Gettin’ Schooled at Belleayre

When Belleayre joined the Olympic Regional Development Authority several months ago, some ORDA stakeholders wondered aloud about the logic of adding a third ski area to the agency’s mission.


Many of the thoughts were variations of: “Whiteface is known for the biggest lift-served vertical drop east of the Rockies and some of the most challenging in-bounds terrain in the Northeast, including The Slides. Gore is beloved for its extensive glades and cruising trails. What does Belleayre bring to the state-owned mix that those ski areas don’t already provide?”

An obvious answer is its proximity to the densely populated Tri-State Region: a huge, at best partially tapped market for Belleayre and the three privately-owned Catskills ski areas. Another is the potential for terrain expansion.

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The Powder Hunter

Yesterday I called in sick. I almost lost my job, but it was worth it.

It wasn’t clear to start the day that my gamble would pay off. Plattekill pulled the plug on a planned Powderdaize, when the sun rose on a disappointing three inches of frozen precipitation.


Fortunately NYSkiBlog HQ got me the information I needed and I traveled an exit farther north on the Thruway to Hunter Mountain where I met up with Lemmycaution and Scottski.

On my way in to grab a lift ticket, I ran into a Hunter employee and asked about the conditions. “They’re, um… interesting. Three inches of wind-effected sleet. I need to do some office stuff.”

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The Mountains Less Traveled: The San Juans

Success is mostly luck, but sometimes, you make your own luck. I recently returned from a destination trip that defied the odds. In the middle of a so-so season both here and in Southwest Colorado, I was still able to ski terrific conditions at four great mountains.

Skiing Southwest Colorado

Even better was the fact that everything else went down smoothly: no lines or white-knuckle drives, and a happy significant other. It’s now a month later, and I’m still convinced that it was the perfect trip.

Next time anyone tries to convince you to watch the weather, burn old ski gear, or sacrifice a chicken before booking a flight, don’t bother. It’s bound to be a good experience no matter what happens: strikes and gutter balls, powder or groomers. There’s always the chance that you’ll luck out, especially if you pick a cool destination like the San Juan Mountains.

This is not a tall tale from the mile-high state. I’ve got more than anecdotal evidence — I have the pictures to prove it. So take a look. It’s all good when you’re skiing southwest Colorado. Click on the link to read:

NY Ski Magazine’s
San Juan Mountain Diamonds