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Whiteface over MLK weekend

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Headed up to ski Whiteface and enjoy the Adirondacks last weekend. Left Cleveland OH thursday evening and spent the night in Albany. Woke up to the TV talking about negative temps all over and lots of schools being closed. Made it to the Whiteface Chalet (where we stayed) and got ready to go skiing.

The wife and I were with another couple (one of which was a very new skier, only 2nd time). So we headed up the face lift and took the green (Boreen) down from there. The other couple decided to stay on the greens while my wife and I headed for the gondola to try out the long blues from that spot.

The gondola was really cool (our first time riding in one) and we also found out that our twintip skis take up 2x as much room as normal skis in the racks.

Got to the top and started skiing our way down, they were making snow so visibility was a little challenging and not all the trail intersections are well marked. But the snow was great. Eventually made our way to the new lookout mountain chairlift and ski'd the new Wilmington trail.

Temps on friday were definitely really cold, and the wind made us not want to try to get to the summit. Liftlines were nonexistent and you could ski right on or wait a chair or 2.

Saturday it was slightly warmer. The other couple had a family emergency so we spent the morning getting them going to where they needed to get to. Then we hit the mountain. We went straight for the gondola and warmed up on the blues we had hit the day before. Then we took the summit lift up to the top. We first went down Parron's Run (blue) and it was a great cruiser. We went back up and tried Upper Skyward, easily the steepest run we've ski'd. Wow, it was a blast. We then caught the lower section of Upper Cloudspin and found out what big moguls are like. I'm not a fan of moguls and these were mid thigh height and very well packed. Continued to ski blacks from the summit till we got tired, went and did another lap or two on the Wilmington trail.

Temps were warmer, and the wind was rarely an issue. Liftlines were 5 or so minutes at the bottom but nonexistent once you were higher then the main face lift.

Sunday we woke up and went to the mountain. Ski'd every run we wanted till till the lifts at mid mountain stopped turning. I had an intersting fall on lower skyward right under the lift providing some entertainment I am sure for the other skiers. First time I've ever fallen and then began to accelerate as I'm sliding. I was sliding head first on my back and attempted to self arrest with my ski pole but i grabbed it too high and ended up making it look like a racer's ski pole. Oh well.....

Sunday it felt really warm after the bitter cold of the two previous days. Lines were 10 minutes or so for the gondola, 5 minutes or so on the face lift and wait a chair or two anywhere higher then the face lift.

Conditions: All weekend they were great. From soft chopped up snow where they were making snow to packed powder/hardpack. We came across a few spots that were truly ice though. A couple of sections of the wilmington trail and a few small spots on lower cloudspin had ice that got scraped off, but the trails were wide enough you could avoid that section easily. They were blowing snow all weekend, friday much more obvious, saturday and sunday only on a few trails off the Gondola, so not as obvious. Kept the conditions very nice so it was worth it.

Crowds: Nonexistent above the face lift all weekend. Lots of people on the greens but what else do you expect. Got taken out from behind by a skier on a green (relaxing last run of the day) and then screamed at by the skier's father, pointed out the skier's code and then verbally threatened but oh well.

Upper Skyward was an awesome trail, I really enjoyed the view as well as the slope.

The wilmington trail starts out really slow with some great scenery and then it picks up to a very nice consistent grade with a few steeper sections. It has a couple of sections where you have the left edge of the trail, a 15+ foot drop and then boulders and trees to land on, they had snowfence and netting up but still the exposure was something new to us. We really enjoyed this trail. Saw a few people who were attempting to get people down it that obviously didn't belong on the trail but other then that it was great skiing.

Whiteface Chalet - where we stayed. Nice place, basic continental breakfast each morning. Only about a mile from the base lodge. Good place and we got a good deal, so we were happy with it.

Food:
Lake Placid Brewery - Highly recommend!!! Went there friday night and everyone enjoyed their meals. The beer was awesome too. Lake Placid UBU is new favorite beer to keep an eye out for.

Lake Placid Chinese restaurant (across from the ice skating rink) - very good food and a great price.

PF McDougalls pub in Wilmington - adequate but not on the same level as the LP Brewery.

Pics - unfortunately the wife left the camera behind so no pics. Sorry guys.

They also had a World Cup skiercross going on that weekend. We caught a little of it from the gondola and the face lift but we were more focused on skiing and avoiding the crowds then catching the event.
post #2 of 18
I'm curious how long the drive from Albany took you.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I don't remember exactly how long but much shorter then the first part of the trip. Here are the directions we received from the chalet from Albany.


Take Exit 1N to get onto I-87 North towards Montreal. Follow for 104 miles. Take Exit 30 (Wilmington/Keene/Lake Placid). Make a left towards Route 73 and continue straight for about 16 miles into the town of Keene. At the fork in the road (at Monty Purdy's Elm Tree Inn), bear right onto Route 9N North (towards Whiteface Mountain). Follow for 6 miles into the town of Upper Jay. At the Brookside Motor Inn, bear left onto Springfield Road (also called County Routes 83 and 12). Continue for 3.7 miles. The Whiteface Chalet is located on the right (just past Fox Farm Rd / Indian Rock Rd).

