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Home Mountain

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  1. Epic. Rad. Insane Gnarliness. Out of this world. These are just a few of the many phrases said throughout Camelback today. Personally, I myself am at a loss for words, because opening day could not have possibly been any better. The day everyone on PASR has been waiting for had finally arrived. I blew the dust off of my Hero Pass and headed toward the largest ski resort in Tannersville. Upon arrival around 7:50 am, I was expecting to join the peasants (non-season passholders) in Lot 3, since the awful news was broken the night before on Facebook that preferred parking is suddenly no longer a perk for season pass holders. But Lot 3 was mysteriously empty, and there was literally only one other car (pics below). I had virtually all of Lot 3 for pre-opening day festivities (i.e. putting on ski gear). After enduring the agonizing hardship of walking up a flight of steps in ski boots while carrying Elon skis, I gradually made my way to the queue for first chair. I was anticipating at least 200 people to be waiting, but to my surprise there were only 2 people in line, including the woman with a rainbow hat (now famous along with myself). It was now a 30 minute wait for first chair. Club music was blaring, so it was difficult to converse with fellow Camelbackians. But I did learn that the rainbow hatted woman's friend broke his arm at Blue last Friday, on the Black Diamond, on opening day. In light of this tragic news, I decided I would take it easy today and limit my speed to 39 mph (probably a world record) to avoid a similar fate. 10 minutes prior to launch, the anticipation was at insane levels. The camel came out to celebrate and high five everyone. Camera lights were going off in all directions as the paparazzi began snapping pictures left and right. As a result, I donned by fighter pilot style goggles (Smith I/OX) so no one would recognize me once I achieved celebrity status later that day by being featured in Camelback promos. Lift off time had come and gone. Apparently, the cat was making some last minute touchups to the powder high up on the pistes. Even though I could not contain my excitement, the delay was slightly irritating. 10 minutes had passed, and it was now 8:40. This travesty would later cost me one run. Finally, the big countdown came. The cheering commenced and I skied through the opening day sign with 3 other people to ride the 4 pack. However, 2 of the people irrevocably lost their chance at first chair of the season by making a gaper-level mistake, so I joined a man who had just returned from skiing in Vermont for the 3.5 minute lift ride. Conditions at the top of Upper Marc Antony, and elsewhere on the first run, were crazy good. Hard pack snow with fresh corduroy. I blasted away from the Sullivan lift as fast as I could, and before long I had the whole run to myself. I had never made the first civilian run of a season, so this was surely a life changing experience. From much discussion on PASR forums over the past week, I was concerned that coverage would be thin and sparse. But the guy from Vermont literally told me (yes, true story, not making this up) that they had been stockpiling snow at the top of the mountain over the past few weeks. My inclination is because it's easier (and cheaper) to push the snow downhill. The top of the hill is out of view from the 5 online webcams. I felt vindicated and have recorded audio from this anonymous source as proof. After reaching an exhilarating top speed of 34 mph (nearing world record speeds), I reached the bottom of Honeymoon and approached the Sullivan lift. The camel high-fived me and life was good. An official with a mic congratulated me for an excellent run, and fortunately I had not taken a fall and ruined this gnarly experience. After 5 runs, I decided to take a break and check out the free hot chocolate and sugar cookies. At this time, I overheard the magical news that they are giving away 1,800 snowtubing tickets to hotel guests (true story). So to everyone on PASR, definitely make time to stay at their hotel, before the tickets run out, and you too can galactic tube. Around this time I also met Ski2Live Live2Ski, who I would not have met if I had not noticed his white poles and lime green marking on his Volkl skis. Ski2Live and I did a few runs together before tragedy struck. In my futile attempt to perform aggressive carving on Upper Marc Antony (yes, a green hill), and show off in front of Ski2Live, I managed my first full yard-sale of the season. The powder was beginning to get tracked out, and I caught an edge. Fortunately, I was not injured except for my pride, and Ski2Live was cool about it and refrained from making gaper jokes. Shaken from this bad fall, I returned to making pizza on Upper Marc Antony for a while, since the narrowness of the piste makes it a little more difficult to make turns. By the end of the day, once conditions improved, I was skiing this piste like a badass again and returned to true parallel skiing. Ski2Live and I took a break. I had some free hot chocolate and scarfed down as many free sugar cookies as I could eat to avoid paying ridiculous food prices. Time was limited, since the slopes closed at 4:00 pm, so I skipped my normal routine of taking a mid-session lunch break at East Gourmet Buffet. Fortunately, the sugar from the free hot chocolate and cookies sustained my energy levels enough to allow me to make a whopping 51 runs, with 29,059 feet of vertical (actual proof below). Not too long after our break, Ski2Live departed to pursue band rehearsals, and I skied the remainder of the day mostly solo. On the final run of the day, I met a cool dude (also named Joe) who shares similar interests as me, and we conversed for a while even after the closure of the Sullivan Lift. Overall, the day was just awesome. Crowds were virtually non-existent, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. There was never more than a 15 second wait on the Sullivan Lift, a stark contrast from what we'll have to deal with just one month from now. The only issue I had all day (besides the infamous yard sale) was snowboarders sporadically moving across the narrow Upper Marc Antony, with one near-miss. Also, it was sad to see 2 injuries and the use of the rescue toboggan on the first day. At the same time, it was entertaining watching 2 gapers walking down honeymoon after realizing they had bitten off more than they could chew. I am excited for many more trails to open next week and will post further trip reports. *** Bonus first run of the season video coming soon ***
  2. Same shit.... different day.....
  3. Just got back from Camelback, the True Mountain. In the house was @saltyant and a lot of Jerrys. Pulled into the Gaper lot at 1700 hours and stepped into my RTMs to ski to the waterslide lift. Made gnarly runs on Nile Mile, Cliffhanger, and the green trail. Sadly I'm starting to forget the names of the trails since I'm getting old (almost 32) and haven't skied at Camelback enough. Cliffhanger was chock full of ice and giant moguls. All black diamonds were icy AF and my RTMs were making loud scraping sounds. Had some fun conversations on the lift. Talked to some cool older dude with a wolf hat he got in Utah in 1987, and told him his hat is older than myself and @AtomicSkier. When he was younger he biked a loop from Indiana to Yellowstone, so we talked about our road cycling adventures. Also rode the lift with a giant toolbag jabroni who had a backpack full of beers but lost it somewhere, and was drunk as a skunk. We rode up with an Ernst & Young consultant from downtown Manhattan and had an interesting conversation about life. Overall a great night and made a lot of epic runs. I still really like Camelback and maybe will get a season pass there again. JADIP.
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