Magic Mountain: Rising Above

By Saturday morning, I was pretty much locked in to skiing Magic even though the storm had clearly favored some other hills. As the projected storm track moved around the map the preceding week, I surveyed which Indy Pass resorts might be good for the weekend.

Indy Pass tickets

The incoming snow storm was doubly exciting because I could break out my new-to-me powder skis, a pair of On3P Billy Goats I’d picked up from a fellow NYSB’er at the end of last winter. Magic looked good for a while so I made plans to visit on Saturday with my sons. I had some family business to conduct in Albany so I figured I could combine trips.

As the forecasts, and then the actual weather reports, shifted the big snow fall predictions west and north of Magic, I decided not to change my plan. I love Magic and once I started thinking about returning, there was no diverting me. Dangerboy and Junior agreed. Plus, I already made reservations to use our Indy Passes at Magic.

Magic's Red Chair

Friday was gonna be the powder day anyway. Whichever hill I chose would be a covered in tracks by the time we showed up on Saturday. Similarly I decided to stick with my Billy Goats, even though there was little chance of finding deep powder to ski. They’d been burning a hole in my pocket long enough.

I got my sons up and moving in time to be on the road at 5:15. As per usual, they slept as I drove and sipped coffee. The sun was just coming up as I made my way along the Hudson River and got off 787 at the Troy exit to head east on Hoosick Street toward Vermont.

ski patrol

We pulled into Magic’s lot around 8:30. I told the boys to put on all their layers and headed out to the red chair. The chairs and the trees were coated in ice and it was cold. Not negative numbers cold but single digits.

The hill looked great. Even if they didn’t win the snow lottery with this last cycle, Magic seems to have gotten (and made) plenty of snow so far this winter.


We put together a combination of blue and green trails on the east side for our warmup run, followed by an immediate return to the lodge to fix some issues with Junior’s layers. With all his exposed skin covered, we headed back up to ski Talisman.

Conditions were great. The snow was soft and pliable — to the point where tougher terrain became approachable and forgiving for intermediate skiers. Dangerboy zoomed down Talisman like a hero.


That’s how the day developed. We explored the natural snow trails on the west side with frequent breaks to warm up in the lodge. I got to know my “new” skis. They’re wider and have more rocker than anything I’ve skied before.

It took some getting used to but once I got the feel for them, I found them to be snappy and responsive. After my first full day on them, I’m pretty happy with the purchase.

Magic skier

We grabbed a warm lunch at 11:30, a little earlier than normal.

It warmed up a bit in the afternoon but was still very cold. We kept exploring around Magic’s west side and taking breaks every few runs to warm up. The trees looked inviting but my boys weren’t feeling it so we stayed on named trails.

Dangerboy got to ski Slide of Hans and Potter for the first time and did great on both. Honestly, he looked better on Potter than either his older brother or me.

Slide of Hans

We threw in the towel around 3:30 in the afternoon and headed for Albany where we took care of my family commitments and visited with a couple of my sisters.

Dinner was takeout from Warehouse Barbecue on Wolf Road in Colonie. Upstate New York is not known for its barbecue but those guys do a great job. It was delicious. We made it home by 9:30, utterly exhausted but happy too. What a day.

NYSkiBlog is joining with The Indy Pass to bring exposure to independent mountains.
This piece is part of our effort. For more information visit the Indy Pass.

11 comments on “Magic Mountain: Rising Above

  1. Upstate NY is not known for its BBQ? Have you not tried Dinosaur? They’re regularly ranked in the top 10 nationwide. The original in Syracuse is still the best but there’s one in Troy…for future reference. Sorry I missed you. I skipped Saturday after hiking to the top to get first tracks on Talisman late on Friday afternoon.

  2. Hey Brownski I agree Magic was great this weekend. They certainly didn’t hit the jackpot as expected but the 4 or 5 inches they did get skied very well. We headed up Thurs night to beat the storm and were only greeted to a few inches of sleet Fri morning. The freezing rain we got the night before wreaked havok on the lifts, the Red was on delay and never got spinning so only the green was in play. Luckily the day turned around, and the freezing rain finally turned to snow and the conditions improved tremendously throughout the day…even the lower angle woods were in play. We were tempted to grab first chair on Sat to grab first tracks on the upper mountain, but cancelled our Indy pass reservatiions and decided to take the hard way up via skin track. Love their uphill policy, and the ice covered trees made for a winter wonderland. All in all a great weekend at a great mountain.

  3. Nuthin like good ol wickets.
    Great report, maybe the young man needs a new name? Great you ski with your sons. They will always remember their first time down those famous trails.

  4. New York is not known for its barbecue?

    I guess you’ve never been to Brook’s BBQ? It’s the best in NYS, hands-down. Dinosaur used to be solid, but they expanded and are nothing more than a chain restaurant now.

    Glad you enjoyed Magic, it’s a special place.

  5. Looking good Brownski, great pics. Really need to get to VT this year.

    Also I knew what you meant about the BBQ, NY is not where most Americans think of BBQ. Its usually Carolinas or Texas.

  6. I know all about Dinosaur and Brooks. They don’t suck by any means. Upstate NY may be paradise on earth but you can’t be the best at everything. LC’s in Kansas City is probably the best bbq I’ve ever had- literally worth driving to Kansas for.

  7. Magic is classic. I’m glad you and the boys scored a little fresh. We got skunked our last two visits but still had a great time. Sounds like maybe you have another day there on the Indy. Hopefully those Billy Goats will be floating a little more next time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *