A long, long time ago, when I was at the tender age of 10 or so, my
parents were in a Friday night bowling league. My older sister was
entering her dating and high school hanging out years, so for some
time I would tag along to the bowling alley with mom and dad and play
pinball and otherwise amuse myself.
One night I ran into a kid who had just transferred into my
elementary school. His parents and my parents were in the same
league. We started to hang out together, and it didn't take too long
(about 20 minutes, as I recall) before we discovered that both our
As the years rolled on, he joined my family on ski trips and I joined
his. Nothing like getting sprung from school with your buddy by your
Mom to go to Butternut Basin on your birthday. Happy days on the
terrifying slopes of Dutch Hill, where his family had season passes
and spent Christmas week and nearly every weekend.
The only bummer was that we both had annoying older sister. Me, I had
my sister Penny. Jimmy had Anne and Alice: identical twins, no less.
Twice as annoying.
Fast forward thirty some years: Jimmy is married with four kids and
living on Long Island. Doesn't get out skiing too much these days, if
at all. I see him once or twice a year. Anne, she lives in
Cincinnati. Not much skiing in Cincinnati.
But Alice, well she's another story. She moved to Vermont maybe four
or five years before I did. Bumpher Grrl Alice and I have been making
turns and trashing moguls together for three decades. Turns out she's
not so annoying after all.
So what has all this got to do with Killington? The twin sister
rolled into town last night. Hasn't been skiing in maybe 20 years,
near as she can tell. Until today.
Bumpher Grrl, Anne, and I blew on down Route 100 this morning in
search of snow. We thought about waiting until Friday, but
temperatures in the 70s and the Killington web site suggested that
Bittersweet and Skyelark weren't going to hold out that long. After a
20 year hiatus, I was reluctant to push Fair Weather Annie -- she
never did like winter all that much -- down Superstar.
Our first stop was the rental shop. Thank you, Killington, for both
being open and still renting stuff in the middle of May. Thanks, too,
for some pretty decent pizza in the base lodge.
Eventually we found our way onto the lift and up to the top.
Bittersweet was just that: yeah, it was open - but it sure wasn't an
easy cruiser. It, too, had some sizable bumps and some more sizeable
bare spots. Couple of places, the snow ribbon was only about 2 feet
wide. But Annie took it all in stride, showing some real promise on
the comeback trail.
In fact, enough promise that next run, we just bolted right on down
Superstar. And then again. Then over to Skyelark, that had even
bigger bumps and a narrower path at the top, but opened into some
true high speed cruising on down to lower Bittersweet.
And then back to Superstar, and again and again and again.
Seems like a twenty year absence from the sport really don't mean
squat. Once a skier, always a skier. Maybe it was the super soft
snow, maybe in was the blinding sunshine and skiing in a T-shirt, I
dunno. But Annie is truly another Bumpher Grrl.
So I'm thinking that this will about do it for me for this season.
Sure, the Big K ain't no Tuckerman Ravine, but doing endless bumps
with my two oldest ski partners -- and twin sisters a heck of a lot
prettier than Jumpin' Jimmy and mrrogers, I might add -- is a pretty
decent way to end a season.