Hickory Ski Center NY

Hickory Ski Center, NY  day 6 5th in string tracing the circle route of the 14-15
Skiing the Past:

We had just closed out the Vermont time on our now extended circle route. What had been originally a quick week-day escape, was now elevated to a major operation with heavy responsibility and heavier yet, meaningful accountability. Accountability to wife, family and eternal happiness. Ain’t mommy happy, ain’t nobody happy! Or conversely: Happy wife, happy life.

And I had to compound the gravitas by trying to squeeze in what I precieved as a rare treasure, a golden opportunity, a visit to Hickory Ski Center.  Yea, “Trust me, John!”

We over-nighted in a motel across the street from the outlet center in Glen’s Falls, NY , a tourist magnet and bustling cross-roads during the summer tourist season in the Adirondacks. But this was late winter. And believe it or not, the manager was a Texan who comes north for the winter. Is something wrong with this picture? Well whatever, we did catch some solid sleep after a quick bite to eat and yes, more time for John to work from his computer.

To lighten the air of the next morning, I sprang for two senior coffees at Mickey D’s (Yea I lied, John is not a senior citizen, but I am, AND I paid.) Plus I fronted a breakfast sandwich at Hickory. (Talk about big time spender!)  I perceived John was nervous and antsy. He opted out of skiing to rather “Put in some hours working.” OK, I get it. Were I in his boots, I might well have crumbled under the burden and weight of responsibility, the tight timing coupled with the simple calculations on an obsessed bucket list’er. … “Trust me, John .”

Hickory Ski Center review

Wow! What a classic discovery! A steep knob of a mountain piercing the horizon like a “thumbs-up” gesture of positive affirmation, like the framed “Far Side “ cartoon mounted over the urinal in the BSC men’s room; adorned in a regal cape of white a dominant specified majestically positioned against the royal blue sky.” Pinch me, John. Is this a dream?”

Wow, what an area! 1,200 feet of vertical, No snow makers here. Just tons of natural stuff. No grooming, mogul potted, steep pitches.

Wow, what a morning! Clear, Crisp, untouched winnows of lightly wind-blown powder settled in the furrows between moguls; untouched for five days when light hoar frost kissed the crest each morning at sunrise.

Wow, what an experience! Hickory Ski Center is a page from the past. High speed quads? Negative, There are no chair lifts, period. a rope tow and two vintage 1950 Poma lifts. What’s a “Poma”?  Essentially a “J-bar” and it’s amazing. They still work! What is J-bar? Basically it’s one half of a T- bar. What’s a T-bar? Never mind. If you have to ask, don’t go there. OK,OK. Picture this: A lift is shaped like the letter “J”. But don’t sit on the hook. You straddle it between you legs It grabs your butt (the lift, you silly fool, not the attendant!) and pulls you up the slope.  It’s not dissimilar to a medieval torture devise. But it gets you up the hill.

One last revelation: this J-bar is detachable. Is this the predecessor of, the prototype for the detachable high-speed lifts of today? Hmm … I wonder. Wait, Wait ,,, one more note: The J-lifts are high speed. They haul you noticeably faster that the average “T”. Note:  John documented the whole thing. Check out the video carefully. I’m literally launched at the onset.  look, I can still “get air”!  I love it!

After a few runs, skiing as I was “on my own” and thinking I had scoured the hill thus leaving a comforter cushion of time for our run to NJ, much to my delight, I hooked up with the local Ski Patrol. Don resides south of Albany area and hustles north on Saturdays to volunteer at the area. He’s blessed when his kids, friends and neighbors accompany him.

On this epic morning he extended a warm welcome with. “Come, ski with me.” What a time. He took me around the mountain revealing cut-offs and caches I would have missed. Don let me hang around as he safety-checked and opened the second J-lift. He made my day. A Ski-With-Me manifestation and testimony. Thanks Don! Love this place. I shall return. Quote me on that.

Finally I did present myself at the rustic chalet just in the nick-of-time. John had shut down his computer to pace the floor around the open, circular, suspended bonnet fire pit in the lodge. He loaded up, and zig-zagged the maze of back roads to I-80 that bullets due south (or north if needed.)

As we expeditiously exited, health-minded John graciously fed me celery sticks stuffed with peanut butter meticulously loaded as we sped through the Hudson Valley, that separates the Catskills from the Teconic mountains. More ski areas of New York to the right and left, IKtto, but they would have to wait for another time. I did “hick-up” the spaghetti-bowl interstate, interchange labyrinth around Albany, but still arrived precisely at 3:59 PM to darken the door of the NJ Audi dealership.

What a hoity-toity place. A big step up from “Smiling Jack’s “ used car lot that I’m so familiar with back home. I settled in to sip latte in the recliner to watch the pre-recorded world cup ski races from Europe on the wide screen while John tended to business. He inspected, tested, approved, signed on the line, settled up and moved out, all by 4:30. Note: one- half hour “over-time”, but well worth it for all. “Uh … who do I pay for my latte?. What? Free? Gratis?”  Well thanks John. I guess you actually paid for it in the long run.

We over-nighted at a Comfort Inn in Edison, just down the main road. True to form, John went to work from his computer, slipped out in the middle of the night, motored home in his new Prius. It’s of note that John diligently reported for duty at our BSC Sunday morning line up. Me? I slept in opting for an 8 AM checking out. Furthermore I stopped at Edison’s Lab National Historic Site to fed my history habit. Finally, I continued on to Mountain Creek Resort, New Jersey only 1K mountain. But that’s another story.

Next: Come, Ski (?) With Me! (in New Jersey?)


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Skier, rider (of sorts), wanderer, teacher, coach, blogger (wannabe), perpetual child, ...

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