These Diehard Skiers Don't Need a Chairlift to Enjoy the Sport

The truly passionate are willing to make a grueling climb to the top of the mountain, but Killington Resort may reopen its lifts for one final day this season

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Some truly passionate and committed skiers enjoyed Wednesday's summer-like temperatures participating in the sport — without the help of ski lifts.

May 19 saw temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s in many Vermont communities, according to data from the National Weather Service.

"Working on that suntan," skier Orianna Prince said of her day at Vermont's famous Killington Resort.

Prince was savoring her final runs of the season on snow which is melting so quickly, it feels like something else entirely.

"It's like soft, squishy Slurpee bumps straight from 7-11," Prince said, smiling and laughing.

At Killington this week, diehards like Prince have been doing what diehards do this time of year.

They're hiking up the mountain — yes, on foot, because the ski lifts aren't running. Then, they ski down to make the most of the remnants of trail cover.

"I look forward all season to these spring days," skier Larry Straus told NECN and NBC10 Boston.

"It's a beautiful day out," skier Angus McCusker said. "Kind of like the snow beach, if you will."

It's not easy, though. Skiers acknowledge that climb is grueling, especially when carrying your skis, and then there are bald patches to contend with.

Some folks walked through the bare spots on the trail on their skis, or just in their boots. NECN and NBC10 Boston witnessed one man simply ski right over the turf as if it were snow.

"Coming down is a challenge — going up is even more of a challenge," said the skier, who declined to provide his name. "So you've got to be in shape."

And remember, there's no ski patrol on days like this — so it's at your own risk.

Prince said going uphill without the help of a lift, all to take one run, was worth it. She added that she was glad to get a bit closer to her goal of 100 ski days this season.

"I'm 10 short of the 100, so we'll see how long the snow lasts here for me," the skier said.

Meanwhile, other skiers and riders are eager to hear if they can squeeze one final lift-served day out of the season.

Killington said it will decide Thursday afternoon if it will open for a last hurrah on Saturday.

Resort spokesperson Courtney DiFiore said Killington's mountain operations team will be taking a close look at whether groomers could haul snow in from other parts of the resort to fill in grassy patches on the famous Superstar trail — which is used on the World Cup race circuit.

"Our team's pretty good at managing snow, so fingers crossed it all works out," DiFiore said. "And if not, then we'll just go head on into summer with mountain biking and golf and all that other jazz that we have here at Killington."

Killington said it plans to announce on social media and its website whether or not it will run lifts on Saturday.

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