Being a fresh guy in NYC from sunny South Florida, snow sports are all but a new thing for me! No stopping me though! Hunter Mountain has welcomed me with open arms and I believe I’ve found the best mountain to get your ski or snowboarding on in close proximity to NYC for all you city people!
My first issue with getting up to the Catskills was my transportation! Lucky for me, there are plenty of bus lines that take people to and from for day trips which turn out to be cheaper than paying directly to the mountain (no offense Hunter).
My go to and frequently used is run by David of the Urban Sherpa bus line. They have two pick up locations, one at Union Square on 14th and the second in Times Square at 42nd, specifically at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
Cannot describe how happy I am with them. They’re always on time and we’re back in NYC by 8pm the latest and the whole package including gear runs you personally just $125.
WHAT A STEAL!
As far as Hunter Mountain goes, it’s the closest trail for me to board coming in at just under two hours away. Pulling up to the lodge, you’re greeted with a very, VERY expensive store or gear in case you forgot something on the way and the Rental/Beginner building to the left.
The whole process is almost painless when renting the gear. Walk in, sign the form, and grab your gear. I was quite impressed with how quick they get you through the place. The mountain itself is amazing to look at, at least coming from a Florida boy like myself once you get yourself out of the rental area.
Being at Hunter Mountain is so surreal. Everyone is incredibly friendly and always trying to help each other out. I kid you not, even while on the lift, people will be yelling advice to people as they eat shit coming down a trail, it’s actually quite hilarious! As you’re making your way up the lifts, you’ll notice how many trails there actually are. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, many of the locals (when I say locals, I mean literally everyone is from Long Island or Jersey) say Hunter is the best to learn from for any skill level. I would have to agree. This last visit I believe was my 7th time since last December and I’m coming down double black diamond trails which is the hardest difficulty.
Green – Easiest/I can barely keep my legs straight, Trails
Blue – Intermediate/I’m somewhat decent, Trails
Single Black – Expert/I think I’m a boss, Trails
DOUBLE Black – Extreme/I know I’m better than everyone else, Trails
Once you’ve had your fill of boarding for the day, the lodge provides you all the necessities to get your face stuffed and your body smashed with alcohol. The bar is run by my favorite woman Vicky who is an absolute doll! Cheap drinks, and amazing happy hour from 3pm -5pm and the Spiked Cider cocktail is an ABSOLUTE must try.
On busier days, the lodge is actually quite expansive. There’s a sushi bar on the second floor, a full restaurant with a separate ramen shop (not that great though), a food court area for all things high school cafeteria material, and a deli and ice cream shop. Kind of wild to think the lodge can accommodate such a wide variety of food but I think its what makes it great.
I feel blessed to have made friends with David and the people of Hunter Mountain including the regulars I’ve definitely seen more than once. Being around awesome people just makes you want to keep coming back for more.
With that being said, Hunter is by no means the best place to go boarding or skiing and I unfortunately did not get to check out any other mountains this season now that it’s ending but Hunter has a special place in my heart being my first and favorite place to get my snow on!
“10/10 would recommend….Yancy, OUT!”