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Hunter vs Windham / Belleayre

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
After a season of skiing mainly at Belleayre and occasionally Windham, I'm thinking about a day at Hunter, now the crowds have (hopefully) died down.

Looking at their map, they only seem to have one long blue and the rest of their main mountain looks like blacks and double blacks. I ski all the blues at Windham/Belleayre and the occasional black at Belleayre.

How does the long blue at Hunter (Belt Parkway) compare to the steeper blues at Windham (Upper Whistler) and Belleayre (Dot Needle) ?

I don't want to go to Hunter and find I'm out of my depth and have to spend the whole day on the smaller mountain (Hunter One).

Thanks
post #2 of 13
Plenty of terrain at Hunter and most of the stuff on the "front side" is a little skewed by the marketing dept. IE: some of the blacks could really be blues. But don't mistake the west or back side as anything but CHALLENGING with no bail outs.

I will be at Windham for the next three days, if you stop by there look for a fat guy in a blue ski school jacket with a large curly handlebar mustache and sunglasses.
post #3 of 13
The only thing challenging about Belt Parkway is the legions of beginners who take that trail as their first trip to the top. Given the trails you've mentioned, I wouldn't expect you to have a problem with it, especially now that most of the weekend crowds have left for the season.

Also consider taking a few runs off of the D lift(triple). It goes 2/3 the way up the mountain, it usually has very short lift lines in comparison with the quad and services some good blue terrain.
post #4 of 13
Belt Parkway is like Wraparound in Windham, but without the switchbacks. Hunter doesn't have as much fall-line trails so they are not usually super wide, making it a little scarier if you are doing full trail width carves in which you come close to the edge of a dropoff. They made so much snow that it is higher than the top of the fence that is there to prevent you from dropping off the edge.

One good trail is Wayout that splits off Belt Parkway, not that hard, practically nobody on it, barely any excess snow because it always gets blown off and a good droppoff/compression turn. That trail will lead you to hunter west, where you could take the practically empty double chair all the way to the top. It was still in practically prestine condition by 3:30pm when I was there last boiling tuesday while every other trail was like pushing sand dunes. I could have skied that trail another half a day if it weren't for the sand dunes at the bottom near the chairlift.

I haven't been to Windham in ages, that Whirlwind quad with its 12 into 1 lane merge is horrendous, I use to take the Why Not lift to ski the ice on Wing'n it & Wicket, but that is until that mid-station lift got discovered and became crowded (along with the trails). Upper wolverine was fun, but it was always a hike from the quad or Wheelchair mid-station double lift.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone, I'll give Hunter a try tomorrow.

-Peter
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by da-bum
I haven't been to Windham in ages, that Whirlwind quad with its 12 into 1 lane merge is horrendous, I use to take the Why Not lift to ski the ice on Wing'n it & Wicket, but that is until that mid-station lift got discovered and became crowded (along with the trails). Upper wolverine was fun, but it was always a hike from the quad or Wheelchair mid-station double lift.
WOW, you haven't been to Windham in at least THREE years. The "front four" (apologies to Stowe) of Wolverine, Wheelchair, Wedel, and Wipeout are serviced by the old Wheelchair double that now BEGINS at the old mid mountain station and runs much faster and cleaner as it only services the double blacks and only has experts loading. "G-lift" still services the east peak trails Wanderer, Why Not, Wing-N-It, and Wonderfully Wicked. While the tops of the last two mentioned do get wind blown the rest of everything have been excellent the last couple years. SECRET for the Quad versus the Triple up the front. Quad takes 7 mins bottom to top, Tripple takes 13 mins bottom to top. If there is a ten minute wait for the quad, take the tripple. Never a line and you get to the top 4 mins quicker.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by da-bum
...It was still in practically prestine condition by 3:30pm when I was there last boiling tuesday while every other trail was like pushing sand dunes. I could have skied that trail another half a day if it weren't for the sand dunes at the bottom near the chairlift...
I was at Hunter Tuesday also. The sunny weather was great, but the slushy snow made it pretty scary. That stuff acts like brakes under the skis. I went down a little double diamond mogul run (Upper K-27) and the moguls was were slush piles and my skies had a tendency to go through rather than over them. It was either slush or the infamous eastern frozen glacier-like material from the snow making machines. I enjoyed getting out there though and the line at the fast chairlift was not bad. After skiing for a couple of hours, I did a few runs on my snowboard on the beginners slope which is at a good angle and nice width that allows for user error.

post #8 of 13
Hunter's not the best place for intermediates. It can be very good for experts when the bump trails are in good shape - not very often. Belt Parkway is very crowded (less so late season, of course) and just not very inspiring. There's a couple of other intermediate-like blacks that go down by the main lisf that can be fun if they're not completely scraped (usually are during peak season but should be good now). I consider Hunter to be much more of a "mountain" as opposed to the "ridges" that make up the other two areas you mentioned. Give it a shot.
post #9 of 13
anyone know the present conditions at Windham ??
post #10 of 13
Quote:
SECRET for the Quad versus the Triple up the front. Quad takes 7 mins bottom to top, Tripple takes 13 mins bottom to top. If there is a ten minute wait for the quad, take the tripple. Never a line and you get to the top 4 mins quicker.
It use to be no line on the triple, one would literally ski right onto the lift, which made it ideal since it is best to skating down the ice trail Wing N It without anybody on.

Quote:
I was at Hunter Tuesday also. The sunny weather was great, but the slushy snow made it pretty scary. That stuff acts like brakes under the skis.
If you do nothing but carving, it won't act like brakes, but more like snowpiles that you blow through, but that snowpile that you have to blow through does get bigger and bigger. That is why I stayed on Wayout with its almost untouched snow the whole afternoon.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bandels
anyone know the present conditions at Windham ??
Wndham got at least a foot last night. Today was the best day of the season. The snow a little heavy, but is was still powder. I caught some untracked turns in the trees at 2pm.

BK
post #12 of 13
Hunter was great today also, but there was nothing untracked by 2 pm. The snow was also more than "a little heavy."
post #13 of 13
Went to Windham after a few year of absence. Boy, where did all the kids come from? And forgot how dangerous when people block half the trail's width, even if it is the super-wide Upper whistler. Are they emphasizing a kid friendly environment? But the condition was pretty decent, except for the steeper parts, where it got cut up pretty fast. Good thing they had pond skimming, the lift emptied up. Didn't have to hit that beach ball to kill time.
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