A Big Tip of the Tuque to the Crew at Mount Van Hoevenberg
At the risk of repeating myself, it has been a winter of extreme weather in the Adirondacks. In a not so ironic twist, the Southern Jet Stream took my advice and went home, but his slightly less annoying cousin, the Polar Vortex is back in town. By this point however, after enduring a few freeze - thaw cycles, most Adirondackers will agree, both of these extreme weather visitors have become very annoying.
Is anyone else getting tired of seeing screen shots like this one posted on Facebook? I am.
After the warm rain washed away all the snow and ice, (ski base) the big freeze descended on Lake Placid and the Adirondacks. We received six inches of snow since the temperatures dropped, but that is not enough to put back country skiing back in business. The sub-zero temperatures and wind chills are the story this week, so skiing at Whiteface Mountain takes a strong constitution.
In what can only be described as a heroic effort, the trail crew at Mt. Van Hoevenberg spread and groomed a few kilometers of man made snow. This provides a nice, although flat, loop course with two tracks set and a firm skate lane for those of us who must get outside.
The only thing to do in a situation like this is make the best of it. Seeking downhills, I conducted a short assessment of the steeper trails covered in only natural snow. Frozen cheeks on the downhills weren’t worth the poor conditions, but a couple of loops around the perfectly track-set course was surprisingly fun despite the minus-five-degree temperature.
Poor snow conditions aside, late afternoon skiing at Mt. Van Hoevenberg is a treat on a clear, cold day. The setting sun on Cascade Mountain creates an Alpenglühen to complement the inevitable post-ski glow.