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.”

Continue reading

The Adaptive Sports Foundation at Windham

Adaptive Sports Foundation 2015 Hartman Race
Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown, Courtesy of ASF

Windham Mountain in the northern Catskills is known for hosting the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF), a well-regarded program that allows children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities to experience the joy of snow sports. Last Saturday, ASF held its first-ever Awareness Day to spread the word about the organization’s vital work.

Headquartered in a dedicated 7,200 square-foot lodge with its own equipment shop, ASF’s 240 volunteer instructors donate more than 20,000 hours per year adding up to more than 4,000 lessons, with 3,500 of those during ski season.

In addition, since developing the Warriors in Motion® program 13 years ago, more than 1,500 wounded veterans and family members have used ASF’s services.

Continue reading

Gore’s New GM: Interview with “Bone” Bayse

Bone Bayse Gore Mountain GMThere was a lot of excitement in North Creek this summer when Mike Pratt, the General Manager at Gore, was appointed the permanent head of the Olympic Regional Development Authority and James “Bone” Bayse was appointed to Gore’s GM position. We asked Bone if he’d be willing talk to us and he graciously consented.


NYSkiBlog: When did you first come to Johnsburg? What brought you here? What keeps you here?

Bone: I had spent some time in the area trying to find work marching in Bicentennial parades, it went pretty good for a while, but that dried up mostly after 1976.

Continue reading