Plattekill: Wide Open in 2020

Plattekill opened last weekend with 100% of terrain on the new snow delivered by one of the most exciting Nor’easters in recent memory. While the storm was notable for its size and southern track, what really struck me was the strong high pressure that brought unrelenting cold air into the mix.

the road to Plattekill

During the storm temperatures at Plattekill hovered around 10 degrees and the snow that fell was very light. Macker, Head of Mountain Ops, said that in all his years at the mountain he’d never seen anything quite like it.

Nor’easters are defined by strong winds, and those winds combined with the light snow left a distinct signature. The headwalls of the front four were blown clean while down below depths exceeded the official 24-inch snow total.

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The Opening Belle 2020

I’ve never really accepted the idea of “no friends on a powder day.” The right friends can make all the difference when you are chasing new snow. They can help with the prep and planning, and they can help when things can wrong.

I’ve been lucky chasing storms over the last few years, managing to avoid major setbacks, weather delays or transportation issues. My luck was bound to run out eventually, and this week it did. But I was with the right people, and it almost didn’t matter.

Alex and I woke at 7 am in the Starlite Motel to the sounds of other guests cleaning off their cars and loading up. We quickly joined them as the new snow was going to take time to clear.

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Plattekill Tower Pad Day

This past weekend was, for many ski hills, the day they opened the lifts to day ticket holders. It was kind of an experiment to take it to the next level. From what I saw last weekend at Whiteface and Gore, the way to avoid a crowd in line was to ski after lunch.

Meeker Hollow Road

I thought about using my SKI3 at Belleayre on Saturday afternoon, before the forecast weather came in. It’s a long drive for half a day, but it’s skiing, and let’s face it, who knows how long this season will last. As it worked out,I was looking for something to do in the morning. I spoke to Laszlo and he said it was tower pad day at the mountain. Time to get all the pads in place, in anticipation of opening day next Saturday.

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