Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Opening Day - Bretton Woods!

Welcome to the first mountain post/review!

This past weekend (11/9/13), my season began! Bretton Woods was the first mountain to both open within a reasonable driving distance to me, and have a reasonable price for such early season conditions. They were celebrating their 40th anniversary so a ticket was about 20 dollars. I will admit, I do feel I am kind of cheating on my list here, counting this as my visit to Bretton Woods, but considering how tight I am on time to get everything done, I am going to count it. If I have a chance, I will return here, but seeing as I visited it late last season, I think we will be alright.

I got to the mountain just before the lifts started turning, shared some libations with a fellow skiier in the parking lot (i.e. Jameson & beer), and headed for the snow. The place was pretty packed considering that they had a single, 1 mile long trail open. There must have been 300+ people there at the peak of the day. I clicked into my skis, and immediately realized upon skating to the lift, that I probably should have gotten my new park poles about 15cm longer than I did. After awkwardly learning how to push with park I was on my way for the first run of the season.

This thin strip of white is pure joy.

I took a couple of runs to knock the rust off, and proceeded to immediately make a fool of my self by catching and edge and eating shit in front of a packed lift. Between that and learning to ski with the park poles, I was not exactly having the opening day I was expecting. As I stood atop the 'park' (which consisted of two T-Boxes, a flat bar and a rail), I quickly ran into two fellow Newschoolers, easily identified by their Saga outerwear and NS stickers. Their NS handles are Doke and Jaymobilia, who had driven all the way up from Mass. I thought my drive was shitty at just over an hour. There were quite a few other riders there who were also clearly from NS, but I didn't get a chance to get any of their names. Being there by myself for the day, I was glad to run into some friendly people who didn't mind me tagging along with them for the day.

Me, Doke and Jaymobilia at the 'Summit'.  I don't have a NS logo to hold up yet =(

We spent the day buttering around and hitting the park. I would have to say that they were both a good bit better than me. I chickened out on the rails for the day, and spent the time practicing on the boxes. The gaps to the rails were a good bit bigger than what I am use to on my backyard setup, so I will use that as the excuse. The last couple runs we pulled out the GoPro, so there will be a short, kind of shitty edit with the 3 of us, and a couple other un-named NSers (If you two are reading this, get at me and Ill add your names to the list!). After that I was about shot, having drank nothing but whiskey and beer all day had taken its toll on my muscles. I said goodbye to the NS crew and headed out.

So I will do a 'Review' of the mountain from last season (12/13) when everything was open (from memory, please excuse the vagueness). I had not been to Bretton Woods in 10+ years, and all I had remembered of it was that it was a fairly large, but flat mountain with fairly easy terrain. Boy was my memory wrong. They have greatly expanded their glade terrain, which will always be my favorite place to spend my time on the mountain. There was some truly difficult, and beautiful stuff. I spent a large portion of the day exploring the many various glades. I of course made my way to the park for the back half of the day. They had 3 parks open, a fairly beginner friendly one (where I spent most of my time), and a more traditional larger park as well. Both were very well kept, and would entertain any for a day or two without a problem. What I really enjoyed though was their natural glade park filled with all kinds of natural features and wooden structures to jib off of. That trail was a blast.
The rest of the mountain was your standard affair of groomers, with a good mix of wide open trails and narrower ones, with most of the non-glade terrain seeming to air on the easier side. I was there mid-week, so crowds were virtually non-existent and the vibe was quite relaxed. I would definitely recommend a visit if you are someone who really enjoys glades, or has a group of people of mixed skill levels. The less talented skiiers/riders in your party will generally be able to stay fairly close by even if you decide to take some of the more challenging runs. The parks although nice, pale in comparison to Loon, which for most is a bit less of a drive. That's not to say they are bad, but parks are kind of what Loon is known for.

This concludes the season opener post for me. I am still nailing down the format for this, and doing a review out of memory just does not feel right for me. I hope that within the next few weeks I will get to do another post, but I am trying to save most of the mountains for when we have some real snow, not just early season conditions. I hope you enjoyed it, and as always, constructive criticism is always welcomed. 

Keep on Shredding Internet!

Update(11/14/13)! Here is the 'edit' shot from the trip, done in three laps right at the end of the day when we were all tired and sore, pardon the fairly shitty editing and filming, Ill blame it on being the first of the season. Shout-out to Jaymobilia for finding a really good underground song. Love it! Anyway, hopefully these will get better both from an editing/filming standpoint, and from my own personal progression. I am hoping to use some of these to document my progress I make in the park over the season. Enjoy!

Copyright Charles Boulanger and Skiing, Gaming and Guns, 2013-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Charles Boulanger and Skiing, Gaming and Guns with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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