by Anura Guruge
Click pictures to ENLARGE.
The kids wanted to go skiing at Gunstock, on Sunday, January 29, 2017. Devanee wanted to meet up and ski with some friends, and Teischan, having just finished her 4-weeks ski-program at school, was eager to get more milage on the snow. Since Teischan (at 10) is too young to venture beyond the bunny slope on her own I agreed to go skiing.
This was a tad too early in the year for I. In my dotage I really have become a warm-weather skier. Days of skiing in -20°F (-28°C), in ‘Waterville Valley’ (N.H.), are long gone and but a shuddering memory. [That was c. 1995 — over two decades ago.]
I lucked out. The morning, till exactly noon, was spectacular in terms of weather. Blue skies, sun beating down and quite warm (probably because I was wearing 3-layers (for a change)). It wasn’t that busy either. Sure there was plenty of people but the lift lines were never more than a FEW minutes long — less than 4 minutes ( I would venture).
So, it was good.
Gunstock is UNPARALLELED for its spectacular views across Lake Winnipesaukee. Beautiful place to ski.
That said Gunstock has never been my #1 place to ski in New Hampshire. I am an out-and-out Loon man. Loon is my mountain and has been for 31 years.
I remembered today, my very first visit to to Gunstock in 1987. We were on the way to Loon, on I-93, when just prior to the Gilford exit we heard a very compelling radio ad. for Gunstock. So, we decided to pull off at Gilford and give Gunstock a try. Drove up, pulled in the parking lot, got out … and took one look up. I then immediately got back, said “it is way too small” and set off to Loon!
Then I came to live in Gilford, 1998 to 2007. I could see the slopes of Gunstock from my bed! So, I started skiing Gunstock — on occasion.
The kids like Gunstock. Their school ski program is at Gunstock.
So, why we ended up in Gunstock today. Plus, through the school program we get discount tickets. That was GOOD. If I had paid full price I would not have been happy.
Yes, we have had above freezing temps for the last few days. BUT, that is no excuse for the MUSHY trails — especially the blue ones. Given Teischan is still new to the sport we have to ski Blue. I was not impressed. Neither was Devanee.
But a good ‘day’ of skiing — Teischan and I calling it quits at 2pm (given we only took a 15 minute lunch break).
I know that the trails at Loon would have been better groomed. Real piste. Not the mush we encountered at Gunstock.
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by Anura Guruge