I met Danzilla at his place in North Creek at 6:15. We got to Wilmington at 7:30 and booted up. It didn’t snow much on the drive up, but it was snowing lightly at the base when we arrived.
There wasn’t a ton of snow at Whiteface, but today, there was soft, natural snow stashed in the corners, it snowed most of the day, and the mountain just felt snowy.
We were fortunate to arrange a mountain tour with an experienced Whiteface Mountain Host. We found great snow in pockets all over the mountain. The best run of snow we found was on Lower Wilderness. And while it was good all day, it was especially fun in the morning.
Later in the day we saw Bruce McCulley, who explained the difference in the snow on Wilderness. There were several inches of snowmaking blow-by from Mountain Run mixed in with all the pixie dust that has been falling over the last few days. That amount of manmade snow was enough to give the “base” some body.
The whole day was inspiring. Especially the setting. Skiing through in the valley looking up at Whiteface and Lookout, is like being in a cathedral. We fantasized about Lookout Below from the chair.
There was good snow on much of Upper and Lower Valley. And at the bottom of Lower Valley was a deluxe spot for teleturns. We also learned of “Little Hollywood” below the Bear Lift. Some low angle powder that was still nice at the end of the day.
By 3:15 we were toast. We took one last run trying to jump between the piles of turnable snow. Overnight, as Whiteface grooms, those piles of natural snow should mix-in and produce some nice corduroy.
4 comments on “Whiteface, NY: 12/18/10”
How close are they to opening the Lookout chair?
What an awesome early season day at Whiteface on Saturday! I had the pleasure of riding with two characters you all know well – Harvey Road himself and High Peaks Drifter. Long Island Roger also hung out with us for for a good part of the day. Special thanks to HPD and Roger for showing us around the mountain. It is always fun to ride with people who know and love their home mountain.
It seems like Whiteface follows a script much like Gore in getting the mountain open. With that in mind, the “normal” terrain for this time of year was open. We hit just about everything on the mountain and overall the conditions were great. Our favorite lap of the day was Mountain Run to Lower Wilderness. Lower Wilderness was open on natural snow and with the base you would expect this time of year my board took a few nice shots from rocks, tree tops and who knows what else. Props to WF for opening what they did on natural. The powpow was more than worth the damage. We also found a handful of other trails open on all natural snow including Upper Parkway, Deer, and Wolf Run. We also found pockets of light fluffy goodness on Victoria, Excelsior, and Lower Valley (down the far left side).
The summit was almost ready (opened today) and I would expect the Wilmington trail to be open by Christmas or so. The additional snow that Whiteface received last week was evident. Most all of the trails had cover even up on the summit.
Bruce and Aaron filled us in on some of the history of Marble Mountain and the history of the Cloudsplitter trail (now Hoyt's High). Can’t wait till they get snowmaking on that trail. It looks like it is a blast.
It was great skiing with both of you guys. I hope you can make it back when the whole mountain is open.
James…I hope I have my facts straight, they are blowing Lower Wilmington now. When they are done with Paron’s and the Follies they will concentrate on Upper Skyward. After that is done they will blow Upper Wilmington. The snowmaking forecast is good so if all goes well maybe as early as this weekend. Christmas week for sure.
HPD… thanks again for all your time and the knowledge you shared. Way to represent your mountain. Can’t wait to see your first report from the summit.