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Plattekill - 2/17

post #1 of 2
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I generally avoid skiing on President's Day weekend and this year was not going to be an exception. That was until we got 20-30+ inches of snow throughout the Northeast mid week. Given that I already had plans for Sunday, I needed to find a 1 day destination within reasonable driving distance. Hoping to avoid some of the expected crowds and the chance to hit an area I rarely have gotten to on - plus a day when it was fully open - led me to Plattekill.

I clicked into the skis around 8:40 and was about 4th in line for the 8:45 lift opening to the public on the Northface "Express". Little did I know this would be the longest line I'd wait in until one freak occurence mid-afternoon. The double diamonds appeared to me to still be ungroomed from the storm, with the exception of the bottom 1/3 of Northface, which actually is blue on the map anyways. From the chair, the snow looked deep although well tracked on the trails. I could see tracks through the woods as well. I started on Northface and I could tell this was going to be an interesting day right away. The snow was soft and deep, although the top did have a bit of a windblown crust. I can't think of another time I'd skied snow like this in the east. Early on it was a struggle for me...but the good kind of struggle. As the day progressed, my skills in the stuff improved and other traffic broke it up some more, making it even more fun for me. A couple times throughout the day I could have used some wider baskets on the poles as they just dropped endlessly through the snow. I moved from Northface, to Blockbuster, to Freefall and Plunge, repeating throughout the day. I took one run down a groomed The Face to rest my legs since I was quickly getting tired from pushing all the snow around, but I realized that definitely wasn't as much fun as the ungroomed stuff on the other side. I never did venture into the trees as I was by myself and I was having way too much fun on the trails. The "lines" at the double chair ranged from skiing right on to waiting for 3 chairs for most of the day. Once after lunch, it may have been a 10 chair wait. Those holiday crowds were a killer. : By the end of the day some nice soft moguls were forming. I'm sure they're going to have a few great weekends there. It was a clear bluebird day with little or no winds and just about the perfect temperature for skiing. My legs only lasted until about 3 and thank God for their slow chairs or I wouldn't have made it that long as I'd guess I got in at least 25-30 runs.

After all that great skiing followed by sitting in a car for 4.5 hours, I'm walking around a bit slowly today but it was worth it. Definitely one of the best days I've ever skied in the east. I've only been to Plattekill a few times and I think I've always selected pretty good snow days, but if you're near the Catskills and there's good snow and you want to avoid the crowds, it's hard to beat!
post #2 of 2
any pics?
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