The ski season is always a moving target. While many mountains plan to start on Black Friday, mother nature often has different ideas. The end of the season is even harder to pin down.
The season reminds me of the baseball calendar. Thin cover snowliage skiing is akin to spring training. The regular season begins on opening day and the All-Star break is Valentine’s Day. But the analogy breaks down because end of the regular season is always a moving target.
Based on what I read on Facebook and in the Forums, last weekend was seen by many as the end. Several mountains called it on Sunday leaving more hills closed than open.
It’s been a great season for East Coast skiers, but if there was one thing we lacked so far it’s been a real spring.
Pre-appointed closing days have been shutting the doors and turning off the lifts at some areas without the opportunity for even one good beach session, cruising groomers and hitting bumps all in the name of getting a good tan and saying goodbye to winter the right way.
With this in mind, I pointed my gear to West Mountain on the mandatory work holiday for Good Friday. West’s location is an advertisement in itself, easily displaying its fully loaded slopes overlooking the Northway, and it seemed like a few other skiers had the same idea.
Taking a whole weekend off to ski this year was a rarity. I have a job that requires working on Saturdays, and you gotta take care of business. So when the opportunity came at mid-winter break, my family repaired to Lake Placid to ski Mount van Hoevenberg.
In 1982, I skied Mount van Hoevenberg for the first time. Still a novice, my friends were extolling the virtues of this place and we came up on a chilly January weekend.
The first trail we skied then was the Ladies 5k, so named because it was the route for the women’s 5 km relay event in the 1980 Olympics. Only one of the most difficult trails in the place. The lower part of the loop I managed without incident. But from the height of land, I basically fell all the way back down to the stadium. I was still figuring out how to turn going downhill.