Words by Mike Rogge

Jay Peak. What can you say about it? The mountain offers one of the most unique East Coast experiences and is easily the best kept secret amongst powder hungry right coasters. It is a place where fresh snow is prevalent, the trees are challenging, and friends gather to share the stoke of the "unheard of" East Coast powder day. I can't think of a better place to hold an NS member gathering.

This past weekend, NS'ers absconded from their finals, families, and power failures to make the trek to Jay Peak for the first NS member gathering of the season. This gathering would be a special one of sorts as it was NS's own Jeff Schmuck's last weekend living on the East Coast. Not to worry! Schmuck is still flying the NS banner in his loud and unique 80's hair metal sort of way, it's just now he'll be doing it from his natural habitat back in BC (Join me in wishing Schmuck good luck and sayonara. I guess some people just can't handle the beast that is the East, eh buddy?)

Friday night was filled with (fill in your favorite ski party phrase here), Wild Turkey...

photo: Jack Pollner


photo: Jack Pollner

a ski shot that destroyed many (including yours truly)...

photos: Jack Pollner

an intense game of flip cup...

photo: Jack Pollner


photo: Jack Pollner

and a tall-tee competition (complete with some serious tall-tee stretching at the insistence of Doug Bishop)...

photo: Ian Ray (http://www.ianrayphotography.com/blog)

that saw the winner score himself a free lift ticket for the next day...

Schmuck judges the tall tee contest. photos: Jack Pollner

A special gathering to say the least, in that friends both old and new got together with no other goal in mind than enjoying each other's company before an epic powder day. As the snow fell outside, we raged inside; swapping glory day stories, gossip, and old school NS clothing.

Road skiing! photo: Dave Brunelle

Some members of the party simply couldn't wait for the following day and sampled the ample amounts of snow accumulating with some good old fashioned road skiing. You gotta love that East Coast mentality...

NS kick off party from spenser cook on Vimeo. 

Saturday, we awoke to mild hangovers, an NS member appropriately funneling a beer, and blue skies. Our large group packed up our gear, cranked some tunes, and attempted to get the coveted first tram of the day.

photo: Jack Pollner

We anxiously drove to the resort and quickly made contact with our friends at Jay Peak Video or as some like to call them, the gnarliest guys at Jay. Playing the role of tour guide, our hosts graciously and unselfishly showed us untouched tree runs, cliffs, and a unique backcountry experience that had us jumping a creek multiple times.

The Jay Peak Video crew gettin er done...

photos: Dave Brunelle

Originally, we started the day as one large group but slowly and surely everyone snuck off to find their own little piece of heaven on the mountain. As they say, "There are no friends on powder days." The conditions were great for early December and many of us felt that early season muscle burn after a couple of runs. It's good to be back on skis!

Bishop. photo: Dave Brunelle

As the sun began to settle on the backside of Jay, we packed our cars, exchanged goodbyes, and Schmuck and I hugged it out while listening to Heart's "What About Love?" (no homo). The first NS member gathering of the season was a success and absolutely got everyone pumped for the season.

Thanks to all those that made it out for the weekend. Stay tuned to NS for information on the next member gathering!