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Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Skiing in the Adirondacks

Big Tupper.

I grew up skiing little ole Maple Ski Ridge, just outside of Schenectady. Though I wouldn’t technically call it skiing. Every Saturday morning, my mother would drop me off with my ski class. I’d ski down once, straight to the lounge, where I’d order a hot chocolate and listen to Don McLean’s “American Pie” on the jukebox. Remember, this was long before Capilene and Gore-Tex products, when you froze your ass off in those plaid shirts and goofy overstuffed jackets. Maybe I’m feeling nostalgic or perhaps nostalgic for the ski lift prices of my youth, but upstate New York and the Adirondacks still offer some of the best deals in the country.

Big Tupper Resort in Tupper Lake re-opened in 2009 as a not-for-profit, no-frills, re-invigorated Adirondack ski resort run entirely by volunteers. With a 1,200-foot vertical drop and 17 trails of beginner-to-expert terrain, Big Tupper is the biggest bargain in the Adirondacks. Lift tickets cost only $15. Since the 1940s, Titus Mountain in Malone has been a hub for Adirondack skiing. Originally called Moon Valley, Titus has undergone some major changes in the past 70 years. Eight chairlifts, 27 trails, a ski school and a 1,200-foot vertical drop make Titus a great option for Canadians, as well as skiers and boarders from nearby Vermont. It’s also the third highest ski area in the entire Adirondacks, yet an all-day ski pass costs less than $40. Back at Maple Ski Ridge, a 4-hour ticket costs $32, with access to their new terrain park. Hot chocolate is extra.

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