There was some good skiing this week in the Southern Adirondacks. Snow is still thin in the woods, but resistant and reasonably soft. Both natural and manmade snow quality was pretty good.
Friday night we came in and got settled. I headed out to night ski the flatter, lower section of the Yellow Trail. The forecast for the next day was mixed, and I wanted to feel the natural snow under my skis, before it was altered by any funky weather.
The snow was good, six or seven inches of fully formed, natural snow sat on top of a six or eight inch durable icy base. You could definitely turn.
It wasn’t the first day of the season at Plattekill; the words Day 5 were printed on lift tickets. But it was the first time this year that the triple chair delivered skiers to the top, and Laszlo was welcoming all to “opening day.”
I set my alarm for 4am and was on road before five. A text from Mountain Ops the previous day indicated that one top-to-bottom run was likely via Sundown and Lower Face, and riding on Upper Face was still a possibility.
When we arrived guns were running on Upper Face and it was 12 degrees and calm at the base. I started to think it was going to be a gun running day, until I learned that it was an astonishing twenty degrees warmer at the top.
Spending Christmas Week in Johnsburg NY is a family tradition. It’s a logical time to take time off, and rack up some ski days. Holidays in the mountains are always good.
Good skiing at this time of year is somewhat reliable. As much as we know that, we also know that one or two times in ten, we’ll get skunked. We dream of natural snow, but as East coast skiers, we’re always ready for the possibility that conditions will be marginal.
Regardless, we come and ski what we can. This season, after record warmth in November and December, we had a lot more fun than we expected. I’d actually call it a great time.