December 21 marked the first day of Winter and we couldn't be happier. If our opening day (December 17) was any indication, it looks like we're in for a great season! We received an awesome foot of fresh powder, allowing our guests to take full advantage of the whole mountain—it's been quite a while since we were open 100% on DAY ONE!
Even though the next day's weather was rainy, we have been fortunate to have low temps since, which means our snow guns have been blasting 24/7 to gear up for our Holiday Week! Plattekill will open at least 7 trails on Saturday, December 24. We will close on December 25 but then we'll open the slopes and snowtubing park again from December 26 - January 2 for Holiday Week!
Most of our beginner trails and several blue runs are ready to open, and we even have some more difficult areas for those of you who are ready to get right into it. And after you’re all worn out from a long day of carving or shredding, don’t forget to join us for some après–ski live music in the lodge Saturday nights! Also, on December 28, there will be a film screening of Warren Miller's "Here, There & Everywhere" will be shown at the Union Grove Distillery. Here's a toast to a snowy 2017!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Plattekill Mountain! We can’t wait to see you!
The warmer weather looks like it's here to stay, though it seems like we didn't really get away from it this past winter.
The springtime foliage is blooming and there's a whole new group of people who want to experience the sport of lift accessed mountain biking and fall in love with this great Catskill Mountain experience.
Now, you don't have to run out and buy a bike, and you surely don't want to get something that won't be able to handle the true mountain bike terrain. The recommendation is to try it first, as your "dream bike" might cost a couple thousand dollars or more, not to mention the protective gear that comes along with it.
Plattekill Mountain offers the experience (over 20 years) and everything you need for a great mountain bike adventure at an affordable price. Beginner to advanced mountain biking trails, lift access, bike and gear rentals, you will find it all at Plattekill.
The sport of lift accessed mountain biking is fun and exciting and has greatly expanded over the last couple decades with the advent of full suspension bikes and some pretty crazy or totally inspiring (depending on your point of view) stuff from GoPro videos posted on YouTube.
When you head to the mountain, be sure to wear comfortable clothing (nothing too baggy), closed toe/heel shoes (no sandals), bring water to hydrate and that's about it.
A good way to begin is to first find a ride within your limits (beginners will appreciate Plattekill's Greenhorn trail), with someone who is knowledgeable (like the folks at Plattekill) and you'll find that mountain biking can be a really fun and safe sport. As with any new sport, you have to build up your skills and confidence by getting out on the trails and gaining experience. You may be used to riding on the road or possibly off-road, but it may take a bit to develop your skills in downhill. Negotiating roots and rocks is an education in the great outdoors itself. And that's not even getting into what good ol' Mother Nature will throw at you and how the conditions change from dry to wet and vise versa.
With all that being said, one thing most experienced riders agree on is the necessity of protective gear, especially a helmet.
So, Plattekill Mountain has made it easy and all-inclusive with their 2 Hour Rise & Shine or Full Day Beginner Package. That way, you don't have to worry about if you forgot about something really important as you're on your way up to the summit or anything else for that matter. Both packages include a KHS full suspension mountain bike, all your protective gear, lift pass, and a personalized guide. It's the perfect outdoor mountain experience when visiting the Catskills for a day or weekend. If you're in the Catskills and wondering "What is there to do?" plan a visit to Plattekill Mountain for a great Catskill Mountain adventure.
This is the season, this is the quote. This is from Macker. He is the master of snowmaking at Platty. Now this could be a conversation that includes phrases like “wet-bulb temperature” (relating to humidity) and “inversion” (warmth in the upper atmosphere) both of which have taken a toll on snowmaking across the Northeast. Or, there’s the more commonly bandied “El Nino” (which sounds to me about like an armed bandit right now).
But, at Platty there is snow. A mountain of it. And, trails. And, the reason is not those big words but the heroes on the hill, working in the middle of the night. This is Macker’s team. Normally they’d start in the evening and leave in the morning whales of snow in their wake, but this year because of the inversion, because of the wet-bulb temperature, because of El Nino, they’ve been beginning at times like 2 AM to catch that window when the temperature drops to freezing.
To return to Macker here (BTW he’s a man who says “I am happiest when I’m making snow and pushing it around,” – also to note he’s a man of few words, and those are generally bitten down and he relishes riding alone in a groomer with no one else around – “watching waves of people walking into the parking lot skis on their shoulder.”) So he has been worried and says it was so warm it felt like November, and that perhaps the world needs a leap month, that is how crazy the weather has been. He also says, “You can make snow at 32 degrees. You just get less of it. It’s not that it’s too warm, but you get way less production.”
He thinks not just about Platty but every other hill. (He is also not one to pick and choose his words carefully even for the mountain blog—eg he is hones and in his honestly talks about everywhere is suffering). “For every ski area Christmas is a third of the season, a third of the income…” His voice trails off and he talks of the impact on hills and employees and the snow. In Vermont Magic Mountain has only just opened this weekend, and Mad River Glen, whose die-hards are like Platty fanatics, did a video in December about “Skiing the Patch" (That is advertising skiing the 3 patches of snow on their hill).
Laszlo, Platty’s owner, walks in the office, talk of that year and talks of one year that was worse. 1995. He was not even 30 and it was his second year of ownership. Macker came to help out and the New York Times came to pay a call. The season before had record snowfall. That year Platty was the only ski area not afraid to talk on the record.
