NYSkiBlog’s 8th Annual Meeting

This 8th Annual Meeting recap was not supposed to be authored by me. I’ve already got two front page posts in a row, how much more can you take? I’m posting this one because it’s personal.

shovel snow on the ramp

It was no coincidence that I went all out last week, with three day trips in seven days. Two of those trips were the farthest I’d ever gone for a single day. On Sunday Scottski and I round tripped Gore, and on Wednesday we did it again to McCauley.

As I turned the page on another year, the multi-faceted “birthday effect” was again in play. My motivation to chase snow is even higher on my birthday. At the same time, those who count on me at home are more understanding about my disappearance into the mountains.

view from Upper Face
The Face

At the bar Saturday night someone said “It feels like it’s been Harvey’s birthday all week.” That’s fair criticism, and if you follow us on social media, I apologize for the topic fatigue. But looking back on it, maybe it was by design. My best opportunities for snow were Sunday and Wednesday. With the NYSB meeting at Plattekill on Saturday and I wanted, nay needed, all three days off.

One thing was clear early in the week; the weekend was going to be a challenge for ski areas in the east. I knew I’d have more fun at our meeting if I’d skied my brains out earlier in the week, before the weather got ugly.

tele skier
Soule

On Friday I spoke with James, he’d seen the carpool rant in my last two posts, and wanted to share a ride to Plattekill. I asked him “are you going to be OK with getting up insanely early to make first chair for spring conditions? And after that, are you willing to hang out all day, and maybe into the night, at a ski mountain with four routes down?”

James was in, so we met at the Dunkin Donuts in Boonton NJ, loaded his gear into my car and headed north to the Catskills. After we booted up, he went to grab his lift ticket, and I went down the office to say hello. Laszlo was in, but Danielle was away.

hike to Northface

As I was coming out of the office, Ted asked if I was Harvey, and introduced himself. He had driven from Michigan, to visit family in Albany and ski Plattekill with us.  I was hoping to draw as many fanatics as possible, and maybe draw in some newbies too. Ted was number 1.

Over the past week, I’d asked every NY skier I knew to come on out. Jeff Soule was in the house, arriving at the end of an epic ski safari that included Ragged, Burke, Jay Peak and Whiteface. We also found Robert, who began covering Central NY for NYSkiBlog last season. He’d made the drive down from the Mohawk Valley.

Northface
Northface

James and I did make the very first chair and it was some of the best skiing of the day. The base was more firm than we expected at 50 degrees. The cord was sliceable, and after it was sliced, there were piles of loose snow to turn on.

There were four routes from the top. Face, Powder Puff and “the S” were served by the triple, while Northface required a hike across the top of the ridge. I thought the snow was softest on the Face. We alternated between all three trails on the triple side, but favored the liftline.

Robert on Northface
Robert drops in

After a break for lunch Brownski, Robert, Soule and I hiked over to Northface. It took 15 or 20 minutes. Today’s new gear update: hiking in NTN boots is much easier than 75mm, because of the easy flexing bellows and streamlined toe design.

When we got to the top of Northface we took a break to enjoy the distant views. Eventually we dropped in. Plattekill had blown the trail twice in the last 10 days, once the full length, the second time covering the top 2/3rds. The top section was dreamy, on the lower section the only easily skiable section was in between the snowguns. It required some tight turns to get down the final stretch.

Plattekill bar
The best bar in NY

The guys I was skiing with called it a day around 3pm, but others pressed on until closing. Storm Skiing Stu and Skiology Matt were still on the hill and came inside after 4pm. We actually gathered at a nearby table instead of the bar. It made me laugh, because it actually kinda looked like a meeting.

Thanks to everyone who came out. We’d love to hear stories about the day below in the comments, especially if it was your first time at Plattekill.

Each year, we hope our meeting will help us build a brother and sisterhood of skiers who celebrate and support the indie spirit. If you want to join us we’ll be here, on the front lines, fighting for the soul of skiing.

14 comments on “NYSkiBlog’s 8th Annual Meeting

  1. Just a note to those who think skiing the east is better than the west. Please look outside this week and look at what happened this weekend! Cross country skiing eliminated. Backcountry skiing eliminated.

    So yes with massive snowmaking we can still ski here but please, no comparison really.

  2. Harv, a great post. One CAN have fun even when it’s not mid winter conditions. I must admit I thought about Plattekill, renting skis and all that, but I woulda been stuck on the bunny slope while yinz were ripping. Maybe another time. Prospect was good but thin. Pray for snow.

    PS Loving Jeff Soule’s state of the art poles.

  3. Soul(e) of Skiing!!!
    What a great day!!!
    More Snow on the way!! Look out Trees, I am coming for you
    Jeff

  4. This was my first time at Plattekill and the snow could have been better, but from Laszlo, Harvey, James, Chuck, Brownski, Matt, Robert and anyone else I can’t remember made me feel at home and not an outsider, that more than made up for limited ways down and so so snow. Near the end of the day when the group that was left moved to a table, Harvey said to me “come on you are part of the team.” That made the 9.5 hour drive worth every second and I’m looking forward to next years meet up.

  5. Harvey, just like your band of indie-minded skiers and riders, indie resorts need to stick together and share best practices to overcome the many challenges facing the industry. The Indy Pass is trying to achieve for indie resorts what you have done for powder junkies and I can only hope that we are half as successful as you in developing a camaraderie among our partners. If we can have fun on a 50 degree day in January anything is possible!

  6. You guys definitely inspire me! Today was day 29 for me at Greek! We’re losing our snow fast. I see Gore in the near future!

  7. Just a note to those who think they know what we think. Please look outside this week and look at what happened this weekend! A bunch of snow got obliterated and we still had fun.

  8. Sorry to have missed this year. I hate when life gets in the way of skiing. Looks like fun was had

  9. I missed the reference to the west too, and I wrote the piece.

    This day was really fun for me, far better than one might expect based on conditions. It’s amazing the feedback you get when you buy someone (you don’t know) a single beer.

    Thanks to all who came out, and thanks to Plattekill for hosting us.

  10. overslept til 11:45 saturday after an uber-long daytrip of my own (mad river glen thursday prior…up at 3:30 am…bell to bell ski day, home at 10:30pm and full day of work friday.
    after my coldest-feet sking ever, a balmy day would have been the ticket! but alas after much go-go-go my body said no-no-no.
    was there in spirit.

    props to 3day trips in a week. and happy birthday!

    certainly see you at platts soon

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