Beyond the ‘Gate

Karen Quinn

Despite the infamous cold and snow accumulation in Central New York, it’s hard for the Colgate skier to find decent peaks, decent powder and a decent pint within a reasonable radius. Snow Ridge Ski Resort, located in Turin (only two hours from Colgate), boasts “the East’s heaviest snowfall,” making it a gem among the icy, lackluster mountains we all trek to on weekends. Snow Ridge lies just east of Lake Ontario, thus enjoying exceptional lake effect accumulation on a daily basis, so even when it’s not snowing in Hamilton, Turin may be lightly dusted with 5 or 6 inches of fresh powder. Even under clear, sunny skies, thick flakes fall on Snow Ridge’s 22 trails, all but eliminating the need for crusty man-made snow. The resort’s 130 acres of groomers and glades are constantly blanketed with fresh layers of powder, just waiting to be carved. With four double-chairs and two rope-tows, Snow Ridge is a relatively small mountain (elevation of 2,000 feet), but it has plenty to offer, including backcountry trails with deep powder found nowhere else in the state, gladed areas for adventurous skiers, and gaping groomed trails for those with the need for speed.

Snow Ridge also proves particularly attractive to students because of its affordable lift tickets. Weekend all-day adult rates are only $33.00 (compared to Toggenburg’s $40 and Labrador’s $38 nine-hour passes), and Snow Ridge has incredible night-skiing deals for your post-classes powder fix, at only $5.00 on weeknights from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. Night skiing at Snow Ridge is a unique experience, where, for only five dollars, you can ski beneath crisp, starry skies while fresh layers of powder accumulate in between each run.

And, when you tucker yourself out enough to take a break, you’ll undoubtedly find the Towpath Restaurant at the base of the mountain, where they’ll gladly serve up a frosty pint of Saranac on tap or a toasty cup of hot cocoa with refreshing local hospitality. The restaurant is distinctly alpine in design, with a charming little fireplace nestled near the bar, and country music drifting from the jukebox. Warm up and dry off by the fire, and if you can pry yourself out of there before 9 p.m., there’s still plenty of powder waiting on the slopes.