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The things people will do just to get a few turns in.

Words & Photos: Laura Austin

People's early season enthusiasm will never fail to amaze me. To wake up hungover from the night before, drive 2 hours to get to the mountain, pay $50 for a lift ticket, which allows you to ride a few trails of man made snow, for just a couple runs, and wait in a 30 minute lift line every time might seem absurd to your average Joe. But it seems like people will go through hell and back just to get their first turns of the season in, especially on the east coast.

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The first chairlift was invented in 1939, the same year that Hilter signed the "Pact of Steel". Coincidence?

Killington Resort's opening day was Novemeber 2nd, so last weekend a few friends and I drove from Burlington, VT to Killington not knowing what to expect. From the bottom of the mountain things looked questionable, but as you took the gondola up you could see the section of the mountain with 6 rideable trails. Sure you were waiting in line for the lift three times as long as you actually got to spend riding. But people didn't seem to mind, they had a live DJ, and a grill going with food for sale to make that wait not so bad. Plus it is the beginning of November, the conditions were surprisingly good, and you are already on your snowboard. Hard to complain.

Have you ever been blown in the face by a snow gun? Paris Hilton can relate.

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Besides the lift line, this was the most crowded part of the mountian.

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Thank you snow guns.

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You know how they tease you with candy bars in the lines at the grocery stores? This was exactly like that. But candy bars don't cost $9.

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Doesn't really look like the beginning of November. Conditions were surprisingly good.

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They already had a few features set up including a pole jam hip, boxes, and a down-flat-down rail. Enough to keep any park rat occupied.

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Stairway to heaven? At the end of the day you had to hike back up to the Gondola to ride it to the bottom of the mountain. I don't know what is better, climbing 1000 steps through the woods or thinking that you could ride all the way to the bottom and having to hike out half way down. We picked the steps.

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Black eye and still stoked.

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I came out to Vermont without snowboard gear but a jacket, not expecting to ride at all. So thanks Darkside for making it so I didn't have to ride down the mountain on a lunch tray.