AROUND THE REGION
Ski Half-Price at Whiteface March 24 with Donation
ALBANY – Skiers have an opportunity to ski half-price at Whiteface on Sunday, March 24 by making a $10 donation to Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York at the mountain – or the Make-A-Wish booth at the Adirondack Sports Summer Expo on March 16-17. Make-A-Wish volunteers will be near the lift ticket windows and in their exhibit booth, at which $10 Adopt-A-Wish stars may be purchased. For every $10 star, a skier will receive half-off of the regular lift ticket price.
On March 24, you can also learn ski and race techniques from three-time Olympian, and two-time Olympic medalist, Andrew Weibrecht. Free ski with Andrew from 10-11:30am, and then compete against him in a recreational dual giant slalom race from 1:30-3pm! The cost to participate is $100 per skier ($75 for season ticket holders), and the free ski and race are limited to the first 50 registrants. Included in the registration is a lift ticket, free ski, race, and post-race reception. All proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Northeast New York.
Finally, there will be a prize drawing for a three-day, two-night stay at Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid. The opportunity to ski with Andrew Weibrecht, whose family owns the inn, is part of the prize. Tickets are $25 each, or five for $100. Only 350 tickets will be sold. The drawing will be held at 3:45pm on March 24 at a complimentary reception at the mountain. Raffle participants need not be present to win.
“We are incredibly grateful to Whiteface and Andrew Weibrecht for making this unique fundraiser possible,” chapter CEO William Trigg, III, said. “Through this event, which helps generate awareness of Make-A-Wish Northeast New York, we hope to be introduced to more prospective wish kids, volunteers and donors.” For more info or to donate/register, call Make-A-Wish at (518) 456-9474, stop by their booth at the Summer Expo, or visit neny.wish.org.
Ecotourism for Adventure Travel
HERKIMER – With a wealth of ecotourism friendly adventures in New York and beyond, Herkimer College recently launched a new program in Ecotourism and Adventure Travel. The associate in applied science degree prepares students for the natural and cultural history of a given area, and it’s offered on campus and online. Graduates will be able to assess, develop plans, and identify steps to transform traditional hospitality to an environmentally sound operation. They’ll be able to understand and explain the interrelationships among diverse cultures and ecosystems.
They’ll be prepared for careers in government and non-profits, as well as the private sector. They may work for a company that runs tours, a national park or outdoor education center, or manage or run their own ecotourism business, with opportunities to work abroad in exotic locations. Ecotourism can be exciting and rewarding, knowing you’re educating people about the environment by immersing them in nature. Visit herkimer.edu/ecotourism. Herkimer College will hold an Open House on Saturday, April 6 from 10am to 12pm. Prospective students can tour the campus, meet faculty, and learn about programs and more. Register at herkimer.edu/openhouse. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Peak to Brew ‘Beast’ and New ‘Sprint’ Series
BALDWINSVILLE – Peak to Brew Relay has formed the ultimate Adirondack relay weekend with two team relay events on Friday-Saturday, August 9-10. P2B’s growth over the last four years is largely due to their quality team participants and volunteers. They’ve turned the original 227-mile, two-day six to 12-runner (one or two vans) overnight relay race from Whiteface Mountain to Saranac Brewery into the ultimate Adirondack relay experience.
August 10th will also be the first annual Sprint relay race, with a 66-mile course for teams of three to six runners (one van) to complete on a single day. Utilizing the Beast course, sprint teams will start their relay at the base of the Tug Hill Plateau (South Lewis High School), featuring an exciting climb up the Tug Hill through Whetstone Gulf State Park. Sprint teams will use the final 12 legs of the Beast course, leading to the finish at Saranac Brewery in Utica, where they’ll enjoy the Peak to Brewfest post-race party, courtesy of Saranac Brewery.
In addition, Peak to Brew will be releasing a second Sprint relay course with an exhibition run in 2019 and inaugural race in 2020. “The entire P2B team is excited for the opportunity to build more exciting and challenging team-based relay events for the running community.” says co-founder Jason Croniser. “We’ve been blessed with support from runners and local communities, and look forward to building new relationships in the Northeast.” For more info on the sprint relay and new course, visit p2brelay.com.
Review: Hok Skis by Altai are a HOOT!
They are referred to as a combo ski-snowshoe, having the stability and ease of a snowshoe with the kick and glide of a ski. The Hok skis are my go-to bushwhacking explore-galore boards. Throw these on and your adventure begins. Some have said they don’t climb as well as snowshoes; my experience has shown that to not be the case. I have actually found them to climb at times better than snowshoes. Leaving the best part to the decent, their glide is magical, fast enough to have fun but not so fast as to put your trek in turmoil. Quick up, not so quick down, with plenty of agility around trees, rocks and mounds, all due to their shorter lengths.
The skis come with two binding styles: one is a universal strap-down snow boot and the other a three-pin binding. For aggressive skiing and control, the three-pin is the best choice; for gentler conditions and more of a snowshoe jaunt, the strap-in binding is best. These boards come in two lengths – the shorter length of 125cm is for folks on the shorter and lighter side, leaving the longer 145cm for the taller, stockier of us.
The Adirondacks are the prefect home for using Hoks. You will climb like a billy goat and descend like a seasoned pro, albeit slower with more composure. You will meander through the tree-filled understory with the greatest amount of ease due to the short ski length. You will not have the endless crossing of ski tips that you can encounter with longer backcountry skis as you pick and grin your path over hill and dale.
One thing to keep in mind is that you will not be able to easily edge these skis as would be done with a narrower backcountry ski, so watch out trying to navigate a crusty off camber pitch. These dogs work best when you can keep them staying flat on the snow. For more adventure, you can use a Tiak, which is a long single pole like those used in the Altai Mountains rather than traditional ski poles. For more info visit: altaiskis.com. For those of us who live to explore the backcountry the Hoks offer endless opportunity. – Bob Ingram, North River.