Julbo athlete and freeskiing pioneer Glen Plake will give a presentation at the Keene Central School on Saturday evening and will be skiing with anyone who wants to join him at the North Country School ski hill on Saturday. Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides will also lead guided tours for different ability levels on Saturday and Sunday.
The Backcountry Ski Festival celebrates the experience of skiing on natural snow in natural terrain, combining all of the elements of touring, climbing and downhill skiing.
“The Backcountry Ski Fest is unique,” says Vinny McClelland, owner of the Mountaineer. “It’s the only event of its kind in the Northeast; most are telemark ski fests at ski areas.”
Participants will be able to try new gear at the Ski Fest demo at North Country School, an elementary boarding school with its own private ski hill/rope-tow. There will also be free telemark clinics and skinning clinics, and Mammut will set up a beacon park for searching practice.
“And Julbo is nice enough to send Glen Plake,” Vinny adds, “who is world-renown for his backcountry and mountaineering skiing feats. It will be his first time at this festival; he’s generated a huge amount of excitement so far. The kids at the North Country School are completely excited that Glen is coming, and so is the headmaster, who is also a backcountry skier. The Ski Fest will be really fun this year.”
In addition to Julbo and Dynafit, participants can check out gear from Black Diamond, G3, Garmont, Madshus, Mammut, Marmot, Outdoor Research, PrimaLoft, Scarpa and Voilé. Ullr has smiled upon Keene Valley and blessed the region with good snow, so conditions will be great.
Following a short presentation by Adirondack Backcountry Skiing, Glen’s presentation will start at 7:30 on Saturday evening. There will also be a raffle with lots of awesome giveaways from “companies that have been enormously generous,” according to Vinny.
The Ski Festival benefits the New York State Ski Education Foundation’s Nordic racing programs and the Adirondack Ski Touring Council, stewards of the Adirondack Park’s backcountry ski trail system, including the famous Jackrabbit Trail.
With good vibes, good snow, community-minded people, and valuable information to be shared about the backcountry experience, no wonder Glen commented: “I’m going to the Adirondack Backcountry Ski Extravaganza. It’s like the one thing on my calendar right now. There’s an outside chance I’m going to the Himalaya in September. But everybody is like, ‘What are you going to do this winter?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m going to the Adirondacks.’”
Register here and find out more info: http://www.mountaineer.com/?page_id=577
– Christine Rasmussen