Skaneateles Ski Club, NY

It’s become a cliché for downhill skiers to bemoan how their beloved sport has become increasingly corporatized over the past two decades, and how there are fewer and fewer local feeder hills — places where, as the Cheers theme song intoned, “everybody knows your name.”

Skaneateles Ski Club entrance

The not-for-profit Skaneateles Ski Club, located on the eastern perimeter of Central New York’s Finger Lakes region, is one of those increasingly rare ski areas that transports you back to a time before the words “bottom line” became paramount in the industry.

Skaneateles glade

I introduced myself to club president Mike Len, who graciously gave me a tour of the hill: 26 acres with a vertical drop of 330 feet, a t-bar servicing the main trail, a rope tow for the bunny slope, and top-to-bottom snowmaking.

Skaneateles Main Slope

As you can imagine, the club is a labor of love — over its five decades of continuous operation, much of the infrastructure was constructed by members volunteering their time and labor. Mike pointed out a recent addition: an almost-completed t-bar barn at the top of the hill built with materials donated from local merchants.

Summit Lift Barn

With a fire roaring in the cozy base lodge, it was great to see kids learning to ski, snowboard, and race at a hometown hill just like the ones their parents learned at in the 1960s or 70s.

4 comments on “Skaneateles Ski Club, NY

  1. You should check out Brantling Ski area/hill out near Sodus, NY.

    Does the name Diane Rolfe-Steinrotter ring a bell?

  2. I was a lucky kid who learned to ski at Skaneateles Ski Club in 1967 when I was five years old. My family skied there every year until we moved away in 1972. It’s great to see that the place is still going strong. I have very fond memories of my times there.

  3. I learned to ski here when there was no snow making, T-Bar, or indoor plumbing (brrr).My Dad spent more time on the sno cat then he did on skiis. Cable bindings (similar to telemark), lace up boots, wood skiis – oh my! Once we skiied on November 19th thanks to an early snowfall, and a ride to the top of the hill on the sno cat.

  4. I’m Marie Monaco, president Triple Cities Ski Club, greater Binghamton area. I was in your neighborhood last summer, and stopped by the resort. What a cool place. I could only imagine what it would look like on a bustling winter weekend. You’re probably all like family. I would love to stop up some time during the season and say hi.

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