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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Magic: You Never Forget Your First Time

It seems like everyone has an opinion about Magic Mountain in Londonderry VT. I certainly had one, and I’d never skied there. Over the years I absorbed enough to know that the old school hill was the place to be when storms dump on Southern Vermont.

I started to think about skiing Magic at the end of a big pow day at Hickory back in 2014. I met GetAmped who told me he lived in Schenectady, which was as he described it, “perfectly positioned in the center of the Magic Triangle.” I was already a big fan of the other two of the vertices of triangle, Plattekill and Hickory. But I’d never been to Magic.

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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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