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New England

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I'm too busy lately to be in Epic very much, which is a shame because I think its the best web resource for skiing out there.

And ok - that title designed to get a rise out of people. But I'm feeling irritable. And I also feel its the truth.

I've lived in Oregon, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Germany - and a few other places. Now I'm in Vermont. People saying "if you don't like it, leave" doesn't cut it . . . because I love my family, and if I leave Vermont right now, I leave them.

So let me just say - I've skied professionally, full-time, all around the world, for 15 years now. And New England is not nearly as much fun as much of the rest of the world.

Thank you. Send hate mail to the editor. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ November 04, 2002, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: GravityGuru (Todd) ]
post #2 of 41
Ok. But you can escape for a bit if you come coach at the academy at Solitude in January! [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]
post #3 of 41
Yeah. Utah Rocks!

Sorry to hear you're feeling down, Todd. I've got to tell you, since I was unable to make my usual fall trip back east, from my perspective, New England is looking pretty good! I miss it.

But the snow is falling here in Colorado. Skiing is nearly mid-winter-like already, due to a couple good storms in the last couple days. Copper opened today. Loveland opened two weeks ago. Wolf Creek is open. In a couple weeks, this place will be in full swing!

I hope you and your family are well, Todd.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #4 of 41
Todd, you're one of my favorites, and I happen to live in Vermont. What's happened?
post #5 of 41

I don't know how old you are, but my sense is that you've still got a whole bunch of serious skiing years ahead of you.

Take it from me, time goes by in very unusual ways. You'll have plenty of opportunity to indulge your skiing passion in the future. Things change in ways we can never predict or imagine.

It's right and honorable to make decisions for the benefit of your family. Your own time will come. Believe that.

Good luck,

post #6 of 41
So let me just say - I've skied professionally, full-time, all around the world, for 15 years now. And New England sucks.

Thank you. Send hate mail to the editor. [img]smile.gif[/img] [/QB]
Yup, NE is a tough one. You count the great days on the fingers of one hand. I honestly don't know what the deal is. Many NE resorts were started in the late 40's and mid 50's. Was the snow good then, and bad now? The late 80's were bad. The early 80's saw the effect of Mt. St Helens (measurable cooling in the northern atmosphere) and '93 '94 saw Pinatubo which caused two great winters. Two years ago there was a lot of snow for some reason.
Technically, the storms come up the Eastern Seaboard. If they are in land, they bring the warm moist South Atlantic air up, and you play golf. If they are off the coast, they suck the cold Labrador air down and you rock and roll in nice powder.
Another issue is the size of the resorts. They are tiny. If the snow is poor, you (and everyone else) go to the resorts that make the best snow. The snow gets skied out quickly. In a good snow year, all are good and you see smaller crowds...less travelled resorts are the way to go (Bromeley, Sunapee).
And NE conditions are truly trick or treat. A few years ago (I think it was December of '96) there was seven feet of snow. Wonderful. Then January came, and mid January it rained for an entire week. It washed the entire base away (PA of course bore the brunt of this in flooding) and they started from scratch. Unreal. You'd think that with seven feet that it would be around until Spring. And the melt occured over *all* of NE.
It's a tough life .
I well remember '88 where you were skiing on a white, machine made trail in the midst of brown. I believe last year was even worse.
First of all, you deal with machine made snow (and the marketers actually tell you it is better than natural snow, believe it or not). But the people from the cities (NY, Boston, NJ) really do believe that, so it all kind of works out. One time I made a run, and at the end, somebody at the bottom exclaimed,
"It don't get no better than that!!!!" Guess he never tried Utah, huh?
My take is that the crowds on the small area defeat the snow quality. Historically, there isn't the data that there is out west, but there is some data for Mt. Mansfield . But this data doesn't take into accound the rain which attacks the snow depth frequently (aka "freeze-thaw cycle").
But I have had many very fine, actually magical, skiing days there. I have to smile at Bob's comment, "Things change in ways we can never predict or imagine."...yep, this is NE. The week before I left NE, friends coaxed me up to Wildcat for a last day of skiing. I couldn't go up Friday night, so Saturday morning I set out. It was raining like hell. All the way up Rt 16 it was raining. Got to Jackson. It was raining. So I figured, oh well, we'll just hit the great Wildcat Tavern for a Guinness and say farewell. But as I climbed to Pinkham notch, it was snow. When I got to Wildcat, there was four feet of fresh on the ground. Runs were open that hadn't been open in years. Then the clouds blew out, and all day we had a clear view of Mt. Washington. I have the pictures.

