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Winter Guide 2002

Harry Young

Slippery Slope

Are ice climbers crazy, or what?

Sure, everybody enjoys the occasional romp in freshly fallen snow. Nothing could be more fun than suiting up in full winter regalia for a good frolic with your friends and loved ones in 18 inches of pristine white powder, then retreating indoors to warm your tootsies by the hearth, a piping hot mug of mulled apple cider in hand.

But the novelty of winter in the Capital Region soon wears off (by Jan. 2, to be exact). Lips chap to the texture of old beef jerky, the lily-white snow fast turns dookie-brown, and everyday activities, like a walk to the corner store, become frustratingly painful in the bitter cold.

Real danger, too, is an element that winter weather can add to our everyday lives. Take driving for an obvious example. Already risky commutes on the Northway are transformed into treacherous voyages through a six-lane pinball machine, when even a modest coating of snow or ice is added to the equation.

But we come to accept the risks, trials, and misery of winter. Why? Because we don’t have a choice. After all, we’re not going to stop driving. There’s shopping to be done, for Christmas’ sakes!

While some of winter’s risks are largely unavoidable, a handful of people in our area engage in a very dangerous, very unnecessary winter activity. They’re called ice climbers; apparently, plain-old rock climbing just isn’t satisfying enough for these people. They prefer the dimension of insanity added to an already extreme sport by a layer of amorphous ice and sub-zero temperatures.

Be assured, ice climbers do exist. They’re out there right now, growing giddier and giddier with anticipation as winter approaches. For soon, Adirondack waterfalls will freeze into gargantuan icicles, and seeping groundwater will reshape Catskill cliffs into seemingly endless frozen playgrounds for these slightly lunatic souls to explore.

In fact, within a few-hour driving radius of the Capital Region exists some of the best ice climbing in the East. According to Jesse Williams, an avid climber and guide for the Adirondack Rock and River Guide Service in Keene, N.Y., people come from all over the East Coast to scale ice formations in the Adirondacks. Some are primarily warm-weather climbers, looking for a place to sharpen their skills in the off-season. For others, winter is the peak climbing season.

Getting involved in ice climbing in our area really isn’t too difficult. Guide services like Adirondack Rock and River to the north and Alpine Endeavors in the Catskills offer introductory and advanced instruction in the sport.

Beginners will start out with top-roping, a form of climbing similar to what you might do at any indoor climbing gym, and an activity Williams claims “is as safe as skiing at any area mountain.” While top-roping, the climber is kept secure by an anchor already set in place at the top of the climb, and a partner, called a belayer, taking out the slack in the rope. So, assuming the belayer isn’t asleep at the rope, and all the equipment is securely in place and working properly, a fall while top-roping means a scare, but no serious injury.

However, top-roping is generally for beginners; anybody who gets serious about the sport quickly moves on to lead climbing. Lead climbers anchor themselves as they ascend by placing screws in the ice. This means that if a lead climber falls, they’re going to fall twice the distance between them and the last anchor they placed, and probably get injured.

There’s a great degree of variation in the difficulty of ice climbing terrain, from challenging vertical columns to relatively easy low-angle slopes. But regardless of the terrain, whether top-roping or lead climbing, an ice climb is never without its dangers.

As Marty Molitoris of Alpine Endeavors explains, you have 26 razor-sharp blades attached to your body at any given time: 12 on each crampon attached to your boots, and the two picks in your hands used to dig holds. One ill-placed kick with your right foot could leave you with several puncture wounds in your left calf.

And there’s always the safety of the people below to worry about. Accidentally break off a heavy chunk of what you thought was secure ice, and your unsuspecting belayer might find himself with one hell of a headache, or worse.

Experienced climbers always keep in mind the dynamic nature of the surfaces they are climbing. The ice is a living, ever-changing organism; what appeared to be a rock-solid pillar in the cold morning could wither and weaken in the heat of the midday sun.

“There’s no doubt about it, ice climbing is dangerous,” says Molitoris. “But driving in your car is really dangerous.”

What it boils down to is the risks we’re willing to accept. And for Williams, Molitoris, and anybody else who’s ever clung to the side of an ice-covered cliff with 500 feet between them and the ground, the risk is worth it.

—Paul Hamill

Dressed to Chill

One woman’s appreciation of winter comes full circle

OK, let me preface this by saying that I believe there was a point in my life when I actually enjoyed the winter.

I distinctly remember being young and having my mom get my brother and me suited up and winterized, and then going out to play in the winter wonderland of northeastern New York. We would make snow forts, have snowball fights and go sledding, and I know I made a helluva snow angel. I would stay outside until I was absolutely frozen and my clothes were soaked through. It was all OK, though, because I knew there was hot chocolate waiting inside to warm my bones. This all took place before noon on any given snow day or weekend, and as soon as our clothing was dry, we were right back out again.

As I got a little older, wintertime activities evolved into coed games of touch football (which then turned into tackle-your-friends-into-the-nearest-snowbank) and grabbing the bumpers of slow-moving cars to take a free ride down the street; and sledding moved into a whole new realm.

Then something changed. I don’t know if it was simply becoming a teenager and having different interests, but my enjoyment of winter—outdoors, anyway—declined. I began to appreciate the fourth season through the window of my home or whatever car I was riding in. The longest I was ever out in snow was when I would sprint from the car to wherever I was shopping. I did, however, realize that the snow on the ledge outside my bedroom window was a perfect hiding place for beer, and kept it damn cold, so I still had at least some form of winter appreciation.

