Snow Ridge: Full Send Plateau

This past weekend may well have been the best of the season in the east. A storm that dropped 8-12 inches across most of the region, favored Stowe, Whiteface and Snow Ridge on Tug Hill with significantly more than that. Evan and I had the same thought: first chair at Snow Ridge on Saturday.

Friday, I took the afternoon off to ski McCauley, a taste of what was to come. After close that day, the lake effect band settled over Turin NY. Overnight another 6-8 inches fell, bringing the storm total for Snow Ridge to 29 inches.

One thing I was pretty sure of, it would be more work for us to grab first chair at Stowe or Whiteface on Saturday. At Snow Ridge it’s pretty easy. We arrived 45 minutes before opening, and parked next to the three other cars that were there.


We got ready as quickly as we could and practically ran to the Ridge Runner. We had been soaking in the views of the fresh snow on the hill. Thick patches of untouched snow, creamy corduroy and a bluebird day. It was all too much. We got on the lift right after patrol and the best day of the season began.

The first runs down the North Slope were a dream. The sides had been groomed and a wide swath down the center was untouched. Six inches overnight and some cold wind had filled in the tracks from the previous day. We ripped through the powder field whooping delight.

I’ve never experienced lake effect snow that was so light and fluffy. We slashed through everything without a care in the world. At the end of each run we were breathing heavy through snow caked smiles. At 10 am the North Chair started spinning and we started lapping Silversmith, Johannsen and Cruikshanks.

You can usually find me in the trees on powder days but the goods were everywhere. No need to go looking for stashes when you could see fresh lines from the chair lift.


If Snow Ridge is an ice cream sundae, then the Snow Pocket is the cherry on top. The Snow Pocket Tbar hadn’t spun all week and 29 inches of untouched snow remained unclaimed. After a short warm up and water break around 10:30, Evan and I bombed Kuerstiener in hopes of being first in line.

The lift was early and spinning when we got to it, 11 people were ahead of us claiming first tracks. But who’s counting, nothing could ruin the mood. There was plenty of snow to go around, with Von Allman and Black River run providing the best pitch to enjoy it.

We staked our claim. We lapped that snow pocket t-bar till we could barely make it up and eventually decided it was time for lunch.

Tavern230 was busy on Saturday afternoon, with a diverse crowd of skiers and snowmobilers. We found a table, grabbed drinks and ordered the Full Send Wings.

I spotted owner Nick drying glasses for the bar. Always hard at work, he had been up since 4 am grooming and getting the slopes ready. No complaints, he was excited about the snow and upcoming events. The Big Air Comp is this weekend and Pond Skimming is scheduled for the end of the month.

After lunch, we were feeling it in our legs, so we split our time on the two main chair lifts, a break from the Tbar. We pressed on, motivated by the knee deep snow and cold smoke face shots. We made it to the last chair at 4pm. On a day like this how could you not?

Pro Tip: Go to Snow Ridge a little early the next time a lake effect is in, and you can ride some crisp powder. And don’t forget, Snow Pocket spins at 1. 😉

14 comments on “Snow Ridge: Full Send Plateau

  1. Snow Ridge was soooooo good Saturday! I was there for first chair as well. Best skiing conditions this season, and I spent a week in Utah lol.

  2. It was definitely the best snow we skied all season and we had as many turns in fresh powder as we could manage until the Tbar kicked our butts and it was time for lunch (at 2pm!). Great day!

  3. Now that a good chunk of my family lives in Clayton, Turin is on my radar for a LE powder day. I’d kill for half those amounts.

  4. Was there, too! Rgw saying of the day was” When’s the last time you saw a line at the chaiflift at Snow Ridge!” (everyone was saying it!!!)

  5. Snow Ridge was amazing on Saturday. Was on the 4th T up Snow Pocket third to hit Von Allman. Waist deep fluffy powder made it in for an incredible experience. Snow Ridge has an unique Vibe that no other ski area will never be able to replicate. Thanks supporting a great area.


  6. It was the best conditions of the entire season. Powder was Alta quality, SR always delivers! Bluebird day! Love this place heart & soul!

  7. Thanks for the pics. As a Turin native living in crested butte for twenty years you’re making me homesick!

  8. Nice article; I live near East Aurora. Had a similar Epic weekend at Holiday Valley.

  9. Good article. I live near Ithaca, NY. It was the best lift skiing I’ve had all season. Skied out to the pocket before the Tbar opened. Kick wax helped me get out there. In the afternoon I met up with some like minded folks and we skinned out to the far reaches of the pocket. I love the SR vibe, every Tug storm I meet people from all over, NY.

  10. I made the 6 hour drive from New Hampshire to ski there. I was n line early an was on the second chair, not counting the patrol who was actually 1st. The powder remained deep all day and the woods to the skiers left by the headwall had powder past my waist. Snow Ridge and McCauley are the best kept secrets on the east.

  11. Thanks all!

    @dave I almost went to HV, couldn’t go wrong Saturday

    @paul that’s some commitment for powder

  12. Back when powder was powder, it left smoke just like that!

    Paul Martin you da man.

    How far off of the Tbar did people go? Anyone walking down the road, late day?

    Bigger than life Robert, nice work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *