Ski the East, Ski the Beast: Killington

If you don't do it this year,
You will be one year older when you do.
//Warren Miller

How great is Warren Miller? He is definitely the father of modern day Ski/Snowboard films, and I just absolutely love him. His films are so amazing, and have some of the best cinematography out there. And his voice?! Music to my ears, one of my all time favorite narrators. He is like the Yoda of ski wisdom, and life wisdom in general, and I could quote his films all day. If you have never seen a Warren Miller Film I suggest you do so sooner than later. You can find them on Netflix on On Demand sometimes, and I would recommend starting with either 'Higher Ground' or 'Cold Fusion'. I started watching his films during Middle School ski club trips on the two hour bus ride to Mt. Snow, and I have seen almost all of them since. The last weekend of February we headed off on the second annual Ski Trip to Killington Mountain in Vermont. Last year we had gone just before I had started blogging, so those photos never got posted, but this year I wanted to make sure to take some good and fun photos for the blog! Our friends Evan and Brenna planned the entire weekend, and it was such a blast!
(Images Via 1, 2)
Before heading out for the weekend, I made sure to update our #Chalkboardchronicles in order to get excited for the upcoming ski weekend.
I also made one of my (not-so) famous itineraries for the weekend's activities. A few things changed here and there but overall you get the jist of what we did.
Evan and Brenna had gone up early Friday morning to Ski Friday, and the rest of us headed up Friday evening after work. All of the photos in this post are a group effort between everyone! I compiled my photos, along with the photos from the rest of the group to put together this post, so thanks everyone for sending me your pictures. I like to see everyone's different shots and perspectives on the weekend. Here are a few pictures that Evan and Brenna took from skiing together on Friday. They got a great preview of the conditions and said it was some of the best they have ever had there! Made us all the more excited to get out on the slopes on Saturday.
Evan and Brenna are really great skiiers! Diamonds and Double Diamonds don't phase them a bit! It's really nice that as a couple they both have a hobby that they love and enjoy doing together.

Here they are on Outer Limits, one of Killington's steepest and most treacherous slopes! I will do the occasional Diamond trail, but the Double Diamonds are pretty much a No-Go for me- way beyond my skill level! I do my best to not get hurt or break any bones, so staying off the Double D's is one of my rules. Evan and Brenna are great at it though, so it's cool to watch them traverse down the harder slopes while I work my way down the Blue Squares.
A gorgeous panorama from Evan of the cloudless conditions on Friday! Saturday was shaping up to be a similar day weather-wise, so seeing this photo got me all the more excited. The views from the top are gorgeous, and thanks to the good ole iPhone we can get some great pano shots like this!
Nick and myself headed up Friday after work and had planned to meet Evan and Brenna out for dinner if we made it in time. If you know us personally, you may know the story of our EPIC debacle of getting to Killington last year... but that's a post for another day. Luckily we made it up without any big Snafu's this year, and met Evan and Brenna at a casual burger joint called Jax's, just adjacent to the mountain. We had some burgers and beers and it was nice to chat and catch up! After dinner, we followed Evan and Brenna to the cabin they had rented, only to find that Ashley and Steve had just arrived as well. Coincidentally, after we all took our coats off and congregated in the living room, all the girls realized we had almost identical striped shirts on! It was pretty funny, and definitely worth a photo op. What are the chances?
Waldo's? Jailbirds? Hamburglers? You decide...
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing on the couches with some drinks and played Yahtzee. There was a wood stove and Evan had said that he had already tried to make a fire and failed, and deemed it impossible. This gave me a sense of determination to get it going, and I spent a good hour try to get it lit, but to no avail. We had logs, and newspaper, but no kindling. So I would light the newspaper but it would burn out before the log had a chance to ignite. I had to call it quits after awhile, but it made me even more determined to get it going the next day. We headed to bed somewhat early, as we had to be up at the crack of dawn the next day to eat breakfast and get ready for the mountain. We made it to the mountain around 9am, which I though was a pretty good accomplishment for a group of 6! It's key to get there early to get a good parking spot and avoid the lines for tickets and lifts, etc. The slopes are also usually much less crowded prior to the noon/after lunch rush. We all got our gear on in the lodge and then headed out for the first run of the day- we were all really pumped, can't you tell! Nick and I were SO worried about it being absolutely freezing, as the past few weeks had seen negative temperatures and even colder wind chills and neither of us do well in the cold at all. To our surprise though, the sky was blue and sunny, the wind was hardly present, and the temperature was in the mid 20's- very mild and we weren't cold at all!
I decided to take one for the team and bring Gus the GoPro out on the slopes for the day. I was able to strap it around my wrist so it really didn't bother me at all and I was excited to get some cool pictures of the mountain and of us skiing. We haven't used it since Hawaii so it was starting to collect dust! Look Mom; a helmet!!
We all took turns taking some couples photos at the base of Bear, one of the mountains that make up Killington as a whole. You can see the 'Outer Limits' run behind us but these photos do not do it justice, it literally is almost vertical! Nick is the only snowboarder (Urchin) of the group, the rest of us are skiers (Sky)(Have you seen Johnny TSumani!?). He actually really wants to try skiing too, so next year we are going to make that happen for sure. I am sure the only reason I look way taller than Nick in these pictures is because I have ski boots on.... not at all because I am actually taller than him...;-)