When I moved out on my own, whatever lingering fondness I had for the colder months evaporated like snowflakes on a heated windshield. I went outside only to go to and from work or social engagements. I walked from my downtown Albany apartment to my favorite dance club at least three times a week—and since I never sacrificed fashion for function, I did take a couple of bad spills on the ice. It was then that I began to really hate all that winter had to offer.

Then he walked into my life. An avid skateboarder and snowboarder, he had just returned from a four-month stay in Utah, a trip he had taken annually for five years. We began dating in May, and that summer I hung out with him even when he was skating because I really enjoyed the warmer months, but I was always aware in the back of my mind that the frigid months would soon come around again—and that he was a snowboarder.

Before I knew it, it was November. I had no idea that ski mountains in Vermont opened in November; there was hardly a chill in the air here in Albany. And so began the long months of being a stay-at-home snowboard widow while he was out enjoying the mountain. Around January I realized I did not want to stay home while he went to cool snowboarding events, so I bought a pair of good winter boots and he bought me a warm winter hat, and I was on my way to enjoying the chilly time again. A couple more smart winter purchases (long johns, winter coat and Thinsulate gloves), and I was able to attend the Winter X Games at Mount Snow that year. Next, I attended the U.S. Open Snowboard Championships (held yearly in March at Stratton Mountain), and I was actually overdressed! Imagine that after all those years of nonsensible winter attire, I actually had more than I needed.

I admit that some of my time is spent in the lodge; there is only so long you can stand outside without actually participating in a winter sport, even though I now completely dig watching snowboarding, especially live.

That was just over two years ago, and he and I are enjoying the occasional winter event together. We now have a 2-year-old son who I’m sure will want to get out in the snow this year to make his own snow angels. And I’m quite sure that someday he, too, will jump on a snowboard. That’s alright—his mommy is up to the challenge.

—Rebecca A. Morgan


Ski/Snowboard Centers

Alpine

Massachusetts

Brodie Mountain, New Ashford. (413) 738-5500. There is no skiing or snowboarding for the 2002-2003 season. There will only be snowtubing. Snow phone (413) 443-4751. www. skibrodie.com.

Bousquet Ski Area, Pittsfield. (413) 442-8316. Vertical drop 750 ft. 21 trails, 5 lifts, snowboard park. Ski/snowboard/snowblade rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $25 weekday and weekends. Snow phone (413) 442-2436. www.bousquets.com.

Jiminy Peak, Hancock. (413) 738-5500. Vertical drop 1,150 ft. 40 trails, 8 lifts, snowboard terrain park with half-pipe. Ski/snowboard rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $37 midweek, $49 weekend/holiday. Snow phone (888) 4-JIMINY (454-6469). www.jiminypeak.com.

Ski Butternut, Great Barrington. (413) 528-2000. Vertical drop 1,000 ft. 22 trails, 8 lifts. Ski/snowboard/ski-board/snowblade rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $32 midweek, $43 weekend/holiday. Snow report (800) 438-SNOW. www.butternutbasin.com.

New York

Belleayre Mountain, Highmount. (845) 254-5600. Vertical drop 1,404 ft. 37 trails, 8 lifts, snowboard park. Ski/snowboard rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $32 midweek, $41 weekend/ holiday. Snow phone (800) 942-6904. www. belleayre.com.

Catamount, Hillsdale, 325-3200. Vertical drop 1,000 ft. 26 trails, 8 lifts, snowboard park. Ski/snowboard/snowblade rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $29 midweek, $44 weekend/holiday. Snow conditions (800) 342-1840. www. catamountski.com.

Gore Mountain, North Creek. 251-2411. Vertical drop 2,100 ft. 78 trails, 10 lifts, snowboard park, half-pipe. Ski/snowboard/snowblade/snowshoe rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $45 midweek, $52 weekends. Snow conditions (800) 342-1234. www.goremountain.com.

Hunter Mountain, Hunter. 263-4223. Vertical drop 1,600 ft. 53 trails, 11 lifts, terrain park. Ski/snowboard/helmet rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $39 midweek, $49 weekend/holiday. Snow conditions (888) HUNTERMT. www.hunter mtn.com.

West Mountain, Glens Falls. 793-6606. Vertical drop 1,010 ft. 22 trails, 6 lifts. Ski/snowboard rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $27 midweek, $37 weekend/holiday. www.skiwestmountain.com.

Whiteface Mountain, Wilmington. 946-2223. Vertical drop 3,430 ft. 72 trails, 11 lifts, snowboard park, half-pipe. Ski rentals/snowboard rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $59 midweek, $62 weekend/holiday. Snow conditions (800) 462-6236. www.whiteface.com.

Willard Mountain, Greenwich. 692-7337. Vertical drop 505 ft. 14 trails, 5 lifts. Ski/snowboard rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $18 midweek, $25 weekend. Snow conditions (800) 457-SNOW. www.willardmountain.com.

Windham Mountain, Windham. 734-4300. Vertical drop 1,600 ft. 39 trails, 7 lifts, snowboard park, tubing park and terrain trails. Ski/snowboard/snowshoe rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $38 midweek, $48 weekend/holiday. Snow info (800) SAY-4SNO. www.skiwindham.com.

