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Whiteface resort New york

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Me and a buddy are thinking about getting out to new york to ride whiteface. Has anyone ever ridden whiteface? whats it like? any bits of advice?
thanks
post #2 of 13
since no one has answered...all i know are rumours, cold & icy.
post #3 of 13
Try searching, there's lots of info and opinions for WF on here. Searching for Whireface just in the tread titles gets you 36+ threads.
post #4 of 13
Advice? Don't go in December or January.
post #5 of 13
I might be crazy but Whiteface is my favorite eastern mountain. Great terrain and a real mountain that has not been bulldozed into submission. Here is a link you might find useful and some info that might be of use for your trip.

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=30996

1) Favorite trails:
Take the Gondola up to Excelsior (Blue) for a few warmup runs. Excelsior is the easiest run off the top of "little whiteface." After you have warmed up take the summit chair to the top and drop into either of the first 2 runs to your left. Skyward is the first run on your left off the top, it has close to 1200 feet of consistently pitched vertical and I believe was used in the 1980 olympics for the downhill. Great fast run. The second left off the top is Cloudspin. If there is fresh snow or the mountain is still blowing snow Cloudspin can be great.

If it is blowing, stick to little whiteface and ski the black runs which drop off skiers right after you exit the gondola.

2) Where to stay:
  • $$$$$ Mirror Lake Inn. Beautiful common areas and ambiance. The rooms are nice but nothing special. Great place to get a massage or spa treatments. The ladies tend to love th Mirror lake Inn.
  • $$$The Crowne Plaza (formerly the Holiday Inn) has the best views in the town due to the fact it sits on a hill in town. Lakeview rooms look down on the village and mirror lake. The Hotel just added a gorgeous ADK log lounge and bar area where you can have a drink and watch the snow/sleet come down. However, the rest of the hotel is not yet up to Crowne plaza standards. The rooms are generic Holiday Inn.
  • $$$The Best Western Golden Arrow is right on Mirror Lake and right in the middle of all th bars/restaraunts.
  • $$Towne House Lodge. Nice rooms, Still within walking distance to bars/restaraunts. No fuss. Comfortable beds, Down comforters, flat screen TV's.
  • Check out chamber of commerce for other cheaper options (there are many). I've stayed at a few but can't remember names.
3) Where to Eat?
  • The Cottage: Directly on Mirror Lake across from the Mirror Lake Inn. Quaint & casual, yet very good food. Great Apps, Great sandwiches. Good lighter fare. Woodburning stove is centered between 2 large windows that look onto the frozen lake where kids will be playing hockey. Great ambiance. Meals are $8-$15.
  • Niccolas: Almost directly across from the Olympic Ice Rink. You have 2 restaraunts under one roof. One serves mediteranean fare while the other is a steak and chop house. If you sit at the bar you can order off either menu. Excellent food all the way around. Meals are $15-$29.
  • Avoid the Lake Placeid Brew Pub for food. The food has gone downhill terribly in the past 2 years. The beer is still good, but the food is sub par.
4) Bars:
  • The Cottage: Cool, Low Key hangout.
  • LP Brew Pub: Good beer. Try an UBU. Usually a good local crowd on the weekends.
  • ZigZags: On main street. Darts, pool, Zepplin, and Pink Floyd.
  • Rumors: Acorr from ZigZags. Can be scary, unless you are lit up like a roman candle. Lake Placid is NOT urban, yet the local hipsters will converge at Rumors and display their best moves. Unique mix at the end of the night.
Enjoy the trip
post #6 of 13
I've only been there once, this past winter for 5 days (I think it was presidents day weekend). The locals told me it was great up until the day before we got there, things warmed up and it rained. The day we got there is was snowing and temperatures were plummeting. For the next 4 days it was so cold, even in the village, that your nose hairs froze when you took a breath. The ladies in our group chose to not even ski after one hour of testing the slopes. The mountain was like one big ice sculpture. Very cold very icy. The diamonds were virtually unskiable and literally were pure solid clear ice, like you would drop into a scotch! But I was told it was a freak thing, that normally its not like that. I do want to go back and see for myself.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by XJguy View Post
I've only been there once, this past winter for 5 days (I think it was presidents day weekend). The locals told me it was great up until the day before we got there, things warmed up and it rained. The day we got there is was snowing and temperatures were plummeting. For the next 4 days it was so cold, even in the village, that your nose hairs froze when you took a breath. The ladies in our group chose to not even ski after one hour of testing the slopes. The mountain was like one big ice sculpture. Very cold very icy. The diamonds were virtually unskiable and literally were pure solid clear ice, like you would drop into a scotch! But I was told it was a freak thing, that normally its not like that. I do want to go back and see for myself.

