Belleayre 1/9/18 + New Gondola Photos
An excellent day of skiing today at Belleayre!
It has been about 15 years since I was last there, and honestly, I barely remembered skiing there. There have been new trail additions since then, and most importantly, the addition of the Super Chief Express and the new Catskill Thunder Gondola.
Temperatures were just below freezing, periods of snow showers that dropped up to an inch near the summit and dusting below, 36 trails open, and $48 Liftopia ticket.
No crowds to speak of, and lifts were ski on.
The new Catskill Thunder gondola is awesome. For the first time, you can ski the entire vertical of the mountain without taking multiple lifts. During the week, they are not running Lift 7 or Tomahawk, at least not today. So, if you're skiing trails like Dot Nebel or Deer Run, you need to ski down the new Lower Deer Run to the gondola. No biggie, it gives you the 1350' of vertical, but the lower 400 or so of that is on a green. If you cut over on Expressway to around Overlook Lodge, you can then ski any of the lower mountain trails back to the gondola. Which is a new option - unless you wanted ride the 10 minutes up the double double over and over again (that lift is a prime candidate to be replaced by a HSQ).
Speaking of the gondola, talked with a lot of nice skiers on it. Almost every one asked "Where are you from?" and when I say Saratoga, they all react in disbelief. Nobody believes that someone would drive 2hr 20min SOUTH to go skiing. Seriously, people were very surprised. When I explained I wanted to check out the new lift, they understood though.
The skiing reminded me a lot of Jiminy Peak - steep trails off the summit, which is flat. Similar vertical for the main mountain. But the trails are quite enjoyable - a good sustained pitch for top 300' of vertical, then trails mellow out. There are a good # of options from the summit of Super Chief or the gondola to keep you busy for the day. I particularly enjoyed Seneca, Peekamoose, Algonquin, Yahoo, and Mohawk.
The gondola did stop for 15 minutes while I was on it - started getting nervous, it eventually started up. Turns out there was some kind of an auto shutdown for "gondolas being too close together" alarm, and they had to get a tech to clear out the code or something.
Enjoy the photos, JD
540 x 960 - 101K
800 x 450 - 45K
960 x 540 - 33K
960 x 540 - 60K
960 x 540 - 54K
800 x 450 - 82K
800 x 450 - 89K
960 x 540 - 63K
960 x 540 - 49K
800 x 450 - 112K
960 x 540 - 85K