This has been a tough winter. In fact, it has been one of the coldest winters on record.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love winter and I always have. I’ve always believed that people who don’t like winter don’t have anything to do when the snow flies and temperatures drop below freezing. But I’ve never had that problem.
When I was a kid, I’d ski down all the hills in the neighborhood. My brother and all of our friends would take our two-runner Flexible Flyers and slide down Brewster Hill Road all day long. We ice-skated on the pond, raced down the hills on our toboggan, built snow forts and had snowball fights. Winter was a great time of year.
I tried to remind myself of those wonderful times Monday, when I was riding up the chairlift at Belleayre Mountain. The temperature reached a high of 6 degrees and the wind howled at about 18 miles an hour, making the wind chill better than 20 below zero. It was so cold that after an hour of skiing, I couldn’t feel my fingers as I tried to hold on to my ski poles.
So we took a break, warmed up a little and then hit the slopes for another couple of hours. Did I have fun? You bet I did.
The other day, a friend of mine wanted me to go to the Adirondack High Peaks and summit one of those magnificent mountains in winter. He has that desire to climb every peak in sight. I bowed out, saying I’d consider hiking in the Catskills rather than driving four hours north. But had we gone, we wouldn’t have been alone. Hundreds of people are climbing mountains when there’s ice and snow on the ground.