Vermont

Bromley, Peru. (802) 824-5522. Vertical drop 1,334 ft. 43 trails, 10 lifts, snowboard parks, half-pipe. Ski/snowboard rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $46 midweek, $52 weekend. Snow report (802) 824-5522.

Haystack Mountain, Wilmington. (800) 245-SNOW (7669). Vertical drop 1,400 ft. 44 trails, 7 lifts. Ski/snowboard rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $43. Snow report (802) 464-2151.

Killington Ski Area, Killington. (800) 621-MTNS or (802) 422-6200. Vertical drop 3,050 ft. 200 trails, 32 lifts, snowboard park, super pipe. Ski/snowboard/ski-board rentals available. Lift tickets not available at press time. Snow report (802) 422-3261. www.killington.com.

Mount Snow, West Dover. (800) 245-SNOW (7669). Vertical drop 1,700 ft. 130 trails, 23 lifts, snowboard park and 2 half-pipes. Ski/snowboard rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $52 midweek, $61 weekend/holiday. Snow report (802) 464-2151. www.mountsnow.com.

Okemo, Ludlow. (802) 228-4041. Vertical drop 2,150 ft. 106 trails, 16 lifts, 5 terrain parks, 2 half-pipes. Ski/snowboard/snowblade/snowshoe/helmet rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $57 midweek; $62 weekend/holiday. Snow phone (802) 228-5222. www.okemo.com.

Stratton, Bondville. (800) STRATTON (787-2886). Vertical drop 2,003 ft. 90 trails, 14 lifts, snowboard parks, half-pipe. Ski/snowboard/snowblade/helmet rentals available. Lift ticket prices not available at press time. Snow report (802) 297-4211. www.stratton.com.

Sugarbush, Warren. (800) 53-SUGAR (537-8427). Vertical drop 2,650 ft. 115 trails, 18 lifts, snowboard park, half-pipe. Ski/snowboard/snowblade rentals available. Adult lift ticket: $55 midweek; $57 weekend, $59 holiday. Snow phone (802) 583-SNOW. www.sugarbush.com.

Cross-Country

All are located in New York state; telephone area codes 518 unless otherwise noted.

Adirondack Park Visitors Center, Paul Smiths. 327-3000. 17 km. No trail fee; no rentals. (Snowshoe trails also). Building open 9 AM-5 PM daily except Christmas and Thanksgiving; trails accessible any time.

Adirondack Loj, Lake Placid. 523-3441. More than 20 km of wilderness trails (not groomed). Rentals available at the High Peaks Information Center. No trail fee. (Snowshoe trails also; snowshoe rentals available.) Open daily. $7 parking for nonmembers for full day; $3.50 after 1 PM.

Cascade Ski Touring Center, Lake Placid. 523-9605. 20 km tracked. Rentals available. Trail fee $7, $3 children, $5 evenings. Lessons available. Open daily. Full-moon parties. Ski shop, bar and restaurant. (Snowshoe trails also; snowshoe rentals available.)

Cunningham’s Ski Barn, North Creek. 251-3215. 40 km (25 km tracked; 15 km wilderness). Rentals available. Trail fee $12, 18 and under $10. (Snowshoe trails also; snowshoe rentals available.) Open daily 8 AM-6 PM.

Friends Lake Inn, Chestertown. 494-4751. 20 km groomed wilderness trails. (Snowshoe trails also.) Tubbs demo rentals available. Trail fee $10. Open daily.

Five Rivers Environmental Center, Game Farm Road, Delmar. 475-0291. 10 km. No trail fee. No ski rentals. (Snowshoe areas also; snowshoe rentals available afternoons and weekends). Trails open daily, visitors’ center open Mon-Sat 9 AM-4:30 PM, Sun 1:30-4:30 PM, closed holidays.

Garnet Hill, North River. 251-2821. 55 km groomed and tracked trails. Rentals available. (Snowshoe trails also; snowshoe rentals available.) Trail fee $14. Lessons available. Retail shop. Open daily, 8 AM till dusk. Lodge open till 9 PM. www.garnet-hill.com.

Gore Mountain, North Creek. 251-2411. 24 km tracked. (Snowshoe trails also.) Rentals available. Trail fee $8. Lessons available with reservations. Open daily.

Lapland Lake Cross-Country Ski Center, Northville. 863-4974. 50 km (38 km track set and skating lanes, 12 km dedicated to snowshoeing). Rentals available. (Snowshoe rentals also.) Trail fee $11 weekdays; $14 weekends/holidays; junior/senior discounts available. Lessons daily. Open Sun-Fri 9 AM-4:30 PM; open 9 AM-9 PM Sat.

McCauley Mountain, Old Forge. (315) 369-3225. 10 km groomed/tracked, 10 km back-country. Rentals available in town. Lessons available. (Snowshoe trails also, snowshoe rentals available in town.) Trail fee $6. Closed Tuesdays, except during holiday weeks. 369-6983.

Mount Van Hovenberg, Lake Placid. 523-2811. 50 km tracked. Rentals available. (Snowshoe trails also; snowshoe rentals available.) Trail fee $12, half-day and children’s discounts. Lessons available. Open daily.

