Spotlight Slope of the Week: Whiteface— Lake Placid, N.Y.
So many mountains, so litte time; We know it might be hard to choose where to go when you only have a few precious free days in the season. The Active Times staff would like to help you make the best of your time in the snow. In addition to our gear reviews, ranked lists and interviews with the experts, we’ve started this section to gather the most important information you’ll want to know before booking a trip or heading out for a day on the slopes. Each week we will feature a new mountain, complete with statistics, snow conditions and plans for 2014. So, when you’re thinking about your next big trip or you’re going last minute, check out the details on the top mountains here.
Location: Wilmington, NY
Chairlift pitch: “Whiteface is a big mountain; it’s like skiing an out west mountain, but in the east. The 3,430 of vertical makes Whiteface the greatest vertical in the east, and where else in the eastern United States can you say “I skied the same trails that were used in the Olympics.” Whiteface hosted the 1980 Olympic alpine competitions.
It’s also a great family mountain with plenty of terrain for all levels and abilities. In fact, 42 percent of the mountain’s 87 trails are cut for intermediate level skiers and riders. 20 percent of the trails are cut for beginners. So although it’s big and Olympians have raced and continue to race and train on it, there’s something for everyone,” said Jon Lundin, a Whiteface and ORDA Representative.
True-up Vertical Descent: 3,216 feet, according to mountainvertical.com (note: this is a different scale than most mountains use)
Ski-able area: 288 acres, according to whiteface.com
Ratios of difficulty (trail classification): 20 percent novice, 42 percent intermediate, 38 percent expert
How many trails: 87
Total trail length: more than 22 miles, according to whiteface.com
How many lifts: 11
Hours of operation: vary by lift, see website
Avg. annual snowfall: 198 inches
Deals and discounts: “Once a month Whiteface offers up a Super Sunday, where adult lift tickets are just $40. Also, every Wednesday is a Why Not Wednesday. Skiers and riders can bring any Coke product to the mountain and ski all day for just $42. We also offer an Empire Card, Snowball Card and Student Card, all designed to save,” said Lundin. More information can be found here.
Renovations: “The biggest addition to the mountain is a new glade called Rand’s Last Stand. It’s located to the skier’s right of Hoyt’s High, which is serviced by the Lookout Chair. This is an expert glade and the first new trail for Whiteface in five years. Additionally, skier and riders once they complete the glade can either go up the Lookout Chair for another run, or swing over to the Summit Quad, which will take them to the summit of Whiteface Mountain where they can ski the greatest vertical in the east, 3,430,” said Lundin.
Spring Events: A big point of pride for Whiteface is the winter Olympic Games, not only the 1980 Olympics, but each games since 1924. The Lake Placid region “has produced at least one Olympic athlete for each winter Olympics” since the winter games began. In anticipation and celebration of the games in Sochi, there will be several Olympic challenges and events hosted by the mountain.