Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Whiteface Mtn: 01/23/2016

Whiteface Mountain, Saturday 01/23/2016.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

Looking out over the Adirondacks from the top of Whiteface’s summit lift, you never would have known that a blizzard was raging 250 miles south. While it would have been nice if winter storm Jonas sent some of its snow our way, we sure weren’t complaining. With blue skies, cold air and some of the best snow conditions this winter, we had one of our best ski day so far this season.

We’ve always enjoyed skiing Whiteface, but we’ve been drawn there more strongly than ever this season. Part of the draw has been ski conditions that have favored Whiteface’s more northern location this season. Another part of the draw has been Whiteface’s wide, steep trails and big vertical. Last week’s opening of Whiteface’s summit terrain sealed the deal for a return visit.

Summit is open!

Winter wonderland riding the Summit Quad

Wind-whipped snow at the top

Perhaps we’ve been view-starved this winter, with many of our ski days spent under (or even in) the clouds, but the combination of views and excellent snow conditions kept us riding the summit quad for 3 or 4 laps before moving on to explore the rest of the mountain.

Beth skiing Follies

View of Little Whiteface and the High Peaks beyond, from the Summit Quad

Paron's Run

It was no surprise that we found more great snow on Mountain Run and Wilderness. We had run into my friend Paul earlier, covered in snow and about to pack it in after 9 straight runs under the snow guns, raving about the soft bumps on Wilderness.

Mountain Run


We ended our day with one last ride up the summit quad to ski Paron’s Run and The Follies in beautiful late afternoon sunlight. We took our time skiing the 3200 vertical feet back to the base in one long shot, enjoying the now empty trails.

Beth and the kids log last run down from the summit

The end of a fine day of skiing

It would have been nice to ski Skyward, but it was closed for snowmaking and opened the next day. Next time we’re up I expect we’ll see Lookout Mountain open along with the rest of the summit black diamonds. Winter’s been a bit stingy so far this year, but days like this go a long way towards making up the shortfall.

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