The New York State Ski Blog

Category: Backcountry

Interview: Skiing the Catskill 3500

It was purely by chance that I heard about Jamie and Doug Kennard’s recent feat. While searching for a touring partner in the Catskills, I was answered with a question: “Did you hear the news?”

Westkill

He had to repeat it. Climbing the Catskill 3500 peaks is an accomplishment I’ve long held in very high esteem. To ski them all, that would take more than a few long days and serious dedication to the fickle nature of the Eastern Backcountry. Perhaps that’s the reason that as far as anyone could tell, this was the first time anyone had ever done it.

What could be sweeter than being the first to do something that was hiding in plain sight of millions? What follows is our interview with the adventurers. (– ml242)

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Wide Waxless Backcountry Skis

It’s funny how a piece of equipment can change how you think about a sport. Skiers in the forum are excited about wide waxless backcountry skis for powder in rolling terrain. In theory, I got it.

Scarpa-T4

But then I was in the Garnet Hill Ski Shop in North River NY, and actually saw for the first time, in real life, the Scarpa T4s pictured above. I’ve seen that photo many times, but had never seen them for real, in the plastic.

Because they don’t have thermo-moldable liners you can try them on and see how they fit.  I’m a 27.5 Mondo and the shop had multiple pairs in my size and other average mens sizes. Adam the ski shop guy said “they’re tight as hell getting your foot in but if that is your size they’ll feel great when they are on.”  He was right.

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OK Slip Falls, NY

OK Slip Falls is among the highest waterfalls in New York State. Located in the Adirondacks north of Route 28, halfway between North River and Indian Lake, the falls cascade nearly 250 feet in one spot on its path from OK Slip Pond to the Hudson River.

Trail to top-of-OK-Slip-Falls-NY

I’ve imagined OK Slip Falls ever since the late 70s when I first read about the remote and inaccessible wonder. For as long as I can remember, OK Slip Brook has been on land owned by the Finch Pryn paper company.

But in 2009, the OK Slip Tract was acquired by Nature Conservancy and in the past year the lands were sold to the state in a blockbuster land deal that included diverse parcels throughout the central and southwestern Adirondacks.

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