Freshies at Mount van Hoevenberg

With the Technoalpin Snowfactory running in full cry, I heeded the siren call to Mount van Hoevenberg for opening day. Leaving right after Thanksgiving dinner, the traffic was relatively easy, and I arrived at my lodging spot around 10:30 PM. After decompressing from the drive, I fell into bed.

mount van hoevenberg snow factory
Snowfactory photo courtesy ORDA/Whiteface Lake Placid

On Friday morning, there was a glistening 1000-meter loop of machine made snow. It might not sound like much, but the Snowfactory was still cranking out crystals as the temperature hovered around 40 degrees.

Perhaps it was a turkey hangover, but van Ho was quiet in the morning: perhaps 8 other skiers were traversing the loop. Among them was two-time Olympian Robert Douglas and his family.

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Gore Mountain Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving is often our first chance to ski, and this year was no different. After a midday feast with extended family, we drove to the mountains. We arrived around 9pm. I was up early, and headed to the hill by myself, letting the girls sleep in.

I pulled into the upper lot right next to my friend Duck and he had the prodigal ski with him. Five days after Stella, I ripped out a binding in the Tahawas trees and my ski ran far in deep snow. After a half-hearted look, I started the long hike out. This past September, Duck hiked the mountain and brought the orphan out. I put it in my car, a good start to the day.

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Mount Snow: November Send It

As I loaded my skis onto the roof rack, a neighbor on his way to work stopped and looked at me, clearly perplexed. “Where are you going with those? There’s no snow!” I hear this line every November when there are still leaves on the trees. Like the ringing of the bell to open the stock exchange, it marks the beginning of my ski season.

mount snow november morning
photo courtesy Mount Snow

I’m a big fan of early-season skiing. Sure the conditions are variable and often mediocre, the days are short, trail counts are limited and the dreaded “r-word” is often in the forecast. But the long, warm months of summer and fall are behind us and I can relish six months of skiing in my immediate future.

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