The New York Ski Blog

Belleayre: Spring Forward

When schedule changes opened up my kids’ availability, I ditched my plan to drive Whiteface Saturday and sleep in the River Lot. I started thinking about Gore or Magic, both a bit over three hours drive from our home.

My sons resisted the required pre-dawn departure, so we headed to the Catskills. We left the house around 7am eager for some spring skiing. We were well on the way north before we narrowed our choice further. Being the awesome dad that I am, I decided to let the kids make the call.

They narrowed it down to Plattekill and Belleayre. Ultimately they opted for Belle, when I told them about the scheduled pond skim event. They had seen this kind of craziness for the first time last year at Mount Peter’s Springfest and got a big kick out of it.

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Chic Choc Dreams

For some of us the relationship between real life and skiing is dynamic, and at times can seem adversarial. Even with a green light from responsibility, once-a-season storms, plowed roads and solid gear, you still need some luck to have a legendary weekend.

Even if everything goes sideways you can still have tons of fun, it’s just a bit harder to pretend that you’re living Warren Miller’s sickest dream. Many of us won’t ever be called to “get in da chopper” and rip two-thousand vertical feet in thirty seconds.

Perhaps this is why the Chic Choc mountains are a sweet spot for me. Going there is a kind of lucid dreaming. The mountains are stunning, yet also reasonable to get up, and down for almost any fit, motivated skier. And while there are now helicopters and sleds to help you with the hard part, I like doing it on my own.

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With a Little Help from My Friends

After a big day at Plattekill on Wednesday, I went home to work Thursday and Friday morning. Out the door at 1pm on Friday afternoon, I drove to our ski hut in Johnsburg, NY.

The next morning I was at the North Creek Ski Bowl early. Things were looking good when my friend Duck stepped into the yurt before first chair to boot up. After a lone warmup run on Moxham, we went into the trees, and struck paydirt.

We hit our favorites hard and then headed up to Burnt Ridge. We ran into another musketeer — Suds — en route. Riding the quad we could see that ropes were down on the trees, and we hit Boreas in fine shape.

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