Hunter: Into the Home Stretch

Spring has been taking its time catching up with the calendar and the Catskills are no exception. While driving through Hunter NY last Thursday, it was hard to miss how much snow still covered many people’s yards at the end of March.

Hunter Mountain spring skiing

As we pulled into the ski area, all of the visible trails had full coverage. Racer’s Edge — which by this time of the season is often specked with dirt — was a perfectly groomed carpet of white.

Pretty much all over the mountain, Hunter has stockpiled a lot of snow (north of ten feet in many spots), which obviously bodes well for the next two weeks. While none of this is a surprise given Hunter’s reputation as a snowmaking beast, it’s still impressive to see in person.

Continue reading

Decisions, Decisions: Skiing Spring Snow

Among the many things skiers like to rhapsodize about from “back in the old days” is that winters were far colder and stuck around longer than they do today.


Growing up in Central New York in the early/mid-1970s, I still remember traipsing through shoulder-deep snow to deliver the Syracuse Post-Standard at 5 am every morning while walking backwards for most of my route to avoid getting blasted in the face by sub-zero wind gusts.

While 2013-14 hasn’t been a record breaker for snow, it’s been noticeably colder than recent seasons and has delayed the arrival of spring skiing.

Continue reading

Bearpen Mountain: Going the Distance

Change is a constant in New York and exceptions will only prove that rule. Through the foggy goggles of memory, we skiers like to reminisce about the past, but someone else will always remember the story differently from a time before we lived it.


Bearpen is like that for me, as I can play “remember when.”  Still, I learned about the mountain from NELSAP, but that was well after the halcyon era for the bygone resort.

I suppose my own glory days at Bearpen were spent assisting the owners and the caretaker, Russ LaChapelle in maintaining the property and learning of its storied past.

Continue reading