Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hunter Mountain Skibowl (Hunter, NY)

SkiWedge was able to get up to Hunter Mountain for some early season skiing on a few occasions.  Here are our initial thoughts and a quick video edit of the early season conditions:






Lifts:
The lift lines appear to be chaotic.  Of course, being 2 hours north of NYC will do that to a resort.  However, the guys trying to show how hard they are in the lift line by smoking 3 or 4 cigarettes before they smoke another on the lift should all have their passes pulled.  Seriously, if you want smoke in your lungs then do us all a favor and stay in the city.

Also, the lift attendants need to pay attention.  A girl in ski-shool got her arm caught in the chair and was lifted away by just her arm.  The only reason the lift stopped was because everyone behind, myself included, screamed to stop the lift.  The excuse, "I've never seen that happen before" just doesn't cut it.  Open your eyes and pay attention.

Ski Patrol:
Are you even out on the mountain?  If you were then you could help move the bottle neck on top of the mountain along so people could get off the lift.  In addition, you may want to pull a few passes from those who decide to ski/board aggressively or recklessly.   Don't tell me they don't exist because they do.

Food: 
While the bar in the main lodge always has tons of people, the rest of the food s nothing to write home about.  In fact, it is probably some of the worst resort food you can find.  I love the reheated hamburger patties and the soggy macaroni and cheese, but my personal favorite are the insane lines to pay. 15 to 20 minutes just to pay for your food is not a good business model.  Of course, Copper Tree Mountain Restaurant is better with less people and better food.  However, would it kill you to form over real plates and silverware?

Conditions: 
Snow conditions are better than expected.  After all, the North-East weather pattern has not been the best to the area ski resorts.  In general, I find that the open runs can be fun and there is plenty of challenging terrain, but seriously, some people need to slow down a bit.  You may have dodged the newbie on the marked Family terrain this time, but next time you may not be so lucky.  I remind you that as the uphill skier or boarder it is your responsibility to slow down and avoid the person below.

Patronage: 
I put this section in this brief review not because I want to make fun of anyone on the mountain, but because I have a general gripe.  For god sake, when you're done skiing or boarding and take off your gear, please move it out of the way.  For some reason, guests at Hunter decide to just leave their gear all over the place making an obstacle course for those to follow.  Please pick it up and move it off the snow.  I'll do the same for you... I promise.  (Ski Patrol, I know you see this zoo as well.  Is it that hard to ask people to take their gear with them as they leave the snow?)

Overall: 
My over all impression is that Hunter can be a great resort.  However, a lack of attention to detail by the resort (food, safety, and ski racks for the volume of people) is bringing it down.  The good news is that these are the easy things to fix and could easily do a lot to improve the reputation of the resort.  I'll post a few more reviews on the resort as the season progresses to see if there are any changes.