Saturday, September 4, 2010

Snowboarding New York: Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain is arguably the most popular in the Catskills.  They have a little bit of everything, and pretty much any rider will have a good time.  Except for that sourpuss in the group that will complain just to assume the position of "that guy."
     You can expect a mix of man-made and natural snow here.  Now how much of each depends on the time of year and weather obviously, but bottom line you will have fun.  Runs aren't super long (vertical of 1,600ft), but aren't short either.  Just right to have fun comfortably and try new tricks consistently.  When I ride Hunter I feel like I'm on a big playground because the mountain pushes me, but it's not life or death.  I have room for error, so I'm cool.
     You've got 55 trails spread evenly across all skill levels so there is room to play.  However, if you visit on a holiday as is with most resorts it will be packed.  Expect for waits on lift lines and the typical annoyances of a crowd. They are building a new lift for this season, so that should help with lift traffic.  Here are pics of the project: Katskill Flyer.
     In the middle of the mountain you'll find two parks one higher in elevation than the other.  All the typical features are there so you won't be bored.  If you want to check it out, take a look at Hunter's site.  Also definitely take a look at Ride Hunter, a shredders community.
     I have ridden this mountain more than I can count and as with any mountain, I've had great times and I've had well, not so great times.  It's personality is typical of an East Coast mountain.  We have a nickname, the Ice Coast for a reason and Hunter is no exception.  Outside of these days, which can be expected the snow quality is more than acceptable.  Catch it after a storm and you're in a powder playland.  Catch it on a tricky day, you'll think you're good and next thing you know there is ice right below the surface.  As is with any mountain your first run should be a scout run to see what it's like that day.

     Lodging here is wonderful in the sense that the choices are endless to cover any budget.  Coming up to the mountain on Rt 23a you will find motels, hotels, inns and bed & breakfasts.  If you want to stay at the mountain either rent a condo, or stay at the Katskill Mountain Club.  I have personally been a guest here multiple times and you will not be disappointed.  Pool, spa, hot tubs, anything you want.
Katskill Mountain Club Front Entrance

     After hours Slopes Nightclub is the place to go.  Spinning the best club music that will make you feel like you never left Miami or NYC.  If that's your thing.  If bars or restaurants are your thing, drive out make a left or right and take your pick.  I personally like the bar right across the street called Ronnie MacGregor's Pub.  Awesome burgers &wings and in walking distance.
     All in all your trip here will be worth it.  With competitions being held all the time, and something going on every weekend here no one in your crew will be bored.  Recommended trip time is 1-3 days, unless you plan on visiting neighboring Windham or Belleayre which I will cover in the next editions of Snowboarding New York.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice article @ Hunter. Last time I was there, I was lucky and we had 9-12" new.