Friday, November 8, 2013

The Grand Tour of New England Skiing!

The Grand Tour of New England Skiing!

Whats up Internet?

I would like to introduce everyone to my version of the Grand Tour of New England Skiing (GTNS). I will be (hopefully) hitting 30 of New England's biggest ski resorts, in a single season. This all started as just something I was going to do this winter. I figure this will likely be the last season I have before I have a real, full time job, so I might as well abuse my ski-instructor reciprocity privileges I get from being a full time ski-instructor. I have never been to many of the mountains in ME or VT, and being able to say I did everything 'major' in New England in one season seems like something I want to say I did in my life. Doing it for close to free is even better!

 I made a thread on NS mentioning my plans, and before I knew it I had several people telling me I should make a blog to chronicle my journey. So I thought, "Hey, why the fuck not? I like writing, and I like skiing! I'll do it!" Here is my current list I will be trying to accomplish (and associated map)!

Waterville Valley
Bretton Woods
Ragged Mountain
Black Mountain
Crotched Mountain
Pats Peak
Tuckermans Ravine


Sunday River

Smugglers Notch
Jay Peak
Mad River Glen
Mount Snow
Bolton Valley

The map! 

Now please, I don't want to get into a why is this mountain or that mountain not on the list debate in the comments. How I chose this list was by simply picking the largest ski areas off of the list for that state. I originally did not have any from MA, but was persuaded into adding one from MA, since I am calling it the Grand Tour of New England, it was kind of necessary. This list may change though, as I am trying to do this as on the cheap as possible. If a mountain will not give me reciprocity (i.e. Let me ski for free, or damn close to it) it will likely get cut, and a mountain that will give reciprocity will be added. Additionally  if I have the time and money (which is unlikely) I will try to hit up Mont-Treblant, sense Mousseau so generously offered to let me stay at the NS offices in exchange for a case of beer. Who can pass up on an offer like that? 

So, what am I going to cover in this traveling-blog-stravaganza? Good question, that is why I have been struggling with writing this intro piece for a few weeks now. But with my season starting tomorrow at Bretton Woods for some early season access, I am out of time (all this procrastination reminds me of my freshman days in college!). So this is what I am going to try to include in each mountains post.
  • A 'review' of each mountains parks, featuring a quick POV video tour, for those NSers debating on if a mountain is worth visiting. Will include some photos of the most unique features I find.
  • A general review of the mountain. With only one day on the mountain though, some of the larger mountain reviews may be a little light. No reviews of their cafeterias though, I don't have millions of dollars to eat on site ever.
  • If there is interest, a POV tour of the mountains most challenging non-park terrain. I am talking Double Blacks and above. I plan on trying to do every double black I come across during the entirety of this trip, because life on the mountain is not necessarily about the park, and I love gnarly terrain.
  • There will of course be a photo of me and any fellow NSers I run into at the summit of all mountains with some kind of NS sign (or flag, if Mousseau was serious about getting me that)
  • I will definitely include any shenanigans that occur on the trip, but considering I will be doing many of these solo, that might not occur too often, but one can always hope!
I would love to get suggestions for anything else to include. Nothing is too stupid for the internet! 

I know there were several NSers who wanted to meet up with me to ski, so I will try and figure out what mountains I am going to on what dates, but my scheduled is very fluid and the weather is obviously the biggest factor here. I am not going to make the 3 hour drive to Jay Peak if I can wait a week or two and go after a few feet of fresh Pow drops. Same applies to pretty much anywhere that is known for having particularly good glades or real tough terrain. 

So that's the plan for the winter. I will be starting the posts very soon, as I will be hitting up Bretton Woods tomorrow. They are only going to have a single trail open, But I went there last year and time is tight considering how many mountains I want to hit. If I get the chance to hit it again when they are fully open, I will but I want to check it off the list now since I can. It will be a long, and fun winter, that will likely involve a lot of cold nights sleeping in my car, and I cant think of a better way to spend the winter. 

 Stay tuned for more real soon!

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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