Ashley and Nick, and Ashley and Steve! It was weird having two Ashley's, I never knew if someone was talking to me, or to... Ashley! But they are great friends of Evan and Brenna and it was really nice getting to know them better. They are a really nice and fun couple and I am looking forward to hanging out with them more. Nick and Steve are actually both Groomsmen in Evan and Brenna's upcoming wedding this fall!
Evan and Brenna, the skiing dream team! Thanks for inviting us all to an awesome weekend! You picked the best weekend of the year by far for both weather and conditions! Make sure you do that every year going forward... no pressure though!
Ready to head to the first lift of the day!
Here is Gus the GoPro getting some nice wide angles on the ski lift. I love to check out everyone's ski/snowboard outfits. Can't decide if I prefer the bright/neon colors or the "All-black" getup. I need to get all new ski gear in the coming year so I was keeping an eye out for things I liked. Check out that clear blue sky!
Snowboards.... always in the way....
Taking a look back down the mountain as we get higher and higher up the face.

What the GoPro is made for- selfies! We all traded off on the lifts through the day, sitting with different combinations of each other, so it was fun to chat and ride the lifts as a group and/or with strangers.
Ready to hit the slopes!
Here we all are getting ready and situated for the first run of the day. Can't get over how beautiful it was out, and the morning was nice and uncrowded so there was lots of space to move around.

Here we go! A nice green circle/blue square combination to start off the day and warm up. Nick or I had not skied since the previous years Killington trip, so it takes a run or two to get back into the groove but I felt really good! It's kind of like riding a bike, you really don't forget it.

After an initial run down bear, we decided to head up the bigger lift, the Skye Peak Express, in order to be able to get over to the other side of the mountain. The line wasn't bad at all and the smell coming from the Waffle Cabin was TO DIE FOR. It is sooo soo tempting to go and get a big chocolate covered waffle and sit there stuff your face.... but we had skiing to do!

I took this photo because I have almost an identical photo from last years trip, I should find it and post it side-by-side. I love Nick's snowboard, it has cute little pigs on it!
Group selfie with E&B!

Once at the top, you have access to all of the other base areas of the mountain, and can pretty much get anywhere you need to go. Evan and Brenna know the mountain really well, so they had a good idea of what trails they wanted to do throughout the day, and we just happily followed along! I would get so lost without them leading the way! Killington is absolutely HUGE, part of the reason why it is known as "The BEAST of The East"- the largest ski area in Eastern USA and the largest vertical drop in New England at 3,050ft.
Gorgeous views all around from the top!

