Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The Western side of the Catskills is the first mountain range east of the Rockies that gets hit with weather systems as they cross the plains. Not only that the Great Lakes provide just the right conditions to bring storm systems that pack a precipitation punch to the upstate region. This translates into lots of fresh powder at area ski slopes, like Plattekill Mountain in Roxbury, NY. In last years whopper of a storm, Plattekill was tapped by the National Weather Service as receiving the most snowfall of the storm – almost 9 feet!!
Plattekill maintains its charm as a challenging mountain that is incredibly family friendly. Double black diamond runs thrill expert skiers. The ski school offers great instruction, a bunny hill and two side trails for easier runs. Plattekill is open Friday-Sunday from 8:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Plattekill will be open for ten days straight for school break starting with the Presidents’ Weekend holiday. Saturday nights are especially exciting with snow tubing available in two sessions, from 5-7 and 7-9 p.m. Holiday week will have additional tubing nights as well. Check the conditions live with their mountain cam at www.plattekill.com. New to the mountain this year is a boatload of infrastructure improvements.
Keeping Plattekill’s trails in peak condition is a constant effort. The mountain has almost 100 snow guns, 7,000 feet of buried snowmaking pipe, 1,000 feet of heavy electric wire (and nine electric stations) to power 2 new fan guns, a grooming machine, and new rental equipment. A great way to understand just what it takes to get, make, and keep snow can be found on a new winter blog that features mostly Plattekill but also other winter activities in the region. http://winterinthecatskills.blogspot.com This blog has a little of everything from links to local teenagers terrain park videos, interviews with the snow making and grooming staff, as well as ice fishing and local village round-ups.
A number of nearby lodging facilities have partnered with Plattekill Mountain to offer money-saving packages. The most popular offering is one of their two BOGO (Buy One Get One) options. When visitors stay with a participating lodging facility, children 17 and under will receive one free lift ticket for each paid adult ticket (limit two). Adults without children can save big too. Buy a full day lift ticket for Saturday and get Sunday’s lift ticket free. The mountain boasts a great family cafeteria, upstairs lounge bar, child care center, fireplaces throughout and sunning benches on the deck.
If your winter adventure tastes are more leisurely, Delaware County has many fine cross-country skiing and snowshoeing options. The ideal cross-country or snowshoe route is the 26-mile rail bed known as the Catskill Scenic Trail running between Roxbury and Bloomville. Use of the trail is free. For additional information on the rail trail, visit http://www.catskillscenictrail.org. All this activity is in Roxbury which boasts the award winning boutique motel, The Roxbury - check out their theme rooms at www.theroxburymotel.com.
The Great Western Catskills Facebook page now includes a Photo of the Day section so you can remember just for real how much is on the ground, and be inspired to plan a visit. When it comes to lodging options, the Great Western Catskills features accommodations that include everything from cool and hip inns, charming bed and breakfasts, affordable and accommodating motels to private rental homes complete with fireplace and firewood. For winter lodging packages visit the getaways section of the area’s travel website.