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#42587 - 01/12/09 04:09 PM Catskill backcountry skiing
Fraser Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 700
Loc: New Canaan, CT
Has anyone done any backcountry skiing in the Catskills?

I heard there was something off the back of Hunter once, and Overlook Mts trail. Anyone do something worth repeating? Some old ski areas might be worth while.

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#42589 - 01/12/09 04:32 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Fraser]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Re lost ski areas, Highmount still gets skied. There is stuff off the back of Hunter though it probably needs a good snow year. I don't have details on that one.

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#42598 - 01/13/09 02:04 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: pedestrian]
pitfall Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/01/00
Posts: 1165
Loc: Albany
I've skied the otis from north lake to palenville after the blizzard of '93 and it was decent, although not very steep. The good thing there is that you can leave a car on top and at the bottom fairly easliy. Most areas are very overgrown and more trouble than their worth. Hunter and plateau can be alright near stoney clove if you are careful to avoid the big drops. You might also able to find an okay line or two near kaaterskill falls. I remember one which took me down to just above the fawn's leap swimming hole (Moore's bridge). Then again, I haven't done any of these spots in at least 10 years so the growth may have gotten out of control. You really do need a big snowfall to make any of it worthwhile though.
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#42599 - 01/13/09 05:50 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: pitfall]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4269
Loc: Poughkeepsie
The woods above and to the right of Moores Bridge wall (Rt 23A) are quite open. Quite steep for the most part too. And if you don't stop you fly out into the Kaat. Creek. Avoid the rock/ice face by going up in the woods 200 yd left. PM me for detailed beta.

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#42617 - 01/17/09 12:09 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Mike Rawdon]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Fraser, The Spruceton Trail up the backside to Hunter is a great tour. Long and low angle for most of the beginning, then it winds around a little steeply up to the ridge and finally to the tower. Plan it on a blue sky day, climb the tower and get a great view to the Hunter $ki area waaaaaay down there. Hunter is large enough to offer other descents as well, all far and away from the $ki area including a run from summit SE to Devil's Path to Diamond Notch back to Diamond Notch Rd. or Spruceton.
Tremper from the Phoencia side is short steep and very fun.
Slide from the Burrows Range Trail from Slide Mountain Rd,
We once tried the Cornell, Wittenberg, Slide Loop in old school touring gear. Though we finished the peaks, we got benighted at the road and hitched a ride back to Woodland Valley.
Bellearye from Lost Clove Rd.
Panther from Fox Hollow is very nice though finding the real summit is a chore,
Overlook, there is a nice glade down from the Overlook Trail to Echo Lake then back up and out.
Balsam Lake Mtn, a direct glade descent to the SE from the summit brings you back to the trail for Quacker Clearing on Beaver Kill Rd.
All these runs are on hiking trails or adjacent glades near to trails. With enough snow coverage I would recommend these and have done them a number of times each. Further exploration or sharing will hopefully open up more. Good luck. RC


Edited by Rickster (01/17/09 12:14 AM)
Edit Reason: Clarification.

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#42677 - 01/19/09 11:42 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
Fraser Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 700
Loc: New Canaan, CT
Thanks to all.

Today I went to Diamond Notch Rd and parked at the trail head. It was the most familiar to me from ice climbing at Stoney Clove. I put my skins on at the bottom and worked up a major sweat. Conditions were ideal - fresh powder and blue skies. I stopped at the lean to for lunch. Then I met a couple on snow shoes and another couple skiing up on skinny skis from the Spruceton Rd. I skiied down to the car park on Spruceton Rd and then hiked back up and over. There are a few blow downs on the Diamond Notch trail and it was a little overgrown with lots of water. The trail is a little narrow for turns, especially with the powder but that's backcountry skiing.

The other couple on skis mentioned Mink Hollow Rd as a good alternative. That's on the tick list too. I heard the Overlook trail is good.

Rickster - thanks for the tips - that's a seasons worth at least!

I would recommend the Diamond Notch trail - reminiscent of the Wildcat to Jackson trail in NH but less groomed.

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#42729 - 01/22/09 01:11 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Fraser]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
I did miss another good one. Off of Peekamoose Rd. ski on the Ashokan High Point Trail (red blaze) to the top of High Point. As you get to the ridge and head left to the summit you'll make a decision to go right up the ledges (shorter) or left around to the north (longer) and the summit. I have not done the left, but went up through the ledges carrying skis up and down. The return trip is very fun. On one occasion we went north along the left hand variant and dropped down through the trees. This offers a long glade run that will intersect the lower length of the trail below the ridge intersection. Very worthwhile.
On Hunter, having done an opener on Diamond Notch, you may be ready for the Spruceton Trail to Hunter's summit. Classic run back down to intersection. RC

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#42827 - 01/27/09 09:19 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Jan. 25 we skied Balsam Lake Mtn up the northerly approach from the Arkville side.
As expected the trail was broken out by snowshoers, making the skin up to the fire tower far easier than our last time up there. The northerly approach is much nicer for skiing than the 1.85mile trail from Quaker Clearing. You'd use the same north route to the summit avoiding the very steep south trail to the summit. Additionally, the ice laden trees found elsewhere in the Cats are not a problem this year. We had a fine run down. We started the day with a run over to Graham as well, but found the trail nearly covered in blowdown and ice crusted trees, forcing us to crawl, schlog and grovel our way to the top. If this trail ever saw some love and attention, it would be a fine ski tour as well. Conditions are very good on and off trail and will only get better with tomorrow's snow fall. RC

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#42828 - 01/27/09 11:05 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
Fraser Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 700
Loc: New Canaan, CT
Any interest in getting out Saturday?

