I’m Done Skiing Alone

When I was a little kid living on a farm, I’d play by myself in a big tractor tire that served as a sandbox. I developed a reputation for playing alone. “Harvey doesn’t need playmates, he’s happy all by himself!” It wasn’t true, down inside I didn’t like it, but I didn’t know myself well enough to push back.

“Trust me, this opens up down below.”

As I got older, I got more proactive. In high school, I joined the cross country team and made best friends for life. Twenty five years after that, I discovered skiing, and it took me another two decades to learn the lesson all over again, in a new setting. A single life-changing event twenty years ago — a solo backcountry ski tour — delayed my embrace of this lesson.

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Bearpen: The Beast Resurrected

In the age of global warming, what makes someone open a ski center in a remote part of the Catskills?

“Insanity, I guess,” said Bearpen Sports Center owner Howard Rennell. “Kind of a childhood dream. I fell in love with the mountain, as well. It’s been a long, arduous process.”

Growing up on the east end of Long Island, Rennell recalled, “Talk about the era of global warming, out there the chances of snow were slim and none. The sledding aspect, as a kid, you and your friends would gather together and make a kind of luge track. Pack it down and go out with watering cans and douse it with water, hoping it would freeze and last a little longer. This is a bigger scale of it.”

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Plattekill: The Life of Riley

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve improved my ability to deal with missing out. I’ve learned to smile, while sitting at my desk on a powder day, as my phone buzzes off the hook with incoming photos. At the same time, I fully appreciate those moments of logistical magic that allow me to be in the right place at the right time.

Early last week, a winter storm was flirting with the various weather models. Forecasts ranged from a gully-washing rainout to an epic nor’easter. One thing remained consistent across the models; if it did snow, the Catskills were in the bullseye. And as the week wore on, the chances for snow in New York were on the rise.

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