Vermont got a preview of summer weather Wednesday, as temperatures soared through the 70s and well into the 80s across the state—even breaking a 40-year record when the National Weather Service announced midday that Burlington hit 91 degrees.
Despite that incredible warmth for mid-May, a handful of diehard winter lovers actually spent part of the day skiing or riding.
“It's just the perfect day,” beamed Jeff Wagner of Montpelier, who was at Killington Resort—determined to not give up on winter quite yet.
The chairlift at Killington only runs Fridays through Sundays this late in the season, meaning the slopes are technically closed.
However, a motionless lift was not going to stop Wagner from going skiing. Diehards like him have to been known to hike uphill on their own power if that’s what it takes to enjoy what’s left of the snow.
Many resorts don’t prevent people from going on hikes like that, though the activity is not really encouraged, either.
“It was so much fun,” Wagner said after completing the ski run that followed his lengthy uphill trek. “I'm relatively tired; my legs are burning, but other than that—I feel good!”
It's an arduous climb for many, and the resort is quick to remind people they do this at their own risk: there is no ski patrol when lifts aren't spinning, and the terrain is quite bumpy.
Despite the challenges and warnings, Darin Lambeth came to Killington from the Mad River Valley to make the most of Wednesday’s warm-up.
“I like to try to do a multi-sport day this time of year every once in a while, so snowboard, then I have the paddle board on the car, and the bike in the back, so I'm going to try to do all three today,” Lambeth told necn. “Seems like the perfect day for it!”
Wagner took note of how different skiing is in very warm air temperatures, compared to what he experienced a few short months ago.
“You're not freezing—it’s not minus 20,” Wagner chuckled. “You're not fighting to stay warm—you’re fighting to stay cold!”
A Killington spokesman said the resort will keep offering lift-served skiing and riding on Fridays through Sundays into June, if the remaining snow holds.
The lifts spin Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to Killington’s website.
More traditional warm-weather activities return soon, with Killington Resort’s golf course, bike park, and limited Adventure Center activities scheduled to open May 27, according to the resort.
It wasn’t all about skiing Wednesday: golfers at Green Mountain National, also in Killington, were at the driving range and putting green honing their skills for the season that’s just getting started.