big mountain riding
less snow than resorts in northern vermont
well, let me start by saying i judge mountains by terrain...and this place has it. before i praise the place -- here are some of my criticisms. now, i know they are opening up a whole new ridge on the mountain; however, i think they could cut some really good trails and glades if they would use the terrain under the gondola. it looks like some trails and serious glades could be cut for advanced skiers that would be as steep and deep as the slides (the double-black diamond hike only area).
speaking of the slides, never been to whiteface when the slides was open. also, many times i go to a mountain alone because of where i live and work schedule...so i couldn't ride the slides if i wanted to. i know at a resort in vermont that a person can hire some of the instructors to go in there back basin. it would be nice if whiteface would start putting backcountry skiing and riding packages together, that teach safety, beacon use...i think i'd pay for that kind of service to get into the slides. i'm sure others would pay as well. how many times are people skiing and riding with people who don't want to or are not capable of doing serious terrain...leaving that person with no chance to go? maybe they should have instructors/team package available with one run pass, afternoon pass, or all day in the slides with a ski or ride instructors (teams of 3). it could be done...
now to the praise. it is a BIG mountain...it rides different from small mountains. they have had two olympics' downhills on this mountain. but that means nothing to most of us. it means huge vertical, steep, good glades...but again, it feels like it is underdeveloped for as large a mountain as it is. i really wonder if more really well cut trails could be cut, without destroying the glades already present.
finally, my big secret about this mountain...i choose carefully which days i go...to get this mountain at its best. the weather can change this mountain quickly. it can be soft and 20 minutes later, it can be hard, ice hard. this is an advanced mountain. i would not bring beginners unless they really don't mind not seeing you at all, except for lunch. their terrain (green) is separate. this is a mountain for advanced skiers and riders. and it will really push you.
furthermore, the wind blows the snow into the trees --> great tree skiing and riding. furthermore, i try and catch the place with fresh powder and or in the spring, when it will be softer. that may make me sound soft, but i want to really enjoy my day, not be worried about getting hurt. i've done a couple hundred yards of boiler plate special at a different mountain in my life, on a snowboard, and it's not fun. only seen patches of ice on this mountain and i could tell they would be earlier in the day because of how soft the snow was before it got cold enough again late in the day.
i like whiteface a lot. i wish i could devote a winter to riding it. i think this place will make you a better skier and rider.