It was January 19, nothing was opened in the East. Back then, 21 years ago, the hill had 7 guns, and virtually no snowmaking. But they got a headling in the TIMES: "Ski Areas Suffer from an Endless Summer." Now Plattekill has a couple hundred guns plus the requisite blood, sweat and tears (and water pumped up of a less saline quality from ponds) to run them. Instead of standing on a grassy hill, Macker and Laz are here in mountains of snow. Thanks to a few heroes who are cheering on winter and giving it a helping hand.
- This map. It’s been settling arguments in the bar about length and descent since 1972. It’s beautiful. James Niehues eat your heart out.
- No lift lines. …and even if one does form, it’s so convivial that you’d hardly notice.
- Cheers. You wanna go to a place where everybody knows your name. It’s that “Norm!” moment when your ski buddies shout your name from the chairlift.
- It’s family run. If you don’t bump into Laszlo or Danielle in the lodge, you might see them on the slopes and they’ll be happy to ski with you. And now the next generation of Vajtays is stepping up to help out with snowmaking and snow tubing.
- This guy. Steve Supp – he keeps it real in his Carhartt overalls and thrift store skis (price sticker intact).
- Snow (outside). Plattekill is frequently blessed with the natural stuff, and even when it isn’t, Macker and his team do heroic things with a couple hundred snow guns.
- Snow (inside). The majestic bark creature that watches over the bar. Snow is actually a pretty good skier – look closely and you’ll see Snow favors some pretty old skool 2x4 skis.
- Free Heelers. Plattekill is the only hill where you’ll see more than one tele skier at a time, which is why we’ve coined a collective noun for them. It’s a “curtsy” of teleskiers.
- The Lodge Bar. What’s better after a big day skiing than one of those Polish beers with the funny name that only Laszlo can pronounce? Yeah, one of those please.
- The People. Which is really a thousand more reasons – the familiar faces we see only during ski season. This season has been a long time coming and we’ve been missing them. As someone put it today “whether there’s snow or not it’s good to see everyone again – it’s social”
It’s been quite the test of faith this winter when trying to gear up to travel to the mountains for winter fun. You look out your window and see earth tones of brown, yellow or possibly some green but not much snow. But there you are with Season Pass in hand or looking to purchase your first ticket for the upcoming season, anxious to put your skis or board on the snow.
November comes and goes, December comes with the record breaking warm temperatures, then goes … the New Year comes and goes, and finally January feels like January! You’ve waited all Summer/Fall, November, December for this moment.
So, to compensate for the lack of natural snowfall this year Plattekill has begun ‘Operation Snowstorm’. As long as the temperatures stay where they should be, we are making snow around the clock to bring winter to Plattekill snow enthusiasts, and you can thank a Plattekill snowmaker for that!
Best part is that our snow is not far off from the real deal. How? We blow our snow light and fluffy and don’t need to worry about making it firm to withstand high traffic flow on our trails. As you know, if you’ve skied here before, even when our lodge and parking are filled, there’s lots of elbow room on our trails. They call that a low “skier per skiable acre ratio”, we think.
Either way, until good ol’ Mother Nature blesses us with a blanket of the white stuff, we’ll make it ourselves. So have no fear. Pack up your boots, your board(s), grab your warm winter clothes and head to Plattekill for some skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing fun – it’s all here! We know it’s been a test of patience, but don’t wait any more, winter has officially arrived at the mountain. Now, come spend some time on the snow with us…
SKIING AT PLATTEKILL can often feel like being part of skiing’s heritage. The hill is old school, keeping it real. There are even skiers on long skis – and not because they didn’t update their gear, but because they believe in skiing the way it once was. Harder, more challenging. True to its roots. It’s also why tele skiers sing Platty’s praises. (And why there's the Telefest this weekend). But the hill also has its own historian of skiing. George Quinn. You’ll find him in the shop. He’s also just published a book Skiing in the Catskill Region on the sport’s history from its earliest days when Norwegians brought ski jumping to the area. (Click the read more button to see the rest of the post....)
YOU'VE BEEN LOOKING AT the snow forecast, thinking you’ll come up and stay. Thinking you should’ve pulled the trigger and taken Pres. Week a week early. Well Platty is this mythic place where powder lasts and lift lines don’t exist. The hill is old school, vintage, the heart of skiing…. Which also translates into no mountain village, no identikit experience, no on-hill lodging. Instead to ski-and-stay you’re staying in the heart of the community (to read more click the button below)
A picture better be worth a thousand words, because today all I have for you are photos taken on Platty's first PowderDaize of the 13-14 season. And that second one here is the only lift line I've ever stood in at Platty. Thank you Sarah Rogers for holding my place at the front (proving there are friends on a powder day at least until you get off the chair). And this being Platty you know there will still be stashes on the weekend because I am coming back for seconds....
You know a ski day is good when you get two pictures. Both of me shot by someone else. It means I didn’t stop and shoot. I couldn’t, and there were so many things I wanted to take a picture of. Here in list form (click the read more button below to see it).
While just about everything in the Hudson Valley is being labeled “the New Brooklyn,” we can promise you Platty is not the “new” anything. It’s about as old school as you get. Lodge with good bar (check). Fixed double chair (check). Long runs, good vert (check and check) and good snow. Now Brooklyn thanks to the Diamond bar is coming to Platty. (Click that little read more button below to get the deets).