How can 2 days one week apart be so different?
Last Sunday Whiteface was in a grips of a full Winter Storm, Yesterday it was sunny and 70F. 8) No Winter Powder, just mashed potatoes for lunch. 8)
I was back out with Morgane and she got to actually see the mountain this time. She also wanted to ski runs we didn’t ski last week. Last week we mostly did laps on the Summit Quad. The open lifts configuration was different this week. Last week the Cloundsplitter Gondola and the Mountain Run double were opened + Face Lift and Summit Quads. This week, WF shutdown the first two lifts and added the Little Whiteface double.
This change made it easy to ski the good stuff without having to ski all the way to the bottom. Last week you had to ski to the bottom if you wanted to access the top of Little Whiteface. Now you could stop at mid-mountain and take the LW double with runs parallel to the Mountain Run double. Midstation on the LW double stops where the MR double ends.
The marginal part
Not skiing to the bottom was a major bonus on Sunday, conditions on the flatter L Valley was extremely wet and slushy. In fact all the flat parts of the mountain were either lakes or rivers. The worst areas being U and L Valley and Broadway. In fact at the end of the day, there was a river flowing down Lower Empire (huge lake under the Face Lift Express) to Broadway. Easy Street wasn’t too bad. You needed to skip over dirt/water (on the right side of the lift) to get at the bottom of the LW double, same thing at the bottom on the Face Lift Quad.
The good part
Coverage and base was excellent once you were higher than the midstation. Yes, there were a few rocky spots at some exposed places at the top of Skyward, top of Mountain Run, Paron’s Run, but nothing you couldn’t go around. As mentioned above, Morgane wanted to ski something different. So no Skyward or Blazer’s Bluff today. The slides were definitely closed. We did our first two runs off the Summit Quad and all the rest on the LW double. Skyward seemed to be the most popular run of the day and was really bumped up at the end of the day. Instead we did Cloudspin (ex-Men’s Downhill) (from the top which was closed with Paron’s last week). The new snow was still undisturbed on the side. It was deep, wet and heavy, real cream cheese. Morgane wasn’t skiing at the same speed this week, this was harder work. Traffic was minimal.
We had Paron’s to ourselves afterward. There were a few tricky spots with exposed rocks.
Next runs were from the top of Little Whiteface. Northway looked real nice (did it last week – so not today). WOW, Empire was even opened with a sign of Thin Cover. We didn’t get a chance to ski it, instead we headed for Mackenzie, a run that is often overlooked. More of that Cream Cheese, mashed potatoes feel – time for lunch at the bottom 🙄 (see comments above). Trust me Tony, this type of snow isn’t the normal Spring Snow in the East, it was natural, not artificial. Yes, its sticky, this made feel like Fat skis would be perfect for this especially that it hadn’t been skied since it feel one week ago at it was 70F. The lower Mackenzie has more traffic, so it wasn’t really unskied and was bumped up. Wilderness, Mountain Run and Thruway were great. Took the last LW double just before 3:30pm and headed down Parkway all the way to the half-pipe. Did the last last run at WF for the year with Facelift. The terrain isn’t interesting, but Morgane wanted to ski some more. Tried not to ski in lakes (Morgane) and avoid water, the finished in the half-pipe again.
This was another fun day although very different from the previous two weekends, looked more like my April 1st. However this time we didn’t have any Winter stuff.
The drive home to Ottawa was an EASY 3 hours (not including supper in Saranac Lake) compared to last Sunday.
Originally posted on Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:29 pm on firsttracksonline