Whiteface: Slides Gold Weekend

Whiteface has the largest vertical drop of any ski area in the northeast. It’s also the only eastern ski area to have ever held an Olympics. As such, it goes without saying that they have steep terrain, lots of it. Not only do they have steep terrain, but they also have some of the most unique and challenging terrain in the east.

The objective

That terrain is known as The Slides. Located a short hike above the Summit Quad, The Slides include five distinct lines down natural rock slides. They even include frozen waterfalls. There is no snowmaking, no grooming, and no trail work of any kind. It’s a unique opportunity to ski backcountry style terrain, in-bounds at a ski area.

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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.

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Whiteface Slides Tour

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.

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