Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid
beast of the east
Thu 6 December 2007 by skunkNot sure what Dan is talking about in the introduction, i suppose he lives in Revelstoke? This hill is the steepest and most exciting mountain the eastern US has to offer, surpassing anything in nearby Vermont. It's not exactly interior BC champagne powder, and not a huge resort that takes a week to explore but as far as this half of the states goes, it's the largest vertical drop you can get. You'll never complain about too much traversing or having to boot out of a flat spot (as with most eastern resorts), and staring down Skyward from the top will surely inspire a lump in your throat and a wobble in your knees. If you're lucky enough to be here when the ski patrol opens the slides (only after a big dump), take a short hike from the top to enjoy possibly the only true double-black off piste experience in the east. I'm not much of a park rat so not sure how their pipe compares, but for exciting steeps you really can't find anything better within a 1000km radius.
That said, it is still the east, it can indeed get VERY cold and sometimes icy, but in my experience this mountain is not so popular, i've never had to wait more than 5-10 mins for a lift. Lake Placid is a cute little town, and if you fancy a beer or 8 after riding go visit Nate the bartender at Swiss Acres Inn, he'll hook you up, and even tune your board in his shop in the back when you're done. There are also the Olympic village attractions, like the awe inspiring ski jumps and the ice rink where the famous "miracle on ice" took place.
I live in NYC and I got a season pass for Whiteface this year, it is well worth the 4+ hour trip on Friday night to ride here Saturday and Sunday, because 99% of the gapers coming out of the city stop at Hunter to stand in line all day long.
But i don't need to convince you, i'd rather keep this largely undiscovered gem all to myself, my homies and the locs, and i'd like to thank Dan for doing that for me with his short and uninsightful review. As a last thought, when you wonder who to believe, ask yourself the following question: If this hill is indeed so boring and flat, why on earth would the winter olympics downhill events be staged here not once but twice? (1932, 1980)