The New Course at Albany, 56 O’Neil Road, Albany, 438-2208. No trail fee. No rentals. Open daily.

Oak Hill Farms, Esperance. 875-6700. 30 km groomed. Rentals available. Trail fee $9 weekends, $7 weekdays; junior discounts available. Lessons available on weekends by appointment. Open daily.

Pineridge, East Poestenkill. 283-3652. 34 km groomed/tracked, 12 km ungroomed for snowshoeing and skiing. Rentals available. (Snowshoe trails also, snowshoe rentals available.) Trail fee $10. Open daily; night skiing available by prior arrangement, when a group is scheduled to ski or in the case of really good snow. Call ahead to find out if night skiing will be available on a particular night.

Saratoga Spa State Park, off Route 9, Saratoga Springs. 584-2535. 7 km. No trail fee. Open daily dawn to dusk. (Snowshoe trails also.) No rentals.

Tree Haven Trails, West Galway. 882-9455. 43 km groomed/tracked. Rentals available. Trail fee $4 weekdays, $5 nights, $8 weekends/holidays, $5 for kids. Open daily (open at noon Mon-Fri; open 9-5 weekends; night skiing 5:30-9:30 PM Tue, Thu-Sat).

Ice Skating

Indoor Rinks

Note: At some rinks, public skating occasionally is preempted by special events. Rinks typically post schedule changes monthly.

Albany County Hockey Facility, 830 Albany Shaker Road, Colonie. 452-7396. Public skating Mon-Fri noon-2 PM; Sat-Sun 2-3:45 PM. Adult skate Tue, Thu 11-noon. Open hockey Wed, Fri 10-11:30 AM. Admission $3; seniors $2; children under 5 $1. Rentals $3.

The B.I.G. Arena, 900 Delaware Ave., Delmar, 439-2211. Public skating Tue, Thu 2-3:50 PM; Wed, Fri 11 AM-12:50 PM; Sat hours vary; Sun 4-5:50 PM. $4; $3 ages 6-12; $2 age 5 and under/seniors. Rentals $3.

Boys & Girls Club of Pittsfield, 16 Melville St., Pittsfield, Mass. (413) 448-8258. Public skating Sat-Sun 2-3:45 PM. Admission adults $4 non-members, $1 members. Rentals $2.

Clifton Park Arena, 16 Clifton Commons Blvd., Clifton Park. 383-5440. Public skating Mon-Thu, noon-2 PM; Fri noon-2 and 8-10 PM, Sat 2-4 and 8-10 PM, Sun 2-5 PM. Open hockey (full equipment) Mon, 9-10:30 PM. Admission $3. Open hockey $8. Rentals $2.

Frear Park, 2701 Lavin Court, Troy, 266-0023. Public skating Tue, Wed and Fri 2-3:20 PM. Free. No skate rental.

Houston Field House, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1900 Peoples Ave., Troy. 276-6262. Public skating Mon-Wed 11:30 AM-1 PM. Admission $3 adults, $2 children/seniors. RPI students free with ID. No rentals.

Knickerbacker Ice Facility, 183 Eighth Ave., North Troy. 235-7761. Public skating schedule is subject to change and posted weekly, call for times. Admission $3 adults ($2 lunch hour), $2 children, $1 seniors. Rentals $3.

Robert M. Conway Jr. Ice Arena, Hudson Valley Community College, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy. 629-4829. Public skating Mon-Fri noon-2 PM; Sat-Sun 4-6:15 PM. Call for additional hours during holidays. Admission: $3 adults, $2 children/seniors/alumni. Students with current ID free. Group discounts available. Rentals $3.

Weibel Avenue Ice Rink, Weibel Avenue, Saratoga Springs. 583-3462. Public skating hours vary throughout the season; please call for times. Admission $4 adults, $3 seniors/children 13 and under; $3 member adults, $2 member seniors/children 13 and under. Rentals $4.

Outdoor Ice

Ann Lee Pond, Adjacent to the Albany County Airport, Colonie. 783-2760

Beldon’s Pond, Near the junction of Routes 2 and 66, Troy.

Bethlehem rinks, 261 Elm Ave. 439-4131.

Buckingham (“Rafts”) Pond, Berkshire Boulevard between Western and New Scotland avenues, Albany.

Central Park, off State Street, Schenectady. 382-5152. Skating daily until 10 PM when Iroquois Lake is frozen to a depth of 12 inches. Free.

Collins Park, Schenectady. 382-5152.

Colonie rinks, 783-2760. 12 tennis-court rinks, call for location nearest you.

East Greenbush rinks, 477-4194.

Empire State Plaza, Albany, 474-8860. Free public skating on the plaza rink beginning 12/8; schedule to be announced. No skate rental.

Lapland Lake, Northville. 863-4974. Admission to the 280-acre winter sports facility is $14 adults ($11 non-holiday midweek); $7 juniors, $9 seniors (non-holiday midweek). Kids under 6 free. Age 75 and up are free on Mon-Fri (non-holiday). Ice skating rentals $5. Snowshoe rentals available.

Rotterdam rink, Fort Hunter Park. Free. 355-7450.

Saratoga Spa State Park, off Route 9, Saratoga Springs. 584-2000. Two rinks. Free. Open 8 AM-midnight.

