Plattekill: Sending It In Style

Last summer in the gym, I met a professional climber from Colorado who had relocated to NYC for a girl. When I asked if he skied, he recounted his glory days of competing in bumps and gates at Vail.

Plattekill Mountain

“Sweet!” I replied, following with an offer to show him the East.  His reply was anything but sweet. “Why would I want to do that? I know all about East Coast skiing by reputation already.”

The conversation went downhill. I took some ill-advised shots at Colorado and it was uncomfortable running into him at the gym. Eventually we exchanged apologies, and I made my offer again.


Despite my best efforts our trip never materialized this season. And if I don’t get another turn in this year, I am perfectly content to shut the door on the season with a storybook finale at Plattekill this past Sunday.

As is the custom in Roxbury, the weather is either bluebird or snowy. While I’d never admit to being weary of winter, I did let the Saturday crowd have the flakes to ski in the sunshine a day later.


The weather and the season’s accumulated snow cooperated. Last week’s rain had softened the angles on the moguls on Block and Plunge, leaving the open and “closed” terrain with nearly wall-to-wall coverage.

Face and Northface were picks of the day, but everything was skiing great. A group of college students in Hawaiian shirts were busy showing off with jumps on the triple side.


I asked them “Where’s Bernie?” and even though they had no idea what I was talking about, they let me follow them around as we lemminged off the rollers.

Despite a knee in need of a summer break, when the lifts closed at 4:25, I pushed the lifty for one more run. Surely we were going to 5 o’clock, today. There was a whole mountain of snow going to waste! But he would not relent and we took to the bar to bake in the sun. After all, it was 5 o’clock somewhere.


My friend Ben and I reflected on the season with our Keegan’s Hurricane Kitties, and I recounted the conversation the summer prior with the climber from Vail. Ben, who has skied all over the world remarked “If you can’t enjoy skiing on the East Coast, maybe you just don’t like skiing that much.”

Watching trails drip down the hill, along with the snowmaking hoses and emergency sleds, I found it pretty easy to agree with him.

8 comments on “Plattekill: Sending It In Style

  1. Following up on the anecdote about the Colorado guy at the top of the article, how do you react to people living in other places when they go on about how skiing in the east sucks. Do you:
    a) let it go/change the subject
    b) agree with them
    c) agree with them in principle, but that east skiing has its moments
    d) say that “it’s better than no skiing”
    e) get into a shouting match

  2. I grew up in Colorado – we had a place in Vail. When I moved east for college in Vermont, I never skied there (no money, no time, wasn’t really there during ski season – Bennington had ‘Field Work Term’ Jan and Feb, none of my friends were skiers there, etc). Started skiing again about 10 years ago when I moved from NYC to the Hudson Valley. Now I’m the Snowsports School Director at Plattekill. I still go back to CO when I can, and I still love to ski there. But the longer I ski at Platty, the more I understand that almost nothing compares. And we had way better snow this year than in the west. In answer to Jamesdeluxe, I’d say: You have to ski the terrain beneath your skis. Be here now. Colorado is wonderful – but skiing deep powder in the trees at Plattekill this season was incomparable.

  3. I try to appreciate each mountain for its own beauty and unique charm. Platty certainly has something very special.

    Glad we got to shred a few, and thanks for the pic, Matt!

  4. Hello Platty-People, you too Jeff.

    Hey, tell all of those western guys to show up on Mount Washington. If there is anything more demanding and steep and gnarly and snowy, I wouldn’t want to even see it, never mind ski it.

    I agree with Jeff, the powder in the woods at Platty was dreamy and sublime. Right Harvey? …right on. ..and thanks to all you guys. Chris

  5. We hate closing for the season, but are already counting the days to season opening next Dec. Thanks to all of you for making that possible.

  6. Nice post ML. It’s sad to see the season coming to an end, but at the same time it’s great to send it out in style.

  7. Yosef… that is a very cool pic. Probably should have been the headline shot for “Sending It In Style.” I saw Laszlo this past weekend, he speaks very highly of your talent!

    Ben… Yes! So true.

    More Plattekill coming soon, and in the years ahead.

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