Sometime, climb Mansfield or Tuckerman's.

And I will tell ya, there ain't no place in the world like Stowe or Quechee or Waitsfield, VT or Jackson NH or Bethel, Maine.

[ November 01, 2002, 11:48 PM: Message edited by: Charlie Crabb ]
post #7 of 41
Todd doesn't elaborate. Is it the snow or the social climate?

I remember in the 60's my dads dream was to work and live in Vermont. A few of his friends went up to work in Burlington at the GE plant. They returned after a few years because they were treated as outcasts. Shunned in stores, kids were left out of things at school etc. The word was that it would take at least three generations before you were accepted as a "local". We still drove up each fall on out annual "cheese hunt", where he would taste test and then buy a huge wheel of the sharpest offering he could find and I could stuff myself with maple candy till my teeth hurt. But, he never again talked of buying that twenty acres of pines along a brook.

Nonetheless, when I traveled with my high school friends in the mid 60's we stayed in farmhouse B&B's when we skiied and still loved the place. My memories then are good ones.

Today, I can't reacall or rekindle that experience for my own kids. Vermont has changed. Make-a-buck transplants with shoddy motels or glitz & glitter "spas" with hot tubs and "massage by Wayne" just have no magic.

Stowe ...... upping the lift prices "because it snowed" even though we had a pre-paid rate? Those big companies try to squeeze the nickle till the .......

Somewhere, there's a place where ........
post #8 of 41
Well, it's not the 60's, and today most Vermonters, like me, come from somewhere else. But that's neither here nor there . . . as has been said, Todd doesn't elaborate, and Im not sure whether it's actually New England or something happening [or not] there.

Todd? Whassup, my man?
post #9 of 41
Maybe you'd like to provide us with reasons for your disgust.

And I hope they're a bit more grounded than your "All French People Suck" tirade of a year ago.

Regardless, I still hope to ski with you this winter at Magic Mountain or the Vermont Gathering (that is, if you're still here).
post #10 of 41
Yes, New England sucks. Stowe is a rip off. Jay is in the middle of nowhere and over rated, Sugerbush is small and no real expert terrain, Mad Rivers's 'ski it if you can' means there is no snow 'cause they don't make any. Sunday River too far to drive to and Sugarloaf even worse. NH resorts are all whimpy and all NE locals are worses snobs then a 20 year old 'purist' on a powder day. STAY OUT OF NEW ENGLAND. If you must go, go to Killington. The snow making is good, the resort personel is friendly and the clientele is laid back. Yes, just go to Killington you'll have a great time , even in the rain. Their snowmaking is better then the real stuff 'cause it doesn't melt in the rain nor freeze when the temps drop again.

Better yet, go out west. Go to Alta. I here they have real fast lifts and tons of groomed expert runs and all the amenities you'll ever want... and I think they'll allow snowboarding too.

Yes stay out of NE. Besides, everybody knows that there is a pretender of a Super Bowl Champion there and the Steeler were the best AFC team and would have thumped the Rams even worse than the Patsies. What have you got to say to that?

New England... bad, bad, bad.

[img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

I'll be at Jay the week of March 23, skiing in the rain if you want to punch me out. I'll be hiding in the trees trying to stay dry. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
I had just gotten off of a long phone call with a friend who is an PSIA Examiner in the NW division. And he was rubbing my face in the skiing. That with a couple of beers . . . I was grumpy!

