Posted on

6 Tips for Skiing At Killington During the Pandemic

Kevin Wears a Gaitor

By Stephen Klepner

We have 6 tips to help make your next Killington trip as great as it can be. It may feel like quite a few changes have occurred for the 20-21 season at Killington and it may seem overwhelming at first to navigate. Our team at Basin Ski, Ride & Bike has been navigating the new normal at Killington for over a week and have a few tips and tricks to make sure you get the best out of your time at the Beast.

Overall, we are extremely impressed with Killington’s ability to give us an amazingly fun, safe, and enjoyable ski experience. We are confident that our home mountain will thrive this winter with these adjustments. Without further delay here are 6 tips for Killington that will help you get the most out of your next trip!

 

 1. Plan Ahead

The first of the 6 tips for visiting Killington is one you and your family don’t want to overlook. Before arriving in Vermont you should check out Vermont’s current travel regulations. You need to reserve a parking spot before arriving at the mountain. Make sure you plan for this in advance. Think of parking reservations as a boarding pass to the resort for your entire car. You are allowed to reserve 7 choice days any time for the 20/21 season and reserve any day up to a week away from the current date. If you have to cancel your reservation Killington has asked you to cancel your reservation 24 hours in advance.

Killington's Reservation System Overview
Killington has designed this graphic as an easy way to see how their reservation system will work. You can book 7 days any time and 7 week-of days.

 

2. Take a Screen Shot Of Your Parking Passes

How to screenshot a pass 6 tips for killington
Remember to take a screenshot of your parking reservation from your email.

Cell service at Killington can be a little spotty from time to time. When you arrive to the mountain you will be required to have your pass ready to go to be scanned before you can park. The worst thing that you can do is get all the way up to the mountain and realize that you can’t open the email to scan the pass.

Other Basin Team Members have printed out their passes to be double sure that they don’t run into any problems. Another bonus tip is that you can change the license plate numbers on your reservation right until you enter. Don’t worry too much if you decided to take another car right before arriving to the mountain.

 

Here’s a great article on how to take a screenshot on an Android phone
and here’s one for our Apple friends

 

 

 

 

3. Download and Use The New Killington App

A quick overview of the Killington App 6 tips for killington
Quickly create new parking reservations, check trail and lift statuses, and track your vertical skied all in one place.

The Killington App is an incredible place to find information on open terrain, ticket prices, and reserve your parking ahead of time. Whether it’s your first time at the resort or you are a local, you will find relevant information for your trip. Many people who have been using Killington’s website for the past couple of years will find the app familiar and friendly. It’s easy to navigate and works great while on the snow.  One of our favorite parts of the app is the ability to see wait times for lifts and track our vertical feet skied. Very cool!

Along with the new app, Killington has rolled out a text messaging platform. It’s a great idea since this allows Killington to contact a large number of guests if an issue occurs while on the mountain. Killington states they, “will use text messaging to communicate critical operations updates as needed, important information about upcoming visits and the occasional promotional message such as a season pass deadline reminder”. You can opt into text messages by texting Beast to 64600. Also, you can opt in to receive text alerts regarding Pico Mountain by texting Pico to 64600.

You can download the Killington App on Android and iOS

 

 

4. Bring More Than One Mask

We’ve found that skiing with a face covering is not all too difficult but depending on what mask you have at your disposal, you may want to bring more than one. Many people ski and ride with a full face balaclava that covers their mouth and nose. Depending on the material you may find it getting damp from breathing throughout the day and may want to have another one on standby in your pocket to switch out.

We also found having a traditional ear mask is great when you are in the lodge and allows you to sit down and warm up while being socially distanced. Bringing an “indoor” mask allows you to relax in a little bit more comfort while warming up. Not sure what to wear for any particular day? We have a ton of face covering options in store. Stop by on the way up to the mountain (shameless plug over). 

Kevin Wears a Gaitor 6 tips for Killington
Basin Team Member, Kevin, wears a gaiter while getting ready to scan his pass in an early season snowstorm.