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#50268 - 01/17/10 01:35 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Fraser]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
A repeat tour of the 1/25/09 TR to Balsam Lake Mtn. from the north. A little fresh snow to cover the snowshoe track. A beautiful day, warm and sunny. Plenty of coverage for forays off the trail with plenty of powder on the shoulders when leaving the snowshoe track. The Bellearye parking lots were packed to overflowing when we drove out at 3pm and we saw only 7 people walking up as we skied out. The western Catskills have much more snow than the central or eastern regions. RC

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#50269 - 01/17/10 03:27 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
cfrac Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 456
Hey Rick, we were thinking about doing some Catskills backountry today but opted for
Belleayre was crazy, they were busing people up from the XC parking because the other two lots had filled. Suprisingly though looking up at Dot Nebel it didn't look crowded. ALthough


Edited by cfrac (01/18/10 03:53 AM)

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#50270 - 01/17/10 02:15 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: cfrac]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Dot has been closed on and off for the past week as they prepare for racing. In regards to HM.........shhhhhh. RC


Edited by Rickster (01/17/10 02:36 PM)

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#50275 - 01/18/10 01:38 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
franky Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
im thinking of doing a ski tour to balsam lake mtn. this week end. im deciding between the the western mill brook approach or the northern dry brook approach, which would you say is more fun?
will i need my skins or will fish scales be enough for either approach? thank you
franky

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#50277 - 01/18/10 08:12 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: franky]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Franky, I've not done the Mill Brook Ridge approach. The topo indicates that the last quarter mile or so will be steep. We've done the southerly route from Quaker Clearing to the juncture with the Dry Brook Ridge trail with a descent from the summit clearing, east down to the trail. And, the last two times the Dry Brook Ridge trail up and down. By far, the Dry Brook Trail is fun. I skinned it with tele skis, and my partner use old school touring with waxless pattern. He suffered only a few short sections of herringbone and even a little side stepping. We saw four bear booters post holing the trail on our departure on Saturday. Fortunately, reports of 5 inches of freshies at Bellearye last night will have refreshed the trail. Let us know how it went. Enjoy. RC

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#50288 - 01/20/10 07:24 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
jtuscanes Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 47
Loc: The Vly
This Catskill back coutry area is worth a slide. At about 2400' and pretty steep. Could use another dump, but was still excting last weekend (more snow there then it looks). Anyone know where this is:

From bottom looking up:
http://gunks.com/ubbthreads7/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showpic&id=706

From top looking down:
http://gunks.com/ubbthreads7/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showpic&id=705

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#50290 - 01/20/10 09:32 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: jtuscanes]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Nope, I've never seen it before. By your post, it seems like you know where it is. Are you going to share?
On second thought, might it be on Friday Mt? I'd figure the slide on Slide Mtn
is far more overgrown now. RC


Edited by Rickster (01/20/10 09:36 PM)

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#50292 - 01/21/10 01:10 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
jtuscanes Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/01/02
Posts: 47
Loc: The Vly
Rickster....right on. This is the slide on Friday Mtn.

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#50294 - 01/21/10 07:47 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: jtuscanes]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Originally Posted By: jtuscanes
This Catskill back coutry area is worth a slide. At about 2400' and pretty steep. Could use another dump, but was still excting last weekend (more snow there then it looks). Anyone know where this is:

From bottom looking up:
http://gunks.com/ubbthreads7/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showpic&id=706

From top looking down:
http://gunks.com/ubbthreads7/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showpic&id=705


By 2400' did you mean elevation or length of the slide? By your photos it sure looks like it needs some more snow. Thanks for sharing. RC

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#50305 - 01/22/10 05:42 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
franky Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
when are those pics. from? were you skiing or hiking?

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#50307 - 01/22/10 06:38 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: franky]
franky Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
if the weather forcast for this sun and mon. in hughmount,ny is 35 deg. and rain, what will the weather be like at 1000 feet higher elevation? i'm planning an overnight ski tour to balsam lake mtn. and was just getting nervous that its going to rain!

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#50308 - 01/22/10 07:38 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: franky]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2674
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I would also pack some crampons or at least some YakTrax, as you may find bulletproof snow after the rain freezes again.