Mountains, snow, weather, and social climate - those are the specifics. But I'm feeling better this morning! [img]smile.gif[/img]

Looking at all the posts over the last few weeks, since I've been out of touch, I'm intimidated to even try and catch up!
post #12 of 41
Being a born and breed New Englander, as well as being fiercly loyal to a part of the country I don't live in at the moment I must say you have a point. VT is not a easy state to live and work in and feel like your part of the scene. However it's not like that everywhere in VT. I lived in Waitsfield and really can't think of a place besided my hometown where when I drive up Rt. 100 I feel like I'm home. For the snow yeah well complaining about the snow in VT is like peeing into the wind it's usless. Keep the faith and whatever you do don't go to Killington for skiing unless you like to ski through Grand Central Station at rush hour. Head up to Waitsfield stop by The Den Restaurant (my uncles own the joint), the food's great, the beer is better, but just ignore the fact their Giants fans.

Good Skiing
post #13 of 41
CW you wuss you coming up to NE at all this year??
Send me a PM.
post #14 of 41
Hey Todd,

Relax, you could be living in Arkansas or Mississippi, in the middle of no where, with summer time humid tempts often in the 90's and sometimes higher.

Canada is not that far away. Quebec is beautiful and a gret ski town, with some great skiing very close by, except in Jan. the weather can get pretty severe. Ok it is not the west, but pretty dam good overall.

So relax and enjoy what you have. You could be skiing by Thanksgivng or sooner if the weather continues to cooperate

As to posting, just dive right in. No one is going to tell the IRS,so what is there to worry about?
post #15 of 41
Hi Todd,

Welcome back.

Not sure about the rest of the reasons but From what little time we got to spend talking, and meeting them, your wife and daughter are definitely not worth leaving. ... Hang in there. I may try to make another trip up to see you this winter. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

post #16 of 41
Originally posted by GravityGuru (Todd):
New England sucks.
Heheheh. I've always said if I had started skiing in the East, or pre-plastic (take your pick), I wouldn't be skiing today.

Now that I'm hooked on skiing, I DO enjoy skiing New England whenever I'm out there on business. I really like checking out new places, but it would be a very different thing to live there.

Sorry man--oh well, it WILL make your ski trips that much more schweet!
"It's all or nothing. Well, maybe some...."
post #17 of 41
Thread Starter 
A thread gets at least moderatly popular when some grump like me starts a thread with such an intellectual title eh? [img]smile.gif[/img] Speaking of compelling titles, I'm going to go check out that "Mob in Skiing" one now . . . in my head is "so yous wants ta ski this powder? Then yous gotta talk ta Vinny"
post #18 of 41
I live in Pennsylvania but consider Stowe my home ski area.
Love the area for what it is and travel to other areas when possible.
Hell ,I can even have a good time night skiing at Blue Mountain in Allentown, Pa.
post #19 of 41
Thread Starter 
The "overcoming adversity" as a kind of studly chest pounding thing is certainly prevelent here, but having come from an area where I watched two friends die in avalanches, have been taken for a ride in some slides, sometimes saw the highway (only way out of our house) closed for up to a week because of snow and avalanches, had a tornado tear up the field by our barn, had a dog killed by a mountain lion on our front porch, watched forest fires the likes of which the east has never seen, had to drive to work every day over one of the most dangerous mountain passes in the lower 48 states . . . and etc. I think that its actually much LESS adverse out here. Freezing rain is irritating, New Yorkers in fistfights in the liftline is troubling, heat waves in April are annoying . . . but none of it seems somehow more *adverse*, maybe just more irritating!
post #20 of 41
But Todd- Think of the fun you get to have.

Go to Hunter Mtn(or several of the others), stand at the back of the lift line, and yell- "Yo, VINNY!"
Then half the line turns around and says "WHAT?"

