Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Upcoming Local Events for Skiers

The following list isn't intended to be a comprehensive calendar of local skiing events, just a few that are on my personal calendar, in no particular order.

One of the events I'm looking forward to the most is the Hickory Ski Center Telemark Festival on Saturday, February 12. Hickory Ski Center, in Warrensburg, rivals Mad River Glen as a popular telemark ski destination and is known for its varied terrain, from beginner to legendary expert trails. There will be free demos of telemark equipment, and clinics to fine tune skills and provide beginners a chance learn telemark skiing.

Skier: Bill Toran; photo credit: Mike White/Hickory Ski Center

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is coming to Saratoga Springs on Sunday, Febrary 13.  The program will start at 7pm in the Gannett Auditorium at Skidmore college and is hosted by the Skidmore Outing Club. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door and are available at Eastern Mountain Sports in Wilton and Niskayuna.

Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park is hosting its popular Annual Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe on Saturday, January 15 from 7-9:30 pm at the Camp Saratoga parcel on Scout Road in Wilton. Luminaries will glow along 2.5 miles of groomed trails, passing fields and forests, two warming bonfires, and plenty of hot chocolate. The terrain is suitable for all levels and ages. Participants can arrive anytime. The event is free and open to the public. Snowshoes will be available on a first-come first-serve basis, free for WWPP members and $3 rental fee for non-members. In case of cancelation, the back-up date is Friday, February 11th.

The Lake George Land Conservancy is hosting a guided cross-country ski tour at the Cat and Thomas Mts. Preserve in Bolton on Saturday, January 29, 9:30 am. Volunteer guide and co-editor of ADK's "Guide to Adirondack Trails, Eastern Region," David Thomas-Train will lead participants on this challenging 8-mile round trip, cross-country ski tour leading to the summits of Thomas and Cat Mountains. Participants will be rewarded with expansive views of the frozen southern Lake George basin below. This free event is for experienced cross-country skiers only, and registration is required. Contact Sarah Hoffman at 644-9673 or email shoffman@lglc.org for more details and to register.  Photo credit: David Thomas-Train / LGLC.

My visit to Mt. VanHoevenberg last week re-kindled memories of racing in the Lake Placid Loppet in 2003.  The race follows the course laid out for the 1980 Olympics, and is widely known as one of the best events of its kind.  It's a demanding, but beautiful race whether you compete in the 25K or 50K event, classic or freestyle (skating).  This year's Loppet is February 5.  Who knows, perhaps SaratogaSkier will be represented this year...

Lapland Lake, near Northville, is one of my favorite cross country ski touring centers, but lack of snow so far this winter has kept their trails closed. It takes just a few inches of snow to get at least some of their trails open, and they are hoping to pick up enough later this week to host Winter Trails Day on Saturday, January 8 from 1-4:30pm. The event is free to first-timers (pre-registration required) and includes complimentary facility use, beginner x-c ski lesson (special lessons for first-timer kids ages 5+ too), & ski or snowshoe rentals.

West Mountain's 50th Anniversary Party and Fire on the Mountain is scheduled for Friday night, February 18 from 7pm to midnight, featuring music by The Audio Stars, a torchlight parade, and fireworks. The event is free.

See you out there...

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