Royal Mountain Powder Day

Sitting on my porch in shorts today, it’s hard to believe a week ago I was riding in a big storm. Last week was the best of the season for me, snowboarding six days in a row.

Wednesday and Thursday was the finale of night skiing at Woods Valley. I made my last turns under the lights before heading to Gore on Friday with coworkers.

Then I set my sights on Royal Mountain for the incoming powder on Saturday.

To finish the week I headed south to the Catskills for Belleayre on Sunday and a private rental at Plattekill on Monday.

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Royal Mountain: Get Up and Go

In New York, early season conditions can be fickle, to say the least. The first year I moved to Utica, I remember a lake effect storm dumping 2’ of snow on Tug Hill a week before Thanksgiving.

Royal Mountain lift

This year I felt I would be lucky to get any turns in before Christmas. Saturday’s weather was a bust. I got my booster Friday night so I didn’t feel bad wasting Saturday, while it steadily rained. I had no expectation Sunday would be any better, but it was.

I woke up late on Sunday and saw a seemingly benign share on Facebook by ISKINY. Royal mountain was open, freshly groomed and from the picture it looked like loads of base.

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The Royal Mountain Refill

After all that sweet midweek vacation day powder, I had to work the weekend and rain was in the forecast. My best shot at keeping the stoke alive was grabbing a few laps Saturday morning before work.

I wanted to go somewhere new and uncharted. Early Saturday, I headed east on the Thruway and in an hour I was pulling into Royal Mountain.

If you’ve know of Royal Mountain, then you may also know of Jim Blaise. The hardworking owner of Royal, he kept the mountain alive and adapted however he could. Now 50 years later he’s handed the reins over to his protege Jake Tennis. The Tennis family, by all accounts, will be great owners.

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