The Beast Returns to Early Season 2021

I did without a lot of things last season. Ski buddies. Random chairlift conversations. Booting up in the lodge. Skiing out West. And, until my last day, Vermont.

Killington Peak Lodge

When the 2020-21 ski season wrapped, with an improbable bomb of an April snowstorm at Mount Snow, I thought that would be the end of Covid-era skiing, of masks and staggered lift-loading and travel restrictions and ski-area reservations. And while I had come to like booting up in my minivan, music blasting and heat cranking, I was done with the rest of it.

But as summer wore on and Covid surged once more, I didn’t know if skiing would or should be done with it. Perhaps this was a thing and we would just have to learn to live with it.

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Fast Tracks: Say It Ain’t So Killy

Killington is a big resort. It’s got everything that label implies; hotels, condos, detachable lifts, fancy restaurants. It’s owned by a large corporation, Powdr, that exists to make money. In that respect it’s like all the other big commercialized ski resorts in Vermont — Okemo, Stratton or Mt Snow. Still, somehow, Killington always felt different.

Killington is open

Killington has so much terrain, tons of tree skiing and lots of nooks and crannies, you can get lost and pretend you’re not at the biggest ski resort on the east coast. Killington hosts the World Cup and the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge and one of the best party scenes in Vermont. It opens earliest and closes last almost every winter. Sometimes Killington makes it to June 1st, which can’t possibly make economic sense.

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Killington: Welcome to Vermont

I’ve been waiting so long to get back to Vermont. So long that before I even skied on Saturday, I’d written this piece, at least an outline of it, in my head. Welcome to Vermont. I was back.

But something happened on the way to the forum. My VT re-entry storyline had competition.

For starters, a critical mission for me, was a meeting on our land in the Adirondacks, late Friday, with our builder and designer. The objective was to finally and precisely stake out the site for the home we want to build. In the mountains or anywhere, it’s an important task, a lifelong decision. You really want to get it right.

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