New York sucks!!! Whiteface sucks!!! Titus sucks!!! Big Tupper sucks!!! 2012 sucks!!! This Winter sucks!!! Works sucks!!! Taking day off work sucks!!! Traveling with family sucks!!! Music lessons sucks!!! Traveling solo sucks!!! Health issues sucks!!! Sick pet sucks!!! Spring Break Sucks!!! This weather sucks!!! Snow conditions sucks!!! Road trips sucks!!! Skiing sucks!!! Not skiing sucks!!! My life sucks!!! MadPatSki sucks!!! This blog sucks!!!
Now that it’s out-of-the-way, I can start writing this TR. Spring Break week was reduced to one day of family skiing and at that time, it looked like Whiteface only had a few weeks to go before the end of the season. That was before the Eastern Ski Disaster and Winter Hating Heatwave hit.
So I took an entire week off for the Ontario Spring Break and only one day out of it. We’ve had great weeks of skiing with the kids in the past, but that annual tradition didn’t happen last year due to Morgane’s injury in early March. Although Morgane got hurt this year, I was determined not to have it sidetrack skiing plans for the rest of us. Besides Morgane’s 2012 injury, I had my own health issue which totally made my ski season stink. Add the fact that we didn’t have any Winter just compounds matter. My youngest and wife had also barely skied this Winter.
I took out the NY Grade 4 passport with provided with a couple of free skiing coupon in the state of New York. We got the Grade 5 passport for NH when Morgane was that age, it was a memorable Spring Break trip. This year? A fiasco.
Two and half months ago I was hoping to get to line up Titus, Big Tupper, Whiteface, Gore and maybe make it over to Mad River Glen in Vermont, however add a low snow year, health issues and possible warm spell and possible rain in the forecast changed our plans. I was hoping for a Big Tupper, Whiteface and Titus, but Tupper had already closed for the season.
Home stuff from cleaning, not being ready to leave, the weather, rescheduled appointments, a homework backlog and a sick pet kept us from leaving on Monday or Tuesday.
The plan finally became a two-day trip to Whiteface and Titus. Impossible to leave on time when we’re 4. We left Ottawa too late for my liking and drove off in the rain. Forecast called for rain in the morning then improving for the next two-days. It would have been easier to start off skiing at Titus and it was planned that way if we would have left earlier in the week, however with the Whiteface Wednesday special, it made us start at Whiteface. Which was a good thing as Titus was closed due to rain.
Three hours of this in the car
Whiteface : March 14, 2012
We arrived before noon and cars were parked almost to the top lot. It was Ontario Spring Break and a bunch of them where here. I even meet an ex-colleague from work as I was rushing in. Tara wanted to eat once we got in.
Tara was skiing free and we had $38 tickets for the “Why Not Wednesday” special at Whiteface. Temps were around +10c, gray and foggy. To make us go quicker, I carried Tara skis to the gondola and gave her the poles. As we got in the gondola for the first ride up at 1pm, I noticed that Tara had 4 pair of poles. The problem is that we were only 3. Morgane was, of course, not skiing, but reading a book inside the lodge. I was trying to figure out where that pole came from, it was a pole from Kunstadt Sports in Ottawa, which we also have at home. Once at the top of Little Whiteface. I informed my wife that she should take Tara down on Excelsior and take the double above Mountain Run; I would meet them back on top of LW. I speeded down Approach then turned below the midstation on the double to hit to top part of Upper Thruway….isssshhhh!!! It was sheer frozen ice…iiishhh. It would have been awesome if it would have soften up. I presume the place might have been salted to ice it up for a race. I’ve cut back to Mountain Run and continued to the ski rack where our skis were. No order skis, so I returned the poles inside to Lost & Found.
Back on the gondola, I waited at the top of Little Whiteface for what seem to be a long time on this short day. There was a little sprinkle of rain. Tara and my wife missed the cut off for the chair and skied all the way to the bottom. No wonder it took them so long.
We skied to Excelsior together. The approach to the junction at the bottom of Paron’s Run was only a layer of blue ice. Once the sun hits it and temps increase, this is going to be gone. Conditions looked more what someone would see at Whiteface on either the last week of March/first week of April. Once you hit Excelsior, you had loose granular spring snow and took the double this time instead of skiing all the way to the bottom. A slight variation for the second run, we cut across lower Essex were the snow was harder, it was steeper, but also had less skiers to contend with. Two face plants on this loose granular didn’t help matters, although I love skiing on this stuff, it can be a pain for some. The bottom of Boreen was pretty bare in some spots. Once we reached the bottom, Tara wanted a snack and go to the bathroom.
The day was almost over when we got finally back out, gondola to the top. Caroline wanted to take the Summit Quad, even if it was in the clouds while Tara wanted to ski an easier trail. We ended up skiing down Victoria which was quieter, but steeper. She skied fine and have turned around to the idea of heading to the top, however we arrived at the bottom of the Summit Quad at 3:31pm and missed the last chair of the day. We skied down and took the FaceLift for one last run with a variable on Bear at the bottom. No more snow, but less traffic = less piles of snow to ski through.
Even if we skied for 3 hours and did 5 runs, it was the equivalent of over 16 runs at Edelweiss so it wasn’t that bad. I think Tara enjoyed herself, despite the face plants.
I have skied at Whiteface over 40 times over the years, but I never slept in Lake Placid. It was a first, although we eat supper in town a number of times. Checked on the internet to see that Titus had been closed today again due to rain, forecast for the next day was sunny with a slight chance of rain. So everything should be good. Tara had a full of energy and was bed diving.
Driving back to Lake Placid
Thursday morning, it was gray. The person at the lobby of the hotel was happy with this weather. She didn’t realize know much of Lake Placid tourist dollars in March are tied in to Winter activities? How many families from Ontario were staying in town? Looking at the Titus website: status closed. I tried to call their 1-800 number: always busy. I had wise to try Lifutopia to purchase my lift ticket. What was going to happen with that? (Kudos for a quick response from Liftutopia which gave me a refund). We could have returned at Whiteface, but without a discount, we would have spend close to $160 in lift ticket to ski with Tara under hard conditions for her. Instead we drove around, showed the girls to the Bobsleighs and Luge runs plus the Ski Jumping complex.
Did a quiet drive to Titus anyway as it was on the way back to Ottawa, to assure that this place was closed. And see what would happen to my voucher. The place is deserted and it’s sunny.
At the time I just though that Titus Mountain was biting themselves in the foot after talking about getting Ontario kids to ski there just the week before…taken from the Titus website:
welcome ontario public schools!
Titus Mountain will be open all week for your holiday enjoyment! We will have SPRING CONDITIONS all week long! Just a short drive away! No lift lines! Low, low prices! Your CDN $’s at par!
The lifts have been closed Tuesday, Wednesday and on this day due to rain (I don’t know about that Monday and the forecast called for rain for Friday (they were in fact closed).If they are making decisions based on the forecast, mentioning and trying to attract people from the Ontario School Break and not even trying to open midweek. I’m pretty sure there is more than one family that has been affected and pretty sure they will not even take a chance to book one week of skiing in Malone next year or in the future if the hill was closed and it wasn’t even raining, especially when it was pretty sunny with blue skies when I drove by Titus today.
That’s a shame, I had skied here with Morgane when she was maybe 7. It’s a great small family ski area. I’m just happy I didn’t book lodging in Malone.
Summary of the one day Spring Break (written on Harvey Road on that Thursday):
Whiteface conditions and snow coverage are that of early April. If temps remain so high above freezing, season is going to end real fast.
Not skiing at Titus : closed due to rain