 

5. Treat your car as a base lodge

Killington has preached this from the beginning and they mean it: there is limited space inside the lodges and you will be waiting to enter. Killington promises outdoor food options as the season goes on but the best bet is to bring food and water to stash in your car. We’ve even seen a few people bringing lawn chairs and having a full on tailgate!

You should expect to boot up in the parking lot when you arrive and be prepared to walk to the slopes in your ski gear. This year especially, you may want to look into purchasing a heated boot bag or socks. If you and your family have your ticket in advance, you can park by any of the open lifts and make the short walk right to the slope. Also, leaving the resort and returning can be a bit cumbersome. If at all possible you should have all the resources you need to stay for the day at the resort. 

Killington Lodge's Que
Extensive indoor waiting lines have been set up with vibrant social distancing markings for food. When we visited there were little to no lines to enter at any point in the day.

6. Be Patient

This is probably the most important of the 6 tips for visiting Killington right now. Things may be moving slower than usual. Lines will get long since there is significantly reduced capacity, and people may be frustrated with each other over masks and distancing. Staff will continue to do their best to make sure everyone is having a great time. You can make a difference in everyone’s day by remembering that skiing right now is something we are lucky to do and we should be celebrating that we even have the opportunity in this truly unique year. 

Kevin Wears a Gaitor 6 tips for Killington
Waiting in line a little longer is worth it when you get views like this from the top of the mountain.

 

We want to hear your tips and tricks skiing and riding. Send any comments or questions to socialmedia@basinski.com. Oh! and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Posted on

Customer Appreciation Demo Day #2

Basin Sports Customer Appreciation Demo Day

Customer Appreciation Demo Day #2

You’re Invited To Basin Sports Customer Appreciation Demo Day #2!

Our Season Tuners are invited to the 2nd Customer Appreciation Demo Day of the 19/20 season. One of the many perks of being a Basin Sports Season Tuner is the two seasonal demo days where you can test the latest skis from all our ski companies.
You are encouraged to sign-up and complete your waiver in advance at the store. Demo Days typically start at 8AM and finish around 1PM. If you’d like to try a specific ski let us know in advance! That way we can notify the rep for that brand and they can bring that ski.
Brands That Will Be Attending:
  • Atomic
  • Armada
  • Black Crows
  • K2
  • Nordica
  • Salomon
  • Rossignol
Customer Appreciation Demo Day #2

Basin Sports is the oldest businesses in the Killington community. In fact, the Basin Ski Shop opened ten days before Killington Ski Resort, on December 14, 1958.  For more than sixty years Basin Sports has been a leading mountain-sports retailer with a long history of outstanding customer service.
The Torrey family, owners and operators of Basin Sports since 1991, are determined to continue providing an unmatched experience, both in the store and on the slopes. The industry has taken notice too, awarding Basin Sports the Ski Magazine Gold Medal nine years in a row and twice naming Basin Sports the best ski shop in New England.
Posted on Leave a comment

Bumps And Stoke Build For The Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge

A Local’s Perspective On The Annual Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge

Bumps and stoke build for the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge
As many ski resorts get ready to close for the season, here at Killington it feels like the party is just getting started as diehards and amateurs alike prepare for the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge. In the days prior, some are seeking bumps to practice on, others are ironing out their tailgating plans, but whether planning to take part or spectate, anticipation for the weekend is high.

The moguls are on the iconic Outer Limits, that get deeper as the days 150 competitors ski them, nestled between two large jumps and surrounded by the many who come in costume, ready to cheer and tailgate. Competitors ski a qualifying run where the top 16 women and 32 men progress to finals, a sudden-death dual format with the first person through the finish line progressing into the next round, all with big airs and underdog upsets. Killington is still a bastion of mogul skiing, a community who loves to celebrate a competition where anything can happen. To such an extent that when the mountain decided they wouldn’t host the rowdy event anymore in 2012, bumpers hosted it anyway and titled it the “Denial Cup.” The next year the event returned, and recently the mountain acknowledged those winners by engraving their names onto the trophy that sits in Bear Mountain’s base lodge.

