After inspecting the base area and touring the lower mountain with David Tomberlin, I finally connected with local legend Cliff Levers. Originally from Tupper Lake, Cliff has worked in oil fields, as an ironworker, and as an electrician. He came back to Tupper Lake in 2002, and has been there steadily since.
Cliff was understandably very focused on reaching the top of Lift 3 and the 3136-foot summit, as was I. Up we went. The road was steep and slick. At times, Cliff would stand up on the ATV. I assumed he was trying to get more weight on the front wheels, so, when ever he stood up — I threw all my weight forward into the space he’d vacated.