Skiing

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Welcome to snow country in February. We have reached the zenith of the season after getting beyond January’s icebox conditions. And while the weather was uncomfortable for normal activities, there was a benefit which came in the form of snowmaking.
Cold weather enables resorts to quickly make acres of dry snow. So while we were snuggled under the duvet last month, snowmakers were dropping a thick carpet in anticipation of your arrival. Coupled with a few snowfalls, this month’s conditions are worth exploring.
By now we can add Nordic skiing and snowshoeing centers, which rely predominantly on natural snow to provide a sliding surface.
For those eyeing a getaway during the Presidents Week holiday, February 14-22, expect to see many families enjoying snow sports together during this traditional school vacation.
If you desire an international flavor to your February experiences, Jay Peak in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom brings you close to France while keeping you in the Northeast. It’s a bit further afield—a four hour drive from the Capital Region. Jay Peak’s location just south of the Canadian border brings a few Quebecois to the tram or chairlift alongside you. Although it may be somewhat remote, the acceptable trade off is that winter storms seemingly find Jay Peak.
Mount Snow is located at the southern end of Vermont in West Dover, where skiing and riding is just part of the story. The pulsating après-ski action features the Bud Light Concert Series on February 13, 17, 20, 21, 27 and 28.
Windham Mountain in the Catskills is an easy day trip for our readers. Management has put over $11 million in improvements into the resort over the past two years. You will find improved children’s programs, renovation of the base lodge restaurant and bar, snowmaking improvements, and the addition of two state-of-the-art grooming machines.
Windham’s neighbor, Hunter Mountain, understands that it’s sometimes difficult to bring skiers and boarders to the mountain on Super Bowl Sunday, February 1. Even though game time is 6:20, party time seems to start around breakfast. Maybe a $49 lift ticket is enough to entice you to the resort and still have plenty of time to make the super party. Hunter Mountain will kick off Presidents Week on February 14 with entertainment in the main bar by DJ Frank, the Big Kahuna Band, and a fireworks display at 6:15.
On the Nordic front
On the Nordic front, you’ll have to look long and hard to top resorts like the Mountain Top Inn and Resort in Vermont. Mountain Top has 60 kilometers (over 37 miles) of terrain right outside your door. If you want to tackle the nearby alpine world, the resort offers a free shuttle to Killington and Pico.
In New York’s Olympic country, which this month marks the 35th anniversary of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics, you can cross-country ski and snowshoe on Mount Van Hoevenberg, just five miles from Lake Placid. The complex, used for Olympic cross-country and biathlon competitions in 1980, presents 50 kilometers (31 miles) of packed and tracked fun.
Finally, if time is an issue, look into these Albany area sites:
• Pineridge Cross-Country Ski Area in Petersburgh, NY
• Bousquet Ski Area in Pittsfield, MA
• Catamount Ski Area in Hillsdale, NY
• Maple Ski Ridge in Rotterdam, NY
• Willard Mountain in Greenwich, NY
Most skiers and riders typically tune out snow sports such as these by the end of February. Next month, with longer days, higher sun and attractive pricing, we’ll convince you not to give it up just yet.

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