Hunter Mountain Bump Contest 2018

When I saw the promo for a bump competition in the Catskills — Hunter’s Bud Light Bumps and BBQ — I made my plans. The sun was shining, the beer was flowing and there were smiles all around Saturday at Hunter Mountain.

For the record, my fifty-plus bones said no but my 22 year-old brain was all in. I arrived early and booted up. On my way through the parking lot I ran into Dave Reddick and Porter Fox from Powder Magazine, who are doing a feature on the Catskills. We warmed up with some photos and a quick slackcountry tour with Daniel from Hunter and Jaime from the Brunnette Wine Bar in Kingston. The snow was as manky as my telemark turns, but it was a good warmup for the competition.

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I’m Done Skiing Alone

When I was a little kid living on a farm, I’d play by myself in a big tractor tire that served as a sandbox. I developed a reputation for playing alone. “Harvey doesn’t need playmates, he’s happy all by himself!” It wasn’t true, down inside I didn’t like it, but I didn’t know myself well enough to push back.

“Trust me, this opens up down below.”

As I got older, I got more proactive. In high school, I joined the cross country team and made best friends for life. Twenty five years after that, I discovered skiing, and it took me another two decades to learn the lesson all over again, in a new setting. A single life-changing event twenty years ago — a solo backcountry ski tour — delayed my embrace of this lesson.

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Bearpen: The Beast Resurrected

In the age of global warming, what makes someone open a ski center in a remote part of the Catskills?

“Insanity, I guess,” said Bearpen Sports Center owner Howard Rennell. “Kind of a childhood dream. I fell in love with the mountain, as well. It’s been a long, arduous process.”

Growing up on the east end of Long Island, Rennell recalled, “Talk about the era of global warming, out there the chances of snow were slim and none. The sledding aspect, as a kid, you and your friends would gather together and make a kind of luge track. Pack it down and go out with watering cans and douse it with water, hoping it would freeze and last a little longer. This is a bigger scale of it.”

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