Birthday Ski Safari 2018

As a lad, I lamented the proximity of my birthday to Christmas. I felt that the energy for celebration was thin by the time my annual marker came around. But as a post middle-age skier, I find that the timing is perfect, allowing me to create a nice distraction from the march towards old guy.

Now the convenient placement of my birthday, a week after New Years, is hard to deny. By then my girls have had their fill of skiing for a while. It’s a weekend to roam New York, looking for the snow, terrain and vibe that keeps me young.

Plattekill has become an integral part of my strategy for reality denial and/or postponement. Often this is my first trip to Roxbury and I push everyone I know to come out to ski.

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Gore Mountain Deep Freeze Holiday

It’s not news that we spent the holiday in Johnsburg NY.  We do it every year. On other hand, the extreme weather this past week and the great skiing were noteworthy. The intense cold —especially for those of us with kids—was near the limit of what we could handle on a windy and open lift.

sunrise on the yellow trail
First Tracks on the Yellow Trail

For us skiing in the trees was a solution. At Gore and in our woods, the trees were a haven from wind offering exercise, warmth and pow. But I’m jumping ahead. First, the snow.

In the southern Adirondacks, snow fell right before the holiday, with a nice mix of precip types. On December 22 we had 8 inches of new snow, followed by 1/2 inch of cold rain on the next day. Then, starting on Christmas Day, we got another ten inches of new snow.

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Gore Mountain Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving is often our first chance to ski, and this year was no different. After a midday feast with extended family, we drove to the mountains. We arrived around 9pm. I was up early, and headed to the hill by myself, letting the girls sleep in.

I pulled into the upper lot right next to my friend Duck and he had the prodigal ski with him. Five days after Stella, I ripped out a binding in the Tahawas trees and my ski ran far in deep snow. After a half-hearted look, I started the long hike out. This past September, Duck hiked the mountain and brought the orphan out. I put it in my car, a good start to the day.

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