Buffalo Ski Club is on State Route 240 in Colden NY, 25 miles south of the city of Buffalo. It is the closest ski center to the population in Erie County.
Located 15 miles east of Lake Erie, the ski center is in the snowiest part of Western NY. Generous lake effect snow combined with relatively low traffic means that the club enjoys soft conditions on some surprisingly long runs. BSC opens at 2 pm from Wednesday to Friday which can mean afternoon powder days without much competition.
Buffalo has two chair lifts, two t-bars, two handle lifts and a magic carpet servicing 463 feet of vertical drop spread across 225 acres. Stationary and mobile snowmaking guns cover most of the ski area. There is ample snowmaking capacity to cover the terrain at Tamarack, Sitzmarker, and build freestyle features and moguls. The ski center advertises 180 inches of annual snowfall, and it looks legit. NWS totals aren’t quite as high, but they are close.
Club History and Legacy
The Club has three separate lodges and associated terrain pods. When they were built, each lodge was a separate private ski area developed by families with largely Bavarian backgrounds. Collective origins are from 1931, and skiing at the current location started in the 1950’s. As time moved forward, the three ski clubs combined to create the Buffalo Ski Center with mergers taking place in 1991 and 2004. This history is evident in the lodges and culture of the center. Today Buffalo, Tamarack and Sitzmark combine to create 225 acres of skiing.
Tamarack Lodge is right on Route 240 with Snowsports School headquarters, National Ski Patrol headquarters, nursery, snack bar and picnic facilities. At the top of the hill on Lower East Hill Road, is the Sitzmarker Lodge with a kitchen, grills, picnic tables and fireplace. Farther south on Lower East Hill is the Buffalo Lodge, a smaller, quieter lodge with fireplace for après relaxation.
The Tamarack Lodge
The Tamarack Lodge, at 7414 State Route 240, has the main parking lot. This is the northernmost part of the club. This area hosts the ticket office, ski school, ski patrol, and cafeteria. There are no rentals or ski shop on site. The cafeteria is open on weekends from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Tamarack area features the Tamarack double chair, a handle lift and magic carpet. The Tamarack double serves a range of terrain.
Lookers right of the chairlift has a few narrow and twisty trails in the classic east coast style. The first is Ski Bum; a great intermediate trail with nice fall lines and rolling terrain. Whiteout and The Abyss are steeper and narrower as you continue towards the northernmost boundary line of the ski area. These are great spots to get fresh snow and are narrow fall line trails.
Lookers left of the Tamarack chair are Matterhorn, Stampede, and Double Full. These runs are obscured from the base area, but feature nice open pitches at the top with a fun roller that takes you back to the base past the beginners area. Double Full and Stampede can also be serviced via the Old Sitz T-bar.
The Sitzmarker Lodge
The Sitzmarker Lodge is at 7595 Lower East Hill Road. It’s on top of the ridge, with no ticket window or food service. It primarily functions as a members lodge. Usually featuring walls lined with crock pots, coolers, and backpacks, this lodge is full of families eating lunch or enjoying the après.
The Sitzmarker terrain includes the Corker, Sitzmarker Bowl, Old Sitz, and Hayride. This area features a bowled out feature with a lot of fun natural terrain rolls and movement. Corker travels under the lift while Hayride follows the southernmost edge of the area and offers a cutover to the Buffalo T-bar. The Sitz Bowl is visible from the chair and offers a unique feature to the ski at BSC. This area does not have the mellow runout at the bottom like Tamarack, but services slightly less vertical drop.
The Buffalo Lodge
The Buffalo Lodge and T-Bar make up the southernmost terrain pod, located at 7707 Lower East Hill Road. The area offers some of the most well-defined tree skiing, a slightly more mellow pitch, and an authentic vintage skiing experience. The Buffalo Lodge is a quiet two story building with restrooms and a small parking lot. It’s essentially a large warming hut that members can use when the area is open. This is the least trafficked part of the ski area, usually running on weekends only.
Main Place is the trail visible from the T-Bar with some fun, natural, rolling terrain features. Looker’s right side of Main Place is designated as the Buffalo Bowl which offers some mild but interesting terrain rolls and bowl features. Looker’s left of the T-Bar is the gladed trail Ridge Runner. The southernmost boundary of the ski includes the wide and mellow Granny. Lookers right of the T-Bar is the connector to the Sitzmarker area Mayday, and upper/lower Wild Thing. Wild Thing and Mayday are both narrow wooded trails that gently roll through the forest down to the base.
Buffalo Ski Center functions on a family membership model but also allows for public walk up ticket sales. Guests of members can receive a discounted lift ticket with a reservation up to two times per season. Day ticket rates range from $25-$54.
The ski area is focused on serving families with weekly children’s ski programs (race, freestyle, and learn-to-ski groups), a pot-luck lodge and community atmosphere. PSIA certified instructors offer private and group lessons in alpine skiing, telemark skiing and snowboarding for students of all ages and abilities.
by Jon C
Buffalo Ski Club Trail Map
Buffalo Ski Club Stats
|Summit Elevation||1,486 feet|
|Base Elevation||1,023 feet|
|Vertical Drop||463 feet|
|# Trails||43 trails|
|Trail Miles||6.8 miles|
|Longest Run||10,500 feet|
|# Lifts||6 lifts|
|Uphill Capacity||4,700 / hour|
|Annual Snowfall †||180 inches|
|NWS Avg for Colden NY||116 inches|
|10 Year High*||94 inches|
|Address 1||7414 State Rd|
|Address 2||Colden, NY 14033|