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#50330 - 01/24/10 01:29 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: chip]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Considering the forecast, I'd hold off till next weekend for an over night ski tour in the Catskills. The snow expected later in the week will do a lot to replenish the snow cover after two days of rain. Altitude in the Catskills may not be sufficient enough to offer snow. We just got back from a ski tour of Bear Pen north of Fleishman's. Other than the snowmobiles tracking the route to the summit, it was a fine tour, with a mix of just about everything, wide sled groomed jeep road, tele, tight gullys, survival snow plow and slide slipping, some stride and glide, some bushwhacking and great views to the north. With the afternoon sun, we had some real hero snow not unlike late March corn. However, the coming rain will not help the conditions without some new snow soon after. Otherwise, enjoy your tour. Stay dry. RC

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#50405 - 01/28/10 02:52 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
franky Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
well i did do the two day tour to blm this sun. and mon. and let me tell you i was skiing down, on monday, through a stream of water. the dry brook trail which just one day earlier was really nice, was one big stream. we had to stay on the side in the woods, it was quite challenging. the skin up on sunday, however, was beutiful. we stayed in the leen too, and were really warm....

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#50407 - 01/28/10 01:40 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: franky]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Franky, well done. Sounds like you got the complete experience. Welcome to the Catskill BC. If interested in another Catskill overnighter with turns included, check out the Spruceton Trail to the top of Hunter. The John Robb Leanto has been recently rebuilt just below 3500 ft.
This is a premier leanto with great views for breakfast.
Above and below this leanto are some nice runs and the return to the car is one long shot of down. Enjoy the freshies. RC


Edited by Rickster (01/28/10 01:47 PM)

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#50433 - 01/31/10 07:28 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
franky Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
thanks for all the tips! how are the conditions in the cats. now? were the trails patched up yet from mondays rain? i wanna do a day trip soon.

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#50435 - 01/31/10 09:56 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: franky]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Nope, word is that the woods are rather thin and crusty. Those peaks with any real snow depth to them, are at least covered in breakable crust. Probably have to head north for any hope of getting any freshies and even that might be difficult at this time. Northern Vermont is getting lake effect again. RC

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#50508 - 02/11/10 03:29 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
franky Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
well how about now? after the, present, future, snow in the cats.
you think im good to go for a day trip in the cats this weekend?
im thinking of doing hunter mtn. what do you day?

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#50521 - 02/12/10 10:36 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: franky]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Strong chance we'll be doing same. Western Cats got more snow than eastern side. Bellearye had lots of fresh on the leeward slopes above parking lot elevations, but anything in the wind got blown pretty clean. Oliveira and Phoenicia got maybe a few inches at best after the wind did it's thing. Reports of 6 inches or more were probably based on measurements taken in hidden snow drifts! However, we may be heading up to Spruceton trail head on Sunday. Please post a TR if you go sooner. Enjoy, RC

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#50530 - 02/15/10 02:13 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
The Hunter trail up from Spruceton offered up some nice BC skiing today. All but a quarter mile section above the bridge had excellent coverage. That quarter mile above the first switchback was very thin and rocky due to wash outs from last month's big rain. Otherwise, nice freshies to the summit. We had light flurries all day, but the region really needs the 6" forecast for Tuesday. We saw or passed a large number of snowshoers many of whom took the ski lift ride up from Hunter Mtn Ski Bowl. One pair got "lost" taking a wrong turn and hiking downhill toward Rusk Mtn. Once turned around, we offered up some water and food, and got them on the trail back to the ski bowl. Street cloths, no water, no food, no idea! In addition two other skiers and 6 snowshoers, 4 of whom also took the chair. What's it all coming to when even snowshoers are taking the lift?
Hoping for more snow, RC

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#50536 - 02/15/10 05:02 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2674
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
My frustration has been all the snow we have in Delaware and really no where to go have an all day BC ski. Guess it could be worse, at least I am getting lots of snowshoeing. Glad to hear the Cats are doing OK and maybe getting better.

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#50542 - 02/15/10 09:45 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: chip]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Tonight/tomorrow's forecast for the Cats was predicting 6-10 inches. Anything would be an improvement, but this would top it off fairly well. Hopeful, RC.

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#50562 - 02/17/10 05:07 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
Welle Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
Rickster, I sent you a PM.

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#50572 - 02/18/10 09:10 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Welle]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
The latest snowfall has quickly consolidated to only a few inches in some areas. We skied up to the ridge on Ashokan High Point from the Peekamoose Rd trail head. We turned left continuing on the Red blazed trail and dropped down through the woods to intersect the lower red trail on the return. Areas under the hemlocks were very thin, open areas better off, but not worth another visit unless we get another 4 or 5 inches. Northern or western Cats should have faired much better after Tuesday's snow fall. RC

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#50574 - 02/19/10 03:45 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
Mitrik Offline
stranger

Registered: 02/19/10
Posts: 1
Please make another post on conditions if you go this weekend. It will get warm on Sat, almost 40, so i hope it doesn't mess stuff up.

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#50608 - 02/23/10 05:23 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Mitrik]
franky Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
the forcast is looking good for this week in the catskills.....lets all pray hard..........so that we can all play hard................

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#50610 - 02/23/10 11:11 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: franky]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5934
Loc: 212 land
Originally Posted By: franky
the forcast is looking good for this week in the catskills.....lets all pray hard..........so that we can all play hard................
Prayer for those who can't afford Viagra?
_________________________

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#50618 - 02/23/10 10:12 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: oenophore]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Keep praying. Forecasts for tonight through tomorrow include expectations of up to 15 inches in the Cats. Even half that would go a long way to improving all the standard ski tours. RC

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#50643 - 02/26/10 01:00 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
franky Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
ok i do plan on doing a day trip this weekend. ive never skied ashokan high point before, im considering doing that, is the trail steep enough to get some descent speed on the way down? some tele turns? or is it to low of a grade? also if i want to try the glade were is a good spot to drop off the trail to the north from the left trail up top?

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#50659 - 02/27/10 03:38 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: franky]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
With the depth of the snow as of today, Ashokan High Point will need to compact a little. The first 2.5 miles is pretty low angle. Slow going in 6 inches, near impossible in multiple feet. Tremper, Hunter, Slide, Balsam Lake Mountain would be a go. Enjoy. RC

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#50665 - 02/28/10 03:08 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
franky Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
is overlook mtn. steep enough? i assume it gets a lot of traffic so it gets compact!

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#50667 - 03/01/10 12:19 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: franky]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Mt. Tremper today was very rewarding. The trail had been broken out by a good sized group of snowshoers and a post holer. After digging out some parking for ourselves, our ski crew of 5 Gunkies hit the trail with one late arrival joining us for a short while. DL must have gotten tired of all our banter as he motored on ahead.

On our descent we cut all the hairpin turns with a fall line descent off trail in the adjacent glades to within about 50 yards of the car. Isn't GPS a wonder thing. The glades here are wide open as we wove our way through a few short ledge areas a few old quarry sites and some blow down. The snow got very wet and heavy as we got lower with something more akin to Sierra Cement. Upper reaches had well over four feet of snow. Most of it from the recent storm cycle. But, thin was not in our vocab today as the coverage was as complete as anyone could want. Other than the heavy snow density, it was good day to be out with friends.

Note: the up trail itself is still good for ascent, but for downhill, the post holers really tore it up. We were catching ski tips on the up and were very happy to escape using it on the down. RC

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#50719 - 03/08/10 01:10 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
powderbroker Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
Thinking about heading up for a day of liftserve or bc skiing on tuesday. Has anyone done Slide recently? Is it a fun ski? I would assume the temp cycle has consolidated the snow into something pretty stable. Would a beacon/shovel/probe would be mandatory? I've done several of the spots mentioned on this thread but would like to knock off a few more before the year is out. If anyone would like to get together, pm me!

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#50721 - 03/08/10 12:21 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
PB, No avy gear is necessary for Slide. The actual slide is heavily grown in with trees and studded with large boulders. It has been skied but is not very popular as it leaves you on the "wrong" side of the mountain. I don't know of today's conditions, but it is a nice tour, not the most exciting, but nice. Glade shots can be found along the sides if you keep your eyes open. The up track is most likely well broken out by snowshoes, bare booters or the occasional skier and with this snow pack, as fast as a luge run.

We skied up via Aumick Rd. to Awosting on Sat. Beautiful day, saw no one but a pair of dog walkers upon our return. The snow up high is still deep enough for some fine tree shots at least until the snow got way to soggy after about 1pm. With the way the approach switches back and forth, you can drop off the shoulder and fall line it down to the next road crossing, and continue on down through the trees or back on the road. A pair of snow mobiles poached from an adjacent property and chewed up some of the trail, but turned around way before the top. One might now have to walk in the first 1/8, but it should remain good for another few days. We went waxless, no skins. Enjoy, RC

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#50722 - 03/08/10 01:56 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
i always carry my beacon, probe and shovel even in bounds.
_________________________
John Okner Photography

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#50729 - 03/08/10 07:41 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
powderbroker Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
Interesting, I might skip it then in favor of some more exciting tours in other parts of the catskills. That north side should hold snow for a long time with the base we have, so no need to jump on it tomorrow. I'd rather do some exciting skiing now, and pure earning turns shlep tours later on.

Thinking maybe near Kaaterskill, Hunter or Vly.

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#50730 - 03/08/10 07:42 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: talus]
powderbroker Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
Do you live in Wyoming?

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#50733 - 03/08/10 09:47 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Not now but i did for 5 years
_________________________
John Okner Photography

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#50753 - 03/11/10 03:05 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: talus]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
If angel can slide why not Slide mtn. read below

LAKE PLACID - A pair of backcountry telemark skiers survived an avalanche Saturday on Wright Peak without any serious injuries, despite one of the men sliding more than 600 feet.

