Mount van Ho: I Learned to Love Manmade Snow

What a difference a day makes.

New Year’s Day this year, is the latest I’ve ever started a ski season. When Mount van Hoevenberg opened in November, the shooting brake was racked up in the shop with a warranty issue. By the time I got it back – with an entirely new emissions system – we were knee deep in December. December skiing and a job the retail wine business don’t play well together.

More and more, Christmas week is like the old meme of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. Promise packed powder conditions, then give them a slushfest. Clouds pelted us with intermittent rain as we drove north on New Year’s Eve.

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Titus All The Way

There are all kinds of cool mountains stuffed in the nooks and crannies of New York. I want to visit all of them, eventually. But the logistics of life can undermine the best intentions of a dedicated tail-wagging ski blogger. Of course new snow is the priority, but as a flatlander, distance and time, impact everything.

I’ve got a plan — or maybe it’s a dream — to spend a winter at our place near Gore, making strategic forays across the state, skiing every lift-served area in New York. Until then, I’ll have to be content putting one or two new ski areas into my bucket each year. I think about the bucket more than the list.

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West Mountain: Wing It and Ring It

If you’re a New York skier, I don’t need to tell you that winter has been uninspiring so far. In spite of the valiant efforts of snowmakers across the northeast, there is a pitifully small amount of terrain open for us to slide on. We have been reminded once again that weather is destiny for skiers.

West Mountain Welcome Bear
The West Mountain Welcome Bear

To make matters worse, I don’t have a ton of flexibility, schedule wise. Most of the time I can only do day trips and I need to fit them in whenever I have the time to go.

By the end of December I was getting desperate. When a window opened for me and both my boys to go skiing on the last day of the year, there was no question that we would take advantage of it. I researched our Indy Pass options.

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