When the Slides are in play, I try to arrive early, just to be sure. Still in the end, all that really matters is where you are when they drop the access ropes.
I was coming solo to Whiteface hoping to enjoy the Slides for a third time. To improve my odds, I contacted the mountain and asked if I could ski with a Mountain Host.
I’d skied with a Mountain Host once before, in December a few years back. I was told at that time that many of the hosts really like skiing with guests. They do seem to enjoy it.
Slowly but surely, ski resorts have been coming online this week like lightbulbs on an aerial map of the northeast. First a flash from central Vermont as Killington kicked off the region’s ski season, then a flicker from Maine as lifts began cranking at Sunday River.
Even Governor Cuomo got into the act, announcing last Friday that Whiteface and Gore were opening for the season. In other words, it was time to get skiing.
The rain blanketing the Hudson Valley on Monday held the promise of snow further north, though with a warming trend that was likely pushing the rain-snow line at least as high as the Killington summit and possibly a good ways up Whiteface as well.