First Trip to Plattekill – March 21st

What a pleasant surprise... For multiple reasons. Better terrain and conditions than expected with a slightly shorter drive from NYC too!

As I've written before, I'll drive almost anywhere for a powder day. But with no new snow in the glades at Jay, magic, gore or Kmart, my plan for this past Saturday was up in the air.

This was going to be my only ski day of the year... so do I chase 6 inches of snow in the Pocono's, or make the drive to better terrain (probably southern VT)?

Ultimately it was an audible based on a couple factors:
-I was worried it wouldn’t soften up until 2 pm in Southern VT
-I figured the snow in the Pocono's fell on Friday and there wouldn't be fresh tracks or trees to explore
-I wanted to explore somewhere I'd never been and would have terrain that would entertain me on a relatively boring day. I had read favorable reviews of Plattekill from people on this site who I don't know, but whose opinion I respect so I pulled the trigger.

I instantly loved the vibe ... And realized I stumbled upon a gem that has a mini Magic feel to it. The Northface double chair accesses a nice steep pitch with glades and tree shots running everywhere. Aided by numerous bike paths, the skiable terrain for a tree skier far exceeds the 110 acres they tout.

Arriving at 10am, there was about an inch and a half of dense new snow. Unfortunately, the trees had to stay off limits as the new snow wasn't enough to keep the woods from being too slippery to be safe. After staying on the groomed part of The Plunge and Northface for a while (which quickly worked my out of shape legs) I found one of the shallow angle bike trails in the woods. I think it was my fourth run and I instantly knew I might not ever go back to Hunter or Bellaire.

Fresh snow in the woods and not another skiers tracks in sight! The snow was starting to warm up... And as it did, it started to bond to the slick snow underneath forming a great type of corn snow that I've never really seen before.

The next 120 minutes were fantastic! The conditions suddenly allowed ripping through the trees, even though I naturally hesitated since it was icy in the morning (and I am way out of shape by my standard). I still got some really nice shots where I got to straightline some great terrain as the heavy nature of the fresh snow actually skied more like it was 4 or 5 inches of powder.

Then all the sudden it got a bit warm and the snow suddenly got heavy and a bit too sticky. After my only fall of the day (close to a tree), I knew my window of time in the trees was over.

I took a break for lunch, falling in love with the lodge and families hanging out there. It felt similar to growing up at Buffalo Ski Club where everybody knew each other (was I the only person who didn’t know anyone?)

After lunch, it dropped below 32 and everything firmed up so it was time to head home. I would love to be here on a fluffy powder day… and while I’m sure they don’t happen too often I now have to keep it in my consideration set for a powder day given all the tree skiing on a nice steep pitch.

And now having a newborn boy, I hope that this will be his favorite “local” area as he grows up… I wish I had that terrain when I was a kid!
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