Skied Hunter today. Snow was nice and smooth/soft all day. Skied a lot on Belt Parkway, Way Out, Overlook, and Rip’s Return. Overlook was still nice at 3pm, which is awesome for a diamond on the East Coast. They have been blowing a ton of snow out there because the surrounding areas are totally bare, but there’s great coverage on the mountain. Hunter North/West offered some challenging terrain, with nice snow, and no crowds.
1-12-20 We skied Hunter in the afternoon only. AM weather looked too wet and windy to bother waking up early, but the sun was scheduled to shine noon to 4pm, and it did! My usual trail Belt Parkway was in awful shape. It was in the shade and icy, wet, and essentially treacherous. Hated it. Also heard that White Cloud was nasty so we avoided it. Luckily I was meeting a new friend from Ski Diva Forums and she knew the mountain very well. She took us to Minya Konka, which was warm, sunny, 58F, and the snow was awesome. We skied all the diamonds on the south face of the upper mountain and it was a spectacular day! I even enjoyed the soft moguls, which normally I avoid. Yes there was thin cover in some areas, and bare spots, but it was still an awesome day. There were also no significant lift lines off F lift at all. Minya Konka, Hellgate, Upper K27, East Side Drive, Lower Crossover, and Milky Way were all amazing!
Skied the Cats this weekend for the first time in at least 10 years. Coming back as a much stronger and more experienced skier it was interesting to see it from a different perspective. I skied Belle on Saturday but DomB's post pretty much sums it up, although I didn't think the snow conditions were that bad all things considering.
Coming from Belle the day before, and having been mostly a Windham skier as a kid, I forgot how big and steep Hunter is. It's a real mountain. That being said there's virtually no natural snow anywhere to be found in the Cats, but I have to give credit to both Hunter and Belle for how much coverage they've blown.
Conditions at Hunter were icy as I expected, but with a few pleasant surprises. Other than the Kaatskill Flyer there were hardly any lift lines. I tried to stay away from some of the main thoroughfares as they were just too crowded with too many out of control yahoos. Upper K-27 to Milky Way was the ROTD for me as they had nice moguls but were surprisingly soft and edge-able - something I don't get at Gore without natural snow in the glades. I did Claire's Way a few times which had fun whales and moguls on it, but it was extremely icy. Other stand outs were Racer's Edge and Lower Broadway when they opened it late in the day after racing.
One weird thing about Hunter - I guess if you want to sit at a bar AND order food you have to go to the new Hotel?
All in all it reminded me that you can save 4 hours of extra driving to the Daks or VT and still get some decent skiing in, especially when it's all hardpack up there as well. Would I maybe get a Vail pass instead of an Ikon pass next year to have Hunter on it? Doubtful, but I'll probably be back sooner than 10 years from now.