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NEMS Article - Hunter Mountain, NY - A Pictorial

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Hunter Mountain, NY - A Pictorial

Jamesj
By: Jamesj
Posted 9/14/14  Last updated 9/16/14  2,462 views  4 comments

 

Hunter Mountain, NY – A Pictorial

 

By Jim Kenney, aka JamesJ

EpicSki Travel Correspondent

 

What can I say about Hunter Mountain?  It is one of America’s quintessential daytripper/weekender ski areas.  If you learned to ski or snowboard in the greater NYC metropolitan area chances are some of your formative moments came at Hunter Mountain.  As the mother of all “feeder hills” it has the reputation of a somewhat frenetic, high volume ski area reliant upon one of the greatest snowmaking systems in the world.  But Hunter is also a very fun and striking place to ski, especially if you experience it at a quiet time like I did for two weekdays under good spring conditions in late March 2014.

 

Hunter Mountain is basically a giant rock pile that was built and managed for many years by Orville and Izzy Slutzky, a legendary pair of Ukrainian-American brothers with a background in heavy construction.  Their extraordinary trail layout was literally chiseled out of red sandstone with blood, sweat, and dynamite in the late 1950’s.  Many of the runs flow like cliff-side parkways and provide terrific views of the surrounding Catskill Mountains.

 

Hunter has terrain for all levels with a 1600' vertical drop descending from a 3200' summit.  There are intermediate cruisers for the masses, a huge beginner area (Hunter One), a dedicated advanced trail pod with stout bump runs (Hunter West), steep groomers, and a big time terrain park.  The lodge complex at the base of the hill is enormous and over the decades plenty of dining and lodging options have developed in the surrounding area to serve a legion of Big Apple snowriders.  If you are looking for nice, homey and affordable accommodations in nearby Tannersville I can recommend a great place I stayed at during my visit:   The Snowed Inn at http://www.snowedinnhunter.com/

 

Please click on the photos for expanded views.  All photos are by Jim Kenney.

 

If you catch Hunter Mountain from the right perspective it's hard not to be impressed with the Slutzky's amazing work of rock sculpture.

LL

 

The Hunter base lodge is huge and features an old school wall of fame.  I love anything that celebrates our sport's pioneers.

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I hadn't been at Hunter more than a few minutes when I started sharing runs with friendly Bob from New Jersey.  He has been skiing Hunter for over 50 years and had a lot of interesting stories about the mountain.

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At age 75 Bob skied with grace and style while giving me a tour down the scenic Jimmie Heuga Express trail.

LL

 

Bob again, on Hellgate trail, which was carved from rocks down the heart of the front face of the mountain.  The sprawling Hunter base area is below right.

LL

 

Hunter allows bumps to sprout on a number of trails.  This is Crossover, not far from Hellgate trail.

LL

 

When they soften-up in the spring there is no finer place to session some moguls than K-27 trail.  It's a bit steeper than it looks in this photo.:ski

LL

 

This is Claire's Way in the black diamond Hunter West trail pod served by the Zephyr Express Quad Chair (1295' vertical).

LL

 

Crowd-free weekday skiing on Taylor's Run in Hunter West.

LL

 

A large group of Hasidic Jews walk past the Kaatskill Flyer Six Passenger Express chair (1475' vertical) at the base of Hunter Mountain.  That's Racer's Edge Trail to the left. 

LL

 

Hunter Mountain website:  http://www.huntermtn.com/

Hunter Mountain Trail Map:  http://www.huntermtn.com/upload/photos/506trailmap_2013-2014_large.jpg

 

About the Author

  • Husband, father and civilian employee of the Department of Navy, Jim Kenney is a Washington D.C. area native and has been skiing recreationally since 1967. Jim’s ski reporting garnered the 2009 West Virginia Division of Tourism’s Stars of the Industry Award for Best Web/Internet/E-Magazine Article. To read other articles by Jim, click here
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Comments (4)

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Huntah was my home mountain for more than 15 years.  Excellent report!  Although it is often criticized for its weekend and holiday crowds, if you have the pleasure of experiencing the place on a quiet, mid-week day in the early spring it is a real treat.  I have always felt that Hunter offers the best conditions and terrain in the Catskills.  With the exception of a 4 hour drive up to Vermont, nothing in the area compares in my opinion. 
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Jim, I believe I was there the same days you were last year (the Hasidic Jews were tubing for the day). Been going to Huntah on and off since I was a kid, my relatives have run the ski shop there for a million years. Can be a great little mountain but also super icy at times. I wish they would put a few bucks into the base area because the lodge is depressing inside but its still a nice place to ski on the weekdays. 
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Hunter was the mtn I grew up on. Been almost 20 years, plan on getting back this year. 
Great place to become a skier.
Thanks for these pics!
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I've been skiing Mountain Creek for a few years, hunter now seems better thanks to you. My skis buddies made hunter sound like a death trap on weekends.

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