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#14178 - 01/27/05 08:52 PM Catskill Ski Recommendation??
webmaster Offline

veteran

Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1273
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
I'd like to take a visiting friend skiing on Friday. Does anyone have a suggestion of where to go, and where to rent equipment?

-em
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#14179 - 01/27/05 09:37 PM Re: Catskill Ski Recommendation?? [Re: webmaster]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Hunter is more advanced-friendly, Windham slightly more intermediate-friendly.

There's a good rental shop on the road to Windham just before the area entrance, across from this little inn...

Haven't been to Bellayre or Catamount.


Edited by pedestrian (01/27/05 09:52 PM)

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#14180 - 01/27/05 09:47 PM Re: Catskill Ski Recommendation?? [Re: webmaster]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2954
Loc: LI, NY
bellayre is not bad at all.
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#14181 - 01/27/05 10:42 PM Re: Catskill Ski Recommendation?? [Re: empicard]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4275
Loc: Poughkeepsie
I wasn't going to respond to this. After all, we're talking CATSKILLS here, how much mystery can there be in the downhill skiing there??

But I can't resist, so here goes. Note, I don't pretend the following to be objective in any sense; YMMV.

Bellaire - It has a good rep for beginners, but I found the skiing frustrating. Every fun bit is too short and is followed by a half mile glide back to the base of a slow lift. The customer service there is the worst I've ever seen. One woman sat and clipped her nails behind the second ticket window while 300+ people queued (sp?) up at window #1. (broad stroke slam at state employees deleted)

Hunter - the best bet after a thaw (NOT the case this w/e). Crazy crowded on weekends. Lots of expert terrain, most of it icy all the time, the first point notwithstanding. Not a very esthetic mountain, but I find there's something appealing in skiing between industrial strength road cuts. Often has a good social scene in the base lodge afterwards.

Plattekill - Great when the snow is plentiful or you are an advanced skier up to the less-traveled slopes. Is often the best bet for ungroomed snow (what others might call "powder"). But green and blue skiers all funnel down the same slope, which gets old in a hurry. Fridays here are often NOT busy so if your friend is sensitive of who might see him/her fall down, this is a less threatening spot.

Windham - the most New England-like of the areas. Trails are attractive, a bit of something for everyone. It has gotten much more crowded than it was years ago, but it has earned the traffic by providing a good skiing experience.

Bobcat - is this place open any more? THE hidden gem of the Cats.

Cortina Valley - never skied there. But in the sense of completeness, I'll mention it.

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#14182 - 01/28/05 02:03 PM Re: Catskill Ski Recommendation?? [Re: webmaster]
pitfall Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/01/00
Posts: 1165
Loc: Albany
If your friend is a good skier and wants real black diamonds, go to hunter.
If your friend wants to go to fun bars and party after skiing, go to hunter.

If you want a crowded area, go to windham. I've usually found bigger crowds at windham than at hunter. It is very family oriented and a good intermediate area but in my opinion, pretty boring. Obviously many other people feel differently.

If you want a less crowded area and don't need any bells and whistles, bellayre might be the place to go, no matter what Mike says. I've gone there after a big storm and had a great day and that was with a few friends who are all excellent skiers. Sure, it's no hunter but we've all skied hunter hundreds of times and a change of pace is nice.

I don't think Cortina is even open as a ski area anymore and if it is, don't bother.

Never been to the other places.

Can't really help with the rental question, sorry. Rent as far from the mountain as you can, there will probably be less of a crowd when you return your stuff.
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#14183 - 01/28/05 03:22 PM Re: Catskill Ski Recommendation?? [Re: pitfall]
Coppertone Online   content
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
I have to agee with Mike on Bellayre. If your idea of a day skiing is short crowded trails that are barely more than horizontal then by all means have at it. I think that there is one double diamond there that would barely qualify as a blue square in vermont. Hunter is definitely the way to go in the Catskills especially if it is a weekday. Hunter has a great variety for everyone. Weekends can be crazy there, but that is true almost anywhere around here.

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#14184 - 01/28/05 05:08 PM Re: Catskill Ski Recommendation?? [Re: Mike Rawdon]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Quote:

Windham - the most New England-like of the areas. Trails are attractive, a bit of something for everyone. It has gotten much more crowded than it was years ago, but it has earned the traffic by providing a good skiing experience.




Ok, if it's icy at Hunter, it's going to be icy at Windham, so I would say make the decision based on ability level.

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#14185 - 01/28/05 08:53 PM Re: Catskill Ski Recommendation?? [Re: Mike Rawdon]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
Hunter:
Black diamond = 200' vermont blue square terrain, followed by 1400' green circle terrain. The only thing hard about diamonds (or any other trail) at hunter are avoiding other people, not losing your edge on ice, and not slamming into a fence after being clipped by an inexperienced skier flying across the ice.

Double black diamond = black diamond about everywhere else, just 1/4 the length of anything in Vermont.

It's better than nothing I suppose, ok for a weekday, but on a weekend you're much better off getting up a couple hours earlier and heading off to Killington.
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#14186 - 01/29/05 01:22 PM Re: Catskill Ski Recommendation? Leave and go West! [Re: quanto_the_mad]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
friday night, leave work. Jet Blue drops you off in SLC in time to go to the red iguana for dinner.

Saturday and Sunday ski your favorite area: Brighton, Snowbird, the Canyons, Sundance, Alta (that terrible evil place)...

Sunday night fly home and we'll see you bright and early in the office.

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#14187 - 01/31/05 01:18 PM Re: Catskill Ski Recommendation?? [Re: quanto_the_mad]
pitfall Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/01/00
Posts: 1165
Loc: Albany
Yes hunter black diamonds are generally easy. Doubles are like some blacks in vt but lets not get crazy here. Annapurna is not filled with inexperienced skiers, is long and steep for most of its length, and has big bumps. On the other hand, there are plenty of things at stowe, flatton, or killington that try to pass as hard but face it, are pretty fucking easy. In VT you call something not very steep a glade, give it a diamond, leave the groomers off it and pretend it's hard when if you know how to ski bumps is about as casual as it gets. Sure, outer limits at killlington is steep and long but if you want to talk about serious vermont skiing, please, leave the killington disney experience out of the conversation and talk about something like paradise at mad river glen or the chutes at jay.
Besides, you're comparing the catskills to the green mountains. Why not say if you want real skiing, go earn your turns at tucks.
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