Even as skis have grown fatter, there are still quite a few skiers here who haven’t lost their skinny skis and look forward to the event all year long. I am one of them, and can already feel the competition day nerves, the nervousness of practicing mogul jumps that send you straight up into the air, the excitement at the starting gate, the rainbow colored crowd in vintage one pieces, all of it. A friend recently told me that I just needed to “pretend that no one was there” when competing this weekend (I agree!), but it’s an admittedly hard task to practice when the crowd is audacious, and the skiers around you are some of the best mogul skiers anywhere. Anyone can compete though, and competitors uphold that good sportsmanship, helping to support and cheer on others while waiting for their turn in the starting gate.

It’s hard to think of another event that is more of Killington and espouses just how much we love skiing here. Whether you are tuning your skis, seeking out the seeded bumps on Wildfire, or picking out your best eye-turning outerwear, prep work for Saturday continues for many. If you are considering attending your first Bear Mountain Challenge, whether to ski it or to see it, you won’t be disappointed and you will really know that you arrived at the Big K, where mogul skiing is still very much alive, well, and celebrated.

Bumps and stoke build for the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge
— Tricia Tirella, Basin Sports ambassador, Killington local and bump enthusiast  

We’re Ready To Shred, Are you?

Shop Now For the Latest Outdoor Gear

  • We can be reached 7 days a week at 802-422-3234
facebookinstagramyou-tubeemail

 

Posted on Leave a comment

K2 Mindbender 88 Alliance Vs. Blizzard Black Pearl 88

A Comprehensive Review of these two 2020 Ladies All-Mountain Skis

K2 Mindbender 88 Alliance Vs. Blizzard Black Pearl 88- A Look At The Pro’s and Con’s Of Both

 

As the holidays of 2018 approached rumors started to swirl that K2 Skis had something psychedelic brewing. When our industry Demo Day rolled around and we had a chance to take out the Mindbenders we were blown away by their performance in a multitude of conditions. But the question we’ve been getting a lot is how it compares to the Black Pearl or Santa Ana (which we’ll do another review on). How does this rookie in the ski world compare to the best selling women’s ski ever? Well lets jump into is shall we. First we’ll go over each skis key features, then we’ll throw them head to head and let you decide who’s the winner.

 

K2 Mindbender Alliance 88 Ti

 

K2 has been struggling to create a ski that worked well for most skier types. Not to say the pinnacle wasn’t a good ski, it just didn’t necessarily perform well in the many “all-Mountain” conditions. The K2 Mindbender is here as a replacement to the Pinnacle and Luv Series. Speaking of Luv series skis- The Alliance series was created as a replacement for that. Why the name change? The women at K2 wanted to create a ski series that better connected with their audience base and resonated with female skiers, so Alliance was born. Though there is a full line-up of waist width options for men and women, the 88 Ti is the best east coast all-mountain option (in our opinion. This would translate to 90 in the men’s version too). The Mindbender 88 Alliance Ti comes with an Aspen Veneer core for it’s wood construction. This is going to be like the 90, but the veneer and sandwiching of the core makes the 88 lighter and easier to turn. Then there’s the Titanal Y-Beam. Think of a tuning fork used to tune pianos. The Y-Beam looks like that, laid into the ski. It makes the Alliance stiff and reliable underfoot while allowing the tip to flex more easily. There’s a carbon spectral braid on top of all this construction which also helps to reduce chatter as well as help power imitation through turns. The sidewall is ABS which is a standard for most ski companies. In the alliance it is oversized. This translates to you can lay the ski all the way over. Want to go from making Slalom turns to jumping into a mogul field and bashing bumps? Yep, this ski is going to do that. Another honorable mention is that K2 has a 2 year warranty on their skis which is awesome!

