Climb to the Castle: The Masters

“I wasn’t ready for this,” Leonard Plunkett said in the gusting wind outside Whiteface Mountain’s iconic castle. We were recovering after the Climb to the Castle, the annual roller ski race up the Whiteface toll road.

Climb to the Castle
Climb to the Castle

“Nobody’s ever ready,” I replied. “But now that you’ve done it, you know what to expect next year.” He smiled, and I hope that I planted a seed for his return next year.

On Friday, I’d met Leonard and chatted with him at one of the more civilized bib pickups I’ve been to. He was up from New York City with three other skiers representing Manhattan Nordic. A big shoutout to the Madshus rep for pouring pints of Big Slide.

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ORDA Skier Visits (Update 2019)

Following are updated numbers for ORDA skier visits and revenue for New York’s state-owned and operated ski areas as reported by the Olympic Regional Development Authority in the most recent annual report.

For the first time in the 2013 annual report, numbers for Belleayre Ski Center were included.

As of the 2010 – 2011 season ORDA had not reported skier visits for Gore Mountain. In the 2018 report, there was back data on skier visits for Gore dating back to 2013-2014, so a data gap remains for the two previous years.  In addition Whiteface revenue numbers  were revised upward by over 20%.

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Whiteface: Springtime, Sunshine and Skyward!

Standing at the top of the Summit Quad — with your ski tips sticking out over the lip of Skyward — and looking out across the whole northeast is awe-inspiring. The impression of altitude and exposure is unique in the east. It’s some of the gnarliest and coolest lift-served skiing in New York.

The place has some crust too. Good old Gore and little Mount Peter are older but Whiteface’s Olympic legacy holds it’s own in the history category too. It wasn’t a venue in the 1932 games, and all I really remember about 1980 is the hockey but those details don’t matter, to me.

Most of my skiing is done closer to home in the Catskills or Vermont, but I always try to make the trek to Whiteface at least once a season. I don’t know why I don’t get there more.

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