Birthday Ski Safari 2018

As a lad, I lamented the proximity of my birthday to Christmas. I felt that the energy for celebration was thin by the time my annual marker came around. But as a post middle-age skier, I find that the timing is perfect, allowing me to create a nice distraction from the march towards old guy.

Now the convenient placement of my birthday, a week after New Years, is hard to deny. By then my girls have had their fill of skiing for a while. It’s a weekend to roam New York, looking for the snow, terrain and vibe that keeps me young.

Plattekill has become an integral part of my strategy for reality denial and/or postponement. Often this is my first trip to Roxbury and I push everyone I know to come out to ski.

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Smugglers Notch

Smugglers Notch has been on my radar for more than five years. Without ever setting foot on the hill, I knew that Smuggs had it all: snow, terrain and old school vibe.

smuggs trees

My experience in Northern Vermont is limited. I skied Stowe many years ago, as an intermediate. We had friends in the area and we would ski for a few days around Christmas. In those days I wasn’t a tree skier and I don’t remember us getting any new snow.

Then, about five years ago a bunch of us skied together for three days at Jay. The first morning the Jay Cloud went off at opening and delivered 5-8″ before lunch. My first experience with nice powder skiing in really widely spaced trees.

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A Little Help from My Friends

After a big day at Plattekill on Wednesday, I went home to work Thursday and Friday morning. Out the door at 1pm on Friday afternoon, I drove to our ski hut in Johnsburg, NY.

The next morning I was at the North Creek Ski Bowl early. Things were looking good when my friend Duck stepped into the yurt before first chair to boot up. After a lone warmup run on Moxham, we went into the trees, and struck paydirt.

We hit our favorites hard and then headed up to Burnt Ridge. We ran into another musketeer — Suds — en route. Riding the quad we could see that ropes were down on the trees, and we hit Boreas in fine shape.

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