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Whiteface/Lake Placid 3/7 & 3/8

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Ice face is the one big ski area in the east that I have never skied...not sure why, but I nver got around to it. So we took a couple of days this week to take advantage of the major snow they've gotten in February/early March.

We drove over from Syracuse on Wednesday morning...it took about 4.5 hours so we didn't start skiing until about 10 AM. Turns out it was OK that we got there late, since that was about the time the mercury climbed above zero. The forecast mostly cloudy day must have been for some other Lake Placid, because there was not a cloud to be found. Spectacular views of my beloved Vermont and the other ADK High Peaks. We took the gondola to the top of Little Whiteface and skied directly for the summit quad. We skied off that chair for the next 4 hours...it definitely dispelled the reputation of Iceface. Great snow, gerat coverage and pretty damn steep skiing. We broke for a late lunch and then skied the slopes that hosted the Olympic slalom/GS races. Also deceptively steep and great snow. We headed back to town as the lifts were closing.

My friend Phil spent the 1980 Olympics providing anti-terrorism support (he was FBI) in/around Lake Placid, so he gave us the nickel tour of all of the venues. We didn't go up onto the ski jumps, but that is probably worth the price of admission. I had scored a bargain on 2 rooms at the Lake Placid Summit hotel for $53 per night. Nuthin' Fancy, but clean and comfortable. The views were worth $1 million looking over Mirror Lake at the backside of Whiteface. The Alpenglow was out in full force Wednesday night. We ate at Jimmy's and walked down to the site of the "Miracle on Ice". It was well below zero by then.

We woke up this morning (Thursday) to below zero temps and visibility of about 1/4 mile in blowing snow. Not as good as Wednesday, but, hey, more snow. We got to the mountain early and got going at 8:30. Once again a gondola ride up to Little Whiteface and a fast descent toward the summit quad. Unfortunately Phil took a major header trying to get around some slow skiers and we had to head to the midstation to get the snow out of his goggles.

We finally made it to the summit at around 9:15. The snow was fantastic, but the visibility sucked. Great turns in the trees skiers right off of Skyward and also on the left side of the same trail. We hit it pretty hard until about 1PM and had to head back. Today was Phil's 60th birthday, but the dude skis really fast and hard for his age.

Despite the crappy weather, the skiing today was also great. The wind must have been blocked by the bulk of the mountain because the Summit Quad had no wind blowing on it at all.

BTW, the slides were not open. I doubt I could have convinced my colleagues to head over that way, but the point was moot. Not sure when they would ever open if not this week...40" of snow in the Valentine's Day storm and 26" over the past weekend. The coverage looked pretty good....

I like Whiteface better than Gore, but still not as good as Stowe. Definitely in the top 5 in the East when the snow and weather are good.
post #2 of 4
First time I went there it was howling winds and solid ice. Next time was opening week. One run but nice spring like snow. So now I have to go back and see what it's really like to ski the whole place in good conditions. One hairy mountain.
post #3 of 4
Bjo glad u guys had a fine experience .

Placid is a world class venue --so much to see and Jimmys is always a MUST DO
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Amen. I wanted steak, but my buddy Phil insisted on Jimmy's. It was wise to follow his counsel.

I was up in Massena yesterday (Wednesday) and mud season was in full swing - pretty amazing how fast the snow went away. I guess we're going to get hit with another Nor'easter this weekend, so another trip to Whiteface or Gore is looking like a definite maybe. Know of any decent bootfitters up your way? I just got a pair of Rossi R2004's that I can't even stand to have on without the liners in them. My XT's were like that before the magic of GMOL. I just don't want to go all the way over to VT.
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