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Advice: Hunter or Windham?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm looking at expanding westward for a few days rather than north this winter.  Both Hunter and Windham are same distance and, on paper, sort of the same mountain.  But obviously not.  So any comments/insights/description on which might be valuable in deciding on my first option?  I'm looking to ski only advanced and expert terrain, and would like both groomers and glades/ungroomed if snow is good.  I will be skiing mid-week and value efficient lifts and lack of crowds.

 

Anyone got thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 15

I like Hunter over Windham.  It has more variety of terrain and some more challenging runs as well.  I think they may have 1 or 2 little gladlets but neither is a hill I associate with tree skiing...  If there is a lot of snow look a little further east for glades to Berkshire East.

post #3 of 15
Hunter for advanced terrain.

If there is snow, Plattekill (not far away) on Fridays.
post #4 of 15

Hunter has way more advanced terrain, but it's often uncivilized on weekends.  Ski Windham on the weekends and holidays only.

 

BK
 

post #5 of 15

Hunter is uncivilized at all times, but on weekdays, it is tolerable.  On weekends (or Fridays or wednesdays with the buses)  Hunter is impossible.  Windham is very refined and pleasant, but a bit of a strange hill--steep, then a run-out.  Hunter has some genuinely interesting terrain, particularly the back side.   On the front, however, one is always skiing on a side hill, forcing one to turn uphill.   Maybe do a day at each.  And don't forget Belleayre, recents investments there have made the place rather fun.  

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SKI-3PO View Post

Hunter for advanced terrain.
If there is snow, Plattekill (not far away) on Fridays.

+1.  If there is more than 12" midweek, head to Platty.

post #7 of 15

I don't understand the rep so much of Hunter's "craziness". I get the same vibe as Windham, or the main So. VT resorts like MT Snow & Stratton.

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post

I don't understand the rep so much of Hunter's "craziness". I get the same vibe as Windham, or the main So. VT resorts like MT Snow & Stratton.
+1

This is a reputation Hunter earned 20+ years ago and reality is a bit different now. On typically busy holiday weekends, it will be "crazy" - like any of the other resorts mentioned above - and more not mentioned. Most normal weekends, it is not impossible or even difficult to avoid the crowds. And weekdays are empty like anywhere else.
post #9 of 15

I agree with Crank on Berkshire East.  Further to drive to from Metroland, but you rarely will wait in line, even on the weekends.  If there is lots of snow, the glade skiing is great.  The lifts are older (no new detachables here) but with near zero wait to get on the lift, I find I can make my legs plenty dead over the coarse of the day.  Also pretty cost effective.  Prices can be found on their website.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SKI-3PO View Post


+1
This is a reputation Hunter earned 20+ years ago and reality is a bit different now. On typically busy holiday weekends, it will be "crazy" - like any of the other resorts mentioned above - and more not mentioned. Most normal weekends, it is not impossible or even difficult to avoid the crowds. And weekdays are empty like anywhere else.

Concur with above.  For OP's two cited areas I'd recommend Hunter, esp since the time frame is mid-week when crowds are normally low.  Here's an old trip report on some of the Catskill ski areas mentioned in this thread:  http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1184&mode=rss

post #11 of 15

Hunter.

More expert terrain, the high speed sixpack serves the full 1500+ vertical of the mountain. On a typical weekday you can ski right onto the chair, and get in 6 runs per hour.

Neither mountain is known for glades. Remember, a lot of natural snow is needed for the space between trees, and over rocks, logs and bushes, to be covered. I've seen The Milky Glades at Hunter in use rarely during the last 10 years.

At Hunter you'll find trails that are supposed to be groomed; but really aren't. This may be the result of laziness, carelessness, sloppiness, outright contempt for guests... or something else.

post #12 of 15

Hunter does have some weirdly shaped bumps though. You'll see a lot of mediocre or subpar skiers helping rough up some of the bump runs on a mediocre or worse snow day.

post #13 of 15

Went to Windham today. Fewer people and its an older crowd. Everything was opened and the snow was good.  Hunter definately has more challenging terrain but the crowd is terrible on weekends.

post #14 of 15

I was at Hunter on NYD and it was empty, as it was the last 4-5 years.  This year it was even less busy than others.  It was my first time out this season so I took it easy.  I hit the 6 pack chair for about 10 runs and that was sometimes a 6 chair wait and sometimes just ski on.  I also then got 6 runs in on the fairly new quad on the west side which was ski on every time and most times I was riding solo.  That was all by lunch time.  On my last ride up before lunch I was talking with a guy on the lift and found out he follows this board frequently, though he hasn't posted yet.  I would have taken a run with him but was looking to rest my legs and get some chow.

 

After lunch I hit another 6 runs and then called it a day at 3:00.  Traffic was touch and go coming home but it only took an extra 40 minutes or so.

 

I agree with what others have said about Hunter's rep being made years ago.  I've gone on sundays and had pretty good luck with crowds, especially if you get ther early.  Weekdays are empty every time I have been there. 

 

I've only gone to Windham twice and that was in the last couple of years.. Snowmaking at Hunter is light years ahead of Windham.  Windham does seem like much more of a family mountain and if my family skied I would go there over Hunter.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by northeasterner View Post

I was at Hunter on NYD and it was empty, as it was the last 4-5 years.  This year it was even less busy than others. 

......

I agree with what others have said about Hunter's rep being made years ago.  I've gone on sundays and had pretty good luck with crowds, especially if you get ther early.  Weekdays are empty every time I have been there. 

 

I've only gone to Windham twice and that was in the last couple of years.. Snowmaking at Hunter is light years ahead of Windham.  Windham does seem like much more of a family mountain and if my family skied I would go there over Hunter.

 

+1 what was said here.

I don't quite agree with you Vermonster, Windham has some awful crowds. The main chair I find has about the same lines as the main lift at Hunter. The summit chair takes forever and the Wheelchair Double is relatively similar except it only services about 3 or 4 runs. East Peak chair is also more crowded than Hunter West while servicing not nearly as good terrain (due to the fact it services a green trail).

 

At Hunter, sure, the main lift can suck in terms of crowds, but just like Windham's. The F Lift is great - goes to the summit and is easy to get down to, barely ever has lines and if it does, it's really minimal. Lift ride up isn't long - it's a steep hike up to the summit. Hunter West express chair is amazing. There's always a short line to no line to a steep ascent that takes you up in like 5 minutes to serve an entire black diamond face.

 

I skied Windham 12/30 & Hunter 12/31. Despite the fact that there was 6-8 inches on top of the previous storm at Windham, it's clear that Hunter is a better mountain. There's no run out like Windham which absolutely sucks. If I wanted to ski fast groomers, I'd go to Jiminy Peak.

 

But - Windham is a better family mountain than Hunter.

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