Swinburne Skating Rink, Clinton Avenue (next to Bleeker Stadium), Albany. Call for skating times and hours. $1 adults, 50 cents under 18, 25 cents seniors. $2 skate rental. 438-2406

Washington Park Lake, Washington Park, Albany. Skating daily when lake is frozen to a safe depth. Free.

Winter Events

Please note: This is not a complete listing of all winter events. Check Metroland’s calendar of events for weekly updates and be sure to check with your favorite mountain for an updated list.

Nov. 16-Dec. 31: 18th Annual Festival of Trees. The Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, Mass. A forest of beautifully decorated trees and arrangements set amid the art of the museum’s galleries. Open daily 10 AM-5 PM. $8, $6.50 students and seniors, $5 children ages 3-18. (413) 443-7171.

Nov. 16-Dec. 23: Holiday Craft Sale. Spencertown Academy, Route 203, Spencertown. 392-3693.

Nov. 22-24: Annual Ski and Snowboard Swap and Sale. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. Three-day sale featuring some incredible bargains on new and pre-owned ski and snowboard equipment, clothing and more. (802) 228-4041.

Nov. 23: 42nd Annual Winter Sports Sale. Burnt Hills United Methodist Church, 816 Saratoga Road, Burnt Hills. 9 AM-noon. 399-5144.

Nov. 23-Dec. 8: Festival of Trees. Bennington Museum, West Main Street, Bennington, Vt. Community celebration featuring more than 80 holiday trees, wreaths and other seasonal decorations. Daily 9 AM-5 PM. Free with museum admission. (802) 447-1571.

Nov. 23-Jan. 4: Holiday Shopping Showcase. LARAC, Lapham Gallery, 7 Lapham Place, Glens Falls. 50 artists and artisans offering unique, handcrafted items. Closed Dec. 24-Jan. 2. 798-1144.

Nov. 24: Albany Berkshire Ballet presents The Nutcracker. Consolati Performing Arts Center, Mount Everett Street, Sheffield, Mass. 1:30 and 4:30 PM. Call for prices. (413) 445-5382.

Nov. 27-Dec. 1: Annual Holiday Showcase. Proctor’s Theatre, 432 State St., Schenectady. Featuring more than 60 trees each decorated for the season, live music and refreshments available in the Holiday Café. Wed 10 AM-4 PM, Fri 10 AM-6 PM, Sat-Sun 10 AM-4 PM. $6, $3 children ages 6-12, free children ages 5 and under. 346-6204.

Nov. 29: 33rd Annual Christmas Parade. Schenectady. www.schenectadychamber.org.

Nov. 29-30: Stratton Mountain School Ski Sale. Stratton Mountain, Bondville, Vt. Fri 6-9 PM, Sat 9 AM-4 PM. $5 Fri, no fee Sat. (800) STRATTON (787-2886).

Nov. 29-Dec. 1: Festival of Trees 2002: Holiday Traditions—A Matter of Taste. Albany Institute of History and Art, 125 Washington Ave., Albany. The 19th year for the annual kick-off to the Capital Region’s holiday season. Fri-Sat, 10 AM-8 PM; Sun, 10 AM-5 PM. $8, $6 members, $3 children 5-12 and free children ages 4 and under. 463-4478.

Nov. 29-Jan. 5: Sixth Annual Capital Holiday Lights in the Park. Washington Park, Albany. More than 50 illuminated displays and screens. Opens at 6 PM. Lakehouse open most evenings. $9 per car, $15 per limo or 15-passenger van, $50 per bus. 446-4000.

Nov. 30: Holiday Jumbo Fireworks and Torchlight Extravaganza. Mount Snow, West Dover, Vt. Annual nighttime show which officially kicks off the Mount Snow Valley’s “Nights Before Christmas” celebration. (800) 245-SNOW (7669).

Nov. 30: Lapland Lake Cross Country Ski and Vacation Center Annual Open House. 139 Lapland Road, Northville. The new season opens with an open house featuring a pre-holiday sale of ski and snowshoe equipment, ski packages, clothing and winter accessories. 863-4974.

Nov. 30: A Motown Christmas. Proctor’s Theatre, 432 State St., Schenectady. A soulful Christmas story featuring LaLa Brooks, the original lead singer of The Crystals, a cast of singers and dancers and a live band. 8 PM. $29, $19. 346-6204.

Nov. 30: Stars on Ice. Olympic Center, Lake Placid. Features Olympic medallists Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Tara Lipinski, Kurt Browning, Todd Eldredge and others. 8 PM. $50, $35. 523-3330.

Nov. 30-Dec. 1: Capital Ballet Company presents The Nutcracker. The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany. Sat 8 PM, Sun 1 and 6 PM. $30, $22.50 seniors and students, $12.50 children. 473-1845 or 426-1174.

Dec. 1: Sugar Plum Day. Bennington Museum, West Main Street, Bennington, Vt. Annual children’s holiday event. (802) 447-1571.

Dec. 2: Nebraska Theatre Caravan presents A Christmas Carol. Proctor’s Theatre, 432 State St., Schenectady. The musical version of Dickens’ classic. 7 PM. $29, $25, $22. 346-6204.

Dec. 2-6: The Jim Cardenali Ski Camp. Stratton Mountain, Bondville, Vt. Three- and five-day camps designed to develop and improve skiing and racing skills. $90 per day. (800) STRATTON (787-2886).

