The Holiday Valley Effect

I follow the lake effect snow in central and northern New York at this time of year. Sometimes it takes a little more work. Last week Holiday Valley came up big reporting 19 inches from Wednesday through Thursday night.

After work on Friday I linked up with my friend Alex in Rochester to plan our swing into Western New York. On Saturday we headed to Holiday Valley. Another friend, Katie met us at the Yodeler Lodge just as the lifts started spinning.

I’d taken trips to Holiday Valley as a kid, but Katie grew up skiing there. Even better we were joined by her father John, aka Wiz. John spent the last 27 years on patrol at Holiday Valley and his family has a deep ski heritage in western NY.

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McCauley: Winter Returns for a Moment

I spent the holiday week trying to dodge the rain and find what little of the white stuff that’s left. The search had me riding some mixed conditions at Windham, Hunter and Gore. Fortunately my favorite chairlift partner, Farah, was able to join during her winter break from medical school.

McCauley view

After skiing Gore last Saturday, we drove to the Old Forge Camping Resort where we’d rented a cabin with our friends Conor and Leslie. They had been cross country skiing McCauley that day and said it was slick.

But on cue, snow started to fall and we started to feel better about our chances for the next day. We welcomed winter’s appearance with a big campfire and a drink. You could hear the snowmobilers in other campsites doing the same.

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Jay Peak: All the Way

Few things compare to sharing a cabin in the mountains with friends. When the call for an early season trip came, I had to answer. The mountain was Jay Peak and it’s been on my bucket list for too long.

Jay Peak tram line

The weather looked ominous, but I’d caught Face of Winter earlier in the week at the Stanley and I was more than a little hyped to get up to Vermont. After five hours in the car we found ourselves in the “Fun Haus” complete with wood-fired hot tub and Mardi Gras deer head above the toilet.

It was hard to sleep. Friday morning we drove 10 minutes to the mountain, getting glimpses of the Jay through the trees. Several inches of snow had fallen during the week and warm temperatures meant the snow would be soft.

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