 

Blizzard Black Pearl 88

 

The Blizzard Black Pearl 88 is undeniably the best selling women’s ski- ever. There’s a reason for that too. Virtually any female skier can take this ski out and have a good day on it. It’s going to do well at most All-Mountain conditions and since it’s not over powering and easy to turn ladies love it. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts right? The Black Pearl is a light ski, made with what Blizzard calls their Lite Wood Core. In the case of the Black Pearl 88, it’s a poplar beech core that’s sandwiched into the Carbon Flipcore WSD. W stands for women’s. No metal here, just good old wood and carbon. This makes the Black Pearl poppy and maneuverable across many conditions. We personally found them to carve exceptionally well too. The topsheet is a duratec composite which helps with scratch resistance. Sidewall will be the same as the Mindebender Alliance 88Ti, made with ABS Sidewall. Since there’s no metal in the Black Pearl so it retails at $600 vs $650 for the Mindbender.

 

Head To Head

 

Head to head you’re getting so skis that are similar, yet different. The Mindbender 88 in our opinion is for more aggressive skiers whereas the Black Pearl is focused on intermediate level skiers. Both the Black Pearl and Mindbender were great carvers and the Black Pearl made longer methodical turns whereas the Mindbender could get laid all the way over and make tight slalom like turns then transition into smooth GS style carves. The Mindbender wasn’t limited to a select level of turning. Whatever your style was it responded. In deeper snow, both felt similar and responded the same, nothing really changed here. Then moguls- This was a game changer between the two. To be honest the Black Pearl just felt sloppy in bumps. It could be my style of bump skiing, or the lack of metal in the ski, whatever the culprit the Black Pearls felt dead and confused on how to respond in bumps. The Mindbender was different. The Mindbender snaped through turns easily and launched you into the next bump almost like you intended to do. The Mindbenders are just fun- and as I’ve been saying around the shop are totally psychedelic.

So my final thoughts? Both skis are great skis. The Black Pearl seems to favor softer conditions and intermediate level skiers more. When the terrain got more aggressive the Black Pearl struggled to keep up. The Mindbender is definitely stiffer and more aggressive than the Black Pearl but that’s not to say a beginner could take it out and not have a good time. The Mindbender is flexible and would be a great ski for someone looking to progress their skills over a long period of time. The Black Pearl is predictable though and is a great value for an All- Mountain Ski that does everything okay.

 

K2 Mindbender 88 Ti Alliance Blizzard Black Pearl 88
Core Wood: Aspen Venner Lite Wood Core
Metal Titanal Y-Beam None
Carbon Carbon Spectral Braid Carbon Flipcor WSD
Topsheet Unsure (looks like Duratec) Duratec
Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker
Sidewall Oversized ABS Full ABS Sidewall
Warranty 2 Year 1 Year
Price $650 $600

 

* Obviously this Review is extremely biased and based upon my skiing style and the brutally odd East Coast Conditions. Hopefully, we’ll put together a video soon. If you like this head to head style review and want to see more let us know! If this was crap let us know! We are only human after all.


We’re Ready To Shred, Are you?

Shop Now For the Latest Outdoor Gear

  • We can be reached 7 days a week at 802-422-3234
facebookinstagramyou-tubeemail

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Updates From Basin Sports: Christine Torrey

Where In The World Is Christine?

Updates From Basin Sports, Maybe you’ve been in the store and have noticed the absence of one familiar smiling face. Our president, Christine Torrey has taken a much-wanted Sabbatical and will be missing the majority of our winter season (though she’ll be stopping by here and there). Where is she you ask?

Santa Cruz, California

Just imagine, waking up every day to endless sunshine, surfing, and cycling within an arms reach. Plus with Tahoe not too far away, well that’s not a horrible place to go for a change of scenary. She’s been out there for most of the summer already too. Chief Financial Officer, Owner , and Mom, Lorraine Torrey is out visiting Christine and went Mountain Biking with her the other day.  I mean, doesn’t everyone want to take an extra long California vacation sometimes?

