Aside from the standard, “ski corn snow” thought, this morning’s 14-degree temperature and forecast for warm, sunny weather reminded me about the other Adirondack product harvested in spring - maple syrup. Although this delectable Adirondack treat is dear to my heart and taste buds, I admit it gets short shrift in the raving about springtime in the Adirondacks department, especially when the skiing everywhere in the Adirondacks is incredibly wonderful. Fortunately, the Adirondacks currently have excellent conditions; cold nights and warm, sunny days, for the harvest of both corn snow and the part of my oatmeal ski breakfast that makes it great; maple syrup.
Many people do not realize the Adirondacks of upstate New York produce a great deal of maple syrup. New York State ranks second in maple syrup production in the U.S. Take it from an expert who is hooked on maple syrup, Adirondack maple syrup laden treats are the best corn snow skiing fuel in town. I buy my syrup from local producers, very local. These days, I am a customer of my neighbor and friends at South Meadow Farm. We also enjoy our syrup from friends who are struck by the bug to make their own syrup. Maple syrup is a good habit to have since it is pretty ubiquitous here; it is not hard to find. I used to buy it at the mid-station chair lift at Whiteface Mountain.
Making maple syrup is not a difficult process, it just takes time and patience. My family even did it one year. It was a long time ago, in a county far away, when a lack of patience with the simmering process gave us the idea to finish it off inside, on the gas stove. The entire kitchen was covered in light, sticky coating. That was the best tasting maple syrup ever, but I wouldn’t recommend the process. As I mentioned, nowadays I buy it from Tony next door.
When two things come together on so many levels as nicely as corn snow and maple syrup, their point of intersection is bound to be at least interesting and possibly fun. This is indeed the case with woods skiing in the sugar bush. This year’s wonderful snow pack and simply perfect atmospheric conditions have created some of the best woods skiing in recent memory. There is a delightful feeling that comes with cutting off the trail, picking a line, and skiing between the trees, without fearing for one’s life. Last weekend was the perfect opportunity for woods skiing. The same wonderful Adirondack climatic scenario that creates great skiing also makes the sap run in the trees in the woods-skiing woods. The sap is collected via buckets and gravity-fed collection tubing that runs from tree to tree, amidst the previously described excellent ski lines between trees, to a collection point. Adirondack woods skiing at it’s finest, woods skiing in the sugar bush, or “Maple Tap Limbo,” tests how quickly you can duck under tubing going downhill on skis. Click on this link to see a sample of this traditional Adirondack agility ski event.
There is still time to experience both Adirondack corn snow skiing and maple syrup if you hurry. Although a winter storm is on its way to the Adirondacks, summer looms. You don’t have to ski through the sugar bush to enjoy the unique Adirondack Springtime synergy. Add Adirondack maple syrup to your oatmeal ski breakfast for a great and easier way to combine two of Mother Nature’s best Adirondack Springtime treats.