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.
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.