You can always count on Whiteface to deliver a bit of adventure for your ski day, and we got a good dose on Sunday and Monday in the form of wind (Sunday) and cold (Monday). Luckily, the adventure included plenty of great skiing too.
Driving up from Saratoga Sunday morning, we must have transitioned between snow and rain a dozen times. But I wasn't worried about rain at the ski mountain, I was worried about the high wind advisories that had been posted by NWS for the day. Sure enough, we arrived at the mountain just as the wind holds were posted for nearly every lift.
Fortunately the Face Lift and Freeway Lift were both spinning, and skiers who braved the wind and endured the lift lines were rewarded with surprisingly good snow conditions.
Four inches of snow on Saturday into Sunday left nice packed powder conditions on sheltered trails like Broadway and Upper Valley from the Face Lift. I was skeptical about conditions off the Freeway lift, but we found excellent snow down Mountain Run, probably the best of the day.
Temperatures weren't terribly cold on Sunday, but the wind made it feel at least 10 degrees colder than the air temperature. Occassionally, skies cleared and the sun came out, only to be followed by clouds and snow squalls a few minutes later. By mid-afternoon, most skiers had packed it in for the day and lift lines essentially vanished, and we called it a day earlier than usual too. Between the wind and the lift lines, we only logged 6 or 8 laps between the two runnning lifts.
Fortunately the winds died down overnight, but temperatures dropped to about zero by Monday morning. I'll take cold over wind any day.
Beth had gone cross-country skiing at Mount Van Hoevenberg and Sylvie was in the daycare until 2pm, so Daniel and I stayed on the upper mountain for just about the entire day, occasionally skiing all the way down to the base so we could ride the gondola and get a break from the cold. Like Skyward, every trail we skied (Essex, Wilderness, Mountain Run, Excelsior) had nice packed powder over a firm but very edgeable base. Roughly 50% of the mountain was open, and while it would have been nice to ski Cloudspin, Mackenzie, and Lookout Mountain, we had more than enough terrain to keep us busy. With a prolonged stretch of cold weather and a chance for significant snowfall late in the week, trail counts will surely go up for next weekend. We'll be back at Gore then, but we'll certainly have a return trip or two to Whiteface before winter is done.