Plattekill: Five Days Later

After a slow start to my season, I finished last weekend with 25 ski days, within striking distance of my annual goal of thirty-five. With my weekend jammed with family responsibilities, I got a day off from work and drove to Plattekill, my goto destination for Fridays.

Route 30
Route 30

It snowed on Monday and even with two mountain rentals this past week, I knew that we’d find untracked snow both inbounds and in the sidecountry. Five days later.

We’ve had a good season at Plattekill, but snow depths are well below where they were last year at this time, when Riley dumped 40 inches on the mountain. We hadn’t really been out on the ridge much this season and looking at the forecast it seemed like this could be a now or never moment.

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Chasing Plake

We were on our way north when my preferred social media network alerted me that Glen Plake was bringing his Down Home Tour to Plattekill this weekend. I heard just in time too — right before we had to make that Freedom Pass call: Plattekill or Magic.

First Descent of Plake Chute courtesy John Tunis

There was no way I was gonna miss the chance to meet the star of the “Blizzard of Aahhhs” —  Glen has to be considered one of the legendary pro skiers of all time.

Plattekill is always fun, and even if it turned out that Plake’s visit was a photo-and-handshake publicity stunt, I knew we would have a great time. We turned onto Route 28 and headed west.

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Plattekill MLK Weekend 2019

File this one under the best-laid plans. At the end of last week, forecasters were calling for more than a foot and a half of snow at both Gore and Plattekill by Sunday. I only felt certain about one thing: driving in the storm early on Sunday morning wasn’t wise. I weighed the pros and cons of my choices.

storm track
If Only

Option #1: We’ve got a small cabin near Gore, about five hours away. It provides us with a good deal of flexibility at a low cost. Still, time is precious on a one-night trip to ski country and it takes a few hours to get our building warm. The drive to the mountain is 10 miles that should be driven with care in a storm.

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