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Backcountry Skiing in the Catskills

Original Post
Billy Clyde · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 55

I know this is not climbing related but has anyone on here done any backcountry skiing in the catskills?

t.farrell · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 60

You may want to check out adkhighpeaks forum. Plenty of people over there have. The Catskills aren't really great for skiing (no treeline, shit ton of trees, rocks, lack of significant snowpack). If you haven't hiked there, it's worth doing before you break out the skis.

Billy Clyde · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 55

Thanks! I have hiked there a lot but Im trying to find some off the beaten path slides (I have definitely spotted a few from the tops of high peaks) or skiable glades. Im thinking that some of the old logging trails that are out there would work very well.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800

How steep are you looking for? "Old logging trails" sounds like gentle. But to me, gladed skiing is pretty steep.

Gunks Jesse · · Shawangunk Township, NY · Joined May 2014 · Points: 231

It's there. I've skied some backcountry in the catskills. You just have to hunt for it... there are some nice lines around the backside of hunter mountain. I have spent most of my NY backcountry time in the Gunks. Your local, so you should be able to find the right spots.

Christian Fracchia · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 80

Forget the Catskills, everyone is moving East to ski all the sick lines of the Gunks!…

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 15,498

Ski Windham lift-served downhill area last year allowed me to pay them a fee for a day of climbing up on my skins and skiing back down for another lap.

Sometimes Ski Plattekill used to let me skin up and ski down without paying (even though I offered to pay). Belleayre Mt allowed me that like ten years ago, but then changed their policy like five years ago and chased me down and stopped me from skinning up (even though I had purchased a lift ticket).

I'm one of the most fanatical backcountry skiers in the NY metro area.
Long ago I spent two summers bushwacking around the Catskills finding worthwhile tree-skiing lines. Even got to ski down some of them. But in the last fifteen or twenty years, I've tried maybe only once. Sharon said to me, "Please don't take me on any more backcountry ski tours in the Catskills."
I've heard that in the last five years backcountry conditions in the Catskills have gotten worse -- lots of fallen trees -- so you'd need a truly enormous snowpack to cover them enough to be skiable.

For me a way better bet for a fun time is the groomed-track cross-country skiing in the I-87 Thruway / Northway corridor is world-class (when we have snow: not much last year). Including the Gunks "carriageways" (when there is enough snow -- check the MHXCSS group). I love to skate on snow - (and off snow).

If you really want some sort of "backcountry downhill" runs in the Catskills, better get out now and find them, so on those rare days when there's skiable backcountry snow any more, you're not just guessing about where to go.


Matthew Williams · · Holladay, UT · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175

Check out Bearpen - I've had some luck skiing there

oldfattradguuy kk · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 170

Slide on slide mountain

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northeastern States
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