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Posts Tagged ‘New York’

What gift is associated with a 20th wedding anniversary? Corn!

My wife and I had planned to spend the day together on this, our 20th wedding anniversary.

Late : Late planning. Initially we would have loved to celebration at our Honeymoon destination: Whistler. As it is often the case with kids, work, school, the logistics, it became to complicated when you don’t get your act together until late in the game.

Late : Late change of plans. Instead of a day at the museum and restaurant, we decided to go skiing instead of staying in Ottawa. Forecast was calling for a beautiful sunny day, so we decided “Why Not go skiing on Wednesday”.

Late : Late departure from Ottawa as we waited for the time kids left for school. Plus no need to rush, corn is better served later in the day.


Summit: Follies, Upper Paron’s (closed), Cloudspin (closed), Skyward

Late : Extremely late to start using my Ski-Ride Foxcard which was worth a couple of hundred dollars Canadian with the current exchange rate. I would generally start using late in the season, but this was really late for a season was less than stellar, many ski areas on the card had already closed for the season (Titus, Middlebury, Bolton, Burke, MRG, Suicide Six).


Lowtide under the Summit Quad

As I’ve been saying on the status of the Eastern ski areas this Spring, conditions and winter has definitely less “winterish” by a few degrees and more rain…but it’s also colder further north resulting in snow or snowmaking conditions in the Laurentians, the Gatineaus (Ottawa), Quebec City and further East. This was my first ski day south of the St. Lawrence River as the season, the distance and the exchange rate didn’t make much sense to go South. Whiteface was reporting 103″ (261cm) this season.  I don’t recall seeing such a low tide winter since maybe 1980.


Northway


Follies and Lake Placid


There was an easy to avoid choke on the top of Skyward


All smiles

The forecast was calling for mostly sunny, with a high near 55F and the “Why Not Wednesday” promotion ($48 lifticket with Coke product) probably explained why they were so many car for a midweek late season day. We got on the Gondola shortly after noon as it was a late start, we proceeded to start with Northway. The run hadn’t softened up and was still firm, so we headed up the Summit Quad for the next few runs. The Follies and Skyward were the only options down, we started with Follies and had a mixed of corn and thin cover. Skyward was much better as it was just softening up. The coverage was great until you reach the Niagara upper pitch where there was only a narrow ribbon of snow in the shade. The coverage was more wall-to-wall on Victoria. We rode on a chair with and bumped into the co-owner of High Peaks Cyclery throughout the afternoon as she was going laps milking as many turns as she could before the end of the season whenever that will be. We had a chat on the season, Adirondack backcountry and the Alps’ Haute Route which she did this Winter.


Skyward and Little Whiteface


Niagara’s Thin Cover


Corn on Approach


Corn on Mountain Run

The front side of Little Whiteface was deserted and awesome, the lower mountain was slushy and relatively crowed for the conditions. Although it was still March, the mountain skied like mid-April. Whiteface was still giving the public some lessons and all the beginners on the hill where staying on the lower mountain. We skied through the park where the snow and slope were better. There was also bumped line on the lower mountain which I had never seen.


Mountain Run


Boule’s Deck

Whiteface had official 40 runs 5 lifts open, but none of them included the chairs on Little Whiteface, so it forced us to lap on the Gondola if we wanted to the ski Mountain Run, Wilderness, Upper Upper Parkway and Upper Thruway where the corn was awesome. The snow on some part of the hill was collapsing once you reached Lower Thruway and you could hear the water underneath. The Boule’s Deck was busy with people eating and drinking.


Heart


You can hear the running water under the snowpack


Last part of Thruway

Ah yes, the 5 lifts… Summit quad, Gondola, Facelift and…the beginner terrain Mixing Bowl and Bear lifts. As I finish writing this, I’m not sure how Whiteface will look THIS weekend, more than 2 weeks later. Lucky it’s been cold since, but temperatures for the next few days are going to be in the “short-weather” range.


Bump line on Lower Valley pitch 🙂


Washout at the bottom of Bear


Corn and Sun


A beautiful anniversary day


Dinner in Lake Placid

MadPat’s Gallery:
Whiteface NY – March 30, 2016

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THIRD WEEKEND OF APRIL

A grey Monday morning update.

The Freeze Frame Winter weather which included some fresh snow in some parts slowed down the closures over the past week. Some mentioned it was one of the best days of the season, unfortunately we still saw a number of Eastern ski areas calling it a season, some either had no choice coverage wise, decided to cut their season’s loses or just keep to the schedule closing date, especially like Le Massif and other places Eastern Quebec.

