Return to the Mountains: Back to the MAX

Since my fateful and educational collision with a tree at Stratton in early December, I watched my social media feeds with a mixture of jealousy and anticipation as the east got some good early season snow. Surely, I thought, Ullr’s bloodthirst was slaked due to my offering, and he was preparing the mountains for my return.

Then, right on schedule, came the January thaw. All of that glorious fluff gone thanks to two days of rain and near-60-degree weather. I began to dread the ice that would follow as I now fear ice in a way I hadn’t before. But as I kept an eye on the forecast and saw that some areas were due to get up to eight inches of fresh snow, I grew excited and decided to head up north for the first time in six weeks.

Continue reading

The Adaptive Sports Foundation at Windham

Adaptive Sports Foundation 2015 Hartman Race
Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown, Courtesy of ASF

Windham Mountain in the northern Catskills is known for hosting the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF), a well-regarded program that allows children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities to experience the joy of snow sports. Last Saturday, ASF held its first-ever Awareness Day to spread the word about the organization’s vital work.

Headquartered in a dedicated 7,200 square-foot lodge with its own equipment shop, ASF’s 240 volunteer instructors donate more than 20,000 hours per year adding up to more than 4,000 lessons, with 3,500 of those during ski season.

In addition, since developing the Warriors in Motion® program 13 years ago, more than 1,500 wounded veterans and family members have used ASF’s services.

Continue reading

Whiteface: When the Storm Chases You

Last week’s heatwave and subsequent rain storm caused no end of consternation among northeast skiers. Modern technology made it worse. Many of us spent last week checking and rechecking weather forecasts, obsessively going from one internet meteorologist to another, searching for a different model or a new track that didn’t spell disaster for the snow pack.

whiteface

Eventually we accepted reality, shifting our attention to the mountains where the damage would be the least. The meteorologists weren’t unanimous in their predictions but they seemed to agree that the mountains in the northern corner of NY had the best chances. Instead of chasing a snow storm, I was actually getting chased, halfway to Canada, by a rain storm.

Continue reading