There's my sweet Nicholas shredding down the mountain! He is a really good snowboarder, I don't think he fell all day aside from a few butt-slides which are pretty regular for boarders.
Thanks to Ashley for getting these cool photos on her camera!

And here is a few more from the GoPro! I love when it gets the sun glare. Such a glorious day on the slopes.

We absolutely HAD to get a group shot at the top of the mountain as we had failed to do so last year and were bummed about it. I gave the GoPro to someone and Ashley gave her camera to another guy and I think they just went rapid fire! We definitely got more than enough this year! I love the colors of our group too, we look like a rainbow of sorts.... Red Pink Purple Green Blue Gray

A nice close up!
A little off center, but cool to see the lift and everything else going on around us. And of course, the view!

Being a second shooter for weddings, I've got a deep love and respect for the second angle! These guys killed it getting photos for us, thanks strangers! PS, is someone puking in the background?
Best for last!
Here are some more cool shots from the GoPro. I sometimes forget that it is such a wide angle, so you have to get really close to people if you want up-close and personal shots or solo shots. I think the camera was practically in Nick's face for this one.


Check out the giant mound in the background. It was so tall and steep and those daring enough to climb it could get a real fast start!

Side view of "the mound". Gives you a little better perspective as to just how GIANT it was.
If anyone from our group was going to climb the mound, it was going to be Evan! Lots of props to him for getting up there! This is a great photo from Brenna of him almost at the peak.
Since all of us are skiers we enjoyed giving Nick a hard time about alwaysss having to wait for him to strap in. You know what they say, you're only as strong as your weakest link.... Just kidding! We all know that I was definitely the slowest of the day lol. Slow and steady wins the race, that's my ski motto!
I love Nick's snowboard gear, it's Burton from head to toe and I love the color! It's always easy for me to spot him going down the mountain, he was going to wear a different jacket but I was like No! Don't! I will lose you!
Nice job to Gus GoPro on these wide angles, but a big fail on my part as my mitten was literally in the top corner of 95% of the photos. I had to do a LOT of cropping, but decided to leave it in this one to remind myself for the future to get my damn mitten out of the way!

Waiting for the group! Everyone would ski down for a bit and then usually stop at a good flat spot to wait and make sure everyone else is behind us. It is so easy to get split up on the mountain and so NOT easy to find each other again, so staying together was important and I'm glad no one got split up during the day. One wrong turn and you could end up on the opposite side of the mountain!
More great photos from Ashley, I love the colors!

Some black and blue hues. Or are they white and gold? You decide. (We all argued and were baffled over "The Dress" all weekend! Mind boggling.)

Why so serious? I don't know. Nick also seems to be caught up in a #gourmetgaze as we like to call it.
Much better! I enjoyed being your ski bunny for the day!
I love this photo, one of the best of the day, and I like it even better black and white. It could make a really cool print for the wall! Have you ever heard of the photographer Gray Malin? His work is awesome and he has a whole ski series that is fabulous, be sure to check him out. Life goal to be able to afford one of his pieces....
We did one of the most relaxed and long trails on the mountain, a green circle called Great Eastern. It is always so pretty and so peaceful, so it was a great time to try taking some photos WHILE skiing.
Off we go!

Some of the areas were almost too flat for Nick on the snowboard, I had to slingshot him a few times to keep his momentum up. It's almost more like a cross country ski!
Nice action shot of Nick!
See what I told you- Great Eastern is so quiet and hardly ever crowded! We all spread out and enjoyed the nice easy ski down. There's Brenna up ahead of me.
Some gorgeous sun glare, and a tunnel up ahead. Great Eastern goes under two roads, and over one, so it's really neat to have tunnels and bridges on a ski slope.
Thanks to Ashley for this sweet shot of me in my "Speed Pose".

Tunnel time!

