Karolyn Castaldo- My Home Away From Home

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Home Mountain: Sunday River, ME

To me, a home mountain is not a place that is close or easy to get to. It is a place that has always felt like home, despite being in a different state. Countless weekends growing up, I spent long hours in the car on the ride to and from Sunday River for times filled with amazing memories with my family and friends.
As a little kid, I struggled to keep up with my entire family of excellent skiers as they raced down the variety of terrain that the 8 peaks of Sunday River had to offer. My grandparents, mom, aunts, uncles, sister, and cousins considered Sunday River their second home during the winter, despite being from all over New England. We all found terrain that we could excel on, whether it was my older cousins bombing down White Heat, while I timidly cruised with my Mom down Dream Maker, or all skiing together on a groomer at the Jordan Bowl first thing in the morning when the snow was best. Each of us fell into our own routine of where we liked to start our day, what time we liked to enjoy a delicious bread bowl at North Peak lodge, and when and where we would like to take our last run of the day. The people, the snow, the trails, and the overall terrain at Sunday River made it easy to fall into a comfortable, home-like, feel. My skiing had improved greatly over the years that I had skied at Sunday River with my family and I was skiing everything that the mountain threw at me.
When I got older, I started bringing friends up to the family condo. We would take turns choosing where we would like to ski over the course of the day, singing on the chairlift and making new friends as the years went on. I still consider the people I met those weekends some of my closest friends and without Sunday River, they would not be in my life.
That aside, I consider the skiing I do at Sunday River to be some of the best I have done in my life. I go to school in Colorado and while I agree that the snow is better there, I have never found the sort of sync and rhythm that I fall into when my boots click into my bindings and I take off down the hill when I am in Maine anywhere else in my life. When I think of the quote, Skiing is a dance and the mountain always leads, I ultimately think of Sunday River. I will probably never know why, but I suppose I will always just be an Ice Coast girl at heart, and seeing as home is where the heart is, then Sunday River will always be my Home Mountain.

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