The Knuckles crew took a long weekend to carve up the slopes of Ellicottville, NY at Holiday Valley Ski Resort and Holimont Ski Resort. Here are their trail maps to give you an idea of what we were working with.
5 of us got in a little earlier than the rest of the crew and settled into the condo that we rented from AirBNB and what a cozy little setup we had going. Walk in the door and there are stair leading to the basement with 3 bedrooms plus a bath and a half. On the main floor there were a few chairs, a love seat, two smaller recliners, a dining table, kitchen with some rather old school appliances, and a patio. The final spot in the house was a loft with stairs that can only be described as a ladder with a landing at the top that had one queen bed and 4 twin beds where the singles laid their heads. The stairs were so steep that they’re was a guest book warning of other’s who had fallen down them fairly frequent. Only one of our friend’s had tripped and thankfully it was only about 4-5 steps.
Quick anecdote about the patio:
One of our buddies watched his team, AC Milan fall in a soccer match 1-2, as he chain smoked cigys and crushed a six pack of IPAs within 90 minutes. He watched the whole thing on his laptop which he sat on top the grill. As he cursed in Italian, we watched him out the windows as if he were an exhibit at the zoo. As he watched frustrated, we laughed inside already knowing the score.
The 5 of us who came early hit the hills on Thursday had to get their legs under them and get used to skiing once again. The first 5 minutes were not a pretty sight. Ted and our fearless snowboarding buddy, Brick, led the charge down the first hill as they were cruising Ted turned back to check on us, Ted’s fiance, J-Hoe, and myself were on our asses. I couldn’t help but laugh as I knew this was coming but eventually the rest of us got the hang of things and were carving it up pretty damn well.
Ted’s fiance is that of a rocket on the slopes as she had a difficult time turning on her skis, she sped down the hill melting the snow behind her. Our Buddy Brick throws caution to the wind as he speeds down as if it’s normal to snowboard that fast. On the third day this style of snowboarding caught up with him as he took 2 pretty nasty spills and the second spill had him thinking he may be concussed and we were told he didn’t speak for a good 20 minutes. Most peaceful 20 minutes for those on the hill, as his stories and jokes seemed to be never ending. He was definitely entertainment for the rest of us. I feel like the rest of the group seemed like they had no problem at all getting acclimated to the mountains. Ted is smooth as hell and the other’s have been skiing and snowboarding their entire lives. Pros in the snobbiest winter sport around.
My highlight for the weekend was when Brick, Ted, J-Hoe, and I needed to ride specific hills to ensure we make it back to the lodge, we came upon a Black Diamond Slope that was steep as hell and icy as all get out. I called out to the other’s with concern “Are we fucking serious you guys?!” Nothing we could do but drop in… We were hauling ass, I fell twice and the second time was next to employees/medics of the ski resort. I laughed and shouted over “Hey what’s up guys?” as if it were normal to be eating shit on this slope, mind you that last time I had skied, I was maybe 10 years old, 18 years ago… We all made it down successfully. The group knew I was building confidence the next couple days as they were waiting for me at the bottom of the hill(I was drunk and struggled to get my ski back on, thought I was fucked for the rest of the day) I fired by them into the line for the ski lift “What are you all waiting for?! LET’S GO!”
After our days on the slopes we retreated back to the lodge’s bar or back to the house to go out and grab some cold pilsners at the local bar scene which was actually pretty impressive and fun. That or we stayed in and crushed brewskis in our place. Either way we found time and time again to get “lost in the sauce” with headline of 2017 so far from Johnny “Football” Manziel. All in all, we all agreed that this was an incredible time together and broke up the boring/dragging winter lifestyle. Ted and I have been shopping for skis online ever since we got back. I would definitely recommend this type of long weekend as with good people, comes good times.