Hunter: Two Days, Two Trails, Too Fun

Hunter Mountain opened Saturday November 19 with two main routes down the mountain – the Mainline and Belt Parkway. I was fortunate to ski days 2 and 3.

morning snowmaking

The unseasonable cool temps in the days preceding opening day enabled Hunter’s team to lay down plentiful volumes of high quality snow. On the two open routes, conditions resembled mid-January more than late November. Kudos to snowmaking for a great job getting the mountain open.

My first day, Sunday November 20 was cold and windy. Between the weather and the snowguns blasting, it really felt like mid-winter.

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Hunter Mountain First Melt

Spring skiing is something you can count on. Or at least it feels that way. As the inexorable warming that starts in March continues to build, all that snow has to melt. When that happens the skiing has got to be good, right?

NY Thruway

The odds of scoring perfect corn snow may or may not be higher than the odds of scoring powder. I have seven pow days this year, and if I get seven corn days, I’ll be ecstatic. Still, I believe there’s a perception among skiers that good spring skiing is somewhat inevitable.

But the last two years haven’t worked out that way for me. Like many of us, last year I missed spring completely. I didn’t ski any kind of melt before my last day, on March 8.

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Hunter: The Season Opens in NY

After the 2019-20 ski season ended with a whimper on the wind, I was determined to ski every chance I got this year and be thankful for it. So when Hunter Mountain — one of three hills that I can day trip from Long Island — announced Opening Day 2020, I made a reservation.

Alan Belsky
photo by Gabrielle Feilen, Hunter Mountain

I pulled into the muddy lot to the right of the main building a little after 9:30. Everyone was funneled into one entrance greeted by three or four Hunter employees with scanners. I breezed past the ticket windows serving a handful of customers and through the underpass without going into the lodge. A ribbon of beautiful white snow and a mass of maybe fifty people were in line or milling around the base, all wearing masks.

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