Whiteface Mtn, NY: 12/6/09

I woke up this morning in North River around 6:00 and headed to Whiteface at 7:30. I arrived at 9am, parked in the River Lot, and walked right onto the Gondi.

Whiteface is big, it’s really big. You know it. I know it too. But today, I came “face-to-face” with it. For starters the Gondi is big. It crosses a huge exposure before getting to the top.

Even with only ONE trail open Whiteface is big. Excelsior to Summit Express to Upper Valley covers half the Gondi run and maybe 1500 feet of vertical. The mountain’s single opening day run just goes on and on.


I think WF did a good job getting the terrain online in such a short time. Coverage was really pretty good. There were areas of hardpack, ice, loose chunks, sugary machine groomed, and piles of soft stuff, under the guns. Still – I give Whiteface a B+ for the condition of that run – only two days after a torrential downpour.

Today was my first real day of skiing this season. The long, hardpacked runs were hard hard work. I probably did 10,000 feet of vertical. By 11, every telemarker, including me, was P’turning. By noon, I was paralleling the entire run, except under the guns. The best skiing was under the Facelift. I had earplugs and went for it.

I came with the wrong gear today. I’ve got these old, very snappy, narrow (70mm), Atomic TM22s that I used yesterday at Gore, and they would have been perfect.

Instead I got the crazy idea that it was time to get used to my new RT-86s. They are intended to be my quiver of one ski, for Gore. I bought them last year but really didn’t use them much. So I was on a mission. But I would have lasted longer on the 22s.

I realized today that a big part of the reason I tele exclusively is because, Gore IS so small, in comparison to a mountain like Face. I knew that but today it dawned on me. If I’m ever going to ski socially at bigger mountains like Whiteface, I am going to need alpine gear. There I said it. I just can’t keep up with good skiers on bigger mountains.

That vertical is the Whiteface trademark. There’s a sign at the top of the Gondi detailing Little Face’s vertical advantage over Stowe, Jay and Tremblant. Little is a big mountain with long runs, lots of pitch, and there’s another 1000′ feet of vertical next door.

Has a nice size pond out the back too.

9 comments on “Whiteface Mtn, NY: 12/6/09

  1. HaRv,

    Think I saw you today.. Once you were on your way into the mid-station but it was about our turn to get on the chair, the next time.

    Again I was in line and you were standing by the mid station too.

    Was going to introduce myself but never got a chance, then when I was really going to try my last few runs, couldn't find ya.

    I was in black jacket, tan pants, black stick, white goggles, with my lady in black pants, white jack/hat/goggles…

    Small green waste pack ("fanny pack")?

    Was there from 10-1.

    See next weekend

  2. "Today I realized that if I'm ever going to ski socially at bigger mountains like Whiteface – I am going to need alpine gear."

    I thought you realized that when we skied there with Patrick in April 2008. 😉

  3. James…when I wrote that sentence, I had you in mind.

    No question that the thought occurred to me then. The difference today was … conditions were much firmer today than that time in April 2008. You would have left me even farther behind.

    Still … CB will never ski Whiteface (she'd hate it) and we don't have prepaid daycare up there. So we'll see how often I get up there.

  4. Chris … sorry we missed. Green buttbag is definitely me. I split around 1pm as well. I was beat.

    It will happen.

    Got any pics from today?

  5. Gore was too big a mountain for me on tele-gear! I started telemarking at Greek Peak because the runs were so short. Big mountains were too much for me and I realized I like alpine skiing much more than telemarking anyway and I sold my tele-gear this summer.

  6. PQ… good to hear from you. When does Greek open? More important … when does your season start?

    This job isn't all coffee and donuts you know. 😉

  7. Unfortunately forgot the Camera, I was thinking it would have been funny to snap a shot of you and post it on the boards. This blog thing can really put you into a celeberty status quickly!

    I'll try to remember it on Thursday. You going to be up next weekend?

  8. Chris … the internet is better place without my picture on it.

    Not sure about next weekend. Normally this PAST weekend is christmas tree weekend at our house. We'll have to see about "conditions" … both here and at Gore.

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