HURT Mega Relay: Die by the Sword

A week ago Sunday, my friend Barclay called me. “It’s a beautiful day, let’s canoe the Rockaway River!” Why not? With recent rain, the river was high and running fast. Twenty minutes later, we hit a strainer and went for a swim. By the time we reached the takeout, I was borderline hypothermic and wondering if I’d blown my chances to race.

Fast forward to this past Saturday: as my Subaru clawed its way up 13th Lake Road to Garnet Hill, the car thermometer stayed put, at zero. A frosty welcome for Hudson United Race Team’s (HURT) Mega Relay. Nothing like a bit of zero degree temperatures for a ski race. I hoped it would be warmer than the Rockaway River.

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The Holiday Valley Effect

I follow the lake effect snow in central and northern New York at this time of year. Sometimes it takes a little more work. Last week Holiday Valley came up big reporting 19 inches from Wednesday through Thursday night.

After work on Friday I linked up with my friend Alex in Rochester to plan our swing into Western New York. On Saturday we headed to Holiday Valley. Another friend, Katie met us at the Yodeler Lodge just as the lifts started spinning.

I’d taken trips to Holiday Valley as a kid, but Katie grew up skiing there. Even better we were joined by her father John, aka Wiz. John spent the last 27 years on patrol at Holiday Valley and his family has a deep ski heritage in western NY.

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Adirondack Birthday Ski 2019

Last Saturday’s NYSB Annual Meeting left me exuberant, and tired. I had a hard time leaving Roxbury and didn’t get home until 11 pm. After that, what else could I want? I wanted what I always want: to ski on my birthday, Tuesday January 8. It’s become a tradition, nay a requirement, started 8 years ago, and I won’t let it die.


It was simple-sounding request until you dig deeper into the logistics added by a gymnastics meet, a blog post and a client meeting Monday at 9am. Somehow I pulled it all off, followed by a drive to the Adirondacks Monday afternoon. I arrived at the cabin at 3pm, looking to grab an hour of skiing in our woods to pick up a cheap Ski Day #10.

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