A MYSTERY showed up in my inbox, a text from some unknown sender with a message: “A bypass of the lifts and FB.” It was, as you all might see, the view from the top of Platty, from the platform for weddings at the mountain with: Two skis, one pack, poles… Evidence that someone had hiked up, had earned their turns and that priceless view of the Catskills.

I texted back: Who is this? And then two seconds later: How are the conditions? That second question was way more important. Then, there was my jealousy. I happened at that very moment to be in the Subway on 42nd street in NYC and nowhere near a mountain or snow or views or sun or trails or powder.

That image is a beacon for all of us who show up on Saturday morning this week. It is opening day. There is powder. Platty got 12 inches, 18 inches… maybe some are guessing, 20 inches of snow. And, while the opening trail count is slim, that clearly didn’t stop our mystery hiker, who did respond: “Nobody was there. Lonely.”

I can promise them, come this weekend, they will be lonely no more.