Anticipation: Hunter Opens 2019

Anticipation. It started late last spring, over Memorial Day weekend. It grew, on the summer solstice, as I bought new skis when most were considering summer beach plans. Almost before the season was over, I couldn’t wait to slide on snow again.

Hunter Mountain is open
Hunter Mountain: November 17, 2019

My plan, as always, was to start my ski season the day before Thanksgiving. But this year, the recent cold snap encouraged the big hills in the east to blow snow, I couldn’t resist the urge to get out earlier.

With only a day to ski, I wanted to stay close to home, downstate. With no natural snow in the Catskills, I turned to the “Snowmaking Capital of the World” — Hunter Mountain — which opened for the season on Friday.

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Fall Skiing at Killington

Every year, before I pull on my boots for the first time, I wonder, somewhat irrationally, can I still ski? This year, the feeling was especially strong. On the other side of 60, eventually something’s got to give, right? Maybe. I try not to think about it.

k1 Gondola

Outside of one memorable October day in the Catskills, Sunday was the earliest I’d ever opened my season. On Saturday, I traveled to the Adirondacks to honor the memory of a friend. It seemed logical to ski Killington before heading home the next day.

I’d tried to find a ski partner for the day, but came up empty. On Sunday I woke Harv-early, shut down our camp, and headed east to Vermont, as the sun was starting to rise.

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Dirtbag Dad and the Ski Truck Camper

I don’t want to overstate things. I’m not currently a dirtbag or a nomad of any kind. I’m the absolute picture of the suburban middle aged, middle class dad. You don’t have to follow me on Instagram to see where I’ll be this week, living my best life, influencing my followers, #vanlife-ing all over the mountain states.

raw materials for ski truck camper

When I was young I did spend some time working outdoors in Alaska and at a couple ski resorts for a while and I did it all without buying a plane ticket. Back when # was still the pound sign, living in a van for extended periods I was, at best, an eccentric free spirit and at worst a homeless degenerate. I was a dirtbag and I seized the day.

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