It’s Always Snowing at Hunter

Five years ago, in March of 2013, I took my first spin on skis at Hunter Mountain. I spent two days tumbling in slushy spring snow, working my way from the bunny hill to the summit. Finally, on the last run of the second day, I took the Kaatskill Flyer to the top of the mountain and skied Belt Parkway all the way to the base.

I was hooked on skiing, and I have since skied over 120 days since, progressing from faceplants on the beginner slopes to confidently skiing steep western bowls and icy east coast moguls. Every visit to Hunter is a nostalgic trip down memory lane, revisiting the snowy Catskills slopes where I first fell in love with winter.

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Skiing into the New Year in Quebec

In October, when I pitched a Quebec New Year’s Eve trip to my wife and friends, I was met with more than a fair amount of skepticism about the merits of a winter trip to a famously cold destination.

“Why do we need to drive 8 hours to go skiing?”
“Can we go to Quebec in the summer instead?”
“It’s going to be SO cold!”
“Can we go to a warm place for New Year’s?”

I am a salesman, so I went to work and sold the group on the food, the culture and, of course, the skiing. “Yes it will be cold,” I told them. “It will probably get close to 0° at night, but I promise everyone will have an awesome time.”

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Deep into a Steep Vermont December

In December 2016, on an early-season trip to Killington, our group planned to visit Okemo on the second day. Conditions in the region were typical for December—the snow was hard, crusty, and mostly manmade with a slick layer of ice hiding underneath. When I saw the next morning that Jay Peak had landed nearly two feet of surprise snowfall, I headed north in search of powder, with or without my friends.

I arrived to waist-deep powder runs on some of the steepest trails and glades in the northeast, making the day trip well worth the five hours of extra driving. That was my first day as a “powderhound,” obsessively checking the weather and allowing Mother Nature to steer my Subaru to the mountains I would visit.

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