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Lancer Spirit Online

The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

Early season laps; a guide to east coast December skiing as a teenager on a budget

Sean Cornett
The sky becomes overcast as the day progresses on the second opening weekend at Killington Mountain.

As the lifts begin to spin, ideas of ski trips with friends or family seem like an increasingly intriguing and adventurous concept. For skiers and snowboarders alike, December is the month when many will be thinking about the resorts opening for the first time this season.  If you decide to voyage out into the great north for some snow this early in the season, here is what you need to know.

The first step is to plan. If you know where you want to go, that is helpful. If not, it might be worth your while to do some research. 

It is to be expected that the majority of the trails on most mountains will be closed, so it is critical to know what you want to ski, how good you are, and how far you are willing to go. Pre-season conditions make for some of the most diverse riders and skiers, so if you are up for the challenge, ahead lies a list of pre-adventure concerns that just might save you a dollar.

As an initial tip, purchasing your lift tickets online is a great way to save money on an already expensive day. However, many different mountains offer a wide range of prices and experiences.

For those willing to take the three-hour drive, Killington Mountain  in Killington, Vermont has been open since November, already maintaining multiple trails with anything from your average expert only run to some pretty packed park laps. 

The sun sets on Killington Mountain to mark the end of the second Friday of the season. (Sean Cornett)

Additionally, some lift tickets have immense discounts depending on how far in advance you buy them. However, even with the savings, a singular day pass for a teenager will cost you anywhere from $84 to $107. For such early season conditions, it is worth looking at other options.

Recently, a much more reasonable adventure for those not committed enough to spend hundreds of dollars and multiple hours in the car has opened. 

McIntyre Ski Area in Manchester, NH, opened on December ninth. This Manchester location is more convenient much closer to home. For teenagers, it will cost only forty to fifty-two dollars, depending on the day you go. Although it does not offer anywhere near as much skiing, for a quick skiing fix, McIntyre is a more than sufficient hill. With around 200 feet of vertical height to the hill, it is not among the highest peaks, but it has a more than adequate park, especially for beginners.

In addition to saving on lift tickets, it can be important to account for some of the other costs of a day on the slopes. 

Packing a lunch or even buying all of your groceries ahead of time and bringing a grill to cook is a great way to save a lot of money. Mountains will always upcharge you for food in their lodge, so planning can be good for your budget. At the same time, you can choose exactly what you want to eat. If spending ten to twenty dollars on a soggy hot dog is something you want to avoid, most mountains do not mind if you eat or cook your own food.

As a final tip and reminder to those who may have let their gear sit all summer, take things out.

Washing your outfit, disinfecting your ski bag, and aerating your boots goes a long way in having a much better time on the mountain. No one wants to be the person who is either smelling like old socks or freezing because their j

acket is still damp. Nasty gear makes for rough times, so keep clean and prepare your equipment.

Whether you have been inspired to take a trip or found the motivation to clean out your ski bag, make the most of your winter and prepare for the season. If all goes well, we may be looking forward to a good season this year, so it is best to get ready now.

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About the Contributor
Sean Cornett
Sean Cornett, Multimedia Editor
Joining the Lancer Spirit staff for his first year, Sean Cornett will be the new multimedia editor, aiding in anything involving a camera or a microphone. Behind the camera, Sean has shot anything from mountainous landscapes to action sports. However, in his free time he also enjoys playing his guitar, or escaping to the woods on his bike or skis, weather permitting. Outdoors and adventures aside, he also enjoys robotics and is no stranger to spending hours wrenching on all kinds of things. Whether he is out in the woods or in the shop, Sean will jump at any opportunity to be behind a camera.

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