Diamond Day at Plattekill

There’s an old adage in the ski business: lack of snow in backyards yields a lack of skiers on the slopes, even when conditions are good. But since almost no one has a backyard in the city, this season’s snowfall totals didn’t hurt attendance at The Diamond’s first annual Ugly Sweater Party and Caravan Trip to Plattekill Mountain.

Diamond Bar Brooklyn
The Diamond in Brooklyn NY

Despite disagreements about whether my own green fleece qualified for $2 “ugly” beers, the fete was an unqualified success. With Aspen Extreme on the projector and party-goers lining up for the shot-ski, we spent Saturday night getting “ready” for our ski trip in the morning.

We treated a litany of party rituals as sacrifices to Ullr and if the forecast turns snowy for the remainder of the season, we’ll be happy to take full credit while sidestepping the blame for the season so far.

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Gore Mountain, NY: 2/11/12

I hadn’t been to North Creek since mid-January and two things surprised me — the lack of snow on our stoop and the extent of cover on open terrain at Gore. It seems clear that management has decided to make snow on open trails, and put aside, for now, thoughts of further terrain expansion. After skiing today, I think it might be the right call.


Underneath everything there’s a very firm base.  Most trails had enough loose snow on them to make turning fun and those with intermediate pitch or recent snowmaking were fairly “quiet.” And then there was Uncas; guns on all day, swales, frozen goggles, a little gak, and some really fun bumps on the steepest sections.

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SANY’s Union Square Snow Jam

I wasn’t sure what to expect at the SANY-sponsored Union Square Snow Jam, but snow has been so scarce this season that I ran to the park with my camera gear and a prayer that it wouldn’t be tracked out before I got there. What I found was fun to see — a big pile of snow sponsored by Whiteface, Gore, Windham, Hunter, Belleayre and Mountain Creek.

Union Square Snow Jam

Normally, this event includes a snowmaking demonstration, but this week’s mild temps required a different approach. The participating NY ski areas blew snow at home, loaded piles into dump trucks and drove it down the New York Thruway into the city.

The snow was slick and fun to play on. It was surrounded by an array of tents and displays featuring some of New York State’s biggest areas giving away deals and trail maps. From what I saw, the kids really liked the ski area swag.

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