Of course we have been sending photos of this year’s tremendous snowfall to Christine, making sure she is missing all of us and Killington as much as we are missing her!


We’re Ready To Shred, Are you?

Shop Now For the Latest Outdoor Gear

  • We can be reached 7 days a week at 802-422-3234
facebookinstagramyou-tubeemail
Posted on Leave a comment

No Lack Of Ski Season Stoke As Lift Spins

Photos and Words by Basin Ambassador and Killington Local Tricia Noelle

No lack of ski season stoke as lift spins~ The beginning of the ski season is always a time of excitement. Some wait before the sun rises for the gondola to turn on opening day, others may opt to a midweek start, and others might not have gotten to make turns on snow yet; but all share one thing in common, and that is stoke for the return of the winter.

No Lack Of Ski Season Stoke As Lift Spins

The conditions for early season have been a little bit of everything so far; from passing clouds, moments of sun, soft spring conditions, the magical manmade snow our snowmakers make, and even flurries that fell in clumps yesterday. The coverage and conditions have been stellar in North Ridge, and while a short run in comparison to what we will have in a few months, laps on Rime, Reason and Upper East Fall are plenty to reawaken muscles that have been dormant since Spring.

No Lack Of Ski Season Stoke As Lift Spins

 

From locals to season regulars, we all get to holler from the lift as our friends make their first turns of the season. North Ridge is small enough that we can see everyone we missed all summer long, and give hugs and greetings to people we will make turns with for months to come. We all may be returning from different challenges in life, and in different abilities to hike those stairs, but for all of us sliding on snow helps bring us together at least for a few runs, and makes the stairs undeniably worth it.

No Lack Of Ski Season Stoke As Lift Spins

It is about way more than just returning to the movement we love, we get to share something larger as a community that brings us together. We get to tune out of the stressors of life and tune into the frozen covered trees and snow around us. We share conversation on the lift over the roar of snow guns. We see our friends carve their first turns of the season, smile ear to ear. Killington has a stoke for the ski season like no other place I have been to yet, and we keep it going all the way until June. I don’t know about you, but I am stoked to be celebrating another season back.


We’re Ready To Shred, Are you?

Shop Now For the Latest Outdoor Gear

  • We can be reached 7 days a week at 802-422-3234
facebookinstagramyou-tubeemail

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Killington Bike Blast Off Party Announcement

Killington Bike Blast Off Party

Jun 8th, 4-8 PM

Sushi Yoshi Killington

ike Blast Off Party 2018-Small


Basin sports is the premiere mountain sports retailer in Vermont, specializing in skiing, snowboarding and biking. Basin Sports has received the Ski Magazine Gold Medal nine years in a row and twice naming Basin Sports the best ski shop in New England. Basin Sports has some of the best technical boot fitting service in the country, with certified Pedorthists on staff. As much as we love getting Basin Sports customers into the perfect gear for them, there is one thing we love just as much, if not more. You guessed it, skiing, riding, and just plain enjoying the mountains. You can rest assured that all of us at Basin Sports are taking every opportunity to get out and enjoy all that Killington has to offer. In the winter we ski daily and we are constantly testing new gear, sampling the conditions, and sniffing out powder stashes. Feel free to ask us any questions that you may have, we love to talk about skiing, snowboarding, cycling, hiking and even snowshoeing. In fact, in the winter, we update our website, basinski.com, every day with conditions reports, photos, and videos. Check us out for the most up-to-date and honest info around.

Posted on Leave a comment

Killington Mountain She Giveth and Taketh Away- A Story About The Pause In Between

Killington, the mountain we love, the friends we keep, especially on powder days, mean so much to many of us.

Killington Mountain

 

Few things bring that more home than having to watch on from the sidelines, but times like those bring the value of being out there, a life outside fully lived, that much more apparent. We are so fortunate to have all of the many opportunities the Green Mountains have to offer, whether here for the day, weekender or local; from downhill skiing to biking, and beyond.

