Hunter Mountain, N.Y., isn’t where I actually learned to ski. But Hunter is indeed where I learned to ski. Chasing my older brother down icy black diamonds like Hell Gate and Minya Konka, yard-saling big-time on the double blacks at Hunter West—Westway, under the liftline, even. No matter how hard I skied—or rather how hard I bit it—my brother never let me win.
Our parents gave us free rein at this surprisingly steep, usually slick mountain when I was barely out of elementary school. Truth is, they couldn’t keep up. But looking back, it’s a wonder we didn’t end up with serious injuries to our wool-hat-clad heads.
It’s not exactly “soul” you’ll find at Hunter—maybe something closer to “grit.” But the two share a bed occasionally, and if you ski Hunter—and not Belt Parkway, for crying out loud—you know what I mean.
I moved West and haven’t skied Hunter in years, but the mountain will always have a special place in my hardened, wind-whipped, frostbitten, New Yawkah heart. And what do you say, Scott? Meet me at the top of K-27? It’s time for a rematch.