Author Archives: ml242
In one of the more amazing closing days I can remember, Sugarbush decided to reopen for free skiing on May fourth. Skiing in May is an adventure no matter where you might be, on a glacier, a volcano, or a strip of man-made snow in Vermont.
We’ve all heard the rumors that resorts don’t like to stay open late into the spring, because people move on to other activities.
Today, the crowd wasn’t buying it, and neither was the resort. There was a parade of spring revelers, removing clothes or donning costumes to shred the one remaining slope.
No two ski seasons are ever the same, even if the locations remain a constant. I spent another closing day at Plattekill this year, but I didn’t wear my Yankees hat, or even ski in a t-shirt like so many other times.
On our first ride up, the trees were encased in thick ice, evidence of a freezing mist that had blown through a couple of days earlier. Conditions started relatively fast but were quick to soften. There was no White Ribbon of Death, the snow was simply too forgiving.
Beyond the unseasonable weather, it was classic Plattekill. We were practically alone on the hill. The other cars in the lot certainly didn’t add up to lift lines or entangled skiers on the slopes.
Shane is literally the man who brought fat skis down from the heavens (Tahoe) and taught the masses to ski pow in the way that Ruth taught Major League Baseball how to hit home runs.
The apocryphal story of Shane using waterskis to show Volant how they would work in powder is the modern day equivalent of Ruth calling his shot over the centerfield wall. (Pardon the crude analogies, but there are only two sports I care about, skiing and baseball and it’s the time of year when both are in season.)
Squaw has enjoyed a nice run at the pinnacle of skiing history from the 1960 Olympic Games to the original Extreme scene in the 1980’s. More recently it was the home of Shane, and friends like Scott Gaffney, who were pioneering freeriding and having a tremendous amount of fun inventing games like G.N.A.R. And the mountain lends itself to showing off. Tahoe’s gorgeous snow and sunshine provides a great venue to express yourself on convenient, aesthetic, steep lines located under the chairlifts.
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.”