I've been fed up with weekend crowds this winter at my usual ski destinations this winter. Until this past week, many resorts did not have the majority of their terrain open. After the Catskills got a dump of fresh snow a few days ago, most terrain in the region is open and I decided to give Plattekill Mountain in the Catskills a shot-mainly because I heard there are never crowds. I've been to other Catskill mountains, but never here. Looking at the mountain on-line I was a bit skeptical- a triple and a double lift, a bit out of the way for me…I had no idea what to expect and thought that if there were crowds I would be miserable. I was pleasantly surprised!
The four or five main expert top to bottom runs (Blackout, Free Fall (natural snow only), The Plunge, the Face (blue to black), & the North Face) are a good mix of groomers and bumps and are long and wide trails. I was able to get a lot of skiing in on these 5 runs and most of the day was spent here. There are only a few beginner trails that were the wrap-around-the-outside of the mountain type. I think the lack of much beginner terrain helps keep the crowds away. The few blues that I skied were usually narrow trails that crisscrossed some parts of the mountain-the ones that I skied seemed like natural snow trails. The coverage was sketchy in spots (some rocks poking through) and some trails became difficult for me to navigate while trying to keep my bases from getting damaged.
I was on some wide-carvers to start the day (great packed-powder groomers). I switched to my Bushwackers to ski moguls for a while and had a blast. When the rocks and twigs started to become annoying I went to my Sultan 85s…which are now my official Plattekill skis (I don't mind if they get beat up-I never loved these skis, rarely ski them and tried to sell them at my ski clubs swap, but no takers! Swap buyers are so cheap…)
Overall, I felt like Plattekill was a fun area within a larger resort…it was great day trip! I'll be returning on days when all the above trails are open...I liked each of them.
Pros: On what I figured would be a busy day, I never waited on a line. The staff was super friendly, people skiing were really nice, very few kids, the lodge was nice, good terrain variety when all trails are open and there's been some fresh snow (and apparently they get the most in the Catskills…they say 175" a year. Sounds like a lot to me!)
Cons: Further than other Catskill resorts if you are using the NYS throughway (but this is really a plus). If you are going to ski on any trails without a ton of snowmaking, bring your rock skis!