Downhilling into Spring

Gore Mountain photograph by Flickr user Bemep

The calendar says the vernal equinox is at 12:57 p.m. on March 20; however, the temperatures and snow cover show winter has not yet given up in the Adirondacks. With the exception of Big Tupper, which finished the season on March 16 with $10 lift tickets, North Country alpine areas are making the most of very good conditions.

Hickory Ski Center in Warrensburg celebrates with Mother Nature’s Party on Saturday, March 22. After lifts close on the 18 beginner-to-intermediate trails there’s food, drink and entertainment, with proceeds paying for repairs to the mountain’s snow cats.

In March Old Forge received many feet of new snow, and this month at McCauley Mountain cross-country skiers can enjoy the bounty on the extensive trails for free. On March 29 downhillers and the skinny-ski crowd gather for the annual Snowmakers’ Ball; on April 5-6, the last weekend for hitting the slopes, adult tickets are $10, with kids for $5.

Oak Mountain, in Speculator, had excellent cover in 2014 (the average snowfall here is 10 feet). The last day is March 22, with the three lifts serving 14 trails firing up at 9 a.m.

In North Creek Gore Mountain continues the Coca-Cola promo on Why Not Wednesdays, with deep discounts on lift tickets if you bring an unopened Coke product to the window. Sunday, March 30, is the hill’s own Maple Fest, mixing the spring ritual of syrup making with great downhill skiing and snowboarding in the terrain park, glades and slopes.

Whiteface hosts the Apple Butter Open on Saturday, March 22, a mild mogul race for adults and kids. There’s a reggae band that weekend too. March 29-30 is the Olympic mountain’s own Maple Festival, with demonstrations of syrup making and plenty of fun on the slopes, including the Snoweater mud/snow footrace.

For snow reports, events, trail maps and information on free ski programs for third and fourth graders visit I Ski NY.

Want two free adult lift tickets good for Whiteface or Gore? Answer the following question by sending an email with the subject line “Ski Passes” to by 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20. The winner will be drawn from the correct responses received before then. Please include your mailing address.

Here’s the question:

Where was the grand-prize-winning photo of the 2014 Adirondack Life Photography Contest taken?

Good luck!

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