My favorite line in the film Endless Summer is “You should’ve seen it yesterday.” For those who don’t speak surflish, it means that the waves were epic yesterday and you missed it… bro. So far this winter, I’ve been hearing surflish from the slopes. I had planned on snowboarding in New York over the Christmas vacation, but when I looked into setting up my road trip and clicked on the website for snowboarding Windham Mountain, it said that only twelve trails were open.
The day after I cancelled my trip, I received word from upstate that Windham had received a foot of snow and that all of the trails were open. “Good powder,” my brother wrote, who happened to be snowboarding Windham because his wife was performing there. (She’s a singer.) “30 trails open.”
Snowboarding in New York
Over Martin Luther King weekend, my friend Greg and I took a snowboard trip to Windham and arrived at 8:00 am. (Greg skis, but I don’t hold it against him.) Thanks to global warming, not even the peak was below freezing. It was spring snowboarding in New York in January.
Since it’s only three hours from New York City, many riders came up for the day, arriving somewhere around 10:00 am. That meant that Greg and I logged a half dozen runs on nicely groomed trails before the crowds even arrived. And when the city-folk hit the slopes, we moved over to G-lift (the high-speed lift that accessed the taller East Peak). And when the crowds merged onto that side of Windham, we just rode the slow F-lift (which was right next to the high-speed main lift that had very long lines) or the B-lift (which accessed the double diamonds that may have been doubles if there had been enough snow for moguls).
Snowboarding Windham Mountain also had some unexpected highlights. My greatest joy was the speed at which their pro shop fixed my Ride Jackson BOA boots. My boots do not have laces; instead, a wire string keeps them tight on my feet. After my first day of snowboarding for the season, I noticed that the metal wire had frayed. The girl in the pro shop told me that the wire would probably hold for a few months. The next morning, I was tightening my boots and, go figure, the wire snapped. I would have rented, but I love my Ride boots, so, because everyone gets a late jump to the mountain, I brought them to the pro shop. They fixed my boot in 27 minutes. (Better believe I was timing them.)
Other Highlights of Snowboarding Windham Mountain
Another unexpected plus was the sushi inside the lodge. Nine dollars for one roll, which was really the size of two, was a good deal. I had tuna, salmon, and fake crab, which was heaps tastier than the go-to place in my neighborhood.
Poetic riders snowboarding Windham Mountain will love the alliteration. Every lift and trail begins with the letter W. My favorites include the questionable route: Why Not? to Where’s Charlie? to What’s Next? Or the more assertive ride: Warpath Chute to Wise Acres to Wall Street to Wolverine.
Though I had selected one of the busiest weekends for snowboarding in New York, heading to the slopes during MLK was worthwhile since the crowds brought the festivities like live music (not my sister-in-law this time) and a fireworks display (which I was way too tired to stay up for). Windham is definitely the best day-trip for snowboarding in New York. Most other mountains are too flat, too far, or too flooded with freakin’ riders. (The alliteration rubbed off.)
Note: Adult tickets to ski or snowboard Windham Mountain are $68, but you can get a discount by purchasing your tickets here. If you need cheap snowboard gear or snowboard clothing, check out these links. (Some of the links in this article are affiliate links and I do receive a small percentage of sales, but if you need tickets or gear anyway, why not support Somewhere Or Bust. Thanks.)
Photos by Greg