Glens Falls resident Ian Measeck and Vergennes, Vt. resident Jamie McNeill triggered the avalanche at about noon on what is known as Angel Slides, two bare strips on the northeastern side of the 4,580-foot Wright Peak in the Eastern High Peaks. The entire length of the larger Angel Slide, which is about 300 feet wide and 1,200 feet long, went down the mountain and piled snow and debris at the base, exceeding 20 feet deep in spots.

An avalanche killed one skier and injured five others on Angel Slides in February 2000 in what is believed to be the only fatal avalanche in the Adirondacks. The slides received their unofficial name after that incident.

This time, the skiers had ascended about one-third of the slide using skins - fabric attached to the ski bottoms - when they sensed the snowpack could be unstable. They heard several faint noises indicating the snow was settling, before hearing a very clear sound that the snow might slide.

"We heard a 'whoomf,'" Measeck said. "I looked at him. He looked at me. We were both like, 'All right, I'm not too sure about this. Let's get someplace safer and dig another pit and kind of reassess.' Moments after we had said that, I noticed spindrift out of the corner of my eye to the left and looked up, and the whole thing had let loose."

The force of the avalanche drove the 30-year-old Measeck more than 600 feet down the slide, burying him to his neck near the base of the slide. The 25-year-old McNeill travelled about 300 feet before he was pinned to a tree stump and buried up to his chest. Both men were able to dig themselves out.

"I stopped, miraculously, face out of the snow," Measeck said. "I was back down, and my arms were pinned. I was able to free my left hand. And then it took me a while to undo my pack straps, but I got out, switched my beacon to receive and dug my shovel and my probe out, and proceeded up the slide to look for my friend."

Measeck and McNeill received some bruises and cuts but came away relatively unscathed, considering they both could have lost their lives due to the force of the avalanche or by being buried. Neither received medical attention.

"We're banged up a bit but no serious injuries," Measeck said. "I have some pretty big bruises. I bit a pretty big-sized hole, gash in my tongue (and have an) abrasion on my forehead."

Late last week, the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks received nearly two feet of snow at about 2,500 feet, creating a deep, heavy snow pack on Saturday, Forest Ranger Jim Giglinto said. That deep layer of heavy snow on top of a weak layer near its base created prime conditions for avalanches. The state Department of Environmental Conservation issued an avalanche warning Monday for the backcountry, specifically on steep, open slopes. The DEC was required to rescue the skiers, but did do an investigation of the incident.

The Angel Slides are popular with backcountry skiers, in part because of their accessibility. They are between three and four miles from the Adirondak Loj trailhead and are visible from Marcy Dam.

The men arrived at the base of the larger slide at about 11:30 a.m. There they dug an avalanche test pit about three to four feet deep, said McNeill, who is originally from Warrensburg. They found no weak layers and determined it was safe to go forward. Both men had the proper gear for being in avalanche terrain, though neither had formal training to use it. Both had skied slides in the past.

The men then started ascending the larger slide, heading for the thin one on the right when viewed from Marcy Dam. McNeill was about 20 feet ahead of Measeck when the snow slid.

"It's so powerful that even the simplest things like trying to get your hands up near your face are so difficult because there's so much force there," McNeill said. "It was just really scary. I knew as soon as it hit (that) obviously we're both in it, and we're both possibly buried, and no one is out here to help us."

Both men turned downhill once the avalanche started. Measeck wound up relatively horizontal and on his back with his feet downhill and his head uphill. When McNeill stopped, he was also on his back but his legs were wrapped around the tree stump and his head was downhill.

"I don't know if I hit it and glanced off of it or my legs just caught on it and I stopped there," said McNeill, who lost one ski in the process. "It was so chaotic I can't really tell."

There were about 10 inches of snow on his chest and two feet on his legs. His face wasn't covered so he was able to breathe, even as the last snow moved down the mountain.

"There was a top layer of snow as everything was slowing down that was sliding over my face, but when it all finally stopped, I was able to just kind of shake that off and get the snow off my face and then eventually get one arm out and dig myself out," McNeill said.

Although relieved to find himself alive, McNeill was concerned his friend may have been completely buried.

"Once the avalanche stopped, I thought, 'Where's Ian?' And I started screaming for him," McNeill said. "And I didn't hear any response at all."

Then Measeck, who was also calling for McNeill, arrived. He immediately began helping his friend dig out of the snow.

"Each one thought the other was buried somewhere until I finally heard him," McNeill said. "Then he heard me, and then - huge, huge relief."

Measeck said he felt "pretty blessed" to have survived the avalanche.

"I'm not going anywhere near a slide until I know more," Measeck said. "It's unfortunate that this is the way that I had my 'wake-up' call. At least we walked away from it."

Jesse Williams of Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides dug a test pit on the adjacent slide last Friday and found the snow pack was still unstable. You can watch his video here:

http://adirondackexplorer.org/out-takes/2010/03/08/angel-slides-still-unsafe/
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#50758 - 03/12/10 12:17 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: talus]
Rickster Online   content
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Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Two very lucky boys. They carried avy gear, had dug a pit, examined the conditions and still got caught. The number one tool in preventing one from getting caught is on your shoulders.
Slide Mtn in the Catskills is nothing like the slides of the Adirondacks. But, we all know that. Sure avalanches can happen nearly anywhere. Chances of an avalanche on the foot trails or glades of Slide Mtn are extremely slim. RC

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#50778 - 03/14/10 05:01 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
franky Offline
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Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
with the present rain should i assume that any BC skiing in the cats. is over for this year? if so thanx for all your help and tips, i'll be back next winter!

