What’s New for 2015

What’s New for 2015

Stratton invests $7 million for a two-year total of $21 million

Stratton Mountain, VT —  It truly is Christmas in July as shiny new gondola cabins, the latest HKD snowguns,  new snowcats, two new glades,  buses and  bullwheels,  grips, racks and rental gear … arrive in what will be a $7 million capital investment for the upcoming season at Stratton Mountain.

These projects follow on the heels of  last year’s $10.5 million investment that touched virtually every aspect of the resort experience.   Additional  projects this summer,  including new Village shops and restaurants, expansion of the Carlos Otis Clinic and the Patricia Kaltsas Performing Arts Center at Stratton Mountain School, bring that two-year total to more than $21 million.

DSC_0006 Manufactured by Sigma, an affiliate of Leitner POMA, the 58 new gondola cabins feature a rubber mounted frame designed for a smooth ride.  Carpeted flip-up seats and exterior ski and snowboard racks create a comfortable carriage for 10.

DSC_0001New cabins and cable replace the originals built in 1988; a new  gear box was installed at the start of last season bringing the gondola project in at about  $3 milllion.  With a trip time of less than eight minutes, the Stratton gondola carries 2,400 people per hour and runs 7,580 feet from base to the summit of southern Vermont’s highest peak with a vertical rise of 1,742 feet.

Wonder what $1.2 million will buy?  How about 350 high efficiency, low energy HKD snowguns bringing Stratton’s fleet of tower mounted snowguns to more than 1,000. In addition to boosting firepower, these efficient new HKDs  make Stratton’s move from diesel to clean electric compressors complete, saving 60,000 gallons of fuel.   “It’s a win for the environment, and our bottom line,” explains Snowmaking Manager Kevin Booth.

HSP2013_6049-2250pxThis summer’s snowmaking  project also includes 20 new air/water snowguns for a total of 75 portable air/water snowguns.  “While these air water guns are not our go-to gun, they work well in the early season and for touch ups,” explains Booth. “We just want to have as many tools as possible!”  Add the 14 fan guns, unrivalled air and water capacity (with 280 million gallons in reserve), two new Prinoth BR 350 grooming machines in the fleet, one of which is winch ready, and there’s a recipe for snow so great it’s guaranteed.

Two new Blue Square (intermediate) glades extend beyond the western boundary  for a total of 125 acres of gladed terrain designed for all abilities ranging from the wide open Emerald Forest to the tight and technical double black runs like Squirrel’s Nest.

And there’s more with new shops including Lole, eateries and pub in the Village,  restaurant expansion at mid-mountain, summer trail work, state-of-the-art sound and video in the Training and Fitness Center’s cycling studio … Stay tuned for complete details as the countdown to winter 2015 begins.

Go ahead. Play with your food.

By Myra Foster

Every day is different as our farms and gardens deliver a rolling cast of flavors and colors. Of fruits and vegetables. Today it’s favas, bright green in their giant pods and nothing at all like those beige beans you find in the supermarket.

Even if you are no Silence of the Lambs fan, you must try fresh fava beans during their ever-so-brief  appearance.  Gone  before the end of July. Can’t take the heat, I guess.

Preparing them is no easy task, but I’ve always loved playing with my food. Step 1: Free the beans from their pod. Step 2: Steam with a little salt. Step 3: Peel the thin layer of something, I don’t what it is, that surrounds each one. Step 4: Marry with fresh veggies and herbs over pasta. Serve blanched with shallots, lemon and olive oil.  Or in what I dreamed up last night:

Fava Bean and Garlic Scape Hummus.fava_final

Well, it’s not really hummus if you don’t add tahini but I take liberty with my concepts.

Prepare a couple pounds of fava beans (mine were raised by True Love Farm in North Bennington and found at Manchester Farmer’s Market).

Add a few garlic scapes, a little parsley, squeeze of lemon,  sea salt and olive oil, really good olive oil (I recommend a tasting trip to  Saratoga Olive Oil Co. where you can sample the full palette of olive oils, sea salts and balsamics; be prepared to leave with dozens). Whip it all up in your bullet or blender.

Serve with baguette and a nice Chianti.

Can’t wait to see what’s next at the farmer’s market as summer’s sublime alchemy of air, water, soil unfolds.

Wanderlust re-dux

By Guinevere Hilton

I walked into my first workshop at Wanderlust at Stratton Mountain with an abundance of body image issues, and a well developed arsenal of was to deal with them. I was ready. I knew that I could find lots of reasons to hate on myself, to compare and despair, to judge, belittle and then hop on the self-improvement train (which for me usually means immediately becoming vegan and ending the day curled up in a ball with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in one hand and a pork chop in another). Not this time. No way. I am 40 now! I’ve got this covered. I have spent the last year making it my mission to accept my body and create a place for others’ to love, celebrate and accept theirs. I figured that the chances of this issue rearing up and dominating my experience were slim to none. I was actually excited to show off how far I’d come.

