Killington Tests Positive, Shout out to Andes Tower Hills!

Fifty years ago when snowmaking really took off in the northeast, there was a constant marketing battle between Hunter Mountain NY, Mount Snow VT, and Killington VT. The ad campaigns centered around who had the biggest snowmaking system, which in turn meant who had the most snow, which of course was where you wanted to ski. Incidentally the late Gene Mulvihill of Mountain Creek NJ fame decided that he would win this war and purchased all kinds of snow guns — albeit many that were never used — and coined the “Ski the Snowmakers” slogan. He commissioned ads with bar charts featuring little snow gun icons, demonstrating how many many more he had. So that’s a bit of history, or back story, whatever. Point is the question or argument is now undeniably, unequivocally settled: Killington, no question. Following a couple weeks of wild weather swings, Kmart passed FIS World Cup “snow control” yesterday — positive! Means they passed, they’re good to go. If you aren’t familiar with World Cup requirements, the course has to be a certain depth and the consistency (after ice injection) has to meet a certain criteria. It’s probably more than we’ll ever know about snow, but in this case the fact that Killington made it is rather remarkable. This is for the womens’ tech events next weekend. Live view from this morning in the photo above. The boys meanwhile will be up at Lake Louise for speed events; course passed snow control last week…mea culpa time, erroneously reported earlier this week that Wild Mountain MN was first to roll in the midwest. Apparently the correct call would’ve been for Andes Tower Hills out by Oscar Lake in Minnesota, they put together a short but nice slope, put on a few features, and beat everyone to the punch last weekend. Next up in that part of the country looks like it might be Trollhaugen in Wisconsin…false start in Vermont today, Okemo was scheduled to spin this morning but mother nature said otherwise…word just in from Maine, Boyne-owned Sunday River open today for passholders, public on Sunday. Sister resort Sugarloaf scheduled to go on Monday as well, and Saddleback, the independent sandwiched between the two, is hoping for Tuesday…shout out to our old friend Gustave Sexauer, former-midwest-correspondent-now-in-Vermont who gave the heads-up regarding Andes Tower Hills. Proof you can take the skier out of the midwest, but you can’t take the midwest out of the skier!