Decisions, Decisions: Skiing Spring Snow

Among the many things skiers like to rhapsodize about from “back in the old days” is that winters were far colder and stuck around longer than they do today.


Growing up in Central New York in the early/mid-1970s, I still remember traipsing through shoulder-deep snow to deliver the Syracuse Post-Standard at 5 am every morning while walking backwards for most of my route to avoid getting blasted in the face by sub-zero wind gusts.

While 2013-14 hasn’t been a record breaker for snow, it’s been noticeably colder than recent seasons and has delayed the arrival of spring skiing.

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Windham vs. Hercules

In 2014, the stars have aligned early for skiers in New York. The Catskills are in the bullseye for winter storm Hercules, and no one should miss out on turns tomorrow, let alone over the weekend.


Not wanting to get snowed out, I left the city late last night, GF in tow, to make sure that we would arrive at Windham bright and early.

I’d seen their trail count increasing pretty quickly since the thaw and I had been dying to check out some of their summer improvements, which include new terrain features in the form of a blue square called Windfall and a very tasty looking gladed area just off of it.

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Belleayre, Skiing and Growth in The Catskills

In April of this year the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) unveiled the most recent unit management plan (UMP) for Belleayre Ski Center. It included a recommendation for $74M in upgrades over the next several years. At the same time they released a revision of the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Belleayre Resort development.

Belleayre Ski Center and Belleayre Resort
Belleayre Expansion • image courtesy Crossroads Ventures

The UMP for the Belleayre Ski Center calls for the construction of three new lifts, refurbishing two others, cutting 16 new ski trails (primarily at Highmount) and upgrading the ski center’s snowmaking infrastructure.  The plan also includes a new lodge, expansion of both the Discovery and Sunset Lodges and several parking lots.

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