All week, I'd been looking at the NOAA forecast for Friday, which was calling for sunny skies and temps in the low 40s for the Catskills. It seemed like a perfect fit for my annual spring weekday at Windham, which has become something I look forward to toward the end of every season. Unfortunately, the weather service was wrong about the sun and temps; it stayed cloudy and wintry most of the day, which bolloxed my hope of skiing soft corn and lounging in the sun on the base-lodge patio with a cold beer.
Proof of how cold it's been this winter, the trees still have a good base of natural snow this late in the season.
Conditions were hard and fast but mostly edgeable, so props to Windham's grooming team for pulling off a magic act with the thaw/refreeze lemons that the Catskills had been given recently. I had to shop for turns on a few pitches, but with a pair of narrow-waisted skis and sharp edges, it was fun, high-speed cruising. I found good conditions on the far skier's left, including the new blue trail Windfall at the top of the mountain.
The glade they recently opened there (the first of several planned new tree shots) should be in play today with the warmer temps:
Around 3 pm, the skies finally cleared and I enjoyed a great final hour right up to the closing bell, including three laps on the best run of the day, "Wingin' It" under the East Peak Express chair -- a trail I've never had much success with in the past. In summary, not the exact day I had expected, but the last couple hours made it worth the trip and it's easy to quickly rack up vertical with the two high-speed quads.
Enigmatic Bearpen Mountain in the Distance
With temps supposed to be a more seasonal mid-40s today, the spring scene on the patio and outdoor bar should be hopping quite a bit more than in this pic.
No visit to Windham is complete without post-ski beerz at the Cave Mountain Brewing Company: excellent microbrews and food. Per tradition, I had a couple blueberry stouts, which is recommended even by those who don't like flavored beers.