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#50825 - 03/17/10 11:25 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: franky]
powderbroker Offline
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Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
franky - Colder temps in the forecast and plenty of snowpack, don't give up hope yet!

talus - I am not saying not to carry avy gear in avy terrain, but carrying it inbounds in the Catskills as opposed to Wyoming seems.... unnecessary.

I was up at Wright last weekend and the damage up there is tremendous.

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#50826 - 03/18/10 12:55 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
franky Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
you think i have a chance of doing a day trip on hunter mountain (not the resort) this weekend? is there still good snow coverage?

-and hey cool i was also just at wright peak last weekend! did you ski up the wright peak ski trail? god it was steep!!!


Edited by franky (03/18/10 01:00 AM)

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#50827 - 03/18/10 01:32 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
powder i hear you & agree.

how were the conditions in the dacks?

here's bc photo of my tracks from a recent trip to Utah

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#50858 - 03/19/10 01:26 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: talus]
Rickster Online   content
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Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
John, Catskill Backcounty, Catskills. I know we digress to the Dacks now and then, but Utah? That's pushing it. We know what tracks down pristine, high mountain powder stashes look like and are terribly jealous. How about a tight, washed out, post holed, dead fall laced, boulder strewn hiking trail along the Devil's Path? Now that's skiing. RC

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#50869 - 03/19/10 05:12 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
franky Offline
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Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 31
dont tell me you ski some of those steep #@s devils path trails!!! hiking them in the summer is tough enough. which ones have you skied?

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#50875 - 03/19/10 07:06 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: franky]
Rickster Online   content
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Registered: 10/16/07
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Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Not many and it ain't pretty. Just some sections on and around Hunter. The spur trails that access from various hollows and side roads are more than fun. But, you are right, the Devil's Path is way steep, narrow, rocky, post holed, and when they get that narrow snow shoe track up the center, more like a luge run than a manageable ski descent. I'm more than happy to find the old tote tracks and tree shots than those narrow foot trails. RC

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#51038 - 03/26/10 06:03 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
powderbroker Offline
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Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
the last storm sure didn't exactly pan out, let's see what happens next week. Cold temps and snow would mean another week of excellent BC in the catskills, at least according to my Plattekill webcam reconnaissance. What a weird and disappointing March so far.

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#51050 - 03/26/10 04:08 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
Welle Offline
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Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
anyone knows what the trails around Belleayre look like? snowshoes needed? Thinking of hiking up Cathedral Glen to take down couple of tree runs on the East side of Belleayre. TIA!

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#51078 - 03/28/10 03:19 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Welle]
powderbroker Offline
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Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
i would guess snowshoes or skins are in order. plenty of snow left above 2500 feet to ski. today was fun in the catskills bc. all of you look out for northern exposures, we still have a few more days of free skiing in those woods.

at least three cheers for that!

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#51093 - 03/29/10 03:50 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
powderbroker Offline
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Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
Wow, I was really tired when I wrote that. Hope this rain doesn't destroy us, I wouldn't mind one more day like Saturday.


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#51096 - 03/29/10 06:52 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
Welle Offline
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Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
where was that picture taken?

Belleayre was good on Sunday - snow was firm enough to bear body weight, so snowshoes remained on the packs. It was snowing on the mountain, but turned into a rain on the drive back home. Means temps are cold at higher elevations, good news!

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#51103 - 03/30/10 12:44 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Welle]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Tremper
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#51127 - 03/31/10 04:26 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: talus]
powderbroker Offline
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Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
mine was in the catskills smile...

anyone think this is snow at higher elevations?

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#51128 - 03/31/10 11:29 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
Rickster Online   content
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Registered: 10/16/07
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Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Looks like the drop in from Bear Pen onto the old ski area on the north side? Or maybe the top of the tailings pile on Tremper? RC

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#51129 - 03/31/10 02:31 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Originally Posted By: powderbroker
mine was in the catskills smile...

anyone think this is snow at higher elevations?


maybe. do you have change for a nickel?
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#51163 - 04/02/10 08:31 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: talus]
Rickster Online   content
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Registered: 10/16/07
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Loc: Orange Cty, NY
PB, are you going to fess up and tell us which peak and aspect you were on. This seems like a round of "Name this Climb" always fun, always a tease, but eventually folks get an answer. Thanks for sharing. RC

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#51184 - 04/06/10 11:26 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
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Rick, like you said Bear pen for sure
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#51209 - 04/09/10 06:22 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: talus]
powderbroker Offline
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Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
Rickster got it... and i have change for nickels at least until the 15th, or maybe last nights rain did us in.

