Vermont- To paraphrase someone that I randomly met at Killington one time: I love Vermont, but it’s the season of the mud.

Nearly every skier and rider has stored their skis away for the summertime and has transitioned to the lakes for water sports or the woods for hiking and biking. However, a small contingent of skiers don’t give up, heading to Killington Resort to ski a large patch of man-made snow.

The man-made snow piles on the Superstar trail, referred to as the Superstar Glacier, stands as a symbol of the New England ski industry’s resilience. No matter what curveballs the weather throws at the region, ski resorts get through it, which is exemplified by Superstar remaining open to the public until late May or early June.

However, warm temperatures last week heavily decimated the remaining snowpack on Superstar. Killington’s grooming team put in their hard work to make it skiable for Memorial Day Weekend. Unlike the last few Memorial Day weekends, it wasn’t ski-on/ski-off this time. Guests had to carry their skis or boards onto the chairlift, limiting passengers to two per chair.

While I hoped to be doing a weekend ski on June 1st, I decided to get in my last turns on May 25th due to the diminishing base. My wise assumption was that the longer I waited, the more patches would emerge in the typically vulnerable spots on Upper, Middle, and Lower Superstar.

Conditions were typical for a Late May day at Killington. I arrived at the Superstar Express at just about 8 p.m. The first couple of runs were typical groomed conditions, with bumps beginning to form within an hour or so of the first chair.

By eleven, bumps had formed mostly everywhere but were spread out rather than packed together, which occurs in the later afternoon. Due to having a maximum capacity of two people per chair, a solid lift line formed, resulting in a wait of around ten minutes for each lap.

However, the top patch of Superstar was firm and held off the bumps. According to Snowology Weather & News, the surface was made firmer with either salt or fertilizer to keep the snow in place through the weekend. In addition, the snow on Upper Superstar featured a blue streak, a months-old remnant from November’s Killington Cup.

Overall, I’d say this was my least favorite of the Memorial Day weekend days I’ve skied here in the past three years. This isn’t a swipe at Killington by any means, as Killington is my favorite New England ski resort. The hand they were dealt with was pretty rough, and the groomers deserve a ton of credit for the work they put in to make it through May. Ultimately, the flow of a ski day is objectively worse when you have to put your skis on and off for the chairlift ride. Still, though, the snow quality was nice, and skiing on Superstar is one of those signature spring skiing experiences.

In terms of Killington’s season, they will surprisingly be skiing on June 1st. Whether guests there will be skiing mostly dirt or snow is subject to debate, but I imagine a hardy bunch will still show up. I’ll pass on this opportunity to ski in June, though. I’ve gone skiing in June before, and my skis have enough scratches as is.

Webcam image from May 31st. Impressive work, as always, from Killington’s grooming team.

Probably one of the funniest stories of the ski season is Killington staying open longer than Palisades Tahoe, Snowbird, and the other supposed alphas of spring skiing. I guess that New Englanders are just built differently.

Image/Video Credits: Ian Wood, Killington Resort, Snowology Weather & News/Collin Parsons

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