SKI LINES – Temperatures may still suggest golf rather than sliding, but the calendar knows better.
We are now in the transfer portal from summer to winter, and two local traditions are back to kick off the ski season.
The Albany Ski Show and the Warren Miller Film tour are on the local calendar for the month, starting with the newly reconstituted Adirondack Sports & Northeast Ski Expo this Saturday and Sunday at Albany’s Capital Center.
The Expo is the successor to the Albany Ski Show first held locally in the 1960s and organized for most of that time by the late Ed Lewi, In recent years, the show was owned by Mark Bardack who purchased Ed Lewi Associate in 2010, and produced it in recent years as the Albany Ski and Craft Beer Show. On hiatus the past two Novembers due to COVID-related concerns, Bardack sold the show earlier this year to Darryl Caron, the publisher of the widely circulated Adirondack Sports monthly tabloid.
Caron is no rookie when it comes to producing outdoor sports shows. His Adirondack Sports Summer Expo held at the Saratoga Springs Civic Center in recent years has become a popular showcase for area outdoor groups and year-round activities.
A Clifton Park native and lifelong skier who once spent a season scratching out a living while hanging out on the slopes at Vail, Caron plans to broaden the traditional Alpine ski focus of the Albany show to include various winter sports events including cross country skiing, snowshoeing, Olympic sports and running, as well as other fitness activities and organizations..
Going into the weekend, there are some 125 exhibitors lined up. The primary retail sponsor will be Hudson Valley-based ski shop Potter Brothers.
There are two other significant changes to what area skiers have seen in past years. There will be no Friday hours. The Expo will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There is no admission charge. Parking is free at the MVP Arena garage. For more information, check AdkSports.com/winter-expo.
WARREN MILLER FILM AT PROCTORS
While the ski show has been in the planning stages for several months, the local presentation of the annual Warren Miller film has been on the schedule for just a few weeks.
The film has long been an annual kickoff to the ski season across the country. First produced in 1950, this year’s production “Daymaker” is the 73rd in the series. Some longtime local skiers may recall it being hosted at Proctors in person by Miller who would distribute the film across the country by visiting outlets where it would play.
While Miller has not been personally involved in the film in more than 20 years — he died in 2018 — the production has continued on. In our area it was hosted by the Palace Theater in Albany in recent years. Although our area has long been considered a top market for the annual production, the theater and the film’s distributors were not able to come to an agreement about local dates this fall and Daymaker’s only showing in the region was going to be this Saturday at the Charles Wood Theater in Glens Falls.
In just the past two weeks, this changed. The Schenectady Wintersports Club stepped up and the film will now be offered at Proctors Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased through swcweb.org or Proctors Theatre. As usual, you can expect to see heart-stopping steeps and glades and skiers and boarders doing maneuvers in snow conditions rarely seen and in places rarely visited.
In other words, just the usual Warren Miller fare designed to stoke the fires for the winter ahead.
John Bidell, the Schenectady Wintersports Club president who was instrumental in getting the film back to the local area this winter, indicated that the deal with Warren Miller Productions gives the club and Proctors rights to the film next year
So it appears our fall ski traditions will live on.
ALLARD NAMED TO SKI HALL OF FAME
Gwen Allard has been elected to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.
A Schenectady native, Allard was for years the director of the highly regarded adaptive ski program based at Windham Mountain where many of the modern instructional techniques and special equipment for expanding ski opportunities for people with disabilities were developed.
Located in Ishpeming Michigan, the Hall of Fame was founded in 1954 to recognize athletes and contributors to the growth of the sport. Inductees are voted by a national panel of judges.
Allard, who now lives in Mendon, Vermont, is one of nine newly elected members who will be formally inducted in ceremonies to be held in Big Sky Montana in March.
GOODWIN SKI AND SNOWSHOE TRAILS 2ND EDITION OUT
For years, Tony Goodwin’s Ski and Snowshoe Trails in the Adirondacks has been the definitive guide to outdoor winter trekking in the Adirondacks. First published in 2003, Goodwin’s updated version has been published this fall and not only features maps, but has plenty of descriptive information about winter safety, distances, difficulty rating, parking areas and GPS coordinates.
Featured throughout the volume are photographs by noted area photographer Nancie Battaglia and illustrator Terry Brosseau.
Goodwin has been widely known for his area outdoor expertise for more than four decades. He wrote the Adirondack Mountain Club’s High Peaks Trails guidebook in 1984 and was a founder of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council.
The new edition is available at ADK.org, as well as at book and outdoor supply stores throughout the region.
WORD UNIVERSITY GAMES JUST TWO MONTHS AWAY
The FISU World University Games are on schedule for a Jan. 12 opening in Lake Placid and will feature winter sports competitions at nine venues throughout the North Country, including at Gore Mountain.
Tickets are on sale and there is still an opportunity to volunteer to work at the Games, which will be the largest international competition in our area since the 1980 Winter Olympics. For more information and how to become involved, check lakeplacid2023.com.
Phil Johnson’s column will start weekly on Wednesday, Nov. 23. He can be reached at [email protected].
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