Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ski Gunstock! (and Killington)

As some people know, I have a minor obsession about skiing that runs in the family. It's just so much fun to slide down a mountain in the fresh air! This year my family spent a few days skiing in New Hampshire and Vermont before driving back home from my cousin's wedding, so here's the second batch of pictures from that occasion.

The second place we skied was Gunstock, a nice little mountain that has got to have the best view of any ski resort anywhere. This is because it's right on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, the very large lake my family loves to visit, and here's a picture of it from our place-
(By the way, in this picture the water is actually frozen ice that happened to freeze like that, and that little dot is one of the first ice fishermen of the season!)

As a result of that, the awesome thing about skiing on Gunstock is all you do the entire way down is drink in the view-
My pictures don't quite capture it (it was still pretty cold, and my camera doesn't like functioning well in subzero temperatures) but trust me, it was gorgeous. Interestingly, this picture looks back to the spot where I took the first picture from toward the left and back from that large-ish island (Bear Island), as one of those littlish islands is the one I am forever taking pictures of in front of our house.
Here's my brother, Patrick, standing at the top of Gunstock. Before I forget to mention, the other interesting thing about this resort is all the runs have ammunition-related names, such as Trigger, Pistol, and Six Shooter. (And at Wildcat, detailed in an earlier post, everything is named after kitties.) I suppose the Second Amendment is alive and well at this place.

Anyway, for our very last day we decided to leave early and drive to Killington, Vermont and spending the night somewhere after the day of skiing there. Killington is the biggest ski resort on the East Coast and I'd only skied there once before, so I was really excited to see what it would be like, but unfortunately I was a bit disappointed. See, we'd been spoiled on days prior by incredible snow in New Hampshire, as there had been a large snowstorm just a few days beforehand, but Killington apparently didn't get a lot of that snow and was very icy as a result. Combine that with the blustery weather, people saying it wasn't icy at all for Killington (you mean you normally need ice skates?), and very expensive ski tickets (I think it was $70 per person, whereas the little NH resorts were maybe $25 max) mean I'm probably not going to go out of my way to go there again when there are so many other great places in the area. (To be fair, it's not like I paid for my own lift ticket as I was there with my family, but this is something to keep in mind should I end up as a poor graduate student in New England.)

One thing I really liked about Killington though was the fact that the wind had turned all the trees into "powdered sugar" as my family calls it- you know, when the pine trees are so coated in snow that it looks like they're made of candy. Absolutely gorgeous! So here's me acting a bit macho on the edge of a precipice with a grove of powdered sugar pine trees in the background.