There were other upper mountain trails open, but either the crowds or terrain made those trails less appealing. I heard that the lower mountain crowds were horrible all day. By skiing the "side" lifts, I was able to get 16 runs (each probably 1.2K of vertical) in under 4 hours - more than enough for the first day of the season. Not sure if the the mid-season weekend crowds at Hunter would let me get that much skiing in.
This was the first time I've ever skiied before Christmas, much less at Thanksgiving time. Let's hope this winter keeps up like it's started. It would sure be nice to take a short drive and ski Liberty or Whitetail in December.
Travel note: Hunter's brochure advertises 5 hours travel time to Baltimore and 6 to DC. This is surprisingly realistic under good conditions (i.e., not snowing or non-heinous traffic). I made the return trip to Kensington, MD in 7 hours under the horrible Thanksgiving Saturday traffic. Through a bad route decision, I spent over half an hour at a toll booth entering the New Jersey Turnpike (nothing like having to wait to spend your money). The I-95 traffic in Maryland was the typical Thanksgiving weekend stop and go. 6 hours to/from DC seems attainable for a normal weekend.
[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 11-27-2000).]
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