A lot of college students go on vacations during spring break, mostly down south to the beach. After a long, cold winter many people I talked to went to Miami or New Orleans for the week we had off. Well, I went north with two friends, chasing the snow and tearing up three ski resorts in three days. Despite skiing my whole life, I never experienced skiing true mountains and Vermont has the best on the east coast. After classes officially ended Friday, we drove up to Camelback to ski for the evening and then stayed two nights in northern PA at one of kid’s house. Sunday afternoon, we took the 5 hour trek up to Rutland, Vermont where we had picked out a really nice, but cheap inn to stay for three nights.
Monday we woke bright and early to check out Killington, which was just 15 minutes away. The resort was huge! Going up the main gondola, we could see all the slopes around us, many of them a couple miles away. Since we only had the day to ski the area, we limited ourselves to the just the best runs we could find. These happened to be strictly black and double black diamond runs, the toughest levels. Our first run of the day was Lower Ovation, which I think is the steepest slope on the east coast. Soon we discovered a glade trail which ran through the woods and immediately found our groove. Glade skiing has always been my favorite because of the technical skills it requires. You have to be looking 20 feet in front of you as you fly through trees just a few inches away. The glades in Vermont were exactly what I was looking for because the few you find elsewhere aren’t nearly as challenging. I was disappointed at first to hear that there is no night skiing in Vermont and that the slopes shut down around 4pm, but by the end of the day at Killington my legs had had enough (and that’s coming from a runner!). I think I fell asleep around 8:30 that night after relaxing in the hot tub.
The next morning we woke up even earlier, around 7, to drive about 45 minutes north to Sugarbush. My friend had been talking up the mountain big time, saying how technically challenging it was…and it turned out he wasn’t exaggerating. Once again our first run of the day was a double black diamond, Paradise. The view from the top was incredible, but looking down as you can see was intimidating. We all dressed extra warm after getting cold the day before, but we got halfway down this run and had to stop to take some layers off because we were sweating so much. Once again we found all the glade trails and even made some of our own! Rather than following the icier hills down, we sought out powder in the woods. The easiest run we did that day was an extremely fast, winding blue square and it no doubt would have been labeled as a black diamond at any other mountain. Sugarbush was our favorite of the three and really beat us up. I wish I pushed myself harder; I held back a little after being out the day before and having to ski again the next day.
On our final day, we drove to Okemo, a half hour away. It was a very nice mountain that had just gotten two inches of powder overnight. It had a few challenging runs but was mostly a family-friendly resort for all levels. It was the perfect place to go to after having taken such a pounding the past two days. We sought out the best glade trails again and recorded some great footage of us flying through the woods. It was the only day I didn’t fall! As we were packing our car in the parking lot, another group of guys walked by and saw the Lehigh bumper sticker. They happened to be Lehigh students as well and were at Okemo for the day!
We drove down to Worchester, Massachusetts to stay the night with my friend’s brother at WPI. I met some fellow engineers, whom we convinced to come visit Lehigh on their spring break this week, and got to play racquetball for the first time ever. We have courts here at Lehigh but I never took the opportunity to try it out despite always wanting to. By that point, I was over-exhausted and completely satisfied with my spring break experience. I was hesitant to make the trip at first, worried about the cost. But after realizing that my time in college was the only opportunity to take a vacation like this, I couldn’t regret it. I spent just over $400 for everything (food, gas, hotel, etc.) and the lift tickets alone were half of that. The best part of the trip was being able to actually do what we did. When skiing in a group, you’re always limited to what the worst person is able to do, but with the three of us capable of any challenge we were free to do anything and everything. We all improved noticeably and that was what made our spring break so enjoyable.