Monday, January 19, 2015


Watching the Weather Channel, you'll hear "Blizzard" and "Winter Storm Warning". That's what we call winter, and we know it means fun in the North Country. The snowmobile trails are in fair condition. Riding was great going into last weekend, but heavy traffic and a warm-up Sunday took a toll. Cooler temps and a little snowfall helped slightly, but the trail maintenance crews will have a big job when they get the groomers out.

Although the area has not been treated to Buffalo-style dumps of snow, we've been receiving snow with very cold nighttime temperatures. Exactly what the trail doctors ordered for a solid base frozen in on the snowmobile trail system, and folks have been streaming into the Old Forge Visitor Information Center to get their trail permits.

The Webb Trail System is famous for interesting, scenic riding which families and everyone can enjoy. It's a little more technical riding, winding through pine groves along rivers and up to mountaintop vistas.

Riders are anxious to get out on the trails, and every snowfall amps up the excitement, with the knowledge that trail maintenance crews will be working. Everyone is reminded that lapses in attention and judgment have consequences. Fortunately, the operator of this sled got away with serious, but non life-threatening injuries. Trail riding here requires a different mentality than open-field riding. Terrain, visibility, conditions and traffic are some factors which take on added importance here. 

Those frigid temps have paid dividends at McCauley Mountain as well, and snowmakers have been working hard. This Kurt Gardner photo transports everyone into the magical world of skiers and snowboarders, who know that behind the frosty image is the heat of anticipation and excitement. The snowmaking and grooming crews at McCauley create an incredible product for snow-sliding customers. Even when nature seems to boycott ski areas, McCauley offers great skiing. Previously, McCauley was one of the five ski areas open in New York, which has more ski areas than any other state.

Great features at McCauley Mountain include top-notch grooming, designated bump runs and glades for intermediates and experts, double black diamond runs, and easier trails from the summit. Yes, at McCauley newer and more conservative skiers are not relegated to the bottom of the mountain. The easier trails from the top give those skiers and snowboarders views to the High Peaks from up in the skiers' alpine world. McCauley is home to two Olympic skiers, John "Louie" Ehrensbeck and Hank Kashiwa. Louie is at McCauley almost every day at his "Louie Olympic Tune" business. Many other young skiers have grown up on McCauley's diverse terrain, and have gone on to compete with the U.S. Ski Team.