Snow Ridge: No Bad Days

Last week seems so long ago. It was -10 degrees and across the Northeast snow was falling. In the Tug Hill region of New York, some places got more than 3 feet of lake effect.

I’ve had more powder days at Snow Ridge than any other mountain. When I saw they were running the Snow Pocket lift for the first time this year, I knew we were in for a good time. For his birthday, I bought my friend Alex a lift ticket, and a little bit of Snow Ridge magic.

Much of the drive from Utica to Turin is through the farmland and forest. It’s a sure sign you are getting close when the walls of snow along the road grows taller than your vehicle. The sun was peeking through the clouds as we parked.

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Snow Ridge Opens 2015

Snow Ridge plays a unique role in the life of a hardcore NY skier. In a far corner of the state, the small ski area stands as a beacon of hope during the early season or times when powder is scarce.


Because no matter how the season has gone to date, or what the current weather pattern, there are, almost always, a few months when cold air blows across the unfrozen waters of Lake Ontario and delivers powder on the Tug Hill Plateau.

In fact, consistently bad ski weather in the form of warm temperatures, can actually increase the chances that the magic will happen. And that’s exactly how it came down last week.

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Snow Ridge: Diamonds on the Soles of Her Boots

It was late in the evening, and Snow Ridge NY was touting a storm capable of producing five feet of snow. I convinced my girlfriend to take Saturday off and come with me to Tug Hill.


The stoke was high, for skiing and adventure in general. I am filled with a profound gratitude to have found a partner so ready to abscond on long and snowy journeys at every hour. A few podcasts and some Paul Simon helped to keep me awake.

The ride went pretty quickly even as Amy slept. At 7:30 am, Siri was able to bring up the snow report. A foot had fallen and maybe more was on the way. We decided to bypass the Adirondacks and head West.

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