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Whiteface for Christmas?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I haven't checked in for a while and I must say the off season posts are pretty weird. But I guess it's understandable for those in withdrawal.

Here is a skiing question. Our family has been talking about our annual Christmas ski trip which has always been to Northern Vermont- Stowe, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen. My sister's sons, who's favorite skiing has been off trail at MRG, want to try Whiteface this coming winter just for a change. I've only been to Whiteface once late in the season to ski the slides, which I know won't be open then unless my dreams of a new ice-age suddenly come true.

I am concerned, however, December might be too early in the season to plan ahead (book accommodations for a dozen people, etc.) and expect any worthwhile ski conditions.

Anybody have any thoughts? I am voting for Jay Peak, but have been outvoted so far...

post #2 of 5
Last time I was out there was in the beginning/middle of January about three or four years ago. A frigid winter that year to be sure, but there's snow in the Adirondacks. Our car was always covered in the morning by something at the motel we stayed at in Lake Placid (whether by some ice or a dusting of snow, or some powder). Whiteface had some good snowmaking and grooming back then (remember, the Olympic Regional Development Authority is still involved, NY state runs the mountain, and there's still training that goes on here), and according to an article I read a little while back, they increased their snowmaking and grooming even more for the 2006 season. Machines now cover 220 acres out of 225 ski-able acres.

Lake Placid itself is a fun town to stay in, so there ought to be something for the entire family. From what I remember, Whiteface has pretty similar terrain to the VT resorts you mentioned, but a bit colder and icier. (Keep in mind that I was there for a record-breaking cold year). It's also a LOT less crowded, and because it was an Olympic venue, the terrain is just spectacular and challenging (something for everyone). Just plan on getting to the mountain as early as possible–it gets dark *fast* around the time when chairs close. I actually am planning on trying to get back up there this year, so whichever one of us makes it up there first can tell the other one how it goes!
post #3 of 5
I skied in 8" of powder (OK it resembled powder and maybe it was really only 4", but it's August damnit!) the first week of December last year at Whiteface. Spent the whole day in the glades whether they were open or not...a few scars, but nothing structural. Best early season in years!

But by New Year's it was all gone due to the thaw from hell. Came back strong in February, but January was a total loss.

I guess the moral of the story is to go somewhere that may have great skiing but in the event of a tough weather run, better have something else going on. Lake Placid is pretty cool but a long way from anything else. At least Stowe is only an hour or less from Burlington. The skiing at Stowe and MRG definitely tops Whiteface in terms of double diamond opportunities, but Whiteface is HUGE.

And yes, you are correct...no way in hell the Slides will be open.
post #4 of 5
I was there two or three years ago 12/26-1/2 and there was lots and lots of snow...it was also the absolute coldest place I have ever been.....my thighs were cold! Do you know what it is to even have your thighs to feel cold! But don't let that scare you off, it was a ridiculous cold spell that according to locals hadn't been seen in 50 years. There will be snow.
post #5 of 5
There wasn't much snow last year on those dates....

Being from the northeast, you should know better than making bold predictions on there being snow at Christmas. It wasn't even cold enough to make snow during the day....
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