I have been lucky enough to call Killington Mountain home since 2013 and was 44 days into my fifth year as a season pass holder when a freak accident on New Year’s Eve tore my ACL and Meniscus. My ski got stuck in a notch of ice and my leg went in the wrong direction, and I knew immediately my knee and season were done.

I also was reminded quickly that being hurt in this town is something to be immensely grateful for. Offerings of help are plentiful as are reminders from so many friends that they too also wore the ACL badge, and that while a long recovery, I will be coming back stronger than before.

 

Killington Mountain
Photo Credit: Chandler Burgess and Killington Resort

 

Injuries are accidents, but what we do with them as a result never is. After I accepted that there would be no fifth 100 day season in a row for me this year, I counted all the good that would be happening as a result. Becoming a better trained, balanced athlete, having the time to re-learn guitar, reading more, the list goes on. I am also extremely lucky to have something go wrong that can be fixed. And as a friend said, “if you are an athlete at all, it happens, now you are a part of the club.”

As I heel from ACL reconstruction I have been living vicariously through the many deep powder pictures posted of last week. I look forward to seeing everyone in the parking lot when tailgating season begins. If you see me taking gondi laps, or once ready, hiking to the top of Superstar to great my bump enthusiast friends in the spring, say hello! And please make an extra turn or two!

Praying for snow still,

Trish, Basin Sports Ambassador

Killington Mountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We’re Ready To Shred, Are you?

Shop Now For the Latest Outdoor Gear

  • We can be reached 7 days a week at 802-422-3234
facebooktwitter-birdinstagramgoogleyou-tubepinterestlinkedinemail

 

 

Basin sports is the premier mountain sports retailer in Vermont, specializing in skiing, snowboarding, and biking. Basin Sports has received the Ski Magazine Gold Medal nine years in a row and twice naming Basin Sports the best ski shop in New England. Basin Sports has some of the best technical boot fitting service in the country, with certified Pedorthists on staff. As much as we love getting Basin Sports customers into the perfect gear for them, there is one thing we love just as much, if not more. You guessed it, skiing, riding, and just plain enjoying the mountains. You can rest assured that all of us at Basin Sports is taking every opportunity to get out and enjoy all that Killington has to offer. In the winter we ski daily and we are constantly testing new gear, sampling the conditions, and sniffing out powder stashes. Feel free to ask us any questions that you may have, we love to talk about skiing, snowboarding, cycling, hiking and even snowshoeing. In fact, in the winter, we update our website, basinski.com, every day with conditions reports, photos, and videos. Check us out for the most up-to-date and honest info around.

Posted on Leave a comment

Basin Snow Report Killington Snow Report For January 14, 2018

Happy MKL Sunday To All! Basin Snow Report

January 14, 2018

Partly Cloudy, Hi 9/ Lo -13 F

Basin Snow Report

What a difference two days make after Friday’s wet precipitation- this Basin Snow Report is extra special. Sunshine, bluebird sky and smiling faces. Although it was a crisp -3 degrees at 8 am Opening Bell,  it didn’t curtail the adventure seekers. Started at Bear Mtn with the top of OL lit up with guns. The fresh corduroy groom on Skyeburst, Gateway, Bear Claw, Lower Wildfire was terrific. Lower Skyeburst had a few guns producing dry silk live powder!  It was wonderful to alternate rides up both the Bear Mtn. Quad in sun with no wind and the SPQ lift too. Then over to Bittersweet to Highroad for a warm up in Skyeship Stage II. So much fun we did Panic Button to Needles Eye, then Cruise Control. On the Skylark with guns blasting. After a full morning, we ventured to Peak for coffee and drinks. Others said Cascade, Lower East Fall, Mouse Trap and Highline were super crushing runs.

Basin Snow Report

 

Basin Snow Report

 

Basin Snow Report

 


We’re Ready To Shred, Are you?

Shop Now For the Latest Outdoor Gear

  • We can be reached 7 days a week at 802-422-3234
facebooktwitter-birdinstagramgoogleyou-tubepinterestlinkedinemail