Saturday, May 12, 2018

Whiteface closing day: Cinqo de Mayo 05/05/2018

I hinted in my April 21 report that Whiteface was hoping for a shot at Cinqo de Mayo skiing. When the official announcement came a few days before the weekend, there was no doubt we'd be heading up for their latest ever closing date.

Skiing Whiteface on their latest closing date ever, Saturday May 5, 2018.

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

Mother Nature had other plans though. Severe thunder storms Friday night left Whiteface and the surrounding towns without power Saturday morning. We pulled in to the River Lot around 9:30am to find the lifts down and a couple hundred skiers milling about the dark lodge. We took our time booting up and connecting with friends, and as we hung in the sun with the Whiteface faithful, the Face Lift sputtered to life on diesel backup power.

Improvised lodge lighting

Line-up for first chair

Hard to believe there's skiing looking up from the base

Our Cinqo do Mayo crew

Beth loving the spring skiing

Whiteface's Ops crew had originally planned to run the Little Whiteface chair, which would have allowed skiers to lap the upper mountain on Excelsior, Victoria and Upper Valley. The power outage kept the LWF chair out of commission, so each lap of the Face Lift required a 150 yard hike across the base of the Tower 10 hill. Some shortened the hike by a few yards by skiing down the line of snirt as far as they dared. Others took a bold 50 yard line down fast grass to reach the next patch of snow, including Daniel (see photo below).

End-of-the-line on Tower 10 hill

Those jackets didn't last long

Yup, he made it. Less base damage than you'd expect.

We extended our skiing options by hiking above the Face Lift. The girls and I made the relatively short climb to the top of Victoria along with our friend Gunny J and his son Derek. We joke about the Whiteface first-timers who can't believe how steep Victoria is for a blue. It's not so funny when you're hiking up.

Starting up above the Face Lift

Derek near the top of the skiable snow

Made it!

Derek skiing

Sylvie's turn

The boys talked about hiking for Skyward, but ultimately decided Wilderness was the best bang for the buck. Coverage was excellent, with just a short walk required at the bottom. We did 3 laps.

Beth and the boys starting the hike to Wilderness

Mackenzie not looking so good

Daniel determined to get every skiable vertical foot out of Wilderness

Zig-zagging the skiable snow from the top

Definitely worth the hike

Beth at the bottom of Wilderness

Daniel and Zach: last run on Wilderness

Closed for the season!

We hadn't intended to ski all the way till 4 o'clock, but somehow it happened. While some skiers bailed early in the day, a good sized crowd stayed to the end, hiking laps on the upper mountain, enjoying the beautiful spring weather, and celebrating on the deck after the lift closed. We are stoked to have been part of this historic day at Whiteface and thankful that the mountain persevered through difficult conditions to make it all happen.


  1. Great, fun report Jeff. Some classic pics too. Nice!

    1. Thanks Harv, we were so psyched for Whiteface to be spinning the lifts in May we wouldn't have missed it for anything.

  2. Wish we could have JOINED you..

  3. Fun time running into your family and taking a little hike. Looking forward to running in to you guys next season.