Master skier on the Marcy trail

Mark Meschinelli at Marcy Dam. Photo by Phil Brown.
Mark Meschinelli at Marcy Dam. Photo by Phil Brown.

Last weekend I encountered Mark Meschinelli and Dave Hough, two members of the notorious Ski to Die Club, on the trail to Mount Marcy. Back in the seventies and eighties, Mark, Dave, and their crew set a standard in boldness by tackling difficult terrain–slides, frozen brooks, glades, you name it–in the gear of the day, namely lightweight leather boots and skinny skis.

These guys still got it. After summiting, I skied down with them and took a short video of Mark making parallel turns on the ski trail below Indian Falls. If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear he’s on alpine or randonee skis, but he’s actually using a telemark setup, meaning his heels are free. A friend tells me that Mark was equally adept at making parallel turns on the old cross-country gear in the heyday of the Ski to Die Club.

The clip is only about twelve seconds long. Look for Mark to enter the frame from the top. The figure is quite small at first, but you can tell he’s making graceful turns.

Incidentally, Mark also is an expert rock climber. A resident of Plattsburgh, he often can be found on routes at Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain just off the Northway. Last spring, Mark led a friend and me up Catharsis, one of the classic Poke-o routes. Look for a story on this adventure in a future issue of the Explorer.

About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

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