Many of the big guns of the US East are holding on hope to make it to May regardless of a poor snow totals this season, so much that Maine’s Sugarloaf and Sunday River blew some snow in April. The snow situation is better as we move further North and East.

Many of the smaller Quebec areas in the East are winding down their season with weekend opening only and one finally weekend coming up; this is nothing out of the ordinary for them. As we moved in mid-April, the Eastern skiers, with a few exceptions, needs to drive far in order to ski if their aren’t located in the Montreal-Quebec City-Boston triangle.

Twenty-seven ski areas are hoping to open this coming weekend, almost half are East of Quebec City, however if you want to ride a lift midweek you’ll have to settled with only 9 areas, 6 of them being in the US (Tremblant, MSS, Le Relais, Jay, Stowe, Sugarbush, Killington, Wildcat and Sugarloaf).

Numbers from previous seasons: Total / New York & New England
2016 : 27 / 8
2015 : 39 / 22
2014 : : 38 / 15
2013 : 25 / 12
2012 : 10 / 6

An important note to remember, this list can change at any moment. Even if there is snow, call ahead, some might not bothering spinning if the weather doesn’t compare with the notion of Spring skiing.

LIST OF 27 26 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY OPEN THIS WEEKEND (9 open daily)**

QUEBEC : 17 16**

Western Québec : 6 5**
Vallée Bleue – TBD (tentative weekend only)**
Mont Vidéo – April 16 (tentative Saturday only)
Val St-Côme – April 17 (tentative weekend only)
Camp Fortune – April 17 (tentative Friday* and weekend only)
Tremblant – April 17
St-Sauveur – May 14 (tentative)

Eastern Québec : 11
Chalco – April 17 (weekend only)
Gallix – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Massif du Sud – April 17 (weekend only)
Édouard – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Val d’Irène – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Le Relais – April 17
Le Valinouet – April 24 (Friday-Sunday only)
Ste.Anne – April 24 (Friday* and weekend only)
Lac Vert – April 30 (tentative weekend only)
Miller – late April 17 or May (weekend only)*
Comi – May (weekend only)

ONTARIO & LABRADOR : 2
Blue ON – April 17 (Wednesday-Sunday only)
Smokey Mountain NL – late April (tentative Friday-Sunday)

EASTERN US : 8
Wildcat NH – TBD (weekend only)
Whiteface NY – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Sugarloaf ME – April 17 and possibly more
Stowe VT – April 24
Jay VT – late April
Sugarbush VT – May 1 (tentative)
Sunday River ME – May 1 (weekend and Monday Holiday only)
Killington VT – May

* Updates : April 13
** Updates : April 15 – Vallée Bleue is done for the season

Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2016 posts:
Let’s move Past EASTer & Go Easterner – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Part 1
Freeze Frame – Eastern Closing Thread 2015-16 – semaine 2

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SECOND WEEKEND OF APRIL

Freeze Frame on the Spring skiing which will allowed the coverage to last a bit longer if the ski resorts wants to. The dilemma is strong for many, either extended for a bit longer or cut your losses and shutdown the season.

The cold temps made the skiing brutally firm and slick in the low snow regions, while the colder areas in the North and Eastern Quebec are still close to Winter mode. They might be 46 ski areas across the East, but only 11 are still open daily (Québec: 4, Ontario: 1, New England: 7).

Numbers from previous seasons: Total / New York & New England
2016 : 46 / 11
2015 : 82 / 38
2014 : : 89 / 35
2013 : 47 / 25
2012 : 20 / 11

New England is at the same level as the Heatwave Spring of 2012 with only 11 ski areas still open; Eastern Québec ski areas are still on track on their regular schedule: Almost half of the ski areas that will operate make it to April’s second weekend are located are located here. The economic and migration of skiers from South of the St.Lawrence Valley is bringing skiers to places like Le Massif, Tremblant and Ste. Anne. Tremblant decided this week to add an extra weekend to their season by closing on April 17.

Maine’s Sunday River and Sugarloaf try to cope with the situation and take advantage of well below freezing temperatures this week by turning on their snow guns. I don’t recall this happening before, but it’s been a terrible year that will go down in the record book. That being said, 6 ski areas have openly stated that they were aiming for May. Oh yeah, I forgot, there is snow in the forecast in the East.

An important note to remember, this list can change at any moment. Even if there is snow, call ahead, some might not bothering spinning if the weather doesn’t compare with the notion of Spring skiing.

