Mount van Hoevenberg: The Calm Before

Mount van Hoevenberg, December 6th: my first day on snow. You can’t control the weather, so while my drive to then north country on the preceding day was sunny, 6th December was anything but.

Pitchoff Mountain view

After driving up on Monday, I woke up at 1:45 AM after 4 hours’ sleep. I couldn’t relax, so I dropped a Xanax (DEA, I have a scrip). Invariably, I sleep well but wake up later than I would like. I moved slow in the morning, and by the time I arrived at the Ho, it was raining.

The gloom was offset by the sliding athletes I saw as I hauled my gear to the lodge.

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Mount van Hoevenberg: The Prodigal Skier Returns

Monday afternoon. On the Northway, the sun in our eyes as the shooting brake ate miles, heading back to the flatlands. My arthritic feet let me know they were unhappy with the day’s three-hour ski.

I said to Lars, “I used to think that if my fairy godmother offered me a choice of a 25-year-old cardiovascular system or 25-year-old feet, no contest. It’d be the motor. Anymore, I think I’d rather have 25-year-old feet.” Too many birthdays, and the wear and tear catches up with you.

Having company on a ski expedition was a welcome change to my usual solo missions. Lars and I first met in Prospect Mountain’s lodge over 20 years ago.

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Mount van Ho: I Learned to Love Manmade Snow

What a difference a day makes.

New Year’s Day this year, is the latest I’ve ever started a ski season. When Mount van Hoevenberg opened in November, the shooting brake was racked up in the shop with a warranty issue. By the time I got it back – with an entirely new emissions system – we were knee deep in December. December skiing and a job the retail wine business don’t play well together.

More and more, Christmas week is like the old meme of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. Promise packed powder conditions, then give them a slushfest. Clouds pelted us with intermittent rain as we drove north on New Year’s Eve.

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