A weekend at Bristol Mountain
January 12, 2014
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After an enjoyable but vertically challenged Xmas and New Year at Wisp, Holiday Valley and Seven Springs, we were in need of a fast lift and runs that lasted more than 90 seconds. A cold storm had come through to the north, so at the last minute, with about 8 inches of fresh in the forecast for Friday, Bristol Mountain in Upstate New York became the weekend destination.
Bristol is hardly a gargantuan, but 1200ft vert and two fast lifts gave us enough to play on for a weekend. With runs basically cut through the trees on the front of big hill, there was roughly 7 or 8 main runs down the full face, all with pretty much the same moderate, rolling pitch. This is no huckster hill, but some soft bump fields, freshened by the new snowfalls, gave variety to the skiing, as did dodging the many straight-lining locals who flew past every few seconds.
Saturday was pretty primo conditions-wise. The new snow on Friday and ferocious additions of gun pow made for soft, carvy skiing and even the odd stash of two-turn pow by the trees. The sun was out, slowly warming us against the somewhat ferociously cold morning wind. Sunday was a little firmer, but much less busy, meaning the steeper congested parts of runs didn’t get scraped down to the underlying gun pow glaciers. We left reluctantly at 2pm because the skiing was still good.
Overall, I really liked Bristol. It’s cruisey and comfortable skiing, like a visit to your favorite aunt who always fed you great homemade cakes and slipped you beer under the table. Like all aunts though, there are oddities. The main one being that the Comet express quad from the base lodge pretty much had a 5-ish+ minute (singles line) wait all day long. Not terrible, and very well organized loading, but good to avoid sometimes. Luckily this was easy, as the other express quad, Galaxy, was more or less ski-on all weekend apart from the first hour Sunday. Why – I have no idea? And anywhere that serves healthy sized bowls of white bean chicken chili and fresh dipping bread is a winner in my book.
Season Totals: 14 days, 109,200m vert