom of Snowshed.
  • Ramshead has beginner and intermediate trails serviced by an express quad lift. The Ski School for children and teenagers is located at Ramshead base lodge. "Squeeze Play" is an easy gladed trail with wide gaps between trees.
  • Snowdon Mountain provides a variety of beginner, intermediate and expert trails. Among the trails are Conclusion, rated double black diamond, and Great Northern, a beginner trail. There are two chairlifts (a triple from K-1 and a quad from end of Caper) and a Poma. Trails for advanced skiers include Great Bear and North Star.
  • Killington Peak, the highest of the mountain peaks, includes the "Canyon Area", near the top, with some of the steepest terrain on the mountain. There are several double black diamond trails there, including Cascade, Downdraft, Double Dipper, and the Big Dipper Glade. It is serviced by the K-1 gondola and the Canyon Quad. Two shorter runs here include Rime and Reason, accessible from the North Ridge Triple chair. Easier trails (Bear Trax and Great Northern) connect to the rest of the mountain. There are lodges with restaurants at both the summit and base of Killington Peak. The peak was once accessible only by the original Killington gondola, which had three stages, beginning at the bottom of Skye Peak. It has been replaced by the two shorter gondolas. The K-1 gondola replaces the earlier Killington peak chairlift.
A view of the North Ridge area of Killington Peak in 2002
  • Skye Peak includes all types of terrain. Trails include Ovation, a black forming into a double black when it becomes Lower Ovation, the steepest trail on the mountain, and Superstar, a black diamond that is wide and has lots of artificial snow to stay open late into the spring. It is serviced by the Superstar Express Quad, the Skye Peak Express Quad, and the Skyeship Express Gondola, erected in 1994.
View of Snowshed base, Killington Grand Hotel, and other hotels/condos along East Mountain Road, from Skye Peak
  • Bear Mountain: Home to Outer Limits, a very steep double black diamond mogul run, and Devil's Fiddle, another double black diamond. Bear Mountain also features terrain parks, including a superpipe. It is serviced by one lift and has a lodge and restaurant. Bear Mountain frequently hosts large-scale competitive racing and freestyle events.
Bear Mountain
  • Sunrise Mountain: Sunrise Mountain is serviced by one lift and is all beginner terrain. It was developed in the early 1980s, but due to its relatively low elevation, the lower portions of Sunrise had difficulty maintaining snow cover, so they were removed from the trail system. The triple chair, which originally extended further downhill to the southern corner of US-4 and VT-100 in W. Bridgewater, was shortened, and the "Northeast Passage" entrance to Killington ceased to exist in the late 1990s. Killington originally opened Sunrise with the intent of expanding skiing trails and lifts southeast into an area known as Parker's Gore. When these plans were halted due to concerns for bear habitat, the costs of snowmaking and maintaining terrain at such a low elevation were no longer justified by the few skiers utilizing the area.[citation needed]

Pico Mountain[edit]

Main article: Pico Mountain

Pico Mountain is located on a separate mountain, Pico Peak, several miles away from the main resort. It has 50 trails covering 17 miles (27 km), all serviced by 6 lifts. Runs include The Pike, 49er, Summit Glades, Upper KA, Giant Killer, and Sunset 71. There are hotels, condos and restaurants at the base. The mountain is accessible from the main base by car or bus.

Pico was once an independent ski resort called Pico Peak, and was bought out of bankruptcy by Killington in the mid-1990s. Lift tickets at Killington are valid at Pico. There have been plans to connect Pico to the main Killington resort since it was purchased. Connector trails have been cut.

Snow and season length[edit]

Killington averages 250 inches (6.4 m) of natural snow each winter. That, coupled with a snowmaking system that covers 71% of the trails, has allowed Killington to offer what is often the longest skiing season in eastern North America, typically lasting from October to May.[citation needed] Killington had a reputation for being the first ski area every season in the Eastern United States to open, as well as the last to close, although in recent years the length of the season has begun to shorten. For example, in the 15 years between 1986 and 2001, the resort opened in October in every year but one, and never closed earlier than May 21. But in the five years ending in 2011, opening day has always been in November, and closing day has never made it past May 6.[10]

Mountain statistics[edit]

The base elevation is 1,165 (325 m). The vertical drop is 3050 feet (930 m). The peaks' summit elevations are as follows:

  • Summit elevation (Killington Peak) 4,241 ft (1,291 m)
  • Pico Peak 3,967 ft (1,189 m)
  • Skye Peak 3,800 ft (1,158 m)
  • Ramshead Peak 3,610 ft (1,100 m)
  • Snowdon Peak 3,592 ft (1,095 m)
  • Bear Mountain 3,295 ft (1,004 m)
  • Sunrise Mountain 2,456 ft (749 m)

Trails[edit]

  • 191 trails (counting pico mountain)
  • Easier 28 %
  • More Difficult 33%
  • Most Difficult: 39%
  • 71 miles of trail

Lifts[edit]

Interior of Skyeship Gondola
  • 22 Lifts
  • gondolas: 2 currently operating (Original Killington Gondola dismantled in 1993, and replaced with Skyeship)
  • quadruples: 9 (5 are high speed)
  • triples: 3
  • doubles: 2
  • surface: 5

Summer[edit]

Killington has 45 miles (72 km) of hiking and mountain biking trails. Killington Peak has a gondola lift. There is an 18-hole golf course. At Pico, there are alpine slides, mini golf, wall climbing, and horseback riding. Killington also has lift accessed mountain biking in the summer with technical trail features, jumps, and other obstacles.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "sugarloaf.com". 
  2. ^ "Yahoo! Voices". 
  3. ^ a b c Jeremy Davis. "The History of Vermont Skiing: One Hundred Years of Growth". Archived from the original on 2006-10-17. Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  4. ^ "Killington Mountain Resort History". Vermont Living. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  5. ^ a b "S-K-I Limited". Answers.com. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  6. ^ "American Skiing Company". Answers.com. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  7. ^ Bruce Edwards (May 12, 2007). "Killington ski area sale is complete". Rutland Herald. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  8. ^ Bill Bauer (December 2007). "Killington Economic Growth Initiative Research Report" (PDF). GrowKillington.com. p. 5. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  9. ^ Lisa Rathke (December 19, 2007). "Reactions run hot, cold to changes at Killington". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  10. ^ "Killington - Historical Weather". Killington. Retrieved 2011-05-01. 

External links[edit]