HURT Mega Relay: Die by the Sword

A week ago Sunday, my friend Barclay called me. “It’s a beautiful day, let’s canoe the Rockaway River!” Why not? With recent rain, the river was high and running fast. Twenty minutes later, we hit a strainer and went for a swim. By the time we reached the takeout, I was borderline hypothermic and wondering if I’d blown my chances to race.

Fast forward to this past Saturday: as my Subaru clawed its way up 13th Lake Road to Garnet Hill, the car thermometer stayed put, at zero. A frosty welcome for Hudson United Race Team’s (HURT) Mega Relay. Nothing like a bit of zero degree temperatures for a ski race. I hoped it would be warmer than the Rockaway River.

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First Tracks at Lapland Lake

The winter of 2018-19 seems to be picking up right where last season left off, with unusually early snow accumulations across the region. Resorts have opened, with more terrain than expected, and ski areas that rely entirely on natural snow are feeling it this Snowvember.

Almost winter

With my alpine setup not quite ready, I headed up to Lapland Lake Nordic Center, who set a new record on this year opening on November 14th, their earliest ever. With three trails totaling ~4-6 km of beginner and intermediate terrain, it was looking like a great day to get back in the swing of things. I arrived to see only a few other cars in the lot, which I took as another good sign.

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Prospect Mountain: Return to Forever

The March snowstorms that pummeled New York also left their mark on Vermont. Over eight days, Prospect Mountain, east of Bennington, received 80 inches of snow.

prospect mountain

With family commitments in the second half of March and warmer temperatures on the way, I thought my ski season would end at the Lake Placid Loppet. But in another surprise storm, the gods smiled and dropped five more inches of snow at Prospect late last Friday night. I had to work Saturday, but Sunday was full on for skiing.

If you’ve browsed NELSAP, you might be scratching your head — as they list Prospect Mountain as a lost ski area. Prospect opened in 1939 with a rope tow. Over the decades, it grew, but still relied on natural snow.

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