I went skiing to Hunter mountain yesterday with Jen and although it was icy, I had a lot of fun. It’s a little ironic, because today I woke up and it’s snowing hard with 3-4″ of accumulation in the city and there must be nice new snow further north. The news would have you believe it’s the end of the world – the Weather Channel is calling it a “Mega Storm“- which seems a little alarmist. I don’t think anything with less than 2-3 feet of snow counts as a mega storm.
I had never been to Hunter before and it’s a small, decent mountain. It’s only about 2-2.5 hours drive from the city, so it’s pretty convenient. I’m spoiled by Portes du Soleil with 230 lifts and 650km of runs, so there’s not a whole lot in North America that can compare. It’s interesting to compare costs as well – a one day pass is 39 Euros which is right around $50 at today’s exchange rates. It wouldn’t be fair to compare Hunter and their prices to P du S, but Whistler is the largest area in North America and their pass is $89 CAD plus 5% GST = $73 USD. Vail is now $97! I guess I’ll be skiing in France next winter if I want to go for a week.
I started pretty shakily on the skis, but by early afternoon was feeling pretty comfortable and I skied my first ever black runs, and even a double black (by mistake!). Conditions were icy – I was told they had 1″ of rain on Friday which then froze overnight – but I felt OK with it and only fell twice all day. I’m glad Jen was there to encourage me out of my comfort zone, otherwise I probably would have stuck to blues. It seems to me that I’ve been on blue runs in France that were tougher than the black runs at Hunter, but that may just be hindsight.
I noticed that many (if not most) people my age were wearing helmets on the mountain – probably something I should do too.