*Photo Credit: Jessica Cook
Blog Post Updated January 12, 2022
Continuation of The Chautauqua Chronicles Part 1: Origins
Heading back on the road, the wintry weather had turned over to snow by this point in the evening and this is how it remained for the weekend. It dumped for the next two days. Talk about a stroke of luck and one that made our trip to Peek n Peak Resort Clymer, NY even more memorable.
The ride from Pine Junction Tavern to Peek 'n Peak Resort was short. Only about five miles away, we got there quickly. Rolling up to the glare of the slope lights that illuminated the entire mountain area we could feel the excitement for the next day building inside. Although small, we knew Peek n Peak Resort was going to deliver the ultimate send off to a fun-filled weekend.
Peek n Peak Resort is Medieval by Design
"Looks Medieval" I instantly commented as I got my first glimpse of the Inn at the Peak where we were staying that evening.
Turns out I was spot on (I guess that history teacher degree is worth something after all). Apparently the Medieval theme is what the founders wanted back when Peek n Peak Resort opened and they have been all in ever since.
To say the place is Medieval is not to say the resort looks dated. It is merely the décor. The Inn at Peek n Peak is quite nice. Housing an indoor pool, spa, breakfast café and Bistro 210, one of their primary après ski bars, it served as a more than accommodating home base for our time there.
The Peek n Peak Resort Rooms were also quite nice. With my room, right next to Brian's (co-host of The Ski Bum Podcast) the lockout opened up to create quite a sizable double room. The shared living space in between complete with a couch, TV, mini kitchen and refrigerator was a nice touch. If two families were looking to stay there together, this is something they could certainly take advantage of.
Did We Just Become Best Friends?
Jessica, our host at PK2 clearly knew the way to my heart. We walked into the rooms to a welcome gift of chocolate covered pretzels, a ridiculously tasty snack mix with chocolate covered marshmallows and craft beers.
Did we just become best friends?
Jessica met us the next morning for breakfast at the on site café and was as delightful as her amazing welcome gift would suggest.
As she filled us in on Peek n Peak Resort life, I sucked down my Starbucks coffee and chowed down on my off menu breakfast burrito.
Apparently, the breakfast burrito is not a true menu item. We had to ask for this secret dish and they were more than willing to oblige. Eggs, bacon, cheese, and hash browns that they hit on the griddle to crisp before rolling it up in a nice little package...score, ski bum breakfast fuel at its finest.
A brief tour followed but ultimately with the snow coming down at a solid pace we really wanted to get out there as early as possible. So we did.
Not Exactly Big Mountain Skiing but Definitely All About Après
Heading out to the base of the mountain, we were going to meet our other host for the day, Heather (equally as awesome) but she was caught up. The roads, were quite bad due to the wintry weather that continued to dump snow on us. Instead we kicked our ski day off with Chris, Jessica's husband. We chatted about beers from the region and exchanged smoked BBQ recipes as he showed us around until Heather joined us just a short while later.
With a craft beer and BBQ resume like that, I am fairly certain he is my long lost brother.
At only 400 feet of vertical, Peek n Peak Resort in New York isn't what you would call big mountain skiing. This, however, doesn't seem to matter much to the regulars. The terrain there is fun, especially the park and apparently, from what I gathered, people are more there for the après ski scene anyway.
Talk about my kind of place!
The three Peek n Pea restaurants and bars are spread evenly across the 26 trails. Skiers and riders use them as their primary routes to get to from one to the other.
Moving from bar to bar with a few runs in between is the Peek n Peak Resort experience and the exact one we were treated to that day. Lapping the Peak early with Heather and Chris we soon stopped to meet back up with Jessica just before lunch. It was time for our first frosty bevvie at the Sugar Shack.
Après Ski Kicks off Early at The Sugar Shack
The Sugar Shack, home to The Sports Bar was a fun little spot. With wall to wall and ceiling to floor windows, It offered great views of my favorite trail there, a blue with some nice contour called Finsbury Field. I could see my wife and I chilling at the bar over some beers, watching our daughters lap that trail regularly until they decided to come in and play in the arcade downstairs. It's definitely our kind of place.
We were there around 11 am and the bar began to fill in nicely. Apparently early après ski is the trend at Peek n Peak Resort, NY. Given our tight schedule for the day we obviously had to oblige by this trend.
There was not enough time to order one of the trademark pizzas they are known for. Instead, I opted for the resorts signature beer, Peek's Shred Ale brewed by Erie Brewing Company. A red ale that was well balanced with a touch of caramel sweetness up front and a hoppy finish, I found it super crushable and a worthy ski beer.