2 of my skiing friends had a similar experience about 10 years ago at Whiteface and refused to go back until last year. Luckily I brought them on a perfect skiing day, which they did not believe could happen at Whiteface.

I've skied Whiteface about 120-150 times in the past 10 years and have had 2 or 3 days like the one you described. I have skied several days at 30 below with great snow conditions. Most often the snow conditions are the same as other mountains, and you enjoy the snow on a better mountain.

Whiteface has the same snow and weather as most Eastern mountains. It is just more exposed to wind and steeper than most. And when it gets icy, the blacks demand sharp edges.

Plus CS is from Ontario, and won't be afraid of a bit of cold air should the mercury drop.
post #8 of 13
I thought that all the talk of "Iceface" being just that, was hyperbole and that as someone who grew up skiing ice after school at a local hill it wouldn't be anything I had not seen before. We went one day after a storm dumped 12"+ and I could not believe how icy it was. IMO it's not worth any significant travel time. Especially with Vermont right next door.
post #9 of 13
My advise would be to go to VT instead. IMO Stowe, Smuggs, Jay, MRG and Sugarbush all blow away anything at Iceface. Postcard ski town but an overrated underwelming mountain.
post #10 of 13
I should just say "don't go, it sucks" ( it's never crowded )


But, it's really one of my favorite places to ski in the east (despite my stoweguy handle). Just remember, it's winter so it will be cold but really no colder than I have experienced in either VT or NH.

It's a real mountain. It looks and acts the part. It's a little small but rumor has it that might be changing soon.

I usually stay up by the mountain. There is a motel nearby called The Hungary Trout. A clean place with a nice restaurant.

The place is loaded with history, charm and challenge. Don't miss it.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BC13 View Post
I might be crazy but Whiteface is my favorite eastern mountain. ...
1) Favorite trails:
Take the Gondola up to Excelsior (Blue) for a few warmup runs. Excelsior is the easiest run off the top of "little whiteface." ...
If it is blowing, stick to little whiteface and ski the black runs which drop off skiers right after you exit the gondola. ... Enjoy the trip
I've only skied 5 days at Whiteface and had mixed luck with conditions - but love it and hope to return. I agree with a lot of what BC13 said but would caution that Excelsior gets scraped off and overwhelmed with crowds looking for the "easy way" off the gondola -- so those black runs are often a better and safer bet. They may be a little steeper but much less trafficked. Lots of wreckage on Excelsior.

The upper mountain is wild. There are some winding, easy ways down but when it's blowing and there's whiteout up there, even those easy ways are a challenge. When it's clear, it's just beautiful.

I know VT may have better conditions, lifts, etc. but the terrain and challenge at WF are great, and the setting is fantastic. Awesome wilderness views, no cheesy condos.
post #12 of 13
I was there once in 1971 and once in 2000, so I'm not exactly an expert on the place. I'm not a true expert skier either and tend towards groomers nowadays. Whiteface has got that huge vertical, but the choices are limited for the full 3000' ride. This can make the aforementioned Skyward and Cloudspin a little crazy on busy days. Nonetheless, it's a big, bad a$$ mtn, the better you are the more you'll enjoy. Good single blacks from summit of little whiteface. In the rare event that The Slides are open, you could sample some of the gnarliest terrain in the East. From Toronto it would make a lot of sense to give it a try for a few days. If you like intermediate terrain, you might also swing by nearby Gore Mtn for a day, it's got some good stuff at that level and 2000+ vertical. Not sure what the park and pipe scene is like at these mtns, but probably not quite as developed as what I've seen at places like Okemo and Mt. Snow in Vermont.
post #13 of 13
I've been up there for 3 or 4 weeks over the years. One thing to note, is that one of the best places to ski there - the slides - is rarely open. I've never been able to ski it. But I really like the place. It's old school. The town of Lake Placid is 5 minutes away (sort of like Steamboat to the town). Never crowded, great skiing, great glades, good steeps, etc. It's definitely worth a trip.
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