Monday, December 31, 2007

Skiing Song Mountain Resort

I drove up to Syracuse, NY this past weekend to visit my parents and get some skiing in. Last year I went up on the same weekend and there was no snow but Central New York had got several inches over the past couple of weeks so I was hopeful. Unfortunately, there had been several warm days as well.

I arrived in Syracuse around 8 PM on Friday. As I was visiting with my parents it started to rain. Since my parents house is on one of the higher elevations in the area this was not good news for the skiing.

The closest ski resort to my parents' house is Song Mountain Resort in Tully, NY. It is not a huge ski resort but it is usually not crowded. Most of the people there are local to the Syracuse area and ski almost every weekend in the winter time. Lots of good skiers but everyone is friendly and there are trails for just about every ability. The ski school is also very good.

After reading the Song Mountain ski report I decided to head over the resort. I have found that the person who writes the ski report is very optomistic. When I got to the mountain I noticed that the coverage was much less than what was reported in the report. Instead of taking out my skis and getting a ticket I decided to walk up to the front of the lodge and get a better view. The first decision was to call it a day and go back to spend the rest of the day with my parents. I called my dad who convinced me to give it a try. I was going to only purchase a 4 hour ticket but and 8 hour ticket is only $3 more for a total of $39 (this is cheap compared to many other places). I was probably one of the few who purchased a ticket since I call these kind of days Season Pass days.

I had been planning on taking a lesson to work on my mogul skiing technique but the trails and snow cover would not support this. I made my first couple of runs on Bali Hai which did not seem too bad. A little icy but not bad for the first day out of the season. Unfortunately, after about the 3rd or 4th run I started to notice that a race course was being setup on Bali Hai. I took a couple more runs but it was obvious that I was going to have to try another trail if I was going to continue skiing.

I decided to give Chopsticks a try. I was a little sceptical since I had only seen a couple of people go down it. I quickly found out why. The trail was very icy. The first run down was a cautious and slow run. However, as I tell my friend "If you want to ski you have to be able to ski on ice" so I decided to try again. The second run was much better. I adjusted to the ice and I started to have fun with it. I like the sound that skis make when carving turns into an icy trail. I spent the rest of the day skiing Chopsticks. It got better as the day when by. The biggest problem was a large smooth icy patch at the bottom of the hill as the run returns to the bottom of the chair. The first time I hit it was not expect the ice and went to turn right toward the chair and my skis came out from underneath me and I ended up sliding down on my rear end.

There was some room between the chair and the race course on Bali Hai so I decided to give it a try. From the chair it looked nice and soft but when I skied it I noticed that it was really slushy crud that was pushed over from the race course. I hurt myself in January skiing in crud at Heavenly in Lake Tahoe skiing in crud so I am still a little apprehensive about skiing these kinds of conditions. In fact I prefer ice to crud.

I ended up skiing till about 2:30 PM. I had been on the slopes since 9:30 AM. I was getting tired and I decided it was time to pack it in before I got hurt.

My parents went to meet some old friends who were in from California at Riley's. I was thinking of trying to make it there but I would have had to go in my ski clothes. I ended up hanging around the house for a couple of hours. I a fell asleep watching The Replacements . We ended up going out for pizza at Twin Trees.

The original plan was to ski Sunday as well but I decided the day would be better spent with my parents so I had a casual day visiting with them. My dad and I watched the Syracuse University Orangemen beat Northeastern on TV and then I packed up my car and got on the road for the trip back to New Jersey.

I was trying to beat the snow. As much as I like skiing I do not like driving down the interstate in a snow storm. The weather was fine until I hit Scranton. It was snowing hard along I380. The merge at I380 and I80 was challenging. I was thinking of taking I80 all the way back to New Jersey but I decided it would be better to follow my usual route of taking RT 33 to I78.

I ended up getting home at about 7:30 PM. It was good weekend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like your blog about Song mountain. Went there tonight with my kids ski club. The place was empty. We hit up Ottos Foley and it was real nice. Got to carve up some fresh powder too.