Dec. 3-5: Albany Berkshire Ballet presents The Nutcracker. Boland Theatre, Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield, Mass. Tue-Thu 7:30 PM, Wed also at 11 AM, Thu also at 4:30 PM. Call for prices. (413) 445-5382.

Dec. 5-8: 46th Annual Holiday Greens Show. Hart-Cluett House, Second Street, Troy. This year’s theme is Rooted in History. Santa Claus will be available for photos (fee charged) beginning at 6 PM. Carriage House Café also open. $5, $4 seniors and children 5 and older, children under 5 free. 272-7232.

Dec. 6: Candlelight House Tour. Saratoga Springs. Tour festively decorated private homes in the city of Saratoga Springs, followed by a reception at the Canfield Casino. Tour, 5:30-9 PM; reception, 7:30-10:30 PM. $45, $40 members of Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. 587-5030.

Dec. 6-8: 13th Annual Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas. Full range of activities including a holiday performance at the Berkshire Theatre Festival’s Unicorn Theatre on Fri, 7:30 PM, $15; self-guided Holiday House Tour on Sat, 11 AM-4 PM, $15; Luminaria Walk on Sat 6:30-7:30 PM; holiday concert at the First Congregational Church on Sat, 7:30 PM, $20; Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Re-creation—see Main Street as Norman Rockwell did when he depicted it in his painting. Commemorative button, $4. (413) 298-5200.

Dec. 6-20: Holiday Candlelight Tours. Clermont State Historic Site, 1 Clermont Ave., Germantown. The Livingston mansion will be decorated for the holidays. Fri, 5-8 PM. Admission charged. 537-4240.

Dec. 7: Holiday in the Hills Festival. Killington Resort, 4763 Killington Road, Killington, Vt. Celebrate the holiday season with fireworks, free goodies and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. (802) 422-1700.

Dec. 7: Holiday Market. eba Theater, corner of Lark Street and Hudson Avenue, Albany. Unique and affordable gifts for everyone on your list! Fine and funky handmade items including jewelry, clothing, fine art, crafts, ceramics, dance supplies and more. 11 AM-4 PM. 465-9916.

Dec. 7: Norman Rockwell Museum Open House. Norman Rockwell Museum, Route 183, Stockbridge, Mass. Come celebrate the season with an evening of treats for all the senses., 4-7 PM. $4, free for children and members.

Dec. 7: Winter Walk on Warren Street. Warren Street, Hudson. Performances in shops, strolling carolers and more. 5-8 PM. 822-1438.

Dec. 7-8: 12th Annual Holiday Marketplace with Accents of Italy. Exhibition and sale of one-of-a-kind handcrafted wreaths, holiday decorations, live seasonal blooms, fresh greens, herb products, crafts and other gift items. Open 10 AM-5 PM. Free. (413) 298-3926.

Dec. 7-8: Holiday Walk Weekend 2002. Downtown Williamstown, Mass. Two days of holiday events beginning with a parade on Spring Street at 3:30 PM. (413) 458-9077.

Dec. 7-8: Northeast Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Proctor’s Theatre, 432 State St., Schenectady. Sat 7 PM, Sun 2 PM. $27, $22. 346-6204.

Dec. 7-8: Ten Broeck Mansion Holiday House Viewing Days. See the mansion fully decorated for the holidays and an appearance by Santa Claus. There will also be caroling by Albany School of Humanities Select Chorus, arts and crafts for children and holiday shopping. 10 AM-4 PM. $3, $1 children. 436-9826.

Dec. 7-14: A Child’s Christmas. Clermont State Historic Site, 1 Clermont Ave., Germantown. Holiday program and party for children ages 3 to 7. Sat, 10-11 AM. $10. 537-4240.

Dec. 7-15: Colonial Revival Christmas. Clermont State Historic Site, 1 Clermont Ave., Germantown. Open house; early 20th century Christmas decorations, yuletide treats, sounds of the season and a holiday boutique. Sat-Sun, 11 AM-4 PM. Admission charged. 537-4240.

Dec. 7-15: Festival of Trees. Old Stone Fort Museum, 145 Fort Road, Schoharie. 295-7192.

Dec. 7-15: Gallery of Wreaths and Holiday Craft Boutique. Columbia County Museum, 5 Albany Ave., Kinderhook. Silent auction of wreaths made by local artisans and civic organizations and hand-made crafts for the holidays. 10 AM-4 PM. 758-9265.

Dec. 7-22: A Child’s Victorian Christmas. Olana State Historical Site, Route 9G, Hudson. The holidays seen through the eyes of a child. Sat-Sun, 10 AM-4 PM. 828-0135.

Dec. 8: 14th Annual Breakfast with Santa. Junior Museum, Eighth Street, Troy. A hands-on craft, musical entertainment and a Victorian display from the museum’s collection are highlights of this annual event which kicks off the Victorian Stroll. Santa Claus will be on hand for the buffet breakfast along with his live reindeer. $15, $10 children. 9-11:30 AM. 235-2120.

Dec. 8: 20th Annual Troy Victorian Stroll. Downtown Troy. Annual tradition which transforms the historic streets of downtown Troy into a magical stage of song, dance and family enjoyment with more than 100 attractions including musicians, dancers, magicians, storytellers, crafters, riders and refreshments. Noon-5 PM. www.troyvictorian stroll.com.

