My, it has been an odd winter here on the East Coast. We went from a long series of delightfully warm days in the
coldest of months (Dec/Jan), to a monster snowstorm that lasted for a mere day and then whose snows disappeared like
the clouds that brought them. Now, while it’s chilly, it is still quite warm given the season.
A sign of
global warming? The apocalypse? That Tom and Katie are definitely through? Who knows?
But here’s the
rub: there is still snow upstate, and that means skiing. In this case, I’m not talking about the downhill kind where
you sit in a comfy chair for the ride up the hill. I’m talking about backcountry. Basically, that means you have to
work for your runs, using randonee gear to haul yourself up the slope. For East Coast backcountry fans, it also means
the start of the Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival, which starts up
If you’ve never done backcountry before, this is a great event to get you started. The
event is in its fourth year and they hold clinics and events to bring people up to speed on the gear and techniques
you’ll need to leave the lifts behind. There will also be a catered buffet dinner party (say oooh, ahhhh) and a
Backcountry Magazine presentation featuring Naheed
Henderson and Nils Larsen and their trip to discover the roots of skiing in the Chinese Altai Mountains. Nice way to
spend a weekend, I’d say.