Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde
I recently had the opportunity to interview the legendary skier, Glen Plake for Unofficial Networks. Plake is known for many things, most notably, his Down Home Tour where he, with no rhyme, reason or schedule, shows up to local, small ski areas to bring them notoriety. In the age of the mega resort, the Down Home Tour is a worthy cause and something that Plake is very proud of. He loves championing the little guy and for good reason, they are the heart and soul of the ski world. During the interview, Plake said, "there are ski resorts and there are ski areas and the ski resorts wouldn't exist without the ski areas." Truth is, the big boys of the ski world need these ski areas to help foster a larger ski and snowboard community and nothing could be more true when it comes to Mount Peter.
Mount Peter: A Feeder Mountain With a Convenient Location
There is something to be said about entering the lot at a ski area and pulling into a parking spot that sits right along the slopes. Talk about rock star parking. This is the reality though of Mount Peter. There are no bad parking spots at this tiny ski area that is conveniently located just about an hour outside of New York City in the town of Warwick, NY.
Mount Peter is not trying to be something it's not. It is not on the Epic Pass or the Ikon Pass. Heck, it's not even on the Indy Pass. What Mount Peter is though, is a feeder ski area that offers a convenient location and provides top notch affordable ski lessons in a family friendly atmosphere. A reputation that they are not only owning, but absolutely crushing.
From Beginner to Advanced, Mount Peter is All About the Lessons
With a parking spot as convenient as ours, it was rather easy for the entire family to boot up, grab our lift tickets and hop right on the lift. In fact, we actually caught the first chair, a feat that I have never in my 30 year history of skiing accomplished despite staying on the mountain at many locations. Nonetheless, this allowed us to get in a few laps prior to starting our ski lessons.
Sliding into the meeting area, I instantly noticed that Mount Peter is very well staffed with a multitude of ski instructors ready and waiting to teach skiers and snowboarders. They have to be, especially when they offer free ski and snowboard lessons to beginners on holidays and weekends. Yes, I said FREE, however, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Mount Peter offers lesson packages for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. "We'll book roughly 800 private lessons on a major holiday weekend," says Rob Gallo, director of ski lessons at Mount Peter. No small number for a place of this capacity and proof that they are doing an amazing job.
Private Ski and Snowboard Lessons for All Abilities
Jumping in on the private lessons, I was impressed with how the staff at Mount Peter was able to accommodate the range of ability levels within my family. My three daughters have been skiing for anywhere from 3-8 seasons and were perfectly matched up with two younger instructors who they loved and learned a lot from. They could not stop talking about their "coaches" the entire rest of the day. My wife who has snowboarded for about 20 years, and is very good, was paired up with an accomplished snowboard instructor who, "did a great job of pointing out my bad habits and helping me fix them," she said.
I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a PSIA Level 2 instructor who was able to break down my skiing technique to the smallest degree and build it back up. Having skied for 30 years, it was great to be humbled and learn so much in one hour from a professional like this. Having taken at least one lesson in each of the last few years, I can honestly say that I learned the most from this one. So much so, that I spent more time afterward on the beginner trails trying to perfect the techniques that I was taught.
Mount Peter Snow Tubing is Après Ski Fun for All
Après ski is not just for adults and Mount Peter is proving that one snow tubing run after another. That said, I may have enjoyed snow tubing as much as, if not more than my girls. Having never been before, I didn't really know what to expect but damn...it was a blast! Talk about going full send. It seemed like every time I went hurling down the track, snow shrapnel flying into my goggle covered eyes, I blew through the carpets designed to slow me down and went directly into the barrier of air bags. I loved it, as did my daughters and wife who could not stop laughing at my expense as the attendant would radio down saying, "the guy in the blue helmet and orange jacket needs a slower tube." Everyone was all smiles as we spent roughly two hours sending it on the tubes, racing against each other and trying to find the fastest lane.
Pete's Pub is the Perfect Way to End Your Mount Peter Ski Day
Finished with snow tubing it was time for après ski at Mount Peter as we know it. Ditching our gear at the car and heading over to Pete's Pub, we grabbed the girls some burgers and hot dogs from the hut just outside the base lodge. I was told that these are the best on the mountain thanks to the fresh cold air and hot charcoal grill. Charred on the outside, juicy on the inside, boy did they deliver.
There are no kids allowed in Pete's Pub. Odd for a family friendly ski resort, but actually quite nice and not really a problem. The girls were able to chill out in the Bear's Den, a space inside the lodge just on the other side of the glass window from Pete's Pub. With them in full view from our seats at the beautiful century old reclaimed bar we enjoyed local craft beers all while recounting how great our day was from start to finish.
Mount Peter is Fully Focused on Delivering Family Fun
Mount Peter is not trying to be something it's not. Those roles are already taken, swallowed up by the big boys of the world. Instead, they are just being themselves and crushing every minute of it. With a convenient location not far from NYC and strong focus on ski and snowboard lessons, Mount Peter is fostering generations of skiers and snowboarders to come all at a reasonable price. Having so many beginners coming through Mount Peter, the snow tubing area is vital to their success. Snow tubing is a welcome break for those who are just learning and tons of family friendly fun prior to ending your day in true après ski fashion with some craft beers at Pete's Pub.