KEENE VALLEY, NY. The Mountaineer will host the 11th annual Adirondack Backcountry Ski Festival the weekend of March 2nd & 3rd, 2013. Backcountry skiing means skiing on natural snow in natural terrain, and combines all of the elements of touring, climbing and downhill skiing into a real winter mountaineering experience. This year’s Backcountry Skifest celebrates nearly four decades of backcountry skiing in the Adirondacks and the greater ranges of the Northeast, and will showcase local skiing legends Dave Hough, Ron Konowitz (aka “Ron Kon”), Chuck Boyd and Drew Haas as they share their unique skiing experiences over the years.
This year’s featured local skiers will present slideshows and films at the Keene Arts Playhouse, located in the Old Methodist Church, Route 73 in Keene (between Stewart’s and Town Hall) on Saturday evening at 8 p.m. This event is open to the public, and will feature one of The Mountaineer’s legendary raffles of gear generously donated by our sponsors. Tickets are $10 at the door, with raffle tickets available for $1 each. Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides in Keene Valley will lead guided ski tours for several ability levels on both Saturday and Sunday, and Chuck Boyd will teach an Introduction to Avalanche Safety and Awareness course on Saturday, with a fieldwork component on Sunday. Advance registration for all guided tours and instructional clinics is required. All course and registration information is available online at mountaineer.com/skifest.
Demos and mini-clinics will be held at Otis Mountain in Elizabethtown on Saturday. Otis Mountain is a private ski area that offers a great venue for testing out the latest skis and boots as well as clinics on skinning, telemark skiing and more. In addition to skis and boots, guests can demo avalanche safety equipment and practice rescue techniques at the avalanche beacon park, sponsored by Mammut. Mini-clinics and demos will be free of charge, and no advance registration is required. Just show up ready to ski! The mini-clinics and demos take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Otis Mountain is located off of Route 9 in Elizabethtown, just a 15 minute drive from Keene Valley.
The Skifest is a benefit event, with proceeds supporting 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. Major sponsors for this year’s event include Backcountry Magazine, Julbo, Dynafit and Mammut. Additional sponsors Black Diamond, G3, Garmont, Madshus, Mammut, Marmot, Outdoor Research, Primaloft, Scarpa and Voilé help make the event happen as well as provide demo gear for participants to try free of charge.
For more information, contact Vinny McClelland (
) or Holly Blanchard (
The Mountaineer, 1866 NYS Rt. 73, Keene Valley, NY 12943. 518-576-2281. www.mountaineer.com