For all the negative press about Killington this year --from new owner Powdr not honoring “lifetime” passes after April 2009, to higher prices for season passes and lift tickets -- there’s some good news. The snow quality is definitely better. While some trails are getting skied-off in spots by mid-day, leaving what Easterners know euphemistically as hard-pack, the snow coverage on all the trails is fluffier and more carve-able than what Killington skiers came to expect in previous seasons. Of course, the two feet of snow that fell from the sky -- not the guns -- this week has helped.
With only trails on Killington Peak, Skye Peak, and Snowdon open this weekend, expect weekend crowds, and not many options for novice skiers. But all seven peaks (and six base areas) will be open by the holidays, dispersing the crowds, which are also smaller than in years past. So far, at least.
New inside the K-1 Lodge -- the only base lodge open until Dec. 15 -- is a small Cooper’s Coffee kiosk, selling Starbucks ($3 for a small regular cup o’ joe) and a sushi bar, where California rolls run $7.25. It was difficult to tell if the food at the K-1 Café was better. A $7 bowl of chili was decent, but the $2 cookie was rock hard, and the $3.50 pint of locally-made cider had my husband wondering if it contained rum for that price. But with these conditions, the price is a little easier to swallow.
Posted by Peggy Shinn, Globe Correspondent