Woods Valley: A New Home

I’ve been lucky to live close to ski resorts. Growing up it was Bristol, in college it was Greek Peak and since I moved to Utica it’s been Woods Valley in Westernville NY.

Over that time I’ve had roughly 25 ski days at Woods each season. I’m not the only one who calls the Woods home, and for good reason. The snow making and grooming is on point, the lodge is cozy, the beer selection wide and there is a constant stream of great local artists playing nightly.

Despite the calendar, this past Saturday was one of those warm spring-like days. With the temperatures forecast for the high 30s in the afternoon and a chance for sun, I made plans to meet up with some friends and family. Around 10am I parked in my usual spot about 50 feet from the main lift.

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Oak Mountain: 70 Years of Smiles

There might be something in the water over in Lake Pleasant, NY. At Oak Mountain, overlooking the lake, it seems everyone is smiling and kids are laughing.

Oak Mountain groomer

Oak was off my radar — until this year — when I started to hear good things. They had more than a foot of snow during the week, and a lot of it remaining untouched. My friend Alex the Skier said he wanted to try something new. With 2-for-1 tickets from Warren Miller, we headed up Saturday morning.

We arrived around 9am. The first thing I noticed were out of state plates, from New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Oak’s snow quality and uncrowded slopes attract locals and tourists alike.

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Snow Ridge: No Bad Days

Last week seems so long ago. It was -10 degrees and across the Northeast snow was falling. In the Tug Hill region of New York, some places got more than 3 feet of lake effect.

I’ve had more powder days at Snow Ridge than any other mountain. When I saw they were running the Snow Pocket lift for the first time this year, I knew we were in for a good time. For his birthday, I bought my friend Alex a lift ticket, and a little bit of Snow Ridge magic.

Much of the drive from Utica to Turin is through the farmland and forest. It’s a sure sign you are getting close when the walls of snow along the road grows taller than your vehicle. The sun was peeking through the clouds as we parked.

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