Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Killington Beast: His Legend, His Story and His Name

Many years ago, in the time of King Arthur, a great Beast controlled a great Lake Of Llyn-yr-Afanc in the land of Wales. The townspeople dreaded this creature, for stories told how any person who dared swim in this lake succombed to the creatures great strength. The Afanc (pronounced Avank) was a horriifc combination of crocodile and beaver, with large spikes encircling his back. The townspeople made several attempts to destroy this great Beast, but all were in vain.

Then one day, the wise men of the village concocted a scheme which would change the story of the Afanc forever. Like many ugly beasts of his day, the Afanc was captivated by beautiful young women and so the wise men sent the most beautiful woman in town to sit by the shores of Llyn-yr-Afanc. As she softly sang a siren's song, the Afanc was lured out of the water and onto her lap where it promptly fell asleep.

The men of the village were able to fasten around the Afanc chains which they had forged from the strongest steel for just this occassion. Unfortunately for the beautiful young woman, the Afanc awoke just as the final chains were being fastened and he violently thrashed around. In his terror, he managed to rip off one of the young girl's breasts, but she remained strong and did not run.

Although the Beast struggled mightily, the chains held strong. The men hitched the Afanc up to their oxen and were then able to drag the beast from his quiet pool. The strange procession ventured across a steep mountain field and finally up the summit of nearby Snowdon Mountain. From atop its rocky summit, the men released the chains. After a mighty roar, the Afanc quietly slipped into its new home, a lake at the bottom of the great mountain.

Rumor has it that this great beast was unhappy in his new home. For centuries, travelers heard strange noises on the mountain of Snowdon. Instead of being content to capture only those souls foolish enough to get close enough, he continued to haunt the Snowdon Woods, looking for his victims among those who wander too far off the beaten trail.




When a group of Welshman decided to emigrate to America centuries later, they evoked the same tactics to imprison the Afunc and take him with them. They felt that this great Beast could protect them against whatever lay ahead in the new world. To comfort the Beast, they named a mountain after his Welsh haunt and the Afanc resides in the pond at the foot of this mountain to this very day. It is only the roar of Krom's snowguns and the sight of the hoses that keep this monster at bay, reminding him of the chains that ripped from his peaceful life in the Llyn-yr-Afanc...for years, we have been told that it is the SnowSnake that grabs at us while we are skiing, but what we see is actually the tail of the Afanc as he slithers away under the snow back to his new home, the Snowshed Pond at the foot of Snowdon Mountain in Killington, Vermont.

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