Sport 400 Charlevoix

The towering new bolted climb first came to my attention when I noticed the announcement of it last summer on EscaladeQuebec. The topic was popping with comments on their social media.

Sport 400 Charlevoix

The cliffs — in remote parts of Quebec — have an esoteric appeal and the website, in French, contributes to that. There is little subtlety in statements like “Biggest Sport Climb East of the Flatirons, Colorado” and the Flatirons are a great point of reference for the 5.6ish Sport 400.

The Sport 400 lived in the periphery of my imagination until a friend set a date to actually climb it. Just like that, we were off, leaving work at 3pm hoping to make the 6-hour drive to Saint Simeon in time to erect our tent before sunset.

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Kaaterskill Falls in Winter

This winter I traveled to the Catskills, to show my girlfriend one of my prime stomping grounds when I lived in NYC.  With two days, I picked Kaaterskill Falls as one of my destinations.

Although I missed most of one day of excellent skiing, driving around the local hills with fresh eyes reminded me of how special these mountains really are, and I wanted to experience them in a new way.

One big hole in my hiking resume has always been getting to the top of Kaaterskill Falls. Anyone that skis Hunter regularly has no doubt seen the throngs clinging to the sides of 23A getting back and forth to the trailhead. I wanted to be one of those people cursing the trail up to this iconic spot.

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The Wonder Years at Mont Sauvage

Surface lifts have always held a special place in my heart, which must sound odd to skiers of a previous generation that grew up without bubble lifts and tramways.

Mont Sauvage

But there is so much to recommend about them, like low skier traffic, powder preservation and riding low and out of the wind. Plus you’re doubling your vertical by skiing uphill.

Some of my most memorable runs have been on surface lifts. My first time at Plattekill I drove up when The Weather Channel was forecasting heavy snow potential in the Western Catskills. While the Hudson Valley only had about six inches, I was getting my first taste of Platty magic, skiing the North side by myself in two feet of snow.

ticket window
Lift shack ticket window

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