I had really wanted to go to Whiteface today, but the reports of rain last night and 0" on this morning's ski conditions page put a damper on that. Then I saw that Killington / Pico got 14" and briefly considered spending my retirement savings on a day of skiing over there for the 4 of us. Instead, we headed over to Lapland Lake for a day of nordic skiing.
We've been waiting to introduce our kids to cross country skiing. We wanted them to be big enough (they're 7 and almost 11) that they could really do it successfully. Nothing worse than having it be frustrating or boring. Daniel (the 10 yr old) has already been XCDing around the backyard woods with me a bunch of times this year, so I knew he'd do great, but I wasn't sure if Sylvie (the 7 yr old) would "get it."
Anyhow, they both did great. They took to it immediately and were off kicking and gliding. Daniel skied on his XCDs (they're really Beth's) and we rented gear for Sylvie. All the days they've logged on alpine skis, especially the double poling and skating on traverses and negotiating on- and off-the-map glades at Gore, made the transition a piece of cake for them. And the best part is they both really had a lot of fun with it. This is really great for Beth and me since we both have pretty strong nordic roots.
We ended up covering quite a bit of terrain, so the whole outing was quite satisfying for all of us. Conditions at Lapland were just about perfect. They got 2 - 3 inches of snow last night, and had already been skiing on a decent base across their entire 50K trail system. As usual, Olavi's grooming was impeccable, and every trail was packed powder perfection with beautifully set tracks. I've skied at Lapland many times, and while conditions are almost always good, it was really great today.
As many of you know, Olavi and Ann Hirvonen have sold Lapland Lake. We briefly met the new owners today, and also got a chance to chat with Olavi for a few minutes and introduce him to our kids, which was great. I interviewed Olavi a few years back, he's really an inspiring person.
Today, 25 January: Hero snow at Prospect Mountain, Woodford, VT. Everything open, although I didn't ski Shay's or Mountain Trail. No obvious rocks or stuff like that in the trail. All the usual suspects were out there. Awesome. conditions and awesome company. Great to ski with my kid.
Saratoga Spa SP was groomed today and for the most part a good ski with a few exposed patches of ice from the last ice storm a week and a half ago. The light snow packed down to only a thin packed powder over the ice base. The next snow on Thurs and Friday should improve things significantly.
I am a recent transplant from Minnesota to the Oneonta area, and I'm trying to find groomed nordic trails near Oneonta.
Lapland and Hunter are the closest I know of right now, but they're still 1:15-1:30 from me. I'd like to find somewhere closer to ski daily. Can any of you point me in the right direction? For example, do any of the golf courses or city parks groom?
@ Caleb, there's a place called oak Hill Farms in Esperance NY, approximately 52 miles from Oneonta. Additional info about Oak Hill can be found in the nordic ski area directory. http://nyskiblog.com/directory/ They're only open weekends according to the info I compiled a couple years ago. Haven't skied there myself but that's a start. I'd also strongly recommend Lapland Lake, where I've put in many days.
I wish I was only an75 minute drive from Lapland. A good place. If you go to Oak Hill, it would be appreciated if you could post on the trails, conditions and etc. Thank you,
@Peter. Thanks, I made it up to Lapland last weekend and had a good ski. Some of their trails are a bit narrow and soft on the edges, but overall the terrain and scenery were really nice. Thanks for the recommendation.
Conditions at Lake Minnewaska State park / Mohonk Preserve, New Paltz NY, 3/8/2015.
A study in contrasts. After a thaw and re-freeze cycle, Mohonk was a hardback horror show with postholes from boot hikers and chunks of frozen snow. Very difficult to ride a flat ski. I bagged it after an hour and drove to lake Minnewaska, which was primarily spring conditions and had been groomed recently. Very good coverage, not too much dirt. Fast in the shade and slower in the sun. Enjoy this now, with the temperatures this coming week, it's not going to last.