Category Archives: Adirondacks
I like to mark annual milestones. One of my favorite benchmarks each year comes at the end of April. After the lifts close and before the bugs come out, I drive to our place in the Adirondacks, to perform an annual ritual: gettin’ in the wood for winter.
Almost invariably when I pass Gore on the way up, there are turns to be had. Also invariably I’m not distracted from the mission: to finish the weekend with one stacked and covered cord.
My job is really watered-down compared to any local’s true version of gettin’ in the wood. Our wood consumption is modest and our supply is often supplemented by deadfall from the winter.
NYSkiBlog began in 2008 as a personal blog about adventure in the Adirondacks. At that time, the site focused much of it’s energy and content on trip reports, conditions and improvements at Gore Mountain. While our focus and audience has expanded beyond these roots, they run deep. We estimate that nearly one-third of our audience calls Gore home, and Gore threads posted in our forums still generate a lot of interest and discussion.
For the last five years NYSkiBlog has recorded snow totals published by Gore Mountain. While the mountain is consistent in reporting daily snowfall, they don’t publish cumulative seasonal totals or historical records. During the 2008-2009 season, we noted this and began to keep a running total of reported accumulations.
At times we’ve take some liberties with reporting. If we have a reporter in the area (we often do) and official mountain totals in our estimation under- or over-report those totals, we’ll record a modified amount.
In addition, we report any measurable amount that falls from July 1 to June 30 regardless of whether or not lifts are spinning. It’s our opinion that decisions to spin lifts are independent of the natural phenomena of snowfall.
The driveway is unassuming. On one side of the lodge is a small garden apartment complex, where little kids sledded while big kids warmed up for a ski race. On the other side of the lodge is a public school. A short connector links a field to one side of the school with the ski trails. Presto, instant after-school ski training!
Welcome to Dewey Mountain, just west of Saranac Lake town center. With 13 km of ski trails shoehorned into 30 acres, Dewey may not look big, but it packs a lot into a small ski area. And if you live nearby and don’t want to drive the 20 miles to Mount van Hoevenberg, it’s a great resource. Imagine being able to ski for an hour after work, during lunch hour, or after running errands on Saturday, right in your neighborhood.
Last year I scared myself skiing the Wasatch backcountry. The reported avalanche danger varied between “considerable” and “high”— and it had been a particularly fatal year. Although I skied with a guide, I still got somewhat lost in my own fears and uncertainty. Part of my trepidation came from a lack of avalanche knowledge and experience.
I’ve never been very good going along for the ride or following the leader. As a kid, I recall keeping myself awake during long car trips to ensure that the adult driver didn’t fall asleep at the wheel. I need the sense of control that only understanding provides.
With this background, I spent a recent weekend in the Adirondack High Peaks taking a Level 1 avalanche course from the American Avalanche Institute and Cloudsplitter Guides out of Keene Valley.