Let’s face it: there’s no easy way to make skiing truly cheap. Gear, lift tickets, lodging, food, it all costs money. If you want to pass the sport on to the next generation, multiply every expense by the number of children in your family.
Thankfully, there are ways to limit the damage. Before you throw up your hands, take advantage of Mount Peter’s offer of a free lesson and rental to first time skiers. If you don’t live downstate, look into the mountains near you. There are ways for kids to try the sport without spending a dime.
I was excited to head up to Plattekill for the annual glade clearing workday. In past years our fall soccer schedule didn’t allow me to get away. Last Saturday I took my 14 year-old to scope some lines and give a little back to a cool ski community in the Catskills.
Plattekill has been busy this summer. In addition to hosting mountain bike races, live concerts and Plattepalooza, they’ve rebuilt and expanded their outside deck, expanded the seating area in the base lodge and added snowmaking to Buckle Up at the top of the mountain.
The last project is exciting. Buckle Up is a low angle trail that’s a vital connection from the top of the triple to Plattekill’s signature steep Blockbuster. The Block is one thousand feet of steep, sustained vert that is one of my favorite ski trails in the Catskills.
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.