Big Tupper has my full attention. Every time I pass it on the road to school at St. Lawrence University, the mountain reminds me of that amazing day I had there in February of 2014.
It was the first day they’d opened Chair 3 that season, and all of the terrain above Chair 2 was untouched. I had an absolute blast exploring this new, incredible and oh so Adirondacky terrain.
Since then, I’ve been itching to get back. But with a dismal winter last year and rampant rumors that Big Tupper wouldn’t be spinning lifts at all this year, my best hope was to earn turns after a storm.
The first turns of the season are always memorable. Deep all natural October turns may have the advantage of #humblebrag, but even riding the white ribbon during Christmas break is special.
They can also be an awkward equalizer. When you haven’t skied in months it doesn’t matter if you’re Pirmin Zurbriggen or a simple Nose Picker, you’re not going to be happy with every turn.
The comedy started early, sometime after misplacing my helmet and before I realized that my ski socks were on the kitchen counter as I booted up in the lot.
When you ski Hickory you are going in a different direction. For me it’s most noticeable when I’m driving south on Route 28 and the SUVs with roofboxes are all headed north: zoom, zoom, zoom.
Thoughts of skiing Hickory are always there, lurking beneath the surface, rising to the top when there is a favorable storm track promising new snow.
All is possible when two things come together: snow and more snow. I use Facebook to say in the loop. When those stars align, Clarence will post: It’s on!