Belleayre: Not Giving Up

It has been a good winter for skiing. In the grand scheme of things, that may be a trivial thing but there it is. I’ve been a nomad this winter. I skied more then ten different hills, including four new ones. Of course nothing lasts forever. The seasons change and we must move on. With the warm weather and impending rain, giving up on the ski season this weekend would have been understandable. But I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel.

Belleayre sign

I wanted to keep skiing. Until Saturday, I hadn’t included any ORDA mountains in my ‘20/‘21 ski odyssey so I figured it was a good time to take a break from exploring and retrace the well worn path to Belleayre Mountain in the Catskills.

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Plattekill: The Pull

As ski season moves into spring, I have to admit, I get weary of the driving. I worry I’ll sleep through the alarm, because secretly I want to sleep in. Ultimately, I answer the call because, as tired as I am, I know I’ll be jazzed, when I arrive at the mountain.

Spring presents me with another related challenge. In the same way migratory birds are compelled to take predetermined routes at predetermined times, I can’t escape my drive to be on the first chair. Even in the spring, when it might not make any sense, I can’t seem to help it.

My plan is to arrive an hour before lifts spin. This gives me extra time to get stuck in a little traffic, or slow down if conditions are snowy.

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Hunter Mountain First Melt

Spring skiing is something you can count on. Or at least it feels that way. As the inexorable warming that starts in March continues to build, all that snow has to melt. When that happens the skiing has got to be good, right?

NY Thruway

The odds of scoring perfect corn snow may or may not be higher than the odds of scoring powder. I have seven pow days this year, and if I get seven corn days, I’ll be ecstatic. Still, I believe there’s a perception among skiers that good spring skiing is somewhat inevitable.

But the last two years haven’t worked out that way for me. Like many of us, last year I missed spring completely. I didn’t ski any kind of melt before my last day, on March 8.

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