Warming Up to Whiteface

Whiteface elicits a lot of passion from skiers from both sides; some thrive on the unique and challenging terrain, while others make up the group responsible for the notorious nickname “Iceface.”

Rational or not, until recently I fell into the second group. After my collision with a tree at Stratton in December, I’ve developed a newfound skittishness on firm surfaces.

I’m relatively new to skiing, I started in 2015. I love skiing fast, but slick surfaces force me to make skidded turns on skis that never seem sharp enough. When I encounter sporty conditions, I tend to end my day early, once the corduroy is gone and the loose granular gets pushed down the slopes.

Continue reading

Return to the Mountains: Back to the MAX

Since my fateful and educational collision with a tree at Stratton in early December, I watched my social media feeds with a mixture of jealousy and anticipation as the east got some good early season snow. Surely, I thought, Ullr’s bloodthirst was slaked due to my offering, and he was preparing the mountains for my return.

Then, right on schedule, came the January thaw. All of that glorious fluff gone thanks to two days of rain and near-60-degree weather. I began to dread the ice that would follow as I now fear ice in a way I hadn’t before. But as I kept an eye on the forecast and saw that some areas were due to get up to eight inches of fresh snow, I grew excited and decided to head up north for the first time in six weeks.

Continue reading

Whiteface: When the Storm Chases You

Last week’s heatwave and subsequent rain storm caused no end of consternation among northeast skiers. Modern technology made it worse. Many of us spent last week checking and rechecking weather forecasts, obsessively going from one internet meteorologist to another, searching for a different model or a new track that didn’t spell disaster for the snow pack.

whiteface

Eventually we accepted reality, shifting our attention to the mountains where the damage would be the least. The meteorologists weren’t unanimous in their predictions but they seemed to agree that the mountains in the northern corner of NY had the best chances. Instead of chasing a snow storm, I was actually getting chased, halfway to Canada, by a rain storm.

Continue reading