Part of being a ski race dad is traveling all over the state. It’s not my favorite thing, but it’s part of the game. I have to admit it’s great to experience new ski areas.
On our race trip to Hunter this past weekend, my son’s coach decided to train in the Catskills on Friday. My wife agreed to come down in a separate car, freeing me up to ski Plattekill to discover why NYSB skiers love the place so much.
I had a pleasant drive from Windham where we stayed, taking in the scenic farms and winding headwaters of the Delaware River. I was the fourth car in the lot and parked maybe 50 yards from the door. I met forum member frk driving in; we quickly connected and booted up.
For the second time in nearly 25 years, Plattekill opened the season with 100% terrain and all natural snow. If you were there, it sure felt like an historic occasion.
I set my alarm for 4am, Catskill Standard Time. As soon as I looked out the window, I knew I was on the wrong side of the clock. There was an inch on my car and it was snowing hard at 20 degrees.
When traveling to Plattekill, my goal is to arrive by 8:10. This gives me a chance to say hello, and still make first chair. Realizing that snow in the flatlands would add time to the drive, I left at 4:30 am, even earlier than planned, to try to make up some time.
I was excited to head up to Plattekill for the annual glade clearing workday. In past years our fall soccer schedule didn’t allow me to get away. Last Saturday I took my 14 year-old to scope some lines and give a little back to a cool ski community in the Catskills.
Plattekill has been busy this summer. In addition to hosting mountain bike races, live concerts and Plattepalooza, they’ve rebuilt and expanded their outside deck, expanded the seating area in the base lodge and added snowmaking to Buckle Up at the top of the mountain.
The last project is exciting. Buckle Up is a low angle trail that’s a vital connection from the top of the triple to Plattekill’s signature steep Blockbuster. The Block is one thousand feet of steep, sustained vert that is one of my favorite ski trails in the Catskills.