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.
McCauley. I think about it. I look at the webcams, read the snow report and check the NWS point forecast. The place is on my list.
At this point, if I’m staying in North River, I’ve got to be solo to even consider McCauley. After driving from the flatlands, the girls aren’t eager to get up at 5am for a 90 minute drive to the hill.
Early last week the forecast called for a lake effect event, so I started to consider options. I admit I thought that headline snow totals from farther west might give me a great opportunity. After a huge day Saturday at Gore and in our woods, I crawled into bed with the alarm set for 5:30.
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.