Let me paint a picture for you all of fine folks that were so kind to click on this article.
I spend the majority of my weekdays perusing the internet for content related to skiing and snowboarding. It’s literally my job to stay in touch with the latest and greatest happening around the industry.
I feel so incredibly fortunate that I make a living by writing my stupid thoughts on skiing, but it can sometimes be downright torturous.
Bare with me….
I moved back home to Eastern Pennsylvania seven months ago as my life was turned upside down by a series of unfortunate events. I’ll just leave it at that.
The “torture” I experience on a daily basis is watching dozens (if not hundreds) of people ski nearly everyday while I’m stuck at home in a state with very few ‘mountains’ and even less snow.
It can drive my already-intense desire to ski to an unbearable level.
So, when I heard that Belleayre Mountain in New York’s Catskill Mountains was opening for the season this past weekend, I started to get my plan together.
^Belleayre Trail Map
Belleayre is a little bit further away than I would prefer for a day trip, but I had an itch that needed to be scratched. Four hours each way for a day of skiing on seven probably- firm trails of mostly manmade snow?
As a ski-obsessed blogger, I could justify it.
Belleayre had seven trails open and two lifts, including the Catskill Thunder Gondola. I spent most of my time lapping the black-diamond trails that were open (Seneca, Peekamoose, and Algonquin) off Lift 8.
The snow was very firm, as one could expect, but my new Stöckli Storm Rider 95s were up to the task.
^My SR95s were perfect for the day’s firm conditions. My brother’s ON3P Kartels… not so much.
I focused on laying into my edges on the steeper upper-sections of the trails, and letting my speed run back to the chairlift.
It was repetitive, but a lot of fun.
The only ‘downside’ to the day was that it was unbelievably cold. The air temp was hovering around 20-degrees Fahrenheit, but the unrelenting blustery winds sent chills down my bones.
It was a harsh return to winter, but I stuck it out for the sake of sliding on snow, and I’m grateful that I did.
^Looking up trail on Algonquin
Skiing in the east can be unforgiving, but these are the days that make us the skiers that we are. Would we all prefer to be skiing powder in the warm sun on a western mountain? For sure, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to make the most of what we have.
I got back to my house in PA around 8PM with a feeling of accomplishment. I gutted out the drive and rough conditions to enjoy the sport that I love more than anything in this world. That’s all that matters.
It was a reminder that skiing is about more than epic powder days and challenging terrain.
Skiing is about having fun while sliding on a frozen surface. When you break it down that simply, it makes everything about the experience that much more enjoyable.
^Looking down the entrance to Peekamoose, a classic narrow east coast trail
I will look back on my first day of this season with gratitude and happiness.
I hope all of you have a fantastic season.
Thank you for reading! Stay tuned here with us at Unofficial Networks for al of your skiing and snowboarding news. We’ve got you covered.
All Photos Please Credit: Matt Lorelli/Unofficial Networks