Ski & Ride 100% Natural Snow!
Sampling the product…
I’ve said it before, one of my favorite parts about working in tourism is getting out to sample the product. After all, you can’t sell something if you haven’t tried it. And on that note, it’s close to impossible to sell something you don’t care for. However, when it comes to skiing at Big Tupper, this is not the case, it's simply an easy sell! But still, any excuse to get up on the mountain, I’ll take it!
My Chariot Awaits!
It was about 10:30 am when I got the call I had been waiting for all week. "If you can get up to the mountain in a half-hour, the groomer will be waiting for you." Can you think of a better reason to drop everything on your desk and run on a moment's notice? So, after a quick trip home to grab my gear, I was pulling into the parking area of Big Tupper just in time to see the Groomer coming down the bottom of "Trail 3" and heading my way. As I was changing into my ski boots, Bill Mozdzier pulls up behind my vehicle and rather than a "hello," he greets me with a "you're in for a treat!"
Riding up the trails in the groomer, as opposed to riding the lift, really gives you a whole new perspective of the mountain. As you slowly climb the mountain's terrain, you can see all of the different natural elements that make this mountain so much fun to ski & ride!
Bill explained that it takes about 8 hours to groom the trails of Big Tupper from start to finish, but he didn't seem to mind it too much, "In the winter I get to play in the snow, it's like being a big kid in a sandbox... the office isn't bad!" As we reached the top of the mountain, it was like we were in a winter wonderland that we had all to ourselves. Snow was lightly falling, there was about 2 inches of fresh powder on top of the packed surface... life was good! I felt honored to have the opportunity to test it out in anticipation of the big President's Week at the mountain.
Overview From the Top
Before I get into the conditions on the mountain, it is good to first give a run down (no pun intended) of the current status of the mountain. Big Tupper is currently awaiting a major redevelopment as part of the upcoming Adirondack Club and Resort project. In the mean time it is operated by the all-volunteer organization, ARISE. From snow groomers and lift operators, to ski patrol and guest services, volunteers are the heart and soul of this mountain. As a result, Big Tupper Ski Area is able to offer great skiing and riding at a fraction of the price you would expect to find for a mountain of this scale. In fact, Big Tupper was ranked in the top 5 for vertical drop in New York State.
The next thing to know is that there is currently no snow making at Big Tupper. This has its pros and cons. The con is that the mountain is 100% reliant on Mother Nature. For example, in late December and early January, she wasn't so kind to the mountain. Then a few big storms rolled through and now Big Tupper has a nice base for skiing and riding. This is where the "pros" come in... when was the last time that you had the opportunity to ski or ride on 100% natural powder? As Jim LaValley, Chairman of ARISE, states, “When Mother Nature cooperates, our biggest compliment is that it is like skiing in the powder out west.”
OK, enough talking... time to hit the trails!
As soon as I made it down the first descent, I knew what Bill was talking about when he said "you're in for a treat!" The fresh powder on the trails was amazing... Having them all to myself was only the icing on the cake!
A Second Run?
I made it back to may vehicle when I got the text from Bill ";-) Another Trip?" I didn't have to think about this question, the items on my desk could wait a few more minutes... I had to make sure the beautiful conditions were not just a fluke! After all, like I said before, you really need to know the product before you try to sell it to others. (Yes, I was totally making excuses at this point to get another run in... what skier wouldn't?)For my second run, I skied over toward the Ranger Trail and then cut over to the bottom of 4. It wasn't a fluke, the powder left nothing but a smile on my face... that was until I saw the lodge again. I have to admit I was a sad to know my "ski tease" was done, but I knew it wouldn't be too long before I could sneak up to the mountain again. After all, Big Tupper will be open for the entire President's holiday week.
Don't Just Take My Word For It!
Here is what a couple of recent visitors to Big Tupper had to say:
"Big Tupper has a relaxed, fun vibe; everyone always has a smile on their face. And to top it off, the skiing is great - I love knowing there will always be powder whenever I visit." - Chris Morris
"Big Tupper is a fun mountain, close to home. It is a great place to ski with my friends in the winter." - Nick Skiff
Plan a Ski/Snowboard Trip
So, now you are probably thinking that a day trip or long weekend ski trip is in order. If so, here are some tips to help get you started:
- Keep an eye on Big Tupper's Facebook page for their latest operating schedule. Remember, the mountain relies on Mother Nature so it is always good to check in advance for the latest ski conditions. When the conditions are good... it is totally worth the trip!
- The weekend of February 21-22, Big Tupper Ski Area will be rockin' with live music, fun races and activities for the whole family as part of the Fire & Ice Festival.
- Book a room! After a day of skiing & riding and some good eats at a local restaurant, you will be happy to have a warm room to return to.
- There's no need to brown bag your lunch, there is food available in the ski lodge.
- While you are in town, make sure to check out some of the other area attractions such as The Wild Center and the Groomed Cross Country Ski Center.
- Have fun, be safe and see you on the slopes!