Dec. 13: Candlelight Night in the Village of Kinderhook. Kinderhook. Businesses open with refreshments, music, wagon rides and a visit from Santa. 6-8:30 PM. 758-9265.

Dec. 13-15: Greens Show at the James Vanderpoel House. James Vanderpoel House, Route 9, Kinderhook. View the house decorated for the holidays by local garden clubs. Fri noon-8:30 PM, Sat 10 AM-4 PM, Sun noon-4 PM. 758-9265.

Dec. 14: 25th Annual Reindeer Roundup Pursuit Race. Lapland Lake Cross Country Ski and Vacation Center, 139 Lapland Road, Northville. 10 AM: 5 km classic technique followed by a 5 km freestyle technique at 1 PM. The event is an Empire State Winter Games qualifier. 843-4974.

Dec. 14-15: Saratoga Theatre Workshop Santa’s List. The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany. Enjoy the trials and triumphs of Santa’s helpers as they solve this delightful “whodunit” mystery while celebrating the spirit of the season. 1 and 4 PM. $15, $10 seniors and children. 473-1845.

Dec. 15: Albany Symphony Orchestra presents Cowboy Dave’s Holiday Reindeer Roundup. The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany. The Sunday Symphonies for Families Series will begin by rounding up children to help Cowboy Dave uncover clues to the whereabouts of the missing Rudolph. 2 and 4 PM. $12, $6 children. 473-1845.

Dec. 16: A Royal Christmas. Pepsi Arena, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany. Holiday spectacular with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Charlotte Church. 7:30 PM. $76, $56, $36. 476-1000.

Dec. 21: Poland Spring Winterfest. Hunter Mountain, Hunter. Product samplings, giveaways and interactive games. 263-4223.

Dec. 21: Youth Ballet Company and Dance Eclectic present The Nutcracker. The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany. 2 and 7:30 PM. $22.50, $17. 473-1845 or 373-9590.

Dec. 21-22: Ski With Santa. Belleayre Mountain, Highmount. (845) 254-5600.

Dec. 21-29: Yuletide Tours. Clermont State Historic Site, 1 Clermont Ave., Germantown. Tour the Livingston home, decorated for the holidays as it would have been in the 1920s. Holiday boutique in the museum store. Sat-Sun, 11 AM-4 PM. Admission charged. 537-4240.

Dec. 21-Jan. 5: Snowflake Festival. Stratton Mountain, Bondville, Vt. Events and activities all week beginning with the Snowflake Ball on Sat at the Sun Bowl Lodge. (800) STRATTON (787-2886).

Dec. 22: Albany Berkshire Ballet presents The Nutcracker. The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany. 4 and 7:30 PM. $30 and $25, $28 and $23 seniors, $20 and $17 students. 473-1845 or 426-0660.

Dec. 22: Poland Springs Winterfest. Windham Mountain, Windham. Product samplings, giveaways and interactive games. (800) SKI-WINDHAM.

Dec. 23-29: An Adirondack Christmas Tradition. Whiteface Mountain, Wilmington. Family fun including piano music, a bell choir, clowns and magic. 946-2223.

Dec. 24: Santa Is Coming to Valatie. Village Square, Valatie. A party and parade for Santa Claus. 2 PM. 758-1656.

Dec. 26: Sugar on Snow. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. In the Base Lodge, sample some of Vermont’s finest maple syrup made locally at the Green Mountain Sugarhouse served on Okemo’s natural snowfall. 11 AM till it’s gone! Free. (802) 228-4041.

Dec. 27-28: Dan Egan’s Big Air Camp for Kids. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. Two-day camp designed to educate and motivate skiers and snowboarders of all disciplines. (877) SKI-EGAN.

Dec. 28: Holiday Jumbo Fireworks and Torchlight Extravaganza. Mount Snow, West Dover, Vt. (800) 245-SNOW (7669).

Dec. 28: Poland Spring Snow Shoe Tour. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. Snowshoe rentals available from the shop beginning at 6 PM, tours depart the Base Area at 7 PM and head up Bull Run for a bird’s eye view of the fireworks. (802) 228-4041.

Dec. 28: Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Display. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. A spectacular display of dancing lights and fireworks. 7:30 PM. (802) 228-4041.

Dec. 31: First Night Albany. Features performances in beautiful indoor venues in downtown Albany and the Last Run 5K Road Race. Buttons go on sale Dec. 1. 434-2032. www.albanyevents.org.

Dec. 31: First Night Saratoga. Features performances in indoor venues in downtown Saratoga and the annual First Night Saratoga 5K Run. Buttons $10, $12 after Dec. 24. 594-8262. www.firstnightsaratoga.org.

Dec.31: New Year’s Eve Bash. Windham Mountain, Windham. Party and fireworks. (800) SKI-WINDHAM.

Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Celebration. Stratton Mountain, Bondville, Vt. Fireworks, torchlight parade, a family party 6-10 PM and a gala celebration at Grizzly’s 9 PM-2 AM. (800) STRATTON (787-2886).

Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show. Killington Resort, 4763 Killington Road, Killington, Vt. (802) 422-1700.

Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Gala Snowball. Hunter Mountain, Hunter. Torchlight parade and fireworks. 263-4223.

