Ski Mountaineering on Slide Mountain, NY

Ron Konowitz, also known as RonKon, is a resident of Keene, NY. As a member of the “Ski to Die” Club, he pioneered many of the steepest backcountry descents in the Adirondack High Peaks.

In this newly released YouTube Video, Ron and Mike Whelan retrace the route of Irving Langmuir. An avid outdoorsman, Langmuir is credited for establishing ski mountaineering on this side of the Atlantic in 1907 on Slide Mountain in New York. Slide, the highest peak in the Catskills (4180 feet), was the first mountain in North America climbed and skied from the summit.

Langmuir, a prominent chemist and physicist, is probably most noted for his work at General Electric. His research lead directly to the invention of the incandescent lamp.

10 comments on “Ski Mountaineering on Slide Mountain, NY

  1. Fine footage! Ron is doing some first-class SCHWACKING, as we call it up here in the hinterland (except our hills are smaller). I have some old skis that are very similar to the ones Langmuir is using. Can’t imagine tree skiing on them and the floppy leather boots of the day.

  2. That is a nice vid of some sweet ski touring. I liked the sound track a lot and the way the old footage was edited together with the new. Maybe Langmuir was the first person that is on record for ski touring in the East, but he did not establish ski mountaineering this side of the Atlantic.

    Many people, including children, climbed and skied mountains on this continent before Langmuir even knew what skis were.

    C & P: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowshoe_Thompson

  3. In addition to the bow-tie, Irving is such a badass that he can dispense with the 50-pound pack too (or maybe he had a porter carrying it for him out of frame?).

  4. Wow, so glad I found this. I skied down slide (AT) last year for the first time. I can’t understand people not skiing backcountry, even in NY state it is the ultimate experience compared to resort skiing.

  5. Video is great. Skied from the summit today, used 90cm skiboards. Snow was crusty, had hoped it would soften with all the sun, no such luck. Still a great and challenging run. Always wanted to do it, but until I came across your video I just never got around to it. Thanks for the motivation.

  6. Great video. You certainly had better snow than I had on Tuesday. After smelling my metal edges grinding against the rocks one too many times, I ended up hiking out. Do you know if there other routes down besides the trail you took?

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