I may have jumped the gun a wee bit. I walked in to the tent and all around me I saw what I wasn’t: thin, beautiful, born with innate fashion sense and a stylist. I was immediately thrown back to being 20 again: living in New York City, trying to be an actress when the flavor of the times was cookie cutter skinny. I wanted to hide. I actually started to cry on my mat. I was sitting there, about to take a workshop with two of my most favorite teachers, Elena Brower and David Harshada Wagner, and I felt so gross, less-than and ashamed that I was considering walking out. I went to the corner and filmed a little video expressing my dismay and concern. My idea was to turn this experience into content for My Real Yoga Body. Then I watched the video, was horrified by how old I looked and promptly deleted it and went back to my mat to continue weeping.

Class began. David started to lead us through a meditation. He opened with the reminder to move away from “self-improvement” and towards being our best selves. Thank you. I softened a little … which just made me cry more. He kept reminding us that “You deserve the best of life, and life deserves the best of you”.   Elena led us through a powerful asana practice; they tag-teamed taught our group in the most loving, authentic and no-nonsense way. I began to move away, at least a little, from my analyzing, self-improvement mind, and towards a part of me that at least was open to the idea that maybe it doesn’t matter so much that I am not a Lululemon model. Yet. Just kidding. Maybe.

There is a reason I started the My Real Yoga Body project, and it is not because I embrace and exemplify body-positivity. It is because my relationship to my body is my embarrassing Achilles heel. I hate that my body, my desire to be what I am not, is one of my biggest challenges. It is an old and familiar nemesis. And I am ready to, as they say in Buddhism, invite it to tea. And then, as I say in Guinevere-ism, smash it over the head with a scone.

At the end of the workshop, David gave us some tips on enjoying Wanderlust and getting the most out of it. The one that stuck with me was about conserving your energetic budget and being careful what you laid your eyes upon. He noted that there was so much exciting activity, interesting people, and neat stuff to buy that the experience could be exhausting and depleting. This helped me SO much through my time at Wanderlust. I reminded myself again and again to choose wisely. To spend a little time window-shopping, and more time looking at trees, mountains and sky. To spend less time sizing people up and wondering where they got those pants and more time making eye contact, laughing, and listening.

I had an amazing time. In the end, body stories did not dominate my experience. They were tempered and calmed by the yoga, the teachers, and the warm, friendly people I met. They became smaller and joy became larger. And again, I am left grateful for the mystery school that is yoga.

 

About the Author:

g hiltonGuinevere Hilton lives on a big lake in New Hampshire with her two beautiful boys. She is the founder of My Real Yoga Body (myrealyogabody.com, https://www.facebook.com/myrealyogabody, and on Twitter and FB #myrealyogabody.), a home for embracing all the various shapes and flavors that make up real yoga bodies. She is eternally grateful to her yoga practice, love that keeps buoying her up and the constantly surprising nature of life. Xoxo!!

Get Social with Guinevere

https://www.facebook.com/myrealyogabody

http://www.instagram.com/myrealyogabody

https://twitter.com/myrealyogabody

Let’s Ride!

By Adam Wanamaker

What is a glade skiing, powder-stash steward to do when the snow melts in southern Vermont? The most obvious answer is to go hiking.

Hiking is relaxing. It affords 360o movement on the mountain, an opportunity to explore and discover hidden nooks and crannies typically buried in the winter, a chance to meet some of the diverse wildlife and discover the down-right mesmerizing plant life that makes you swear James Cameron spent time in the Green Mountains during his “research” phase for Avatar. Hiking is great exercise, but it’s not the only way to get out and enjoy summer in the mountains.

Cue my personally preferred form of transportation, entertainment, excitement, and dopamine in non-snow bearing months; my mountain bike. It’s not often that two people get back from an hour-long hike and can, without saying a word, connect with a smile, a head tilt, or raising a glass with a mutual respect knowing exactly what the person across the way—a complete stranger perhaps—is thinking. In winter this happens regularly on a powder day in the lift line or in your preferred—ahem—establishment at the end of the day, and it happens after a mountain biking session, too.

Thankfully there is an increasingly large and dedicated community of mountain bike enthusiasts and land owners cropping up around the Stratton area, with most of the trail systems having opened or reopened to public access, planned, and constructed only within the past three years. Momentum is building around the mountain bike movement and clubs like the Manchester & The Mountain’s Bike Club have been busily building trails, organizing group rides, and taking the proverbial torch forward in making a cohesive community with a vision and a mission that area businesses and the Chamber of Commerce have been supporting around mountain biking. That’s why I implore you to go to your local bike shop in Southern Vermont and ask about trails. Not only will you get some great , non-Googleable info, but this is one of the few things where the internet hasn’t kept up entirely with the full-throttle work that’s being done to make steep mountains covered in ankle-deep mud not just rideable, but fun places to get your dopamine fix flying through the trees until winter comes back around. If I can’t convince you to revisit mountain biking or give it a spin for the first time, maybe this kid can.

About the author:

Adam Wanamaker got lost in his neighborhood the day he learned to ride a bike; although just 10 houses down his block, he’d broken into never-before seen territory. After biking all around greater Binghamton, NY and driving to ski Stratton on weekends in winter, he started at Stratton after graduating SUNY Binghamton. Three years ago he was part of a group on resort that started The Activity Hub, where he eventually became the supervisor of The Hub and more recently the Nordic Center. He loves exploring Vermont’s trails but prefers “bush whacking” to find new hidden Green Mountain gems and writing biographies in third person.