I was recently in Vermont for a short ski trip to Bromley mountain. I’ve only been skiing the last four years or so, and we’re lucky if we get to go more than twice a season.
I never pegged myself as an individual willing to toss myself down a mountainside on toothpicks. But Chris wanted to snowboard, and he wanted to be able to go and know that I was somewhere, having fun. He wasn’t enjoying the “ski resort” in northern New Jersey and complained of poor skiing conditions. I suggested we give somewhere else a try.
After some research I stumbled upon Bromley mountain–a southern facing mountain near Manchester, VT. It’s roughly 3 1/2 to four hours away by car from NYC, and–this is key–it snows there.
I signed myself up for lessons for a day. And it was the best thing I could have done. Of course, before I even got the lessons, I had to get myself properly outfitted. They don’t rent socks and things! About $150.00 later . . .
I was at Bromley. It was Valentine’s Day weekend that year, and Vermont was enjoying it’s first decent snowfall all season. They definitely got dumped on. It took us 5 1/2 hours to get there in the end, as the last major road we needed to use was a small one-lane, two-way highway heavily covered with snow.
After getting kitted out with an embarrassingly short set of skis, poles and boots: I was ready.
About seven hours later, I was thoroughly exhausted. But I had had a blast with a terrific instructor and a group of people roughly my age. And I fell asleep at 7 p.m.–which I had not done since Kindergarten.
Apart from Hunter, we haven’t gone anywhere else yet. We like the place where we stay and ski. Bromley in particular is very family-oriented, and the people who board and ski there are considerate on the slopes. Stratton, trendy Stratton is nearby but it’s crowded and I’d rather not. I left NYC to get away from the crowds, thank you very much! But I’m open to places in NY north of Albany.
Hunter we tried twice and hated every second of it–overcrowded with icky snow. Lift lines are horrifically long because the people who go there don’t really know how to ski (or, they are SUNY Albany students suffering hangovers).
Four years later, we’ve learned our lesson. Instead of skiing for two days, just ski for one. It’s not worth the exhaustion. At least for skiers anyway. Snowboarders wear boots that are more like gigantic sneakers and are easy to move around in. Skiers wear boots that are more like medieval torture devices. And they’re heavy. They’re hard to get into, and when you’re tired, harder to get out of.
But it’s interesting what we do to ourselves to have fun. Hang around at the base lodge long enough and you realize that everyone is suffering somehow . . . in the name of fun.
There’s an outhouse at the top of the mountain. You’ll never catch me using it–I’d probably be the dope who gets frozen to the seat or something.
There was a short skit in Bill Cosby’s HIMSELF where he talks about what people do on the weekends. They get all excited about the weekend on Friday and leave early in a frenzy, only to return on Monday with an expression on their faces that indicates “Boy, am I glad to be back HERE!”
I had a great time, though. It’s nice to be away from the city sometimes.