Snow Pros at 410 feet
“We’re a family here.” Says Julia Simonds a PSIA veteran, “There are over a 100 instructors that teach ski and snowboarding here at Blue Hills and we may not be the biggest ski area, but we love it here because it’s a happy place!”
Blue Hills Ski area is located in Canton Ma and is the closest ski area to any major city in the United States, it boasts 309 vertical feet skiing and riding day and night and has a summit altitude of 410 feet. Julia continues, “We have college teams here at 6am and we don’t stop till 10pm at night. On a busy day there will be over 1200 skiers and snowboarder here experiencing winter.”
The ski area has one main lift, a terrain park a couple of trails and a beginners area and it’s where I spent my time in junior and senior high school and it was great. We joked about the place and called it “Mount Blu” and on many snow storms would ski off the back side down the hiking and horse riding trails. Blue Hills has always a special place to me because of its location to Boston and how it’s been able to survive all of these years. At night when the lights are on it’s an amazing site to see when driving south on interstate 95.
Racing there at night with the shadows on the hill make you react in such a way that your skiing became instinctual. Our high school races were single pool bamboo slalom races and the timing system was three coaches standing at the bottom with stop watches taking the average time. It was a blast and many great skiers came out of there.
Taking with Julia and hearing her describe the closes of the employees and how all of them have work at bigger resorts and still come back to work at “big blue” made me realize how skiers are passionate and dedicated to their home hills.
That is why I was there this past Sunday, my dad on a perfect sunny winters day headed to Blue Hills as we had done many many times before and we were not disappointed. One of the first people we bumped into was Isaac Walrath a snowboard instructor who had moved from upper state New York to Quincy Ma and since he had worked at Greek Peak in NY was excited to find Blue Hills so close to his new home. Now in his 3rdseason he described Blue Hills a “skier area as important as any other because of its location and ability to teach kids how to rip.”
With the terrain park jammed full of riders and “Beers Bluff” (the glades under the lift) with the best snow on it in a decade, “Big Blue” had a long lift line of smiling faces and a bunch of parents trying to get their kids off the hill and home in time to watch the Super Bowl, I said to one parent, “How many times have you had to call your kid in from the cold so you could go home and watch tv?” He had to stop and think about that.
My dad when he retired became a Big Blue ski bum and went their daily. He knew the number of runs he took in an hour and how many vertical he skied in a day and together with his buddies would drink coffee and ski the main slope until the school kids showed up and then would disappear down the trails late into the afternoon. As unofficial doctor of the place he was always on the lookout of injuries and straggler’s. As we turn back down the path to head home, he had a smile and a gleam in his eye that I had seen many times which reminded me that sometimes its not what you do when you go to places, its just going there that makes it all worthwhile.