No crowds, great trails, fresh powder
Small Lodge, Old Chairs, little snow making
We first discovered Plattekill about 3 years ago and have made it a point to try and get there at least once a season ever since. We would go more often, but it is quite a haul for a day trip from the Jersey Shore. The mountain is a throwback to old time skiing with an eclectic mix of oddball switchback trails that make exploring the mountain a real adventure. Throw in the steep, constant pitch, diamond runs down both faces and the fact that it sits on the hairy edge of the Lake Effect Snow Belt and you have the makings of great ski area with a 1000 foot vertical to boot. My college aged daughter and I skied Plattekill on 17 January 2009, the Saturday of a 3 day holiday weekend and it was great. With the temperatures set to start at below zero and barley make it into lower double digits, we figured that the crowds would be a bit less, but the crowds here were totally non existent. We did not wait in a single lift line, and there was many an empty chair. It was blue sky, no wind and packed powder all morning. The temperature stayed in the single digits for the most part, but with no wind, it was fine. It started to cloud up a bit in the afternoon. All the tree branches were covered with a think coating of frozen ice and snow, making for a surreal looking, magical forested mountain. The weight had many of the branches bowed over to the point where it was a challenge to navigate the narrow switch backs which are unique to Plattekill. Conditions were great with lots of natural snow on the surface and many remnants of fresh natural powder. The mountain does not make much snow, so you have to hit it when conditions are good to really appreciate it. We were originally targeting Belleayre, but made the last minute decision to drive the extra 20 minutes up to the Kill, and it was well worth it. You won’t find any high speed quads or fast crowds here. With the steepness of the trails giving you a good workout, I kind of appreciate the added rest of the long slower chairs.