Will check out Belleayre tomorrow and maybe drive around to see some other lines. Could even be some snow in the forecast.

If anyone wants to meet up send me a pm!

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#51213 - 04/11/10 12:14 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
ran into powderbroker at bellayre he sure can rip it up on skis.
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#51296 - 04/15/10 02:14 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: talus]
december Offline
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Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 19
hoping to hike Hunter proper and backdoor some left over snow by the resort saturday morning..weather looks like mix of rain and snow, fingers are crossed that it'll be more like snow by the tower...does anyone know if there is any electronic weather info available from the summit?? thanks, i think its a longshot...

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#51303 - 04/15/10 02:10 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: december]
Welle Offline
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Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
December, I'm hitting Belleayre on Sunday. The webcams from Hunter right before they closed didn't look very good. Photos from Powderbroker's trip to Belleayre, however, showed better coverage...

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#51315 - 04/15/10 09:32 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Welle]
december Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 19
welle, thanks for heads up on location, i haven't been to belleayre in years, but maybe i'll check it out on saturday, the weathers not looking good at all for saturday...sunday am might be good (snow?)

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#51317 - 04/15/10 09:58 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: december]
Welle Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
couple of times I was in Belleayre this year, it was snowing on the mountain, while it was raining everywhere else. I'm hoping there'll be some nice dusting for Sunday am!

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#51350 - 04/16/10 11:48 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Welle]
powderbroker Offline
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Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
hey guys, just wanted to let you know that there was a ton of snow at the top across the whole ridge. If you don't mind hiking for mini golf, you could probably make a nice morning of all those 300 ft shots, and if you get lucky maybe they'll be powder turns.

If they get a little rain first it might not be the worst thing anyway, those moguls were getting H U G E.

Have fun out there for me, I'm bummed my weekend does not include skiing.

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#51354 - 04/17/10 01:53 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
december Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 19
nice!!!...thanks for the update, you made my night (packing up now)
hopefully I will have some info after tomorrow to pass on too...

last thing, your talking about belleayre?

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#51376 - 04/18/10 01:03 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: december]
december Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 19
...i was desperate to do some yo-yo riding, and I got lucky, no rain today,light flurries all day, real fun hike...rode the same patches a bunch of times...never made it to belleayre, only hunter, and wasted so much time messing around halfpipe never venture up to tower...some natural snow showing up at the real peak, but looked sporadic, peeked over hunter west didn't look great, but spoke to skiier in the lot said they had fun in there...hope I'm not naming dropping to much...super fun day..best of luck welle

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#51377 - 04/18/10 01:06 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: december]
december Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 19
summit at colonel's chair had very little snow, below it was better

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#51383 - 04/18/10 07:58 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: december]
powderbroker Offline
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Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
december, i was actually talking about Belleayre. Their season went a week longer then Hunters, and they had an impressive amount of terrain open.

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#51396 - 04/19/10 12:31 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
cfrac Offline
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Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 456
We went up to Belleayre Sunday (4/18) and the snow was in great condition, firm underneath and soft on top. We were able to ski the run to the right of the high speed quad (hikers right) from top to bottom though there was one narrow shot near the bottom.
Here's some video from yesterday: Belleayre Video

Most of the other runs are broken up by a lot of grass.
Hey Welle, did we meet you at the summit lodge?
Chris

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#51407 - 04/19/10 02:24 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: cfrac]
Welle Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
Hey, Chris.
Yeah, it was me with my friends - nice to meet both of you and your dog. We rode down Onteora and Mohawk - they both have top to bottom coverage. You can ride Mohawk all the way starting from the bump in front of the ski patrol shack down to the parking lot in front of the Overlook lodge(aim skier's right to get over a small grass patch at the top) - maximum vertical!! Conditions started icy in the morning and turned into slush in the afternoon. It was raining at the mid-lodge and snowing (rather heavily) on the summit. Fun day!
Here is a look at one of the runs:

Dolgio

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#51428 - 04/20/10 12:18 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Welle]
cfrac Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 456
Likewise! It's funny how with the lifts turned off the place takes on a whole different feel!

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#51493 - 04/20/10 09:59 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: cfrac]
december Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 19
chill vid, thanks for posting...wish I went to belleayre

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#51523 - 04/21/10 02:26 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: cfrac]
Welle Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
Originally Posted By: cfrac
Likewise! It's funny how with the lifts turned off the place takes on a whole different feel!


Errr, different feel as in "The Shining"? With all that abandoned equipment and lodges open, felt kinda surreal.

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#51563 - 04/22/10 12:57 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Welle]
cfrac Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 456
I was thinking that it feels more like an outdoor experience than a resort experience but now that you mention it the empty facilities aspect is a bit weird. Perfect for an 80's style horror movie where each skier is picked off by a crazy hermit lift operator. shocked shocked shocked

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#51616 - 04/24/10 03:51 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: cfrac]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Still snow in the Presidential Range... shooting for the Great Gulf tomorrow.

