Monthly Archives: November 2011
Ski Day 2: You might reasonably question the prudence of driving five hours from the flatlands to Gore this weekend. I did question it, but ultimately for us, the decision to ski paid off.
We arrived at Gore at 8 am, had breakfast and booted up. Part of our motivation to come north was our desire to get Neve back on skis early in the season. Kindergarteners have a very busy schedule in December and we wanted to get her back in the groove before we arrived for Christmas break. At 8:30 we left her with her instructor Erin and headed to the Gondi.
Patrol was talking to everyone in the gondi loading zone. “Do you know conditions are very thin up top?” Zelda thought twice about the warning, and decided to lap the Sunway chair, to start. I boarded the gondola alone and very jazzed, to be riding a lift.
I had a plow guy, and I have to admit I took him for granted. When it snowed, he plowed. When it snowed hard, he plowed twice.
His name was Roger. During the mega storm of February 2007, he backdragged enough of our drive in the middle of the night to allow me to get safely off the road. Then he came back in the morning with his tractor. He dug it all out, and then came back again with the plow to clean it up — all included in his price of $35 per storm.
Once he pulled me out of a jam with his truck and a chain, and wouldn’t take a dime. He said “I’m pulling you out of the snowbank because you’re my neighbor, not because I’m your plow guy.”
Last Sunday’s work day at Plattekill may have been the start of something beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who’s skied the mountain and wants it to change, much. But over beers, I wondered aloud about enhancing it, and to my surprise, ownership agreed.
Even more surprising was the unexpected and overwhelmingly positive response from the skiers who ski volunteered to give up a Sunday to work together to clear some new lines.
It was weird being on the mountain in “stick season,” having just skied lift-served pow at Plattekill three weeks ago. But the mountain was abuzz with bikers flying downhill and through the trees, and over immense jumps that are hard to fathom until you see an armor clad rider fly off them.
Ski instructor Dave Zientko will be joining NYSkiBlog as the author of a multi-part series on how to get more out of skiing. Dave is a PSIA Level 3 certified instructor who has been teaching at Whiteface since 2000. He has been teaching skiing for 24 years. Before coming to Whiteface, Dave worked at Killington after starting out at Vernon Valley. He’s also had staff training roles in both the Whiteface and Killington Snowsport Schools.
Early on Dave taught adults, but after his son Zach was born, he widened his focus to include working with children. He has extensive experience with advanced level kids in all-mountain skiing and has coached in Whiteface’s acclaimed Cloudsplitter Club program for the last eight years.
Dave has experience skiing across Europe and the West including France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy as well was most of Colorado, Utah and British Columbia. Dave has logged several cat skiing days out West and has attended two PSIA National Academy’s including one in Chamonix in 2006.
This season Dave teaches private lessons and groups through Whiteface’s Snow Sports School on weekends and holidays. His focus is helping intermediates enjoy more of the mountain and advanced skiers ski more efficiently and tactically in all conditions.