Gore Mountain: A New Home

Balancing work and leisure is not easy for a skier from Northeastern PA. Living a rural life often means a long commute to work and an even longer drive to enjoy good early-season skiing. Most seasons pre-Thanksgiving turns are out of reach for my family. But this year’s early cold and aggressive snowmaking had us traveling north before the holiday.

I’m a job supervisor for an electrical contractor who had a tough summer. A knee replacement and a reconstruction of my wrist left me with four unpaid months at home. Desperate for projects to manage, my only option was to drive long distances for work. In the back of my mind, I wondered how this would affect my weekend ski commutes.

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Climb to the Castle: The Masters

“I wasn’t ready for this,” Leonard Plunkett said in the gusting wind outside Whiteface Mountain’s iconic castle. We were recovering after the Climb to the Castle, the annual roller ski race up the Whiteface toll road.

Climb to the Castle
Climb to the Castle

“Nobody’s ever ready,” I replied. “But now that you’ve done it, you know what to expect next year.” He smiled, and I hope that I planted a seed for his return next year.

On Friday, I’d met Leonard and chatted with him at one of the more civilized bib pickups I’ve been to. He was up from New York City with three other skiers representing Manhattan Nordic. A big shoutout to the Madshus rep for pouring pints of Big Slide.

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Lyon Mountain Hike

During my hike up Lyon Mountain, I felt like I could almost touch the sky.

Whether it was the open feel of the forest — not as thick as the woods of the High Peaks — or the intense sunshine shafting down to light the trail, I don’t know. I could stand on my tiptoes, reach out, and it was there.

Lyon Mountain fire tower
Lyon Mountain fire tower

I chose Lyon for two reasons. On Saturday night, I went to the Executive Disorder concert for the release of their new record, Forever War. (If you like thrash metal, you need to own this record.) I was staying near Plattsburgh instead of Lake Placid, and I was determined to find something I hadn’t hiked before. Lyon stands alone in that part of the northern Adirondacks.

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