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#51824 - 05/04/10 01:26 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: pedestrian]
december Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 19
anyone estimate how long the new snowfall will stick around up in the high peaks, wright, al., marcy, etc.? or any recent reports? thank you for any info...

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#51843 - 05/04/10 11:04 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: december]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
call the mountaineer in Keene valley ask for Yon the BC ski guy. Yon sp? rips it up and will know, but my guess it's all done unless you want to hike to the top of Algonquin.
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#51863 - 05/05/10 01:55 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: talus]
december Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 19
big thanks forthe tip, gonna give them a call after thursday
(saw some real nice powder shots at whiteface from the 28th, looked great)

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#53473 - 07/26/10 12:21 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: december]
powderbroker Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
I am crossing my fingers now for some lake effect in three short months.

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#53477 - 07/26/10 12:57 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Yep, my current hiking forays are all about scouting out possible routes, slopes, glades. But, all in good time, we've got half the summer, and a fall season to enjoy as well. RC

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#53812 - 08/11/10 06:25 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Nothing to see here.... still have to get through fall sending season. Anyone else got to the point where skiing has killed your climbing in the spring?

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#53816 - 08/11/10 07:37 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: pedestrian]
Welle Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
Yes, I missed a good deal of March and April, but snow was epic!

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#53844 - 08/12/10 08:57 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Welle]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Skiing killed my ice climbing, and windsurfing killed my rock climbing. Tried unsuccessfully to blame it on marriage, parenthood, career, etc. Now retired, I'm trying to get some of it back, but damn where did this extra 25 lbs come from? RC

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#53850 - 08/13/10 12:17 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Used to start climbing every year in Feb/Mar but now that's totally not the case. Have been doing ski houses the last few years in a row but thinking of not getting sucked in to that this year. Seems like it might keep schedules more flexible to not be locked into it.


Edited by pedestrian (08/13/10 12:17 AM)

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#53857 - 08/13/10 12:42 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: pedestrian]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
yes skiing has killed my climbing also, but thats ok give me steep slopes and creamy powder any day over perfect hand cracks.
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#53867 - 08/13/10 09:50 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: talus]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Creamy powder can be as hard to come by as perfect hand cracks. Now before anyone starts on about going to Indian Creek for cracks, Alta for powder and such, remember this thread is "Catskill Backcountry Skiing". So, like everything NE, we're happy to get what we get. Which reminds me, it's almost past time to get those early bird lift deals. RC

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#53872 - 08/14/10 02:44 AM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
How about Catskill backcountry handcracks? Oh, never mind, go to spider's web. Sandbagger paradise.

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#54551 - 09/04/10 05:46 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: pedestrian]
Aya Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 754
Loc: Climbing somewhere
wait i don't get it. spiders web is in dacks not catskills? and is not sandbagged??
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#54625 - 09/09/10 03:07 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Aya]
Welle Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Western Slope
I just came back from Acadia - climbed at Precipice for the first time and wow! Perfect hand cracks, clean dihedrals on beautiful pink granite. But yeah the driving time sucks, that crag might as well be in Utah.

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#56582 - 01/24/11 09:51 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Welle]
powderbroker Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 16
Just got back from the western cats, the base is super deep but there's a crazy crust that makes the skiing highly unfun. At least the scenery is amazing! Lots of ice that's going to be frozen to every tree for the near future.

who is ready for this next storm?

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#56583 - 01/24/11 11:30 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: powderbroker]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Apparently, the presence and thickness of a crust from last week's rain event is spotty. Some areas have nearly none, others a bit more, and even other areas the snow has since consolidated well. This next snowfall could be the topping on the cake. Cross your tips we don't get any ra..........
Enjoy.

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#56615 - 01/31/11 12:27 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Saturday, Jan. 29 found our group of five (four on boards, one with paws) on Bear Den Mt. just south of Prattsville in the northern Cats. The site of a now defunct ski area once known as the Princeton Ski Area in the Bear Den State Forest. This hill gets plenty of snow. The 9.24 mile ski tour ascends the old access road up to the ridge, then follows the ridge for another 2.5 miles to the summit area. From there a complex network of old tote roads, ski trails, snowmobile tracks, herd paths and such lead off in multiple directions. Without much beta, we opted for a return down the up track with a few short sessions of glade play on the return. If they get more snow up on top, we'll be skiing in the tree canopy. Over all this area offers lots of opportunity for both "groomed" trail skiing on snowmobile traveled trails and far more glade skiing than any other hill I've seen in the Cats.

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#56617 - 01/31/11 05:07 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: Rickster]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2674
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
The Poconos also have this same, sometimes outright ice, crust not deep beneath a little pow. Tomorrow/Wednesday will be interesting.

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#56620 - 01/31/11 08:31 PM Re: Catskill backcountry skiing [Re: chip]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 816
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
The crust in the Catskills is now, almost a non-issue on northerly peaks or on the higher peaks. There has been enough new snow, and consolidation to take care of it pretty well. Weather prognostications for tomorrow and Wednesday have the mixed precipt remaining south of the region. Hopefully........ RC

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