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Monday, 14 March 2016 00:00

Pick Your Pleasure: Bike, Blades or Board

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For most winter enthusiasts, the 2015-16 season will go down in the history books as the winter that wasn’t.  As far as good ol’ Mother Nature was concerned, completely uncooperative, according to Plattekill Mountain in Roxbury, NY.  However, needless to say, they have been fighting the good fight against odds to bring winter to the mountain for their guests this season.  According to Ken Davie, Operations Manager at the mountain “this winter we’ve put our snowmaking system to the test, running at its full potential, and making more snow than we have in the mountain’s history.”  Thank goodness for that as this allowed them to pile up the snow.  El Nino ... Oh, El Nino.  Those who love the winter have come to loath the phrase El Nino.   

mountain spring panorama

For skiers and snowboarders, these snowmaking efforts have brought them a season at Plattekill…and that season is not over just yet.  The mountain plans to continue operations on expert-only terrain for the upcoming weekend, banking on huge, deep piles of snow the mountain made in anticipation of an early spring warm up.  At the same time though, their mountain bike enthusiasts have been “chomping at the bit” (so to speak) to ride their bikes with this great warm weather. 

So, in an unprecedented move, the mountain has decided to literally blend the seasons together, and welcome skiers, snowboarders and mountain bikers to the mountain this weekend encouraging visitors to pick their pleasure on how they would like to enjoy the slopes -- skiing, snowboarding or biking…or all of the above.  The $35 full-day spring ticket is good for all three, so the mountain welcomes guests to bring all their gear for the upcoming weekend.mtnbikerock

Since the snowpack is limited to the ski trails where there has been man-made snow, the Plattekill Bike Park crew has been able to begin trail clearing in an effort to kick off the bike season early this year.   This weekend’s soft-opening makes it the first mountain bike park on the East Coast to open lifts this early for biking.  “We’ve cleared several trails on our triple side of the mountain, in preparation for this split early season offering” says Laszlo Vajtay, GM of Plattekill Mountain, “we still have enough snow coverage on our Double Chair side of the mountain to let people ski and board and the Triple Chair will service the mountain biking enthusiasts, making everyone happy and bringing our winter and summertime guests together for one fun weekend.”  

Weekend festivities also include a BBQ out on the deck (weather permitting), live music and plenty of local craft brews on tap.  Whether you’re a skier, snowboarder, mountain biker or just looking for an opportunity to head for the mountains, one thing is for certain, there will be fun times to be had at Plattekill Mountain this weekend.    

Short of a major snowstorm, this weekend will be the last one for skiing this season and the mountain plans to officially open for mountain biking the first weekend of April.  

Monday, 07 March 2016 00:00

The Fact, Myth and Tradition of St. Platty's Day

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stplattyimageThe month of March is filled with facts, myths and traditions when we observe the Ides of March (March 15) and St. Patrick’s Day (March 17).  The same holds true for the annual celebration of St. PLATTY’s Day at Plattekill Mountain.

So, maybe you’re asking yourself right now … what is St. PLATTY’s Day?  St. Patrick’s Day in the United States was created by Irish-Americans … as you might already have guessed, St. PLATTY’s Day was created by Skiing-Americans in Roxbury, NY.

FACT:  St. PLATTY’s Day started the March after the North American Blizzard in February 2006?  Though most of the snow fell in NYC (26+ inches), the mountain decided to celebrate with music and festivities hoping for more snowfall the following year.   Sure enough, February 2007’s storm, dropped 33+ inches in and around the mountain, and so the tradition began.

MYTH:  Yes, there is a Leprechaun alive and well on the mountain.  Like the famous Blarney Stone, be careful of the Platty Leprechaun because you may find yourself  entranced with her sweet flattery by humor and unmistakable wit.  You will find her in the lodge and on the mountain only on this special day.

TRADITION:   St. PLATTY’s Day has become an annual celebration in March.  The festivities (similar to those for the St. Patrick’s Day) include a lunch of Corned Beef and Cabbage, Golden Shamrock Hunt on the mountain, Party in the Platty Lounge with live music, green beer and lots of festive drink specials to share with the Platty Moose.

So, the FACT of this day is to discover the MYTH of the Platty Leprechaun which draws you to the mountains and lets you partake in this family friendly, fun TRADITION! 

St. PLATTY’s Day 2016 will be on Saturday, March 12, 2016. In addition to all the festivities, a great day of Spring skiing and riding await thanks to the significant snowmaking improvements on the mountain.  The Winter season continues at Plattekill Mountain.

With Spring right around the corner, the Spring Equinox falls on March 20th, many people are looking for flowers to bloom and are excited for the warmer temperatures.  But not the folks at Plattekill Mountain.  Hews of brown and green surround the mountain and the trails at Plattekill stick out like a neon sign promoting Winter, bright white carved throughout the mountainscape.  The snowguns at Plattekill are still creating a haze of Winter only on the mountain, which those Spring seekers are more than happy about.  However, it looks as if Mother Nature has decided that she’s not completely done with Winter either.  With a major snowstorm in the forecast the first week in March, Plattekill still has a lot in store for the remainder of the Winter season.

winterfest croppedWinterfest, being held on Saturday, March 5th, has become a well-known fundraiser for the well-trained volunteers of the Plattekill Ski Patrol.  So, on Saturday, after a day of skiing, snowboarding or snowtubing, Plattekill will be serving up a chicken dinner prepared by the 2016 winner of the James Beard Award (like an Oscar in the restaurant world), Brooks BBQ, at 5:00pm, while there is a live performance by the band Esquela, a raffle for great prizes and wrapping it all up with the annual Torchlight Parade, a glow of serpentining red flares being carried by skiers cascading down the mountain, at 8:00pm.  This is an event suited for everyone, from the very young to the young at heart and is hoping to attract the local community as well as people visiting the area.

Also, on March 5th, the I LOVE NY bus, operated by Hampton Jitney, will be making it’s last visit to Plattekill for the season departing from New York City and Long Island.  This is the second year that the I LOVE NY program has teamed up with Plattekill to bring people to the Catskills for Winter day trips.  Andrew Lynch, Vice President of Hampton Jitney stated “The feedback on these trips has been very positive and we’re looking forward to continuing them in the 2016-17 season.”

All in all, Winter in the East has been anything but normal during the 2015-16 season, but taking the brutally warm highs and the bitterly cold lows in stride, Plattekill Mountain is putting on a pretty awesome show.

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