Friday, December 5, 2008

Stratton Mountain Vermont Report, December 2008

The Winter Season is ON in the Mountains!

Stratton Mountain Report, December 3, 2008

by Lauren Traub Teton

If you're waiting for more terrain to open before you have your first on-snow mountain experience this winter, you are missing OUT!! I rode Stratton Monday and Tuesday this week. They claim the highest percentage of open terrain now and we did not feel the least bit deprived. The ratio of skiers and riders on the hill to acreage was strongly in our favor. The late session Monday found me nearly alone on the mountain. You would have to wait a while for a chair mate if you didn't want to ride Ursa chair alone.

Having the mountain to yourself is the dream of every slider, and yet it’s so easily attainable by going before Christmas on a weekday or many other off-peak times. Play hooky! Spend a vacation day. You’d stay home if you were contagious, why not skip work for your health before you get sick?

Tuesday we got to experience an afternoon snow shower; the trails were fast and natural, not corduroy, as snow flakes pelted our eyes accelerated by our speed and the wind. The riding was challenging and exhilarating as I rode with my pack of locals who get to ride Stratton Mountain almost every day because of their work. They even know how to hit two different terrain parks on one run down, by doing a bit of extreme trail crossing. Beware the natural roller coaster of ice that leads into the smaller terrain park trail, it's a feature all on its own.

We heard in the Stratton Snow Phone Report, done on Tuesdays with style and gusto by our friend Will Risely, that the way to get the SES Park Pass now is to watch the safety video here and take the test at home, instead of in the cozy igloo at the top by the park as in days of old. We were amazed and admiring when Stratton started the SES terrain park safety certification a few years ago, and we wrote about it on our main website where you can browse our original articles and photos about our favorite subject - snowboarding! - for hours.

The Stratton Mountain Inn is being spruced up nicely, starting with the far wing past the sauna and spa. We always like checking out the sauna there for some after-riding relaxation and stretching. We pray to see new carpeting on the stairs leading to the spa area soon. The Stratton Mountain Inn has such nice kind employees. They made sure I got my cell phone back when I left it on the table in front of the lobby fireplace (it helps that my name and contact info were pasted on it). And they even heated up my soup for my thermos as a special favor.

Nice new green carpeting was installed at the Stratton Mountain Welcome Center at the base on Monday. Our friends in Central Reservations tell us the Lift Line Lodge is popular with budget-conscious travelers because it is the closest motel to the mountain and also the least expensive. It’s just across the street from the Welcome Center and the base. Mulligan's pub seems to have a new trimmed down one-page list of offerings instead of the 2 fold menu. Their apple sundae went down smooth and delicious after a shared steak dinner. We hear that the old Foggy Goggle has re-opened recently as the Three Peaks Inn, with reasonably priced rooms, and good food.

The shops in Stratton Mountain's walking Village at the base are chock full of styly clothes, gear, jewelry, and there is a new outdoor barbecue and chairs outside restaurant wine/bar Domaine where the food is prepared by Perfect Wife (Manchester) chef Amy Chamberlin. We also hear there is a Monday snowboarders bbq of burgers and fun in a glade between trails, arranged by some savvy fun-seeking Stratton employees.

Back in Stratton Village, we did a fashion video shoot there (which you can see soon) outside the new Burton Store which takes the spot where Syd and Dusty's used to dwell. Syd and Dusty's is across the walkway a little closer to the Clock Tower. Shout out to Joe and Nicole at the Burton Store who helped us out with the shoot. Watch for Snow Fashion video to see what peeps are really wearing out there this season.

Jim Cardenali’s race camp for skiers is going on at Stratton again this week. Things are done seriously right, to yield quick results for motivated ski racer adults at this camp, starting with the fitting of the proper boots and skis. The Carving Arena by Reliable Racing uses short colored brushes as gates for some of the carving exercises at the camp. Jim Cardenali’s Race Camps are filled each session by word of mouth of past happy campers. One of his mottos is "if you're thinking, you're not skiing. Let the skis do their job."

If you would like to try out the Carving Arena and improve your riding or skiing on your own equipment so that you can face any trail in the East under just about any conditions, the newly formed American Carving Assn (ACA) is for you. Come learn the East Coast Survival Carve and take it up a notch on the hill Three weekend camps are scheduled. You will have fun and improve your skills and confidence. Grown-ups and Twifties welcome! Dates and locations are:
Jan 23 - 25 at Killington Resort, VT
March 6 - 8 Sugarbush Ski Resort, VT
March 27- 29 Stratton Mountain Ski Resort, VT Info at

As I travel home on Route 91 South, I have found that Greenfield MA, Exit 26 at Route 2 west fulfills all of my traveling needs in the first 1/4 mile off the Interstate. There you can find gas, two budget motels if you need to break up you trip north or south, a 99 Restaurant, which is Massachusetts own home-grown steak chain, (I spent a summer working at one of the original 99s in Sudbury. MA). And Friendly’s, also of MA from Wilbraham. This particular Friendly's is one of the nicest units you will visit. Clean, with a pleasant ambience and nice people. They prepare me a super healthy steamed veg and mashed potato platter for $5.64. When I'm hungry I sometimes eat two plates of these perfectly cooked colorful vegetables, after a day of snowboarding.

Snowboarders Trip - Annual All America Snowboard Trip to Winter Park, CO

Come Ride with Us! This ground package for Winter Park, Colorado take place February 11-15, 2009 and includes 4 lodging nights, at a motel convenient by free shuttle bus to the slopes, a 3-day lift ticket, several meals, and parties.

Organizer Lauren Traub Teton concocted the idea for this trip after signing up for ski trips and finding herself the only snowboarder in the group. "I love riding with skiers, but I want to have a trip where I can hang out and have fun with snowboarders, who share the same snow culture as me!" says Teton.

The trip is open to snowboarders of all ages and levels, including absolute beginners. Twifties, the fun people in their 50’s and up are specifically invited. The trip is a great way for first-timers to start out in a supportive atmosphere, and parents to try snowboarding. Also great for people who want to travel to snowboard but whose friends or family can't accompany them. Skiers are of course welcome but will be a minority.

Info and sign-up at

Ms.Teton, editor of says "we had a great time last year and rode some steeps, and some powdery glades. I think two of our guests who met in WP got engaged after the trip." Photos here.

Info and sign-up at


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