Lightning Strikes Plattekill

Just before 3pm on Tuesday July 12, intense “straight line” storms came through the Catskills. In Delaware County the weather was extreme for several minutes. At Plattekill, the storm passed and after that, at the end of the workday, employees went home. At 5:45 pm an alert neighbor saw smoke rising from the base of the ski area and called it in.

fire fighters

Based on the timing and nature of the storm, those on the ground believed that lightning struck the control shack, at the base of the double chair.  If so, it may have smoldered for a while, before it was seen and reported. For the moment, until the insurance company can make their official determination of cause, the shack ruins will stay where they lay.

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The New Trail on Burnt Ridge

On a summer day in 2010, I was in Mike Pratt’s office, learning about plans for Burnt Ridge. The Gore GM had a drawing of the area on his desk. It was a topo map, all in done in black, except for one trail, drawn in red pen. It was labeled Barkeater.

Gore Mountain access road

Mike told me that the trail wasn’t going to be cut right away, for the time being it was being cleared as a glade.  Over the years Barkeater, and all the glades on Burnt Ridge, have become classic favorites among skiers who thrive in zen-long tree runs with moderate pitch. Some of us, likely a minority, loved Burnt Ridge the way it was: a bit inaccessible with a beautiful high speed lift and four mile-long glades.

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NY Skiing: Financing the Future

This spring ORDA approved a plan to invest $91.7M in Whiteface, Gore, Belleayre and Mount van Hoevenberg. Funds were appropriated for a variety of projects including new and improved lifts, lodges, snowmaking and other infrastructure. The most high profile projects include a $19.7M lodge at the North Creek Ski Bowl and a $16.5M two-stage detachable quad at Whiteface.

Artist rendering of new North Creek Ski Bowl Lodge courtesy ORDA

This is the latest in a series of transformational infrastructure upgrades for New York’s state-run ski areas that has spanned decades, dating back to the 1960s. Since that time, marquee projects have included gondolas, lifts, lodges, snowmaking, new terrain, and access to water from the Hudson River.

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