Pros… Lift Access powsurfing, Closed Monday n Tuesday so be there Wednesday, closed sections on hill easily hikeable to, Big Boards needed, Weather phenomenon know as Lake Effect Snow, Glades, Steep runs, Lots and Lots of snow when the weather is right, 3 hour drive from home
Cons… Weather can be temperamental, Rains frequently, In the USA, Exchange Rate sucks now, US Cops, Main run tracked out fast, Be prepared bring big board,
The weather phenomenon known as lake effect snow drops a ton of snow over the tug Hill plateau every winter, winds permitting. The moisture picked up over Lake Ontario gets dumped onto the plateau and neighbouring hills. Since I had to head south on Interstate 81 to pick up a truck I had purchased in the fall for work, I figured I might as well take a little detour and check out what the fuss is about when it comes to Lake effect snow.
So as I left Chrissypoo in Watertown NY to head down n around Tug Hill there was virtually next to no snow on the ground. As I drove down the road and got closer to the ridge on the backside of the plateau the snow on the ground starts to pile up n pile up. The first thing I do is hike up a steep road that was closed for the winter n look for spot off of it. nothing going there so I ride down the road slow n steady like. I keep driving south till I see a open knoll of snow n bush and stop and ask a local in his drive if he owns that property. No, his neighbour does and he is away right now driving trucks. Not wanting to encroach on lands where I might get shot on I keep moving along. Around a corner and Snow Ridge pops up. I park and head into the office to see if I could bring my Powsurfer up the lift, it doesn’t hurt to ask. To my surprise the lady in the office gives me the ok, the leash is the key. As I get to the lift the liftie is like Whats That? Anyways I explain that I got the ok from the office and jump onto the rickety old chair. The main run under the lift is all tracked out, they only have one lift running today, not a lot of people here but it is 3pm. I head to the trees, 13, 14, and 18 for a couple of runs, get tossed on some of the more choppy areas but anything with fresh snow is sweet turns. I close out the day with some runs down 7 which hasn’t been all that traced yet due to a lul in the run and the need to walk for a hundred yards. The boarders don’t like that and skiers didn’t touch much of it, now earning your turns is part of our game so I hit it up till the lift shut down.
Now that was it for that day. Now I have a 6 hour drive south ahead of me. whooppie!
It was worth it!
Now I do my thing to get the truck and turn around the next day and start heading back north to Turin NY. I make it to Marathon NY for the night still two and a quarter hours away from Snow Ridge. Oh well. Another hotel night then a quick drive and I’m back at the ridge on Tug Hill.
This day I start off with a hike to Von Allmen and Snow Pocket, 1, 2, and 3 area. It hadn’t been opened yet and a 20 min hike gets me to the top of the runs. Now my 120cm twin tip isn’t long enough to get on top of all this fresh non tracked snow and the runs weren’t steep enough to get me on top of it either. It turned out to be to much snow on this side of the hill. So I head back into the trees on the following runs and finish off what time I had that day with the same runs from two days ago.
With Lake effect snow as long as the wind is blowing right the snow keeps on falling and everything gets replenished with fresh pow. So all the runs where full again and I was able to get some good turns in and some great moments!
The main reason why I went at this time, cause I could have waited to the spring to get the truck, but it’s going to rain in Turin NY this coming week and all that snow would have been wasted.
It was to socked in with clouds n snow to see much of the country side as to what else was ridable around there but I’m sure with some exploring there would be other goods to be had.