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Friday, January 8. 2010
When the other kids got older we would ski all around New England as a family (my Mom skied, but Dad read books by the fire and shepherded), but most regularly at Stowe, Stratton, Bromley and good old Magic Mountain where I got skewered with a ski pole by my cousin one time.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:22 | Comments (21) | Trackbacks (0)
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Up here in Quebec, there are a bunch of small hills just 45 minutes north. The larger hills are Tremblant (North) and in the Eastern Townships (East) but are a bit further.
I would go by bus to many of the small hills, and then when I had a car, to some of the larger places. Even Jay or Stowe were sometimes weekend destinations.
I hiked a few times on Mt.Washington in the spring, where some of the more courageous skiers would still be skiing down Tuckerman's Ravine.
A daily ticket at Tremblant is now over $70.00. Ouch!
X-C is cheaper, healthier and safer!
I didn't grow up skiing, but came to it later in life. My first skui experience was at Berthoud Pass in Colorado. My favorite small ski hill was the now semi-defunct Sitzmark Ski Area near Tonasket, Washington.
Growing up outside Pittsburgh, we used to ski at Seven Springs and Hidden Valley. Each was a bit more than an hour or so from home. Peak 'N' Peak, just north of Erie, was another place we would go on occasion, though it was a bit farther away. Myself and two friends we members of a ski club in our pre-drivers-license days, which had bus trips every weekend to one of the above hills. Good times!
One of the few good things about growing up in suburban Boston was the local schools ski program, then touted as the largest in the nation. You could join up once you were in 4th grade. Official "ski area"? Nashoba Valley, Westford Ma. 3 trails on the side of a mole hill but conquering the "big" trail was one of the high points of my childhood.
Anybody remember Wayne Wong? He was Nashoba's "Skiing Ambassador" back then
My first year skiing at age 8 was exclusively at Geneva Basin, a ski area now only found at Coloradoskihistory.com. I was one of the few gentiles that rode the Sunday ski bus that was almost entirely Jewish kids.
The next year though, I got to ski at Vail.
Like "CoderInCrisis" I also grew up skiing these two and also Blue Knob - brings back memories. It's amazing how skiing has changed in 30 or 40 years. Consider the advantages of high speed quads.
My son has grown up skiing at Holiday Valley in Ellicotville NY which is a great little resort and far supperior to anything in PA. It's ranking is very high for eastern resorts.
My son, however, has it far better than I ever did. Somewhere along the line I found a taste for the west and he has had atleast a week there almost every year since he was 2.
He started at the ski school in Vail at 2 or 3 skiing/walking on 1 ski. Trees in Steamboat at 7 or 8. Morgans Bowl at Deer Valley at 10 or 11.
At 13 he can ski almost everything I can and do it better.
For my money there is no better family vacation than a day of skiing on a blue bird day under a big western sky. Expensive - but it doesn't get any better
Once I was old enough to drive, one of my skiing friends and I drove out to Blue Knob for a day. It was nice enough, but it was farther away and it lacked the snowmaking equipment of Seven Springs or Hidden Valley (Blue Knob had some, but only on a few trails). In PA, snowmaking equipment was essential, since natural snow could be hard to come by some years, or even from week to week.
In college I went on the annual outdoor club western ski trip a few times. Steamboat remains the best place I have ever skiied. It's been awhile now - I'd probably kill myself if I tried to ski again, as I'm in no kind of shape for it.
Belleayre in NY. It was always cold and frozen. Now I only ski out West. Once you've skiied out there it's hard to ski in the East again.
Everyone, for several states around here, learned to ski in the lakes.
Snow is something we have heard about but never seen.
We're not really sure it exists
As a family, we went to Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascades, about 50 minutes from downtown Seattle. The snow was never great, it felt like skiing on mashed potatoes; we did a lot of night skiing there too. Crystal Mountain, farther away and with fantastic views of Mt Rainier, was where we went to ski school most Saturdays in junior high and high school.
"My son, however, has it far better than I ever did. Somewhere along the line I found a taste for the west...He started at the ski school in Vail"
As a guy from the sierras, it feels weird to see someone describe the Rockies as 'the west'.
I grew up skiing Nordic, both because my parents lacked the daredevil bone and because they were/are cheap. Once I finished college and it was my buck I took to the task of creating a part-time career so that I could afford 40-50 days per year. Northstar and their sibling, sierra at Tahoe were the go-to resorts for underfunded people who couldn't drop $1300 for a season pass to an a-list resort.
Once I had a family and full-time employment I couldn't keep up 40 days. So I retired to Nordic skiing, where I can equip the entire family with top-of the line gear for the price of one alpine set-up. Love nordic, but the fashions do make me want to skewer people with my pole.
I grew up on the "Ski-93" trail. Lots of Cannon, Bretton Woods, Loon, etc. Every once in a while we'd go up to Maine for Sugarloaf or over to VT for Killington. The first time I ever tried skiing at age 3 and half I broke my leg at Loon mountain, but it wasn't enough to stop me since I didn't know any better.
The best part for me was that I went to college at UColorado at Boulder, and when I started skiing out west I had no idea that conditions could be that good. Nothing made me laugh harder than listening to Rocky mtn skiiers whine about their version of "ice" on the trail. We used to say if you can't see your reflection in it than it isn't ice. The blue porcelain that destroyed many a day for me on the wind side of Cannon was ice. This end of the day yellow snow cat track bumps that the westerners were complaining about was not ice.
Learned in snow starved central New Jersey on "mats" in 1970. Then Great Gorge & Vernon Valley (in NJ). First foray to real skiing at Sugarbush, VT in 1976. Still in NJ but we take our kids to the Mad River Valley at least once a year.
I was lucky enough to learn to ski in Alberta, Canada at Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay in the 1960s.
In paradisum deducant te Angeli:
in tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres,
et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.
Chorus Angelorum te suscipiat.
That's from the requiem, but it's bang on for snow, hill and crowds (none) at the time.
The sanctified Jerusalem of the mountains, and I didn't know it until I traveled the world looking for better and found worse.
All we had in Phillips County, Montana was some cross-country skiers. Rolling prairies cut with coulees better traveled on snow shoes.
Detroit, Michigan area: Alpine Valley, Mt. Holly, Mt. Brighton, Pine Knob.
Some weekends "up north": Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, Walloon Hills, Sugarloaf.
Collingwood, Ontario: Blue Mountain.
Then, when I was 14, I was able to find funds (with summer caddying earnings) to join my high school's trip to Breckinridge, Colorado. I got massively hooked. Downhill skiing became my obsession for next 8 years or so - including 2 seasons in Aspen as a ski bum.
I grew up in S. East Idaho. 1 hour from Jackson Hole/Teton Village and 1.5 hours from Sun Vally. Sun Vally is my all time favorite.
Another Ski-93, but also 89. Cannon, Loon, Pat's Peak, Sunapee, and Gunstock. An older friend had a SKINH vanity plate which he abandoned because it looked like the beginning of "skinhead."
My first skiing was at The Elms in Manchester, next to what is now the Manchester Boston Regional Airport - it was Grenier Field then. Rope tow. Very short hill. But in 1960, a big deal. People didn't tend to drive more than an hour one-way in those days for a day trip.