When no one responds, they all start getting pissed at each other! Good fun!

post #21 of 41
OK! OK! We know what to do now! Mere iritation is NOT sufficient. We need DANGER! Bring back the mountain lions! Import craploads of rattlesnakes! Truck snow to southern Vermont and create custom avalanches! Fund your retirement plan with Martha Stewart stock options! There! Feeling more like home now?! Glad to help out!
post #22 of 41
Glory days, they all pass you by....
post #23 of 41
Thread Starter 
Heh heh - yep Oboe, well actually being a dad now, less danger is fine with me. I just get driven crazy by the chest puffing "well, ya' gots ta be purty tough to survive 'ear in these parts" stuff. [img]smile.gif[/img]

My wife spent a bunch of years in Colorado with me, so I owe her anyways. And the fact is, in this part of the country - I think Maine and Vermont are tops. I also have had a lot of great days skiing here. It is a bummer that the only mountain within easy daily driving distance is Mt. Snow, its once again currently going through questionable management changes, but hey -- its still sliding!
post #24 of 41
Originally posted by GravityGuru (Todd):
... New England sucks...
Yeah, I guess there's places that are better.

Gotta figure there are places that are a whole lot worse.

Hey, you know why New Yorker's love Vermont so much?

Because we're too insensitive to realize we're being snubbed.
post #25 of 41
Thread Starter 
Heh - I've heard a variation on the exact same joke:

"Do you know why Texan's love Colorado so much? Because they are too stupid to realize when they are being snubbed!"
post #26 of 41
welcome back man.
post #27 of 41
I once worked in Oz with a guy from Killington .... We sent him home shell shocked and mumbling about bloody Jindabyne sheep farmers. I think he took offence because no one took him seriously and we nick named him Vinny!!!!


[ November 03, 2002, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
post #28 of 41
Originally posted by GravityGuru (Todd):
I had just gotten off of a long phone call with a friend who is an PSIA Examiner in the NW division. And he was rubbing my face in the skiing. That with a couple of beers . . . I was grumpy!

Mountains, snow, weather, and social climate - those are the specifics. But I'm feeling better this morning! [img]smile.gif[/img]

Well, hey Todd, I mean, like he is in the PNW. They can log 1000" a year. Few men can boast something that big. They get their rain too.
Socially VT is not that bad, although I am reminded of the joke only applicable to NE: A pregnant woman from Manchester visits Springfield one day, and happens to have her child. She then returns to Manchester. The child grows up, has a long life in Manchester, then dies. In the obituary, the paper writes that she is from Springfield.

Just look around. There really are fine people up there and you will find really avid skiers and mountaineers. I think many of us understand what you said. No it's not like, say, NC, NM, OR or Southern CA, some of the friendliest places I have been. You just have to explore. There is a lot there. And ya know, even the New Yorkers mellow out at some point.

I know two people who worked for a book publisher in NYC and chucked it all to open an inn up on Rt 17 in 1979, pre-dating the old Newhart TV program. The first years were a bit tough socially and politically. They got a chance to expand the inn. But the town of Waitsfield (or Fayville up the road?) would not let them add any more rooms. They had seven rooms on 15 acres. Of course the bank wanted them to build as many revenue producing rooms as possible. The town? Noooo. So it takes time to develop a feeling for a place. But Vermont is well worth it.

And just to throw a Maori spear into this, Colorado is great, but you can't say it's without problems. Traffic up I80 is getting to be legendary, and as far as I can tell, it makes SF's Bay area Friday night trek up to Tahoe look tame. And voters voted down a train up to Vail...duh? Last couple of years didn't have much snow, although that's probably short lived and there will be the good snow. This year is predicted to be a little drier, but it'll come back. On the friendliness scale, sure, gimmie Denver and the Front Range. But look around in Vermont. Let the beast get nearer. You can tame it. It's more subtle. And if you want avalanches, ski Tuckerman's (web site here) and the Gulf Wilderness.
post #29 of 41
. . .uh, Charlie . . . that's FAYSTON
post #30 of 41
No doubt there are places that are better, but are many places a lot worse. Imagine if your family lived in Timbuktu.
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