The Spirit of Winter

Sun, fun, exercise…and a glass of Finger Lakes wine as a reward!

I met a guy named Burr at Greek Peak. He’d just finished skiing and was enjoying a cold one with his son. A rather typical scene, except that his son is 59 years old! Burr is 92 and it was easy to see that he is full of the spirit of winter.

Although some would argue that winter in the Finger Lakes is at least eight months long, others have fallen in love with it. For these adventurers both young and old, winter is a special time to get out and enjoy crisp sunny days and magical moonlit nights. The adventurers are easy to pick out. The first clue is the winter tan: a raccoon-like pattern on the face left over from ski goggles. It’s a healthy glow acquired from the joy of living life as an adventure.

How else can you explain the kids on snowboards who hike up the mountain for hours in order to perfect that amazing jump? Or the downhill skiers who brave slippery roads at ungodly hours to make “first tracks” on a Saturday morning at one of the regions 10 ski areas? Cross-country skiers glide off in search of the peace and quiet found at their local park or remote backwoods trail. Joyous sounds of children sledding and tubing fill the air.

For the youngest adventurers, winter creates a fairy tale playground. Teens throng to the new “terrain parks” to try the jumps, rails and walls. Seniors renew their vigor with each new snowstorm. Moms and dads re-connect with those who have finally shut off the TV, Internet and video games. Winter fun is not virtual; it’s reality.

There’s a connection between all of these participants. It’s the spirit of winter. It challenges both our minds and bodies, and delivers a feeling of being at one with nature. My wish for you this winter is to put down the remote, grab your coat, get out and catch the spirit of winter!

by Kristian S. Reynolds
Kristian S. Reynolds is a professional photographer specializing in travel and tourism photos of the Finger Lakes region. His two coffee table books, Finger Lakes Panoramas and Wine Tour of the Finger Lakes (written by Grady Wells), continue to be local favorites. Reynolds lives at Greek Peak Mountain Resort, skis practically every day, and plays ice hockey. (

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