Mountain Project Logo

Backcountry skiing / training Catskills

Original Post
kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,832

Doubt there's deep enough good enough snow in the Catskills NY backcountry for my style of downhill riding.
So instead ...

Thursday Jan 19 Sharon and I are going to settle for Uphill training with climbing skins at the

Windham ski area
. [ tickets - including Uphill - at Ski Windham ] .

Also some practice downhill turns -- might even be some fun had.
. . (perhaps some fresh snow on Wednesday -- at least soften the surface?)
. . (hopefully some sunshine?)

If might want to join, send us a message thru my MountainProject account.


P.S. This weekend ...
If some fresh snow further North, might drive up to SW Vermont for some groomed-track cross-country skiing with interesting uphill+downhill on super-light gear. Also some Uphill skinning on heavy gear -- I now have tried two places in nearby VT that allow that.

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,832

Sharon and I visited the Windham ski area the last two Thursdays, and did uphill skiing using climbing skins both times. Now we have Uphill season passes, for $25 each.

We chose warm-ish days, so we got rather nice (non-icy) conditions for uphill skiing, and I got rather nice downhill turns both days. But the first Thursday Sharon tried her downhill on the more W-facing trails, and found some difficult snow.

My first day I skinned up on the trails a bit to the right of the main quad lift up to the West peak. The second day I skinned up two different routes from the obvious patio on S side of main lodge up to the top of the quad lift on the East summit. I felt that my routes up both summits had interesting variety of terrain for uphill skinning.

My measurements of the East summit uphill with my GPS (confirmed with topo map) is about +1400 vertical feet (+427 meters vertical).

The West summit is about 50 feet lower, but oddly the official trail map paper brochure we got said the vertical rise of its quad lift is over 1500 feet. But every measurement or estimate I can make for that lift, or for the difference between the base lodge patio and the West summit comes in well under 1400 feet vertical.
. . (There are some other lifts which start lower north down from the main lodge,
. . . so perhaps resort management is measuring from a "bottom" point lower than the main lodge).

Nice experience and good training for travel to bigger mountains in other regions, so likely we'll be back again.


P.S. I saw a report that Humter Mt allows uphill skiing (? with some permit ?) but only during the two hours early morning before the lifts begin operation for the day.
Anybody know more about that?

Mikejhal · · Wilmington, vt · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 20

Not Ny but check out Magic mtn in southern Vt. This article is from 2015 so might want to call and check if this policy is still good for the getting.

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,832

I think Mt Snow in Vermont is bigger, and closer driving from Catskills than Magic Mt.

Sharon and I skied uphill there at Mt Snow a couple of weeks ago. Very wide trail most of the way up the obvious route. Nice lodge to go in and warm up and snack and put on more clothing at the summit.

I felt the uphill routes at Windham were a bit more interesting (tho lacking summit lodge).

Even closer driving in the southeast corner of Vermont is Prospect Mt just east from Bennington VT.
For those (like me) who want to do some short steep uphill skinning laps after a fun time skating or striding on what is usually the best cross-country groomed-track skiing (and best XCski base lodge) in the Hudson Valley area.

Anyway since the lift-served ski areas work hard to manufacture snow in the Catskills, seems unlikely that Sharon and I will be driving all the way to VT just for uphill training - (but Yes for the groomed-track cross-country at Prospect Mountain).


Mikejhal · · Wilmington, vt · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 20
If there is good natural snow Down the road from Belleayre if you drive through pine hill go up Bonnie view road to mill street than up woodchuck hollow there is a NYS hiking trail that would bring you to the top of Belleayre near the cathedral glen ski trail. Should be good for skinning I've biked down it many times don't recall it being to steep. You could than ski down to cathedral brook staying right go down the trail that is roped off saying "not a ski trail". That will bring you to the snowmaking pond/ rail road tracks, head right and that will bring you back to woodchuck hollow road. Check out a NYS DEC hiking trail map for the area I would think it would be a good loop. Belleayre also has a xc skiing trail system which you could tie into the loop from that snowmaking pond.

MikeH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 768

There is backcountry skiing in the Catskills on certain years, including in steep areas. Here is an article about skiing Slide Mountain via the standard route, often packed down but not steep unless you use it to get up and then drop off another aspect:

There are other spots too which are good but I won't talk about it in a specific way. Read maps and figure it out :) Let's hope its a good season coming. 

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,832
MikeH wrote:

There is backcountry skiing in the Catskills on certain years

When did you last ski backcountry in the Catskills?

I've heard things have changed in the years since that 2010 story and photos linked.


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

Catskill bc was not bad in the ‘80s, a few folks were skiing it then.

The slide on slide mt was skiable and a good run/ enough snow

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "Backcountry skiing / training Catskills"
in the Northeastern States

Log In to Reply