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National

Skiers Rejoice! Upstate New York Has Snow

ARUN RATH, HOST:

The blizzard that dumped up to nine feet of snow in upstate New York has been costly, dangerous and deadly. But snow is a big part of culture there. And it also allowed North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann to set out for his first cross-country ski of the season.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: Beautiful day. Scorching bright sunlight coming through this gray, shifting cloud cover. The drama is that it's really windy. That's why I'm recording just a little bit before I leave the truck here and head up.

I set off wrapped from head to toe. This route follows an old road winding steeply up Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid.

It feels so good to be on snow again. I know. I know. It's crap to have to shovel it off your sidewalk or scrape it off your car window, but if it's going to be here, might as well enjoy it in the ways we can and - oh, this is just magical.

There were big sky views of the valley below. Distant lakes not yet frozen shimmer in the sun. On this day, I have the trail mostly to myself except for a flock of puffed up chickadees these that dart in and out of the hemlocks. After a couple of hours of steady climbing, I stop for a candy bar and a rest. A big chunk of the mountain is still above me.

It's an amazing view - sort of "Lord Of The Rings" with the clouds and sunshine bantering past trees just bending and kicking with this wind that's pouring across.

(SOUNDBITE OF WIND)

MANN: The wind is fierce, whipping up huge dervishes of snow. It starts to get really cold really fast, so I turn my skis and launch down the trail for the long, fast glide home. For NPR News, I'm Brian Mann in northern New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.