First off I want to let everyone know that as I type this there is 12" of snow on the ground and its still dumping, they say w will get 15" when the storm is over...but that is here on LI, doesn't do us much good...I think I need to buy cross-country setup or some touring bindings to put on one of my vintage skis...but I digress.
Yesterday I met up with Bushwacker and his friend Jeff for their first time skiing at Hunter.
Last time I was there was for Presidents day weekend and there was lots of snow. Since then there have been various warm spells and rain, as such it has taken a toll on the mountain. There is still plenty of coverage but several trials are closed and there are some bare patches here and there.
Most obvious is the bullet-proof ice hiding under the loose granular snow nearly everywhere. Probably the most fun trail combo was/is Heuga express way to Drop off, to Belt Parkway, very good coverage, minimal ice, and few people (except when you get to the Belt.....like its namesake). The crowds were very small, Bushwhacker was surprised how little people were on the lift lines after having read often about Hunter crowds. Ill let him chime in with his own words.
Weather was very mild, enough to build up a good sweat. We had flurries early on, but then it was just cloudy all day, you really needed the right goggle lenses to not get surprised by a snow bump at an inopportune moment, my lightest lenses broke last week so I was stuck with darker lenses than I would have liked; I got surprises a few times. I brought out the Head 88s, which seemed to be the ideal ski for the conditions (then again there aren't many conditions that aren't ideal for these do-it-all skis). Sharp edges were a must. The snow was getting moved around a lot, so there were snow drifts all over the place, if not on edge you would get tossed around quite a bit, even so conditions were more challenging than usual. Clair's way was open in its usual steep glory, but now with ice hiding under sugar all over the trail.....easy place to get into big trouble if you aren't on top of it. The bump runs looked like battlefields with Volkswagen sized moguls on most of the trials.
I don't know if Hunter is getting the major snow dumpage that we are getting downstate, but if they are and it stays cold, this coming weekend should be much better than it was Sunday.
All in all a nice day, all of us were on very little sleep and were really functioning solely on adrenaline. We ripped several runs. Bushwhacker is a great skier, and a much nicer guy in person than he sometimes comes across on-line...which is often the case with most people, myself included I am sure. He quit at around 2ish (he started earlier than me) I quit around 3:30...my legs were toast due to the varied terrain, not a good day to ski if you were not on your game, but we had a good time and it was nice skiing with another Bear.
Edited by Richie-Rich - 3/2/2009 at 07:13 pm