The New York State Ski Blog

Blog: Catskills

Belleayre Mountain Improvements 2014

Belleayre-LogoThere’s a nice list of Belleayre Mountain improvements that are getting attention at ORDA’s new ski area in Pine Hill NY.

Snowmaking and Grooming

The biggest news is the “zoning” of Belleayre’s snowmaking system. Before this season in order to blow snow anywhere on the hill snowmakers were required to charge or pressurize the entire system. Now the system can be sectioned off allowing ops to be much more flexible and cost effective.

In addition Belleayre has added a new electric Cameron Turbo Air 3000 compressor and 25 new Sky Giant flanged heads for snowguns. Coupled together these two improvements will allow the use of high efficiency guns at the top of the mountain.

Segregating into zones allows Belleayre to boost water pressure and use of high efficiency guns which only require about 50-60 cfm of air each.

Belleayre has also added a Pisten Bully PB400 to their fleet of grooming machines.

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Belleayre Swan Song

If having condescending thoughts like “youth is wasted on the young” makes you a grownup, then I think I might be more mature than Matthew McConaughey’s seminal character in Dazed and Confused. Maybe the 90s movie reference makes me even older.

Belleayre-View

Regardless, more than a lack of money or energy, what I miss most about that golden era is the amount of free time I used to have. It seems everyone I know is always busy. I’m not the only one who didn’t get 50 ski days this year.

After watching the last month slip away without adding one ski day to my 2013-2014 ski season, the weather and my life finally aligned for me to enjoy the world away from the cold glow of my computer screen.

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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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