Always very cool! And something you don't get at every mountain.
And shortly after the tunnel, you go over a bridge. Over the river and through the woods...

All stopping for a moment on Great Eastern to catch up to each other and soak in the scenery. All of the trees block the wind and the sun was beating down, I was actually a bit warm for once! Almost debated taking off my gaiter... almost.
Check out that blue house in the far background, it's practically on the slopes! They can literally ski out of their front porch and onto the mountain... must be nice!

Cruising. Another favorite photo from the day of Nick just ahead of me.
These views are amazing, it is so beautiful up there. New England is truly a beautiful place.
Another great pano from Evan, complete with his skis stuck in the snow in the foreground. Love it!

In the afternoon we also made sure to hit up the gondola! It is a 6-8 person gondola but of course I had to go and mess it all up so we all didn't end up on the same one. I heard someone say "disperse" and so I just panicked and got into the one in front of me at the time. Nick jumped in with me at the last second so I wouldn't be alone in my idiocy, so hence the reason we missed out on these gondola group shots and selfies.

Towards the end of the day we all voted on either going back or doing one last run. Most of us didn't care so Steve was the one who made a decision and said "One last run!". So down we go and we are coming back up the lift for the last time and at just about the highest point we could possibly be off the ground, it stops! And it remained stopped for a good 15 minutes! Slowly swaying back and forth, getting colder and colder by the minute as the sun was beginning to set. I had not been cold all day until this point! We were all starting to get a little nervous... one because we didn't know what was happening and two because it was getting close to the time of the mountain shutting down for the day. We snapped some photos of each other stuck on the lift, trying to make light of the situation!

I was good enough to wave but Nick has a pretty firm death-grip on the lift, he wasn't about to let go! Help! Finally, we started moving again.... who knows what happened. Someone yelled out "We're going to live!", and it was pretty funny. We also all gave Steve a hard time because we just HADDDDD to do one last run!
Some last minute photos on the last run of the day! It was such a great day of skiing but by this point our legs were starting to kill and the fatigue from 8 hours of skiing was starting to set in. Après Ski beers were calling our name!

The afternoon was definitely more crowded than the morning, but still was manageable. You just had to be more aware of your surroundings and the others around you in order to avoid collisions or young kids flying down the mountain. All in all though, no complaints! Once of the better skiing days I have ever had, for sure.

We were originally going to go to Lookout Tavern for some Après Ski beers, but after they scorned Evan and Brenna the day before, we wrote them off and decided to try Moguls Sports Pub instead. It was a fun bar with live music, and it was so nice to finally sit and relax with a brew and some H20, I was very parched!
My Après date.
After happy hour we headed back to the cabin and the fun began! We ordered pizzas so that we wouldn't have to leave the cabin later on. It was a cute two bedroom duplex right near the mountain and although it was a little dated it had everything we needed (besides a corkscrew) and was a really great deal for the price. Here is the link to the rental listing if anyone is interested!
We set out a bunch of appetizers and poured some beverages. Nick made our margarita recipe from my previous blog post, and they were super delicious, he is really mastering how to perfect them. The guacamole was also really yummy.
We fired up another round of Yahtzee! It was a pretty low scoring game for everyone, with no Yahtzees on the board, but Nick took the W.

