The West (Mountain) Is The Best

The author, enjoying a long-awaited payday at West Mountain.
The author, enjoying a long-awaited payday at West Mountain.

East coast skiers are accustomed to sketchy conditions. There’s a reason we have “rock” skis at-the-ready for days when snow is thin. In fact, they usually get more use than our more favored sticks.
But every once in a great while, we get lucky.
The same storm pattern that’s dumped 100 inches on Boston has left east coast ski resorts with the best conditions in decades; and skiers with a case of permagrin.
The illustrated 2015 trail map Trampoline created for West Mountain.
The illustrated 2015 trail map Trampoline created for West Mountain.

At our nearby hill, West Mountain, locals are tossing around words like “best-ever”, “legendary”, and “all-time”. This Sunday, the final day of President’s Week, there wasn’t a parking spot to be found and ticket lines stretched as far as the eye could see. Every trail was open, four inches of fresh snow fell overnight atop a fluffy 75” base, and, after a week of single digit temps, the mercury finally rose into the 30’s. Conditions were perfect.
While we’re all thanking Mother Nature, credit must be given to the mountain’s new ownership. It wasn’t long ago that the mountain’s future was in jeopardy. But recent investments and mountain improvements have revived the mountain’s spirit and returned it to its former glory. Without a doubt, it’s in the best shape I’ve seen it in my 20 years of skiing there, and I’m not the only who feels that way. On Sunday I skied with a friend who lived in Colorado for five years and skied at famed resorts like Vail, Breckenridge, Jackson Hole and Alta. Stopping halfway down an untracked glade run at West Mountain, he commented (between deep breaths) that it was as good as any runs he’d skied out west.
And it’s not just our local hill thriving. Our friends at Hunter Mountain in the Catskills, resorts across Vermont, and businesses throughout the Adirondacks who rely on winter tourism are all enjoying a well-deserved boost to their bottom line.
So let’s revel in this moment, east coasters. It’s not often we get to stick our tongues out at our friends out west and say with certainty that we have the best skiing in the country.
: p