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Plattekill, NY -- 2016 JAN 29 -- GreyPilgrim

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My first trip to Plattekill.  I stayed in Kingston the previous night so it was easy to get there in the morning.  It is about a ½ hour drive from Belleayre.  Fortunately the signs leading to Plattekill are good, since I was not sure if I was on the right path at times. I thought I was going to have a shot at 1st chair, but the lift I chose did not have any non-expert way down the mountain.  Since I never skied at Plattekill, I did not wish to go up the lift only to discover that I was unable to ski down the mountain.  I made my way to the other ski lift and spent my day skiing from there.


(Thanks to Sean(sp?) from Plattekill for taking the time to speak to me in the morning.  He checked on me while I was waiting at the double chair lift to make sure all was well.  After I learned that the double lift was only for experts, I went up the triple chair lift with him and Jeff.)


Weather:  Mid to Upper 20s with cloudy skies.  It snowed throughout the day (2" total).  There were gusts of wind through much of the day. 


Crowds:  Light for most of the day. (The crowds were less than what I saw on Belleayre the previous day.) I rarely felt crowded.  Occasionally, I needed to ski carefully around groups of skiers/snowboarders taking lessons. 


Lift lines: The lines were short and always under 1 minute. I only used the triple chair lift. The double chair lift was for experts only due to all of the trails not being open.  The triple chair compared well to the high speed lift from Belleayre.  A trip on the triple chair lift took about 6 minutes.  


Open Trails: I only was able to ski off of one lift due to many trails being closed.  The trails open from my lift were: 

Upper Powder Puff, Lower Powder Puff, Crossover, Sundown, ♦Upper Face, Lower Face, and Shredded Mozzarella.


Snow conditions:  Good to excellent.  It was primarily packed powder and machine groomed, but it was in good condition. I really enjoyed the snow that was falling from about 9am till I left about 4pm.  I think the snow contributed to excellent snow conditions while I skied.   There were a few if any icy spots.  There were no moguls built up on any trails that I skied.


They were blowing snow on Blockbuster all day.  I think they were able to open the trail by the next day.


I first went down Upper Powder Puff, and Lower Powder Puff which though a green trail, I thought it was similar in difficulty to Roaring Brook from Belleayre. It had some relatively steeps parts, which were followed by flatter areas of run out.  A nice pair of trails with some curves. I thought parts of Lower Powder Puff were hard (icy) surfaced by the sound of my skis.  It was not to difficult to ski, but I did not like the sound much as I skied over the trail.


Crossover connects from the end of Upper Powder Puff to the beginning of Lower Face, and Shredded Mozzarella.

It is a narrow and relatively gentle trail that had an icy spot at the end of the trail just before it connected to the other two trails (Lower Face, and Shredded Mozzarella).


Upper Face, and Lower Face were nice wide trails that went under the lift.  The ♦Upper Face, was steeper than the Lower Face but both trails were good challenges for me. These trails while wide had sustained pitch along the trail.


I skied down both of these trails. ♦Upper Face, was challenging for me and I only skied it a few times.  I thought it was easier than ♦Dot Nebel or ♦Alogonquin. but its pitch was sustained longer than either of these trails. 


Sundown was a less steep trail than ♦Upper Face to get to Lower Face.  It also was not as wide as the Lower Face.  The trail started relatively wide and became more narrow as it approached the point where ♦Pipeline would join the trail.  From that point the trail was a relatively easy slope to the beginning of Lower Face, and Shredded Mozzarella.




Shredded Mozzarella. is less steep than Lower Face, but it had more uneven terrain (possible due to being part of the terrain park) than Lower Face.


Two paths that I enjoyed skiing were (A) Upper Powder Puff to Crossover to Shredded Mozzarella. and (B) Sundown to Shredded Mozzarella.  I was able to have fun on these trails and get some speed, but I was able to remain under control without too much trouble.


One trip down Upper Powder Puff, and Lower Powder Puff I happened to ski behind two Plattekill winter sport instructors. They were on a snowboard which rode on top of a skate. (It looked similar to the photo from this link:  http://www.snow-fr.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=6000) I followed them slowly watching as they went down the trail.  They were not strapped in as one would be with a regular snow board.  Towards the end of Lower Powder Puff I finally decided to pass them and head to the lift.


About 1pm I spent some time in the lodge to warm up.  The lodge was nice and had a great feel.  There was an open fire stove in the middle of the room. It did a great job removing the chill from me.


I had an opportunity to speak with Terry and Carolynn(sp?) from the Plattekill Ski Patrol staff.  I spoke about the snowboard on a skate and various other topics.  They were great people to speak with and I enjoyed their conversation.

After about ½ hour I went back outside and skied for a few more hours.


It is a shame that more trails were not open.  I would have liked an opportunity to ski off the other lift.  I might have even tried some of the ♦ or ♦♦ runs depending how they looked to me in person.


Plattekill's trails tend to have more turns built into them than Belleayre.  Many of Bellearye's trails are similar to each other.  I had a very good time at Plattekill.  




Will add photos when I have more time.

post #2 of 5

Nice report. Plattekill is the best choice for a Catskill winter weekend as long as they have some coverage. It never has crowds.

If you can ski Upper Face you will be able to ski Northface and probably Plunge off the double. The trails off the double get progressively steeper from Northface to Plunge to Freefall to Blockbuster. Blockbuster is the steepest and the most sustained steep. Northface, Plunge, and Freefall become less steep after you ski 1/3 of the way down.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 



Thanks.  I had a good impression, even though I only skied off the triple-chair lift.


When Plattekill has full coverage, I think it would be an excellent place to ski.  I liked the feel of the place.  Definitely worth the extra distance.


I consider Belleayre and Plattekill among the better hills within a 4 hour drive from home.  They have decent vertical, a variety of terrain, decent lifts, and relatively uncrowded.

post #4 of 5

nice writeup GreyPilgrim!  


I'm from Jersey City (next to NYC) and I love Plattekill.  Of all the places in the catskills, its my favorite.  The place has such a great small mountain feel.  Crowded = 8 people in line before you.   The lodge is small, warm and inviting.  The bar serves some good hot sandwiches and nice microbrew drafts.  The runs are really nice when they have some decent snow.  The slope angle is pretty consistent and fun.  You get down fast but you get back up fast too.  When it's a good day the power in the trees off of North Face is awesome.  


They are closed from monday to thursday but they have something called a Powder Daize.  If they get 12"+ they will open on one of their off days.  It's generally pretty AWESOME when that happens.  You might be on the hill with like 50 other people.  It's fresh lines for hours.  I'm planning on going up on 2/17 for a possible powder day (6-14 possible).   I'll hit belleayre if Platty isn't open.  

post #5 of 5

btw the picture in my avatar is me at Plattekill.  

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