Of Fire and Ice | A Mythic Catskills Weekend
January 4 – 6, 2019
A mythic winter adventure, celebrating the extraordinary dance between the frosted Catskills and the flames of a blazing hearth. Come to the mountains, where wood smoke cuts across the sharp air of January and the forests are made of deep dreams…
Spillian is delighted to partner with Upstate Adventure Guides to invite you to come and explore the glories of the Catskills mountains in the winter, and the evocative intersections between fire and ice in feasting, stories, and imagination. This is the perfect adventure for those who’ve been curious about wandering into the mountains in the winter but not quite sure where to start, with a carefully curated moderate hike to one of the Catskills’ most magical places, the Balsam Lake Fire Tower; a fire building challenge; an imagination and body expanding movement class; as well as a chance to roast chestnuts, savor the new Spillian Cocktail, the Catskill Fire Tower, and feast throughout the weekend!
We’re thrilled to say that part of the proceeds for this weekend will support the work of our great friend and ally, Ann Roberti and the Catskill Mountain Club as they resurrect an historic fire tower on Bramley Mountain.
Of Fire and Ice at Spillian. It’s Mythic. Local. Real.Register Now!
Mythic Catskills Weekends
Spillian’s Mythic Catskills Weekends are an intersection with the essence of the Catskills: the forests, the mountains, the people, the deep stories that make this place so compelling.
Each weekend celebrates a facet of this gem-like place: its food, its fish and streams, its ringing summer, its snow-spangled winters, its flowing creative life force.
Come for a weekend of grand adventure. Feast. Explore. Hear the great stories and share your own. Revel in the mythic possibility of the Catskills and find where it sings in your life – and then bring that song back home with you.
Of Fire And Ice: A Mythic Catskills Weekend | What’s Included
Melting into Winter
- 6 PM Fondue!!! The perfect marriage between fire, food, and theater. Cheese fondue with local cheeses and veggies, and a to-die-for spiced chocolate fondue. And we’ll be featuring a couple of special Spillian cocktails at the bar, including the Old Fashioned Campfire…smoked, of course.
- Fire wishing in the new year…we’ll be sharing our wildest imaginings and sending them out into the universe on flying wish paper.
- Tales, real and mythic, about the history and lore of winter in the Catskills in front of the blazing fire.
Of Fire and Ice Mountain Adventure & Feast
- 9 AM A Catskills breakfast featuring eggs from Spillian Farm’s ridiculous chickens.
- 10 AM A guided adventure with Will Soter, co-founder of Upstate Adventure Guides, up to the historic Balsam Fire Tower. A moderate hike, six miles round trip, on a Catskills trail to an iconic fire tower with with enormous views and a deep connection to the stewardship of the Catskills. On the way back down, Will will lead the group in harvesting some wild tinder to make a bonfire back at Spillian for a fire challenge.
- A light lunch with hot soup and other munchies on the trail.
- 4 PM or so A chance to laze by the fire or on the porch for a bit before dinner, watching the sky change down the valley.
- 4:30 PM or so: A fire building challenge! Learn to make fire in the woods at Spillian’s bonfire, and then roast chestnuts. Have you ever had a chestnut roasted over an open fire? No words…
- 6 PM: Happy hour, Spillian style! Come and help us create a brand new cocktail invented for this gathering, in celebration of the storied fire towers of the Catskills. We’re thinking the Spillian Fire Tower will feature Union Grove Distillery‘s brand new Fir Gin and a breath of a divine smokey hot sauce with peppers roasted over an open fire from Burnett Farms…but would love your vote!
- 7 PM: A family-style multiple course feast from Spillian’s chef Christian Van Etten, menu coming soon, but smoke and flame and ice will be involved…
- Storytelling of the history and legends of the Catskills and its colorful history with beers, ciders, and spirits.
Bringing Fire and Ice to the World
- 9 AM some light breakfast treats including local yogurt and house made granola to fuel you after your adventure on Saturday and prep you for…
- 9:30 AM A yoga-based moving meditation practice to stretch out those winter-wanderer joints and muscles and go deep into the metaphors of place, fire, and ice with Spillian co-founder Leigh Melander, PhD. Geared to be engaging for experienced yoga lovers and first time experimenters!
- 11 AM A gathering around Spillian’s feasting table for a hearty mountain brunch before you head back to bring your frost and flame to the world.
The Saturday Of Fire & Ice Feast
A family style feast around our extraordinary mahogany dining table, all dressed for the season. This table is a true place of convivium, where tales are topped, ideas are birthed, and friendships created. From Spillian’s Chef Christian Van Etten, a seven course celebration of fire, ice, and the flavors of the mountains.
• Amuse Bouche – Tay Tea Catskills Harvest Frozen Lollipop
• Mixed Greens With Fire Honey Candied Walnuts, Frizzled Leeks, and award-winning Two Stones Farm cheese, with a Honey Vinaigrette
• Roasted Highland Farm Loin of Venison with a Rose Hip Brandy Reduction
• House-Smoked Beaverkill Hatchery Trout with Horseradish Cream, Dill, and Cucumber
• Potatoes Catskill, a Layered Twice-Baked Potato Mountain
• Flambéed Turnips and Rutabagas
• Smoked Mountain Berry Ice Cream Made at the Feasting Table
Full weekend fee includes all sessions including guided hike, meals; one featured cocktail per evening; and lodging at Spillian.. Evening cash bar, tax and gratuities, and winter hiking gear not included. Click here to learn more about our splendid guest rooms!
Full Fire and Ice Weekend For One: $495
Per person, single room occupancy. Check in any time after 3 PM on Friday.
Full Find Your Holiday Spirits For a Couple: $795
For the couple, double room occupancy. Check in any time after 3 PM on Friday.
Saturday Hike, Feast & Festivities: $145 per person
(Join us for the farm wander, dinner, and tales around the fire. Please be at Spillian by 9:45 for a 10 AM departure.)
Saturday Feast & Festivities: $65 per person
(Join us for the fire challenge, chestnuts, Fire Tower cocktail, feast and festivities. Fire building challenge & chestnut roasting begins at 4:30, cocktail hour begins at 6 PM, dinner at 7 PM.)
If you’re joining us on the hike and don’t have micro spikes or snowshoes, we can provide a rental for you for $25/person. Depending on the weather, you’ll definitely need one or the other!
About Will Soter | Upstate Adventure Guides
Will Soter is an experienced NYS licensed guide and co-founder of Upstate Adventure Guides, one of the leading guide services in the Catskills. Will is the Vice President of the New York State Outdoor Guide Association, serves on the board of the Catskill Mountain Club, is the founder of the Catskill Adventure Tourism Summit, and hosts the Great Outdoors radio show on WIOX radio. He is a Leave No Trace Master Educator, is CPR/Wilderness First Aid Certified, and has remarkable knowledge of the Catskill mountains trails, flora, fauna, and history. And he’s one of our favorite people in the world. Learn more about Upstate Adventure Guides here.
About Leigh Melander
Spillian co-founder Leigh Melander has a doctorate in cultural mythology and psychology, and an extensive background in the performing and creative arts. She’s studied, performed, and taught movement classes around the US and in Greece, Mexico, and Romania. Leigh’s moving meditation sessions are an engaging way to explore how our bodies understand place and story through yoga, pilates, and guided imagery. Leigh served for five years on the Board of Directors of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, has been published in both scholarly and popular publications on myth and story, and hosted a weekly radio show, Myth America, for three years. She guides the programming at Spillian, and offers workshops on imagination, creativity, and story here and around the US.