Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Killington Muse: Holiday Week And Where Is Everyone?

Today was a beautiful ski day.  I took my first run at 8 AM under a blue sky, no wind, temp around 20*F, with out another skier on a run of fresh corduroy.  Now I'm not complaining, but all morning there was hardly anyone on the trails.  It is a holiday week.  I expected crowds, but found a lighter then average Tuesday.

Well, maybe I'm complaining just a little.  I ended up skiing alone, except for an occassional chat with someone on a chair lift or gondola.  Many of my local friends have black out passes which aren't valid during holiday weeks.  It gets lonely skiing alone.  If you love to ski and you are looking for the best ski conditions in the east, come join me this week at Killington.  I would love the company.

Photos taken around 10:45 AM

Monday, February 20, 2012

Vermont Wonder: The Harris Hill Ski Jump

Saturday, I joined Mitch, a Brattleboro, VT native, at the Harris Hill Ski Jump in Brattleboro.   Harris Hill was the vision of and founded by Fred Harris in 1922.  The only 90 meter ski jump in New England.  It has been hosting first class national ski jump events since 1923.

We had a great time watching the US and international competitors in the annual Fred Harris Memorial Tournament and Pepsi Challenge. It was the only US stop in the 9 event International Skiing Federation (FIS) competition schedule.

As we wandered around we met competitor Alex Madden, from Lake Placid, NY.  He jumps for the New York Ski Ed Foundation.  Currently he is attending the University of Colorado.  He was competing in the Pepsi Challenge

The size of his skis and the equipment fascinated me. The skis are made specifically for ski jumping, with a maximum length of 146% of the competitors body height (weight is also taken into consideration).  Alex told me his height and weight is measured prior to every competion to assure his skis are in compliance with international guidelines.

Shortly after meeting Alex, the opening ceremonies began.  An impressive list of national and international athletes competing in the weekends event were introduced to the crowd. 

The ski lift for the competitors was a pickup truck they sat in the back of with their equipment.  The truck only took them up the first half of the run, past the 189 stairs the spectators climbed to get a better view of the competion. 

They climbed up steep stairs the rest of the way starting at the point of the jumping platform.

These athletes sored through the air up to an incredible 97 meters before landing on the snow again.  Interestingly, when I stood midway up the lower part of the run, I could actually hear them whizz by me as they sored through the air. 

I am glad I had the opportunity to witness the Harris Hill Ski Jump Competion, and I hope to witness all over again next President's Weekend.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Young Enough To Know Better Muse

I heard this song on the radio today, and I thought to myself Wade Hayes has the lyrics backwards.  At this point in my life my children children are grown, and they are getting wiser by the day.  I seek there counsel almost as often as they seek mine.  It is time for me to cut loose and have a little fun.

If I were to rewrite the lyrics they would be "Young Enough To Know Better, But A Little To Old To Care".

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Bluebird Day at Killington

I thought I would share photos from my bluebird day at Killington. 

No I wasn’t crazy enough to ski the bumps of Outer Limits.  I don’t think anyone did.  They were tempting until I realized they were very shiny.  I am hoping they groom OL for tomorrow. 

The photos are from the backside of the top of the Superstar Lift, if you look very closely you can see Stratton in the distance.  I could also see Okemo, Mount Snow, Magic Mtn, and Ascutney.  I don’t think they show up in the photos.

Killington's Biggest Fan

What can I say, I am one of Killington's biggest fans.  Killington has done a great job making and maintaining snow regardless of what MN (that's mother nature) has thrown at the Beast this ski season.  If you look at national snow reports, you can see most the country is lacking in the white stuff. It has been an odd winter. In fact most people I talk to are still waiting for winter to really begin. 

The conditions yesterday at Killington were wonderful. I skied from 9 AM until 3 PM with only one short break, and I don't think I skied the exact same run combination twice. Yes I stayed on mostly groomers, but those groomers had a nice layer of corduroy in the morning, and they stayed pretty much snow covered all day long. I even found a couple little bump runs that had some nice snow to turn on.

I left my home mountain twice this year, due to peer pressure, to ski with friends at Mount Snow and Okemo.  I had fun both days hanging out with my friends, but the conditions and available terrain were marginal.  I went home at the end of each day with my love for the Beast reaffirmed, and with an even greater appreciation of our available terrain and snow quality.  It will take a lot to pry me off my home mountain again this season, but go ahead and try.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Adventure in the Kitchen: Arugula, Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Salad

I was playing around in the kitchen this past weekend and came up with fresh new salad.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

In a large bowl add:
2 oz of Arugula
1 Apple, pealed, cored and chopped
1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts
1/4 cup Shredded Fennel Root

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
1 Teaspoon of Cranberry Honey Mustard (or if you don't have it use a little honey mustard, mixed with horseradish and honey)

Serves 2 as a dinner salad or 4 as a side salad.