Jan. 10-12: Okemo Regional Chamber of Commerce Winter Carnival. Downtown Ludlow, Vt. The “Dog Days of Winter” including old time ski/snowboard movies, snow sculptures, fireworks, fun races on the mountain and more. (802) 228-4041.

Jan. 11: BLADES Monster Park Battle. Hunter Mountain, Hunter. Annual snowboarding competition including halfpipe and big air contests. 263 4223.

Jan. 11: Poland Spring Winterfest 2003. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. Product samplings, giveaways and interactive games. (802) 228-4041.

Jan. 12: Poland Spring Winterfest. Bromley, Peru, Vt. Product samplings, giveaways and interactive games. (802) 824-5522.

Jan. 17-19: U.S. Freestyle Grand National. Olympic Center, Lake Placid. 523-3330.

Jan. 18: Poland Spring Snow Shoe Tour. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. Snowshoe rentals available from the shop beginning at 6 PM, tours depart the Base Area at 7 PM and head up Bull Run for a bird’s eye view of the fireworks. (802) 228-4041.

Jan. 18: Sprint Freestyle Grand National Mogul Competition. Whiteface Mountain, Wilmington. A World Cup event. 946-2223.

Jan. 18: Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Display. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. A spectacular display of dancing lights and fireworks. 7:30 PM. (802) 228-4041.

Jan. 25: 21st Annual Lake Placid Loppet. Olympic Center, Lake Placid. 523-3330.

Jan. 25: Annual Snowball Dinner and Dance. Belleayre Mountain, Highmount. (845) 254-5600.

Jan. 26: Battle for the Berkshires—Boardercross and Skiercross Event # 1. Ski Butternut, Route 23, State Road, Great Barrington, Mass. Event begins 10 AM. (413) 528-2000.

Jan. 27-31: Winter Festival Week. Belleayre Mountain, Highmount. $10 lift tickets all week. (845) 254-5600.

Feb. 8: Budweiser All-Star Aerial Show. Killington Resort, 4763 Killington Road, Killington, Vt. (802) 422-1700.

Feb. 9: Battle for the Berkshires—Boardercross and Skiercross Event # 2. Ski Butternut, Route 23, State Road, Great Barrington, Mass. Event begins 10 AM. (413) 528-2000.

Feb. 12: Super Pipe Jam. Killington Resort, 4763 Killington Road, Killington, Vt. (802) 422-1700.

Feb. 15: February Festival. Bromley, Peru, Vt. A presidents’ weekend celebration featuring fireworks, torchlight parade, live music, dancing, dessert tasting and more. (802) 824-5522.

Feb. 15: Heineken and Amstel Light Torchlight Parade and Fireworks. Hunter Mountain, Hunter. Featuring a nighttime big air contest and a Burton SnowSkate Jam. 263-4223.

Feb. 15: Poland Spring Snow Shoe Tour. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. Snowshoe rentals available from the shop beginning at 6 PM, tours depart the Base Area at 7 PM and head up Bull Run for a bird’s eye view of the fireworks. (802) 228-4041.

Feb. 15: Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Display. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. A spectacular display of dancing lights and fireworks. 7:30 PM. (802) 228-4041.

Feb. 15: Snowflake Festival. Stratton Mountain, Bondville, Vt. Torchlight parade and fireworks. (800) STRATTON (787-2886).

Feb. 15-16: Budweiser All-Star Aerial Show. Mount Snow, West Dover, Vt. Big air exhibitions featuring top pro ski and snowboard aerialists. Fireworks on Sat. (800) 245-SNOW (7669).

Feb. 15-22: Snow Fest Week. Windham Mountain, Windham. (800) SKI-WINDHAM.

Feb. 15-23: Snickers Snowfest Week. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. Presidents’ week celebration featuring Snickers and M&M/Mars candy. (802) 228-4041.

Feb. 17-18: Dan Egan’s Big Air Camp for Kids. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. Two-day camp designed to educate and motivate skiers and snowboarders of all disciplines. (877) SKI-EGAN.

Feb. 18: Sugar on Snow. Okemo, Ludlow, Vt. In the Base Lodge, sample some of Vermont’s finest maple syrup made locally at the Green Mountain Sugarhouse served on Okemo’s natural snowfall. 11 AM till it’s gone! Free. (802) 228-4041.

Feb. 19: Whiteface Winter Celebration. Whiteface Mountain, Wilmington. 946-2223.

Feb. 22: Mega Mother Hucker. Mount Snow, West Dover, Vt. Big air competition featuring the top skiers and snowboarders on the East Coast. (800) 245-SNOW (7669).

Feb. 23: Stars on Ice. Pepsi Arena, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany. Features Olympic medallists Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Tara Lipinski, Kurt Browning, Todd Eldredge and others. 4 PM. $81, $56, $46, $36. 476-1000.

March 8: Budweiser All-Star Aerial Show. Killington Resort, 4763 Killington Road, Killington, Vt. (802) 422-1700.

March 8-9: Fifth Annual Anti-Gravity Grail. Mount Snow, West Dover, Vt. The first freeskiing event in the East features skiers and snowboarders competing in halfpipe, ridercross and big air competitions. (800) 245-SNOW (7669).

March 10-16: US Open Snowboarding Championships. Stratton Mountain, Bondville, Vt. The sport’s oldest and biggest contest draws the world’s best athletes. (800) STRATTON (787-2886).


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