The New York State Ski Blog

Monthly Archives: February 2013

ORDA 3-Way New York Ski Pass

Ski 3 PassNYSkiBlog has learned that New York’s Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) will announce a new ski pass which will grant skiers access to all three of New York’s state-run ski resorts. The Ski3 Pass will be on sale later today and will allow pass holders to ski Whiteface, Gore and Belleayre any day of the 2013-2014 season.

The early bird price of the new pass for adults — $739 — is the same as the first deadline price of the current ORDA 2-Way Pass for Gore and Whiteface.  The early discount price for young adults is $385, while college students and juniors can pick the pass for only $299. The early discount period ends on April 19.

A new Ski3 pass purchased this spring, is good from March 10 to the end of this season.  In addition to great savings on skiing and riding, pass holders will also be a part of ORDA’s “Perks Program.” Ski3 also offers special promotions and discounts throughout the year at ORDA venues and some local businesses.

Together, the three resorts offer more than 800 acres of terrain across eight peaks. The Ski3 Pass provides access to the vertical at Whiteface, The Slides, cruisers and tree skiing at Gore, and an accessible variety of terrain at Belleayre.  The pass has the potential to bring more visitors to both the Catskills and the Adirondacks.

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Slide Mountain, NY: Finding Myself Alone

In late January, I headed for Slide Mountain, at 4,180 feet the highest peak in the Catskills. I had just finished a grueling stretch at work and was eager to get out of the city. I went alone. As I skinned up from the parking lot, I had to rely on the sporadic trail markers and hope that the predicted fog and “wintery mix” would hold off. The trail had some snow, and lots of exposed rocks as well.

Slide Mountain NY summit view

As I climbed I considered whether backcountry skiing is merely a way to access unskied lines or something different altogether. I’m sure it means different things to different skiers, but for me it’s about being in the mountains and escaping.

When I was younger, I’d spend my days at Killington skiing the bumps under the chairlift: Cascade, Needle’s Eye and Outer Limits were my go-to spots. I was good, and I knew it. The pleasure was in the show. I dug hearing comments from the lift above me or sensing admiring eyes.

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Clarence Fahnestock Had A Dream

Having spent a good deal of my life on skis, I was always aware of that hole in my resume: nordic skiing. I resolved to fix it this season, with several opportunities for guiding on my winter calendar. I was looking forward to this trip, but I must admit, as an addicted downhiller, at first, I found it difficult to get excited for a nordic day when there was fresh pow in the mountains.

Fahnestock Winter Park Instagram

I’m familiar with Fahnestock Winter Park. I’d passed it so many times, both underneath it on Route 9, to get to the more popular Breakneck Ridge, and through it on the Taconic State Parkway.  I have hiked there many times and the trails are often empty.  The AT runs right through the park on its way to Connecticut, which in my mind, gives the place a little more character.

But nothing could have prepared me for my recent visit. The snow from Nemo released an explosion of pent up desire within the nordic community, and the volume of snow prevented the park from opening up at all the day before.

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