I also made it my mission to get that darn wood stove going. We decided to use a magazine and the pizza boxes, so that helped me to be able to keep the flames going a little longer in hopes of getting the logs to light. A lot of patience and blowing and praying later, I did it! Nick was my sous-firestarter as he helped tear up the box and magazines, but the flames were all me baby!! Take that boys!! This girl put your boy scouting days to shame.... I was literally so proud! Also, notice the comfy clothes and slippers. It was so nice to be in leggings and slippers and a big shirt to lounge around in all night. So much more enjoyable!
Successes!!! My grandfather would be so proud.
If you also notice in the photos you can see two snowmen on the walls. The whole house had an underlying theme/obsession with snowmen. We ended up counting 36 in total, and I am sure we missed at least a few. Kind of odd, but kind of charming at the same time. There are worse obsessions.
The night rode on and we ended up playing tons of games, a favorite being Buzzword that I literally think we played for four hours. If you don't have it, get it. It's a great game for a group and it so much fun, really gets you thinking. Evan and Brenna's clue giving and guessing were hysterical, we had a lot of laughs. At one point Brenna went and grabbed this decorative hat off the wall, Evan immediately yelled that there could be lice on it.... Wait... what? Lice? No way. It was priceless though and one of those you-had-to-be-there moments for sure. The phrase of the weekend also came to be "oh my," Evans slogan of choice in times of strife and stress. Too funny! Also, the over-use of semi-colons was on ongoing joke as well;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
We stayed up late until the tiredness from a day of skiing kicked in and we finally all hit the hay around 2am. We had no agenda the next day so it was nice to be able to sleep in a bit and recover from the day before. After we all finally got up, we all chipped in to make a big breakfast. Nick and I got the mimosas flowing.

Evan was on egg duty.

Steve had the bacon under control.
Brenna got the table all set up.
And Ashley made this Amazing cinnamon raisin French Toast bake! Everything turned out amazing and it really hit the spot. 
After breakfast we broke out into one last round of Yahtzee, with much higher scores this time- three of us ended up getting Yahtzee! Here is mine with the 3's. Also note the Bruin's Championship dice! Steve took the big win this time.
Around noon we decided to pack up and start the trek back to CT as there was some snow forecasted for later on and Nick and I had to be back for a dinner. I took a few last photos of the interior of the cabin. Here is the living room, which had two futons, perfect for packing in a ton of guests.
There were two bedrooms; one had a full size bed, and the other had a full bed and a set of bunkbeds. So if you count the two futons, it could actually sleep 10 if you really wanted to get cozy!
The kitchen had all the basics, besides a wine opener, and got the job done. It even had a dishwasher which was nice for a small rental.
I made sure to grab a few shots of the outside as well before we left. Really looks like a cute mountain cabin in the woods. The top floor is a separate apartment but no one seemed to be there.. except we did hear someone up there the night before.

 Sweet Stud helping to pack of all my stuff. Such a gentleman that one!
 The house also has a great view out the front window, you can see Pico mountain and it's trails. Pico is a smaller mountain adjacent to Killington.

Before heading out Evan and Brenna asked if we wanted to stop at Long Trail Brewery in Woodstock VT on the way home. You don't have to ask us twice! We tried some good beers and got to hang out a bit more before heading home.

I'll give you one guess as to who is whose!? 

Once we got back to Springfield Nick and I had another one of his families 'cousins dinners' to attend. We typically do one a month and this time it was at his cousin Dan and Chelsea's house. They had a great italian spread of pasta, meatballs, sausage, salad, bread, and even some amazing Bracciole! It's Nicks turn to host it next so we will be excited for that later in March. We all hung out and played some rounds of our favorite game, Mafia.... it got pretty intense! It's so nice that he has such a big family who are all very close in age and are all good friends. 

Another great night with the cousins!
Last but not least, Tuesday the third was our anniversary! :-) It was a great end to a great weekend.
Thank you for following along on our skiing adventure up North! I hope to be able to go skiing more than once next year, and we definitely want to get Nick to ski next year too. Not everyday that a snowboarder WANTS to try skiing! Thanks again to Evan and Brenna for a really fun weekend, let's keep this tradition rolling!


  1. Awesome blog post! Perfectly captured the amazing weekend, so many great shots! ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; :-)

    We definitely want to continue this tradition! (And I'll do my best to keep picking blue-bird days!)

    1. Yes! Let's keep the tradition going for sure!

  2. Fun weekend! Thanks for the refresher. I'm heading to Killington to ski for the day on Friday. Haven't been there in few years so really looking forward to it.

    1. Thanks Sue! That's awesome, hope you have a great time!