Interview: Skiing the Catskill 3500

It was purely by chance that I heard about Jamie and Doug Kennard’s recent feat. While searching for a touring partner in the Catskills, I was answered with a question: “Did you hear the news?”

Westkill

He had to repeat it. Climbing the Catskill 3500 peaks is an accomplishment I’ve long held in very high esteem. To ski them all, that would take more than a few long days and serious dedication to the fickle nature of the Eastern Backcountry. Perhaps that’s the reason that as far as anyone could tell, this was the first time anyone had ever done it.

What could be sweeter than being the first to do something that was hiding in plain sight of millions? What follows is our interview with the adventurers. (– ml242)

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Closing Day at Plattekill 2014

The end of the season always seems to sneak up on me. It’s not like I can’t follow a calendar or fathom the inevitable warmth and rain that April brings. But somehow March snows and cold allow me to indulge my fantasy that winter will never end.

Marcski

When Plattekill announced that April 6 would be the last day of lift-served skiing on the mountain, I felt the pull to return. Bombarded with email from other diehards, I got my ducks in a row, and headed for Roxbury on Sunday morning.

I never seem to adjust to a proper spring skiing schedule. Just as I do in mid-winter, I set my alarm for a predawn awakening to head north. The difference was this time when I left it was light.

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Vail Resorts Buys ORDA for $1.2B

VAIL, CO – April 1, 2104: Vail Resorts Management Corporation (VRMC), the ski management giant, announced today that it has purchased New York’s Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) from the state of New York for $1.2 billion dollars in cash.

The sale includes all land and assets for Whiteface Mountain, in Wilmington, N.Y., Gore Mountain, in North Creek, N.Y., and Belleayre Ski Resort, in Highmount, N.Y.

This is a big deal for VRMC.  The three resorts combined deliver 7,000 vertical feet of skiing and riding on eight peaks, 886 acres, 33 glades and 227 trails. The SKI3 pass that allows skiers access to all three New York mountains will still be available next season.

According to an unnamed source at Vail Resorts, in addition to the three New York State mountains, pass holders will also be able to ski at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone in Colorado and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe. These acquisitions are part of a new strategy for Vail Resorts to drive season pass sales and build broader guest loyalty by purchasing premier east-coast ski areas located near major urban markets.

Robert Luegner, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts explained, “We will add the New York ski areas to our network of world-class resorts in Colorado, California and Nevada with new season pass offerings, providing the chance to experience the best skiing and riding both in the East and in the West.”

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