Searching for the King of Spring

Skiing in May means traveling a little further when you’re based in downstate NY. For most of us, the ultimate late-season pilgrimage is to Mount Washington. Or if you have the money, I’m sure Mammoth, Mount Hood, or Alaska would provide a nice trip. With more limited finances and an oddball sense of fun, I decided to say goodbye to two more eastern resorts I really appreciate, Stowe and Sugarbush, both located in northern Vermont.

Both mountains provide some of the best experiences that the East Coast can offer. Deep light snow, endless trees, generous vertical and great views. I’d have to settle for the latter three, because although a few inches of fresh had fallen (you can see how clean it is in the troughs of the moguls at the Bush compared to the older snow), skiing last weekend basically meant riding the fake snow at the higher elevations.

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Closing Day at Hunter 2011

Closing day is a complicated event for most die-hard skiers. Every spring, when people start talking about sunny 70-degree weather, truly passionate skiers have trouble getting excited about it, in April or May, or even June.

Regardless of the weather, closing day always does offer some closure, like an outdoor group therapy session. It’s wishing away the upcoming warm weather, sharing beers with strangers, Chinese downhills to get a last chair before closing, and my personal favorite, cheap tickets.

Hunter was talking about closing April 10th, or possibly hanging on for another week if the rain didn’t hit. The party day was apparently on Saturday, with the annual pond skimming and true blue bird conditions, but most were hoping for another week.

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Lost Ski Areas of the Adirondacks

Jeremy Davis, founder of NELSAP, the New England Lost Ski Areas Project, is beginning work on his third book devoted to ski areas in the northeast that are no longer in operation.

NYLSAP Photo

Entitled Lost Ski Areas of the Adirondacks, this book will highlight 50-60 areas from that region, from the first J-bar in New York State (in Lake George), to short rope tows at hotels in Lake Placid, to large planned resorts that were never completed like Lowenburg near Lyon Mountain.

Jeremy has begun research on the book and has already come across an array of fascinating photos and maps, as well as information and narratives from people who remember these mountains. Lost Ski Areas of the Adirondacks is scheduled to be in print in the summer of 2012.

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