Recently I googled “Jiminy Peak 1989.” I found an E-bay listing for an old booklet celebrating Jiminy Peak’s 40th anniversary, which turned out to be the 1988/89 season. I had to have it.
I was 17 in February 1989. The day after a school dance my friends thought it would be fun to drive to Jiminy for some skiing. Most of us had never skied but we were fit and confident.
We schlepped our cooler full of food to the lodge, rented skis, bought lift tickets and headed out. In hindsight it might have been smart to take a lesson. I fell twice just getting my boots into my bindings. I figured out how to brace myself on my poles and got through the lift line on pure high-school-senior upper body strength.
Every spring when the season is over, I head to the cabin to turn off the heat, stack the wood for next winter and get the trails in shape for summer. I’m productive enough, but really it’s just another reason to return to my favorite place in the world.
Traditionally the spring work weekend was in early May, before the black flies had their game on. But over the last ten years the bugs are emerging earlier and we’ve moved spring weekend into April. Even this year it hardly feels like the ski season is over.
I arrived Friday afternoon and took a quick walk of the yellow trail. It was dry and I was surprised to find little deadfall; small consolation for the thinnest winter in memory.
When I got the email Friday night that Saturday’s little league games were cancelled due to weather, I knew what to do. I loaded up the truck and headed to Vermont for one more last day of skiing.
Barring another schedule clearing miracle this was likely the end of my ski season. So at 9:30 on Friday night I set out for The Beast of the East.
Saturday was also the day of the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge. It says something about the year we’re having that the event wasn’t held on Outer Limits, for possibly the first time in history. Bear Mountain is closed for the season and the event was being held at Killington Base Lodge.