The Sports Bar was a sweet spot that apparently gets pretty rowdy on the weekends with their rocking live music scene. In fact, all three Peek n Peak Resort bars have live music on the weekends where, as I mentioned earlier, people just chill out and drink until they decide to ski to the next bar.
Trying to get the full experience, we headed out, clicked back into our skis and began making our way over to our next stop, The Retreat. The snow had picked up by the time we came out and I love big dumps. In an effort to get the full Peek n Peak Resort après ski experience, we quickly made a few turns in the terrain park then headed in for beer number two.
Going Retro at Peek n Peak's The Retreat
The Retreat is retro to say the least. It's a definite time warp that will suck you into the 70's. According to Heather though, this "stuck in time" mantra is something that the regulars own and are proud of. "The guy with the mullet, yeah he's had that since it was cool three decades ago and has no plan of getting rid of it," she said.
I love hearing this. It is the type of culture that is starting to disappear at resorts around the country. That ski bum culture, however, is alive and well at Peek n Peak Resort in Clymer, New York and shows no sign of dying.
The Retreat is an excellent example of this and I hope it never changes.
Ordering up a Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale, I sipped this local favorite enjoying the roasty sweetness of the malts that played well with the hops.
Of course The Retreat had a shotski. Was there ever a doubt?
The real debate was what spirit we were going to fill the ultimate friend making vessel up with. One, two, three...shotski! Down the hatch it went and so did we back out into the snow for a few more powder turns.
Sending It Into Our Craft Beer Tasting at Bistro 210
Time was moving far too fast but we had to be at our next stop really soon. We had a craft beer and food pairing that we just couldn't miss. Hustling out of The Retreat we sent it straight back to the Peek n Peak Resort restaurant, Bistro 210.
To say we were bummed to have to come in from playing in the snow that continued to fall would be an understatement. You never want to miss a powder day as good as this one but it's a tough life. After all, someone had to taste the beers and eat the food that they were preparing for us.
Bistro 210, named after the number of inches of snow they receive annually is definitely the most upscale of all three Peek n Peak resort bars. Don't let that fool you into thinking it's pretentious though. None of that exists at there. It's as unaffected as you can get in the ski world.
Our new friends at Peek n Peak Resort continued to make their way to my heart with a variety of craft beer offerings and tasty food. Loaded tots, artichoke dip, Bavarian pretzels and a charcuterie platter that was to die for, highlighted the table in front of me.
Talk about speaking my language, the diversity of après ski snacks was absolutely amazing and I truly enjoyed tasting the variety of craft beers from around the region.
Drink Local, Eat Local and Enjoy the Experience
*Photo Credit: Jessica Cook
Drinking local is kind of my thing. I always like to check out what the palates of others around the country are like when it comes to craft beer. Presented with a diverse array of options from Southern Tier Brewery and Ellicottville Brewing, I was able to acquire a great feel for that.
Some of the beers were quite unique, like the Southern Tier Cinnamon Roll which is good for maybe one or two. Others, like the aforementioned Peek Shred Ale I would just drink all day.
*Photo Credit: Jessica Cook
What really had me pumped was the food. I'm such a sucker for comfort food, especially après ski and DAMN did the chefs at this Peek and Peak Resort restaurant nail this one. The loaded tots and fresh made artichoke dip was to die for however, the true Italian in me kept reaching for the charcuterie board. Filled with local meats and cheeses, it was nothing short of heavenly.
Chatting with staff at the restaurant and resort who joined us for this feast, I got a great feel for just how special Peek n Peak Resort is. The people are just so nice (a common theme throughout the trip) and they don't overstate what they have but rather let it speak for itself. They seem to know that the skiing there is what it is and that it's all about the totality of the experience that they create.
In a world where large corporations continue to slowly strip the old culture from ski resorts in favor of glitz and glam, Peek n Peak Resort has evolved with the times while maintaining their character that makes them unique.
The culture is what makes Peek n Peak Resort so special. So special that I was sad to leave. However, there was wine and beer to taste at another location and I did not want to Peek n Peak too early.
Too be continued...
Après Ski Clothes to Match The Culture
Ski, après ski, ski, après ski...that is the ski culture of Peek n Peak Resort, NY. Rinse and repeat as often as you like throughout the day. You're destined to have a good time. Just make sure you have the appropriate après ski clothing for such an occasion.
Nothing is better that our Men's 1/2 Zip Performance Pullover and our Women's 1/2 Zip Performance Pullover. Performance meets comfort and style with these popular items. Our pullover is the ultimate skiing mid-layer. Designed with moisture wicking technology, some great pockets and our logo beautifully embroidered on the chest it's the perfect item to take you from trail to bar and back out to the trail just like they do at Peek n Peak Resort.
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