Excited to share a guest post from my friend Jen Roe today.
A snowboarding mom, she’s a snowsports professional who recently took a position at Hunter Mountain, New York.
Even before she began working there this fall, I had hoped she would share her knowledge of this Catskills ski area — where NYC learns to ski!
By Jen Roe
As you might have heard by now, Hunter Mountain is now Epic. What does that mean?
It means that Hunter Mountain is now now part of Vail Resorts’ network of over 37 ski resorts worldwide. This means our loyal guests get more flexible options for winter planning.
Before I get into why my family loves Hunter Mountain, I want to roll out the red carpet and introduce Hunter Mountain to Epic Passholder families in the Northeast Region. We are located just 2.5 hours north of NYC and home to the most diverse terrain in the Catskill Mountains.
If you haven’t visited us yet for a day trip, we welcome you. We are a family mountain, we are a mountain for friends to meet up, and we are a place where memories are made!
Why Hunter Mountain is a Great Ski Area for Families
When The Brave Ski Mom asked me to shed some light onto the family-friendly side of Hunter Mountain, I couldn’t wait.
Considering that I work here and maybe am slightly biased, I sought out other voices to help convey this story properly.
I began with some Hunter regulars, and who better to start with than our staff Photographer, Rob Sharpe.
Rob is a Hunter ski kid turned employee — talk about a dream job come true! But it’s more interesting to me that he picked Hunter Mountain to cut his teeth professionally, the same mountain he called home throughout his formative years.
When I asked Rob what Hunter means to him, he replied,
My fondest memories are spending time in the base lodge after a long day of practicing or competing. Hanging out in Colonel’s Hall playing video games or running around with my friends. Our parents gave us freedom at Hunter because it was a family mountain.
Anyone who is familiar with the history of Hunter knows the story of the Slutzky family and the warm-hearted atmosphere they created.
Sarah Slutzky, Resort Services Manager, tells us stories of being at the mountain since infancy. Sarah said,
Growing up within the bounds of Hunter Mountain was just normal to me because I didn’t know any different. But now that I can look back on all of hat, I realize that it really shaped the person that I am today. My daughter Capri just turned 2 and we plan to get her out on snow this season and cannot wait! I hope she finds the same love and enjoyment for the sport as I did. Skiing is truly one of the only family sports that you can do from age 2 to 92 with the whole family! What’s not to love about that?
What Moms and Kids Have to Say
Personally, I’m a mom to a 13 year-old shredder, Travis. So, naturally, I hit up the Seasonal Program squad and spent some time talking to a couple of enthusiastic boys on the Hunter Freestyle Ski team. (We also followed them around for a few runs — talk about fun!)
Jacob Spalter, age 13, and David Sklar, age 15, were my go-to guys for the day. I asked them what they love most about Hunter.
Their answers included, “We love the variation of the trails” and “The parks are really fun.”
But the best answer in my opinion featured their coaches, whom they described as “all really different from each other but they work really well together.” And, then they were off!
As a mom, this speaks volumes, knowing that kids have the security to trust their coaches, and the depth of understanding that teach person is different and that they can pull strengths from diverse people in different ways.
Plus, what can I say, with their cheesy grins, these two young men are adorable.
Next I found couple of ski moms to speak to. Jessica Anthony is a ski mom of four from Westchester, New York. She grew up skiing at Hunter and knew this was where she’d make a winter “home away from home” with her children.
Jessica says, “When my kids started skiing it really brought me back to my youth and it made me realize how many great memories I had growing up with friends and skiing.”
She said the friends they’ve made as a family at Hunter are lifetime friends. They even now spend off season vacationing with their “Ski Family”.
Lisa Bellek, from Whitehouse Station, New Jersey is mom to three children, all of whom have participated in Hunter’s Seasonal Programs. Her oldest, Olivia, a competitor on Hunter’s Alpine Snowboard team, advanced to snowboarding’s famed Junior World Cup last winter.
Lisa shared that her kids feel like Hunter is their own backyard. Lisa says “Hunter is a great family mountain. There is no place we have found that has a stronger community of like-minded snow sports enthusiasts.” She also said “It takes a village and my family and I have found ours here at Hunter Mountain!”
Those words left me with a warm feeling knowing that in the decade that Travis and I have called Hunter our home mountain, we’ve always felt at home here, both on and off the mountain.
The Family 411
- Easy designated drop off zone, no schelping gear for miles
- Ample free parking
- Family seasonal lockers
- Hunter East, one mountain peak designated for learning with it’s own lodge, rental shop
- Ski & Snowboard lessons for all abilities, age 4+ (private & group)
- Playcare, ages 2-6
- Seasonal ski programs
- New Years Eve, Kids Glow Stick Parade + Fireworks
- Gameroom in Colonel’s Hall
- Waffles, on the mountain and belgian style waffles + ice cream in the cafeteria
- Pizza Station
- Live music and entertainment for the family every weekend
- Tubing hill with amenities (+ New York State’s Longest Tubing Run!)
- Lodging with spa and year-round outdoor pool
- Real Close Student Pass ($259 for kids K-12 in a 5 county area)
- Epic Pass access
Hunter Is Home
When sitting down to write this post it occurred to me that I have been sharing tips, tricks and solid advice on taking kids skiing and snowboarding for eight winter seasons now.
My son was only five when I started writing about snowsports. Now, he is 13. And although the dynamic has changed, the high point of getting through the little kid years is that now I have a built-in ski buddy. That my teenager wants to go to the mountain with me is a huge bonus!
Skiing and snowboarding are disciplines that you’ll be able to share as a family for your entire life.
From my family at Hunter Mountain to yours, wherever you are, we cannot wait to meet you on the slopes.
Welcome to our community! Jen Roe
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