Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Whiteface: 12/24/2017

Whiteface, Christmas Eve.

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

We hadn't been back up to Whiteface since their opening day more than a month ago. What better way to celebrate Christmas Eve than a visit to the east's highest ski summit?

The grooming crews had their work cut out for them after a warm front brought rain all the way to the Canadian border the day before. With the return of cooler temperatures, conditions were decidedly firm and fast but we still found plenty of good skiing on most of the open trails.

Daniel and Sylvie at the top of Mountain Run

Daniel skiing Mountain Run

As you'd expect, Excelsior was taking the majority of the holiday traffic. We found some of the best skiing off the Summit Quad, which had just opened for the season earlier in the week. Paron's Run and the Follies both had good snow and for the most part we had the trails to ourselves. The snow haze that engulfed the summit for most of the afternoon was a reminder that you're on top of the Adirondack's fifth highest peak. Snow making crews were working on Skyward, I'd expect it should open within a couple days.

Riding the summit quad

Snow haze at the summit

Starting down Paron's Run

Lake Placid view

Sometimes the funnest ski days catch you by surprise. We've skied better snow this season, but skiing Whiteface always feels like an accomplishment. And having skied around a bit with our MaxPasses this season, returning to Whiteface is almost like a homecoming.

Beth skiing Victoria

Daniel in the terrain park


It's worth noting that the lodge improvements are really coming along. The newly renovated Cloudspin lounge opened the day before and we stuck our heads inside for a peek. The renovation is a huge improvement, and we were impressed how quickly the work was completed. There is still work continuing elsewhere in the lodge, but things have progressed noticeably since Thanksgiving.

As everyone knows, we've got an extended period of very cold temperatures upon our doorstep. Snowmaking crews will have an excellent opportunity to expand terrain in the coming days. With a little luck we'll get some natural snow as well.

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