Time spent guiding brought me a deep appreciation of the Catskills. I crossed many peaks and crannies, stashing secret spots away for personal endeavors that I couldn’t take with guided groups.
I loved the area near Kaaterskill High Peak, perhaps because of the many days I spent looking at it from across the river when I lived in Dutchess County.
Fast forward a few years, as Director of Operations it was my job to find new hikes. I would also strive to find swimming holes as a side project, and I often ended up back in the area.
Windham has built a reputation helping people face and conquer challenges. This weekend, while not officially enrolled in the mountains acclaimed adaptive program, we made some strides too.
My daughter has been after me to arrange a playdate in the Catskills all winter. With an open day on Sunday for both Neve and Lana, the time was right.
Lana, the daughter of one of my best ski buddies, was excited too. The two girls are the same age, ski at the same level, and even though they haven’t seen each other for almost two years, it took less than a minute for them to reconnect and start laughing.
When Belleayre announced the opening of their new glade “Dreamcatcher” this week, I knew that I had to get back up there to check it out.
Despite Belle’s reputation as a more family oriented mountain, they’ve added quite a few expert glades in recently and with the deepest February base in memory, I was very curious to see how the mountain was skiing.
The marketing had been a siren call to more people than just myself; I had never seen the lot so full, even with an early arrival. But access was actually pretty easy, and I soon realized that a majority of the skiers must have been in the lodge booting up, as empty chairs were still heading skyward on the ‘Ol Reliable, #7.