Hope that helps. If you're wondering if its worth the drive, I would say yes. My wife and I both loved it and would want to go back regularly if not for the drive. There is an airport in Plattsburgh but it'd be cheaper for us to fly into denver or jackson hole then plattsburgh.
post #4 of 18
Trying to get an idea of drive time there vs. K-mart at the end of the year.

I think I could be at K-mart in the same amount of time since Albany is 8 hours from here.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
When I google mapped both Killington and Whiteface, Whiteface was closer for us. I was coming from Columbus OH if that helps ya.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
I forgot to mention the other cool thing I saw that weekend. While taking the lift up to the summit they have signs on the towers letting you know how much higher in elevation you are then other well known resorts (Jay Peak, Killington, Okemo, etc). Thought it was pretty cool, hope its more then just marketing hype.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgelj View Post
I forgot to mention the other cool thing I saw that weekend. While taking the lift up to the summit they have signs on the towers letting you know how much higher in elevation you are then other well known resorts (Jay Peak, Killington, Okemo, etc). Thought it was pretty cool, hope its more then just marketing hype.
That is a good idea. If they did that here I think we'd come out on top (pun intended). I was at 5,400' here in NC last week. But I'd trade the elevation difference for annual snowfall difference between Upstate NY and Western NC in a heartbeat!
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgelj View Post
When I google mapped both Killington and Whiteface, Whiteface was closer for us. I was coming from Columbus OH if that helps ya.
Staying in ALB Killington should be closer, but only by a trivial amount. More interesting driving if you take the back roads from ALB though instead of the obvious route by my house.
Quote:
It has a couple of sections where you have the left edge of the trail, a 15+ foot drop and then boulders and trees to land on, they had snowfence and netting up but still the exposure was something new to us.
I skied it when they dropped the rope for the grand opening some morning a couple weeks back. Quite a feat of roadbuilding...a wide traverse down a ridge. Pretty neat. Much better potential for that lift than the new Burnt Ridge lift at Gore. One interesting note was that on that day, the ridge and aspect provided the new trail and lift with a ton of protection from the prevailing winds, which were bad enough to shut lifts later in the day.

The net must really be just to make folks feel more comfortable. They have the same "system" in a couple places at Gore...it isn't really an A-net, and it adds unprotected obstacles to the hill. I'd prefer they didn't spoil the view with that sort of thing but it probably makes people feel better.

crgildart, y'alld be on top by quite a bit. I notice with some amusement that Whiteface's vertical drop has somehow grown 80 feet in the last ten years...not sure how the marketing folks worked that one up. Got a big sign at work saying "Whiteface: 3350 vert" and now the signs at the hill say 3430. Hmm.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
crgildart, y'alld be on top by quite a bit. I notice with some amusement that Whiteface's vertical drop has somehow grown 80 feet in the last ten years...not sure how the marketing folks worked that one up. Got a big sign at work saying "Whiteface: 3350 vert" and now the signs at the hill say 3430. Hmm.
Slides?
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post
Slides?
Perhaps. Non-lift-served is also how Taos claims the vert they claim.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylormatt View Post
I'm curious how long the drive from Albany took you.
Depends on where in Albany....

From Latham/Colonie area, it's going to be about 2 hours and 15 minutes to get to Whiteface. If you're staying downtown, add at least 15 minutes to that. If you're staying in Clifton Park, subtract 10 minutes. Those times are in good weather driving 73mph on the Interstate, speed limit on the side roads.
post #12 of 18
I love Whiteface. The little town where the "miracle on ice" occurred is certainly sweet.

Sounds like you guys had a blast.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
I notice with some amusement that Whiteface's vertical drop has somehow grown 80 feet in the last ten years...not sure how the marketing folks worked that one up. Got a big sign at work saying "Whiteface: 3350 vert" and now the signs at the hill say 3430. Hmm.
Could be that satellite imagery revealed an error in the old measurements. I guess if the ice caps really do melt then everyone's elevation will have to be lowered little by little as the oceans rise. But that's a lounge discussion so still glad OP had a nice trip. The TR was really nicely written too
post #14 of 18
Great TR, I'm now stoked to get up there later this season! Will definitely stop by the Brewery
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post
Depends on where in Albany....

From Latham/Colonie area, it's going to be about 2 hours and 15 minutes to get to Whiteface. If you're staying downtown, add at least 15 minutes to that. If you're staying in Clifton Park, subtract 10 minutes. Those times are in good weather driving 73mph on the Interstate, speed limit on the side roads.
Brother and Sister-inlaw live in Saratoga Springs, I know it's an 8.5 hour drive door to door, trying to judge time to Whiteface from there. I still think K-Mart is roughly the same and would probably just go there.
post #16 of 18
i'd figure about 2 to 2.5 hours from saratoga springs to lake placid. i normally drive 60-65 around saratoga area (alotta cops sometimes) and 75-80 in the mountain area on 87.
post #17 of 18
I have sisters in Saratoga Springs. It takes me 1 hour to Gore, 2 hours to Whiteface 2 hours to Killington. I usually go where the snow is going to be the best and the crowds are going to be the least. I am not a big fan of Whiteface but I like to ski it now and then.
post #18 of 18
I'm looking at taking level 3 at either place within a week of each other end of March. K-mart seems just as easy/difficult to get to and it will be mid week, late season, so crowds are not a factor. If I'm going to drive that far and ski a day on either end, I might as well go to VT.

Thanks for the info everyone.
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