Hunter North: Christmas Comes Early

NYSkiBlog has covered Hunter Mountain since 2009, publishing over 40 pieces in that time. But I really haven’t done my part. My last piece was a tribute to the late great Orville Slutzky back in April of 2013.

Hunter North entrance
The Road to North

It’s been too long. This year — with Peak pulling off the largest terrain expansion in New York in over a decade — I hoped to get back to experience the highly anticipated opening of Hunter North.

Management had announced at the end of last week that the day would be December 24th. I was certainly “available” on Christmas Eve, but negotiation was required to get the go-ahead to be late for planned holiday festivities with family.

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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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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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