**Video is at the bottom of this post. It starts off quiet, so don't think you need to crank your speakers!
Skiing groomers on man made snow is starting to get old, pretty quickly. When I heard that the Tug Hill Plateau area was about get get HAMMERED with lake effect snow (to the tune of 2-3 feet), my ears quickly perked up. I kept an eye on the Radar and snowfall totals
Monday: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 28. Breezy, with a west wind between 20 and 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 16 to 22 inches possible.
Monday Night: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around -3. Wind chill values as low as -20. West wind between 14 and 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 7 to 11 inches possible.
Last night I got in contact with Mattchuck2 and started scheming a trip out that way. There isn't much terrain to explore out on Tug Hill, but Snow Ridge lays on the eastern limits of the plateau. Target Acquired. We agreed to leave my house at 6 am for the 135 mile journey Westward.
I watched the radar a bit before I headed to bed, and it looked like things had shifted South. I told one of my buddies I was headed out there, and they were expecting 2 feet, he laughed at me and said "Haha no way, definitely not 2 feet. Maybe 6 inches". Reassuring myself that it would be a dump of epic proportions, I charged the cameras and packed my gear.
Matt pulled in just after 6. We quickly loaded his car and hit the road. I hadn't checked any snow totals, but I was getting worried that they didn't get nearly as much as we were expecting. There wasn't an new snow at my house. 30 miles West, the ground was starting to turn white, but not in the serving size we were looking for. Farther West, there still wasn't a whole lot. Maybe an inch on the ground by the time we reached Forestport.
Shortly after we started to see some terrain rise out of the horizon. Alas, the trails came into view. Here she is, Snow Ridge in all her 500 vertical rise of glory.
But, there still wasn't 2 feet of snow. What gives?!
There was enough snow in the lot to get Matt's car stuck, though. (video coming later) I would say 6-8".
I started to think it was going to be a total bust. 2-3 feet became 6-8 inches? How? What? Why?!
Regardless, we got our gear on and headed out with our heads up.
Matt already 1/2 way up.
Even though it was only 5` out, I was sweating like crazy. Definitely overdressed, and goggles on my forehead. Note to self - don't do that.
We got up top and took the skins off. Where was the Snow?! oh that's right, about 15 miles Northeast.
I spent some time trying to figure out how to defrost my goggles, then thaw out my camel back while Matt was getting ready to go. We looked around a bit and decided to head down off of skiers right. About two turns in, I heard some relief from Matt. Something about getting on real snow made it different than the past month or so we've been having.
Getting up speed for the first turns
Serious Face. (but the snow skied really well!)
Anddd it dumped us out onto flats.
To our relief, the flats were short and they led us to some good snow.
And we were at the bottom once again. Put on the skins, and head up for round two. The woods had some decent snow, but some trenches deeply dug from erosion. The next trail over had a bit of base down from the guns and was pretty much untracked.
Matt put on his more photogenic coat
and made some nice turns!
And up for our third lap!
That one skied pretty well, too.
Before heading out to the car for lunch, we decided to hit a whaleback at the bottom of the hill. It was fluffy looking, and we were playing "I'll do it if you do it" for backflips. One test hit each and then we went in for lunch. Flippers were planning on coming later.
Who thinks I stuck the landing? I don't! (funny POV coming later)
Matt poking it out
After lunch we went back out to see that the whalebacks had been completely leveled by the groomer. Jerk! I guess it's a good thing, though, because inverts aren't allowed!
To the top again, except this time we decide to explore skiers left of the mountain. We stayed as far left as possible and found some good snow.
That trail was pretty bony, therefore our master reasoning skills put us into some trees next to it.
Welcome to Stan's Stash (Thanks Stan!)
Skinned back to the top for half of a lap. Didn't bring the camera along for that one.
We headed back up for our final run.
Views were nice
And the snow was STILL nice!
We got to the car, tossed our stuff in, and called it a day (well, almost).
A quick stop at the supermarket, and we picked up some food and drinks.
Dinner of Champions
(Now we can call it a day)
Although it wasn't the 2 feet we were expecting, it still delivered lots of smiles, natural snow, and a day off of work. Next stop, Bennies Brook slide which recently got a facelift from Irene.