In the four years since we posted an interview with Russ LaChapelle, about the Catskills’ enigmatic Bearpen Mountain — the one that got away — that article has become far and away NY Ski Magazine’s most popular, both in page views and comments.
Between my conversations with Russ, his many forum posts on the Snowjournal website, a feature article on his Lost New York website, and a 2014 trip report from Matt Lucas here on NYSB, I felt like I already knew Bearpen even though I’d never been there.
The closest that I’d ever come to the former Princeton Ski Bowl was seeing it from afar while at other Catskill ski areas, after which I’d always post photos in trip reports captioned with “Bearpen Mountain In The Distance.”
Plattekill Mountain is best known as a ski center, however the hill’s best kept secret is their mountain biking. If you are like me, and love the freedom of taking a lift up the side of a mountain, and throwing yourself back down at high speeds, then downhill mountain biking may be for you.
Throughout my years skiing at Plattekill, I always knew they offered lift-served mountain biking, but never considered trying it. I was honestly scared of the thought at first, but once I finally gave it a shot two years ago, I became addicted.
Most of the riding I do is more XC oriented. I live in a hilly town where mountain biking is popular, but there are no lift-accessed areas. I do ride for the descent; earning it on the pedal up, then riding down as aggressively as possible. I love the sport.
The regular season ended for me a week ago on a fine spring day at Gore. Still, sometimes the best turns come during the post season and mine got off to a sweet start at Plattekill on Sunday.
I’d been eyeing the PlatteCam all week. There was still good snow on a few of the trails in view and Blockbuster looked especially choice. I spoke with Laszlo and asked if he’d mind a few skiers earning turns.
He told me that on Sunday he was meeting with Plattekill’s Lift Ops team to review what they learned at LMS Conference at Jiminy Peak. They were going to be working all day, his only request was that we stop in to say hello.