So, the Beast has a soft underbelly.
The growing legion of New England skiers and riders who follow longtime Killington snowmaker/groomer Brian Hughes on social media know. His soulful condition reports on Facebook and Instagram resonate well beyond those simply clicking to see where the guns blasted new snow last night and what the groom looks like this morning.
Hughes delivers his unique and informative perspective from anywhere and everywhere on the mountain, in all measures of light and dark. He is frequently caked in snow and surrounded by noise — the howl of the wind, the hiss of snow guns, the churning of groomers and the laughter of his beloved Jamaican co-workers. All of it is music to his ears. Helmeted, head-lamped and ear-muffed, his voice cuts through the distractions to focus his followers’ thoughts on a much more peaceful refrain — just be kind to one another.
It’s a message people are thirsty to hear in this complicated age of dissention. And it’s coming from a voice they can immediately trust — that of the Snow King, who never saw a real snowflake prior to leaving his surfing lifestyle in southern California 28 years ago.