Joining a party of three from my place in the singles’ line, I am pleasantly surprised to notice that both kids have Magic Mountain stickers on their helmets.
“Did you all ski Magic this weekend?” I ask their father, after briefly exchanging chairlift pleasantries.
“No,” he says longingly, looking down at the trails of packed powder below. “We were going to today. But, of course, it’s closed.”
“Yes, I heard about it,” I say. “Too bad.”
“We drove up from Fairfield, Connecticut,” the man continues as the chairlift speeds up Stratton Mountain. “My brother-in-law tells these stories about skiing Magic back in the ‘eighties. Back before they closed for all those years. Skinny skis. Powder. Unbelievable glades. He says it was just legendary.”
We exit the chairlift, wish each other a happy new year, and head off in separate directions. Stratton has gotten so much snow that not even its frantic grooming policy can keep the powder from piling up into little mogul fields on trail after blessedly powdery trail. It would be foolish to want for anything more after the disappointment of last year’s ski season. But after the conversation on the chairlift, it’s clear those skiers from Connecticut would rather be at Magic. And so would I.
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