Skiing the Whiteface Slides

The Slides at Whiteface are some of the most exciting sidecountry in the northeast. The steep, ungroomed terrain, the all natural conditions and the fact they’re open only a few days a year, heighten the mystique and generate a lot of curiosity about what first time skiers can expect. We’re often asked for information by those who haven’t had the opportunity to ski the Slides.

skiing Whiteface Slides
The Slides before 2011 (photo by Mike White)

In August of 2010, Highpeaksdrifter penned our first guide to skiing the Whiteface Slides. It provided insight for the uninitiated and pure stoke for those who’ve been into the cirque and long to return.

The initial response to the Slide Guide was very positive. Over the last year, we’ve wanted to upgrade the guide to include larger photos and more information. In addition, since the original guide was written, the rains of 2011 have changed the terrain in the cirque, especially between Slides 2 and 3. We’ve upgraded the guide, creating an Slides Overview and giving each inbound slide it’s own page. This new guide is a cooperative effort between Highpeaksdrifter, Coach Z, ScottyJack and NYSkiBlog.

Our goal, as stated in the overview, is to prominently feature this terrain, and to give uninitiated, qualified expert skiers an idea of what to expect when skiing this exciting terrain. It is NOT our intention that this piece be taking as a recommendation that any skier attempt to ski the slides. Only the most qualified and confident skiers should attempt this terrain. Always respect the terrain, proceed with extreme caution and above all obey Patrol. Whiteface Patrol is the most qualified to determine when the Slides should be skied. We hope you enjoy…

The updated NYSkiBlog Guide to Skiing
The Whiteface Slides

Please note that this blog post includes all the comments that were posted under Highpeaksdrifter’s original post. The pages of the new guide do not have space for comments. We ask that any comments related to the guide be posted under this entry.

18 comments on “Skiing the Whiteface Slides

  1. EDIT: This thread includes comments from both the first Slide Guide published in August of 2010, and this latest version.

    Thanks for your work on this piece Highpeaksdrifter. It’s an real resource to have on the pages of NYSB — loaded with good information. A lack of luck/timing has kept me from skiing the slides. No question I’ll be reviewing the info on the summit chair before my next attempt. That is, if I’m not skiing with you.

  2. Nice post HPD. I too love the Whiteface slides and have been lucky enough to get there to ski them on two trips in the last 3 years.

  3. That tip about the small gully in Slide Out sounds like key information. I could just imagine straightlining in and going face-first into the other side. Doh!

  4. Great stuff! Like Harv, I’ve yet to be there when they were open and I was able to to do them but some day for sure!

    I could use a little snow down my neck right now!

  5. Great photos and great info HPD. I haven’t skied the WF slides yet, but the pictures and descriptions seem to give a really good sense of what it’s like. Can’t wait for my shot at ’em… Thanks.

  6. Skied the slides for the first time last winter (thanks to PDQ for the heads up they were open!) and I had a blast! Just the kind of terrain I love. Lots of changes,steep in places, tight and nasty,what more could you ask for! Hopefully this winter I’ll get to ski 5 and 6.

  7. This came out great – much better than if one person had done the whole thing. SJ – please define krummholz.

  8. It is great to have this updated. The detail is incredible and so useful.The WF Ski Patrol should hand out a printed version of this on the mountain. I cannot wait to get up to WF and ski The Slides.

  9. Anytime I see pictures of the slides, I’m just dying to get in there for the trees and narrow runs, but I understand the magnitude of the steepness just can’t be quite conveyed in images. Just how bad is bad?–like in comparison to Whiteface’s other runs.

  10. The top #1 and 2 are roughly comparable to Skyward at the top. They get steeper than anything at Whiteface when it gets down into the waterfall sections. Also much tighther in spots. The issue is that when conditions are excellent its not that much harder than the Summit trails but when its marginal it has a serious pucker factor in your rear end.

  11. Coach – Krummholz are the gnarly little trees that live between the alpine zone and the forest due to the extreme temps, wind, avalanches, etc.

  12. I really like the guide!

    One suggestion for improvement would be to label everything with red lines to make it really obvious what the descriptions and images refer to.

    Also, does the picture on the front page show the slides pre-irene? I feel like they’re different now.

    Anyway, great work… it’s awesome and only getting better.

    When do we put up the BC slide guide?

  13. Great site and great pictures! I’ve skied Whiteface many many times decades ago, but never the slides.

    I know I’m probably showing my age, but back in the day, NOBODY dared to ski The Slides. Cloudspin and Skyward were the only two legendary expert trails from the summit. They were used a lot for training to get ready for the 1980 Olympics.

    Anyway, this site and the great photos of Whiteface bring back a lot of memories! I haven’t skied in years, and with today’s modern technology, if I tried to get back on skis, I’d probably bust my butt!!

  14. Butch! And everyone, thanks for the props. We will continue to work on it. Shout out to all who helped and especially ScottyJack for his effort.

    Also Butch the new technology has extended the average “retirement age” for skiing. Once you can roll fatter skis on edge, it all falls into place. Come back!

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