Oak Mountain: One Way or Another

When we were younger, Conor and I would build a jump in the back yard and hit it with our cheap kick in strap snowboards. It’s been a long time since then, but our love for snowboarding lives on. We only had a one opportunity to ride together before year end. On Saturday night, we made plans to ski Oak Mountain after a sweet little storm dropped some new snow on the mountain.

Oak Mountain base area

We were up early for the 3 hour trek from our family homes in the Finger Lakes. The mountain was shining in the sunlight when we pulled in around 9:30. We quickly suited up and walked on to the empty chair. The evergreens were covered in snow and the mountain was underneath a 6-inch blanket.

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Oak Mountain: 70 Years of Smiles

There might be something in the water over in Lake Pleasant, NY. At Oak Mountain, overlooking the lake, it seems everyone is smiling and kids are laughing.

Oak Mountain groomer

Oak was off my radar — until this year — when I started to hear good things. They had more than a foot of snow during the week, and a lot of it remaining untouched. My friend Alex the Skier said he wanted to try something new. With 2-for-1 tickets from Warren Miller, we headed up Saturday morning.

We arrived around 9am. The first thing I noticed were out of state plates, from New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Oak’s snow quality and uncrowded slopes attract locals and tourists alike.

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Learning to Ski: I Did It for Love

Close-UpI don’t love to ski. I don’t see the first snowflake as something out of a magical Disney movie. I dislike being cold, and would rather be wrap in a blanket with a mug of cocoa, next to a roaring fire. Skiing isn’t my passion, but I do it. I trudge through snow in clunky boots that weigh me down.

I had my first lesson a few years ago. I remember thinking, “Who does this? Who in their right mind would strap wood to their feet, look down a mountain, and think, yeah, this seems like a smart idea?”

I was placed with a group of college students who had been skiing since they were three. At 28, I felt old. Everyone in the group, but me, could skate and turn and do everything asked of them. I felt defeated and wanted to give up.

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