Thursday, June 26, 2014

Gunstock Mountain Resort (The final GTNS post!)

Gunstock Mountain Resort. My home mountain, where I work, where I spend most of my time in the winter, where I essentially learned to ski. Here is my GTNS entry for my home mountain.

 (I apologize for this taking so long to get out, between finishing up the edit my friend made, and my life getting a little busy I haven't had much time to work on my writing. This was meant to go out before the season ended and I just did not have the time to get around to it.)

Now you will have to forgive me on this one, as I am clearly completely incapable of being subjective here. I ski here at least 3 days a week. I know every trail, bump, side cut and stash like the back of my hand. Its where most of my friends and family ski most frequently, as most are season pass holders. On a snowed in pow day, I can always make it to the mountain no matter the conditions, as it is only 10 minutes from my house. Everyone has their favorite, and despite the fact that she isn't the tallest, or steepest, this is mine.

This article is not based on any individual visit, if that matters to you, but on my time here as a whole. Again, sorry if this sounds like an advertisement for the mountain, its hard not to when its where you grew up skiing.

Overall, we are probably more of a learners mountain than anything else. That's not to say we don't have more advanced terrain, because we do, but because of our smaller size, central location, and non-excessive lift ticket prices, its what we ended up as. The mountain is made up mostly of blue/intermediate trails with a few handfuls of greens and blacks mixed in. As far as stand out trails, my favorites are the 'Recoil Glades' and 'Hot Shot' when they are open.The Upper Recoil Glades are narrow and steep, and widen into a much smoother glade, that on pow days is the best place on the mountain to be. Hotshot is rarely open, as there is no snow-making available on that trail. When it is open, it is never groomed, and results in some pretty gnarly conditions that are always a good time. There are not a ton of other real stand out trails, its mostly your standard fare of New England groomers.

I think my favorite thing about the mountain is our view. In my opinion, we have the best view of any mountain in the east. With a view of Mt. Washington over the lake, it is just beautiful. Some others come close, like Wildcat or Stowe but none have a view of the lakes.

As far as the parks are concerned, I think ours is one of the best ones among the smaller mountains. We had a new park manager this year as well, and he did a hell of a job. Our main park resides on 'Blundersmoke' and has a lift essentially dedicated to it. We also have a small progression park on 'Sidearm' with some low boxes and small jumps in it. The main park usually consists of 3 main lanes and probably somewhere near 30 features. I think there is a pretty damn good progression from never having done park to very difficult features as well. No need to look far for something that is within your skill level. I pretty much spend all the time I am not instructing lapping the park, working on my (meager) park skills.

Additionally, I have been trying my very best to put together a good edit for you guys. Please keep in mind this is pretty much my second season really skiing park, and my first real 'edit'. Thanks to my friend Robert for helping out with the shooting and editing! I hope you like it! Please go easy on me!

A Slow day at Work

I am occasionally lucky enough to run into the mountains social media guy, who is always more than happy to take some photos. I spent a few runs with him getting pow shots on a particularly deep day. Here are some shots he took after we got dumped on last month. 30 inches of powder in under a week is pretty damn good for the east coast.
If on any given day you want to find me, chances are high I will be here. In the winter I instruct here, in the summer I work the zip-lines. On my days off I am in the terrain park. This is the mountain where I really became a ski-bum. This mountain made me.
Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed this final GTNS article, as I have been absolutely struggling to write it. This is probably the fourth version of this article, and any way I write it, it never seems good enough for my home mountain. I hope at some point everyone can come visit.  If you are ever going to come by, please let me know! I always love getting together with fellow Newschoolers!

For those of you who might be interested, I kept some seriously obssive statistics of the season, so for those of you wondering what it took for me to do this little tour around New England, here are some numbers.

-84 Days on the slopes
-4921 Miles driven in the pursuit of snow
-578 Dollars worth of lift tickets (with 1500 dollars worth of savings thanks to being an instructor, so If you are looking to save some cash, become an instructor!)
-5 out of 6 New England states skied  (Sorry RI, your one mountain closed before I could get there)
-4 Nights spent sleeping in my car, because hotels are for chumps (and rich folk)
-Countless Beers!

I am sure someone will ask, now that I am done, what my favorite mountains were. I will break it into two categories. Top 3 favorites overall, and top 3 favorite mountains based on Terrain parks (excluding my home mountain, Gunstock).

Overall Favorites -
1. Jay Peak
2.Mount Snow
3. Mad River Glen

Park Favorites -
1. Mount Snow/Carinthia
(with a shout out to Nashoba Valley for having a killer park for such a small place!)

Finally, I have some pictures of some of the stuff I collected over the winter.

Lift tickets.
Trail Maps (Closed)
Trail Maps (Open)
I would like to thank everyone who supported me this winter and let me make this whole thing possible. My family and friends for dealing with my near constant talk of skiing and helping make this possible. Gunstock and all the mountains I visited for the employee reciprocity program which made it possible for me to afford to do so much skiing. All the NS staff for taking something that I was just doing for fun and giving me a chance to become one of their community writers, something I never would have imagined this little blog would have done for me. Ian Compton for being one cool dude showing me around Mt. Snow and hooking me up with some sweet Outdoor Tech. The UVM crew at MRG for showing me around the mountain. Finally of course I need to thank you the readers. I never imagined so many people would end up reading this little blog I started to chronicle my adventures. I definitely never though people would start recognizing me out on the mountain. Thank you Newschoolers for really rekindling my love of the sport and community.

This is not the end of my writing for Newschoolers, but it is the final post of the Grand Tour of New England Skiing. Once again, thank you everyone!

Keep on Shredding NS.

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