Plattekill: Five Days Later

After a slow start to my season, I finished last weekend with 25 ski days, within striking distance of my annual goal of thirty-five. With my weekend jammed with family responsibilities, I got a day off from work and drove to Plattekill, my goto destination for Fridays.

Route 30
Route 30

It snowed on Monday and even with two mountain rentals this past week, I knew that we’d find untracked snow both inbounds and in the sidecountry. Five days later.

We’ve had a good season at Plattekill, but snow depths are well below where they were last year at this time, when Riley dumped 40 inches on the mountain. We hadn’t really been out on the ridge much this season and looking at the forecast it seemed like this could be a now or never moment.

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Skinning: Junior Steps Up

Saturday night Junior slept soundly for twelve hours straight. Like any teenage boy, he’s accustomed to sleeping in on weekends until somebody makes him get up but that’s usually because he stays up late playing XBox, watching YouTube or TV or some other crap.

On Saturday he crashed early and was immediately out. I’m proud to say it was all my fault. That morning, at my insistence, he skinned up to the top of Plattekill with me for the first time. He did great.

I don’t want to give the impression that my son is in bad shape or anything. He’s a typical high school kid who plays sports. But when I told him we were gonna do a skin before riding the lift the rest of the day, he wasn’t into it.

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The Wonder Years at Mont Sauvage

Surface lifts have always held a special place in my heart, which must sound odd to skiers of a previous generation that grew up without bubble lifts and tramways.

Mont Sauvage

But there is so much to recommend about them, like low skier traffic, powder preservation and riding low and out of the wind. Plus you’re doubling your vertical by skiing uphill.

Some of my most memorable runs have been on surface lifts. My first time at Plattekill I drove up when The Weather Channel was forecasting heavy snow potential in the Western Catskills. While the Hudson Valley only had about six inches, I was getting my first taste of Platty magic, skiing the North side by myself in two feet of snow.

ticket window
Lift shack ticket window

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