Friday, February 22, 2013

The Goods

While it's probably been raining where you live, Plattekill has quietly accumulated 10"-12" of very  fine, fresh new snow over the past few days.  And we're slated to get some more tomorrow.  This is gonna be the best weekend of the season, folks.  Get on up here!

The View from the Top of Blockbuster

AND DON'T FORGET... TELEFEST 2013 @ PLATTEKILL on THURSDAY, MARCH 7!  TELE for $20 - $20 lift tickets for freeheelers.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Pleasures of Platty

OK, so conditions aren't what we'd have hoped for right now. Nemo was a bit of a letdown and we are feeling the continuing effects from the warmup and rain occurring later that week.  Things are firm.  No matter how much snow you blow on it and how much you groom it, it's not going to soften up much until we either get another good dump or spring comes.  The latter is inevitable, the former would really be swell.

Crazy busy holiday weekend, and I didn't get out much on my own.  Gave many lessons - each a happy respite from the chaos of the desk.

Saw the light at the end of the tunnel today and got out for a few laps this afternoon.  My favorite runs this season have been on the natural trails.  These have not always been open. Of course, I would strongly urge you folks to respect all Ski Patrol postings and boundaries.  Enter at your own risk.

I love Ridge Run, such a nice mix of cruising and steeps, hairpins, bumps, spurs like Horseshoe and Cliffs.  It was fun today - weird windblown crusty mix with lots of grass poking up, some soft stuff blown in on the edges.  Real NY skiing!  And what a beautiful day it was - cold air and warm sun.  Just how I like it.  It was one of those runs that reminds you why you love to ski at Plattekill.

Ridge Run Looking Up

Ridge Run Looking Down

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


One of my favorite places to be is Shaupeneak Ridge, one of the many wonderful preserves managed by Scenic Hudson, just a few miles from my home in Esopus.  In summer, Louisa Pond is great for canoeing, and the trails offer great hiking, mountain biking and gorgeous views of the valley below.

Today was the first time in the past two years that it was really skiable.  Michele and I set out on snowshoes, but I had my Asolo leather boots and 80's vintage 200cm Karhu XCD GT's with Rottafella 412 cable bindings strapped to my backpack, hoping the snow from Nemo had covered the rocks enough to ski.  Indeed it had, and it was a lovely morning in the granular, slightly soggy snow. The skis were a little sticky, but that made it easier to climb.  

There were lots of deer tracks and scat and sights such as this, where they bedded down. 

It was mostly gentle touring up and down, but there were a couple of opportunities to slide down.  A little aspect seems like a lot on long, skinny skis.

Gravity Defying Feets

Saturday, February 9, 2013


On Wednesday and Thrusday, February 6-7, I participated in an excellent PSIA clinic at Gore Mountain. The clinic was meant to be a 'Tele - Intermediate Trees' event.  Alas, the snow simply wasn't in the trees in sufficient quantity to allow us access to ski any soft stashes between them. 
The Spectacular Adirondacks, with Mark Lacek in the forground, who appears to be skiing backwards.

So it became a mostly bumps-and-steeps sort of thing, with lots of work on going slow and controlled in bumps and picking your turns.  The meaning of DELAYED LEAD CHANGE, PSIA's tele-mantra, was the main subject for discussion.  We came up with a number of ways of thinking about this tactic, and decided that it means more than one thing.  It can mean tipping onto a flat ski as in a monomark, from ankles to knees to hips,  in advance of the lead change at the fall line.  Or it can mean feet together at the fall line in the belly of a round C turn.  Or it can mean, simply, a gradual turn, where the lead change closely follows the shape of the turn.  Or - perhaps most simply - it means initiating the turn in advance of the lead change.

This conversation, on the chairlift and on snow - very nice manmade stuff blown into deep, soft, slightly lumpy piles - was also part of my PSIA Level I Telemark Exam, which, I'm happy to say, I passed.  Now on to Level II at Sugarbush in March, fingers crossed...

We had a great bunch of guys and one gal, who joined us for a few hours Wednesday morning.  All terrific skiers.  And Mark Lacek from Gore did a fantastic job, keeping it moving, interesting, pertinent and fun. The 2-day event wouldn't have been complete without a journey to the inner sanctum of the Gore Mountain Ski Patrol hut at the summit.  I love these cozy homes-away-from home at the top of the mountain.  Riders on the Storm was blowing through the speaker you see there.  Of course, that became our posse's nickname.

L-R: myself, Mark the Patroller, Dave and Sean from Timberline in WV, and Jason from Holiday Valley in Western NY

Back at Platty this weekend.  The snow last night wasn't all that up here.  Too bad there aren't great steeps with 1,000'+ top-to-bottom vertical in Central Park.  But we had some nice fluffy fresh stuff to push around just the same.  Alas, no pictures for you, dear reader.  Most of the pictures I could have taken would have been incriminating evidence of skiing in terrain that might have been closed.  Besides, I was having too much fun skiing that untracked powder this morning, getting first tracks on Block with our Level III guy Ken Kimball and - my favorite - the lower part of Freefall

It's on, brothers and sisters! The very first, hopefully annual TELEFEST is happening at Plattekill Mountain on March 7, with TELE for $20 lift tickets.  Freeheelers and those who register for tele lessons will get in for $20.  The mountain will be open to the wider, non-freeheel public as well.  Tell your tele-friends and let's hope for some great conditions!