LIST OF 46 42 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY OPEN THIS WEEKEND (11 open daily)**

QUEBEC : 32 28**

Western Québec : 12 11*

Belle-Neige – TBD (tentative weekend only)*
Vallée Bleue – TBD (tentative weekend only)
Ste-Marie – April 10 (Friday-Sunday weekend only)*
Vidéo – April 10 (weekend only)
Orford – April 10 (tentative weekend only)*
Owl’s Head – April 10 (tentative weekend only)
La Réserve – April 10 (tentative weekend only)*
Montcalm – April 10 (weekend only)
Val St-Côme – April 10 (weekend only)
Camp Fortune – April 17 (tentative weekend only)
Tremblant – April 17
St-Sauveur – May 14 (tentative)

Eastern Québec : 20 17**
Béchervaise – TBD (tentative weekend only)*
Cap Chat – TBD (tentative weekend only)**
Chalco – April 10 (weekend only)
Gallix – April 10 (Friday-Sunday only)
Ti-Basse – April 10 (weekend only)
Stoneham – April 10 (Friday-Sunday only)
Orignal – April 10 (tentative weekend only)**
Le Massif – April 10 (Friday-Sunday only)
Pin Rouge – April 10 (tentative Sunday weekend only)**
St-Mathieu – April 10 (weekend only)
Val Neigette – April 10 17 (tentative weekend only)**
Massif du Sud – April 17 (tentative Friday-Sunday only)
Édouard – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Val d’Irène – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Le Relais – TBD April 17*
Le Valinouet – April 24
Ste.Anne – April 24
Lac Vert – April 30 (tentative weekend only)
Miller – late April or May (weekend only)
Comi – May (tentative Wednesday-Sunday only)

ONTARIO & LABRADOR : 3
Blue ON – April 10 17 or tentatively more**
Loch Lomond ON – April 10 (Friday-Sunday only)
Smokey Mountain NL – late April (tentative Thursday-Sunday)

EASTERN US : 11
Wildcat NH – TBD
Whiteface NY – April 10 (weekend only)
Cannon NH – April 10 (weekend only)
Loon NH – April 10
Stratton VT – April 10 (Friday-Sunday only)
Sugarloaf ME – April 17 and possibly more
Stowe VT – April 24
Jay VT – late April
Sugarbush VT – May 1
Sunday River ME – May 1
Killington VT – May

* Update: April 6
** Update: April 8

Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2016 post:
Let’s move Past EASTer & Go Easterner – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Part 1

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Celebrating the New Year in New York!!!

Ti..s is the place!!!

Not TIMES Square at the centre of Manhattan, but TITUS Mountain on the Northern edge of the Adirondack mountains a few miles south of the Whippleville near Malone, New York.

titus_20131231

In the last days of 2013 I received an email from Titus informing me of their plans. I thought it would so cool. I had skied a number of times on the first day on New Year, but never at the stroke of midnight.

Quote from Titus:

This New Year’s Eve, we’re pulling-out all the stops to ring in 2014 & you don’t want to miss it!

Great food & beverages, LIVE entertainment, nightskiing & much, much more!

Our lifts will be OPEN ’til 1am on New Year’s Day! For the FIRST TIME, you can lay down the FIRST TRACKS of the New Year!

As midnight approaches, you can enjoy our Torchlight Parade down the main slope in front of our expanded lodge & patio area . . .

. . . and, at the stroke of midnight as the last torch goes out, the FIREWORKS explode over the mountain!

The North Country has never seen a New Year’s celebration like this! Join us & welcome in 2014 the Titus way!

It was something that I had looked for New Year 2000, but I didn’t find. Now we were going into 2014 and a family ski area few miles south of the border was going to make it happen. The month of January 2014 was also a personal skiing milestone for myself.


Wait at US Customs on New Year’s Eve

Although I was skiing locally at Edelweiss almost every day during the Holidays, the family thought it would be so cool to drive to Malone, New York. The forecast was calling for an extremely cold night, but the lowest temperatures of the week was pushed back 24 hours making me breath a sign of relief as my youngest daughter had a hard time the previous day at Edelweiss. We hadn’t planned to ski for the whole day, but the last few hours of the year and getting first tracks of the year past midnight was on a “Bucket list somewhere”. We left Ottawa after 6pm to make the 100 miles 2-hour journey across the border. Between the traffic, slippery roads with snow and the cold below -21c, the longer than average wait at the US Border and the odd extremely slow driving individual such as 30mph in a 55mph zone (they were either drunk or never drove when snowing types): the drive took us over 2:40. We arrived shortly after the torchlight parade (which had been moved earlier in the evening) which gave us a parking spot not far from the lodge.


Sign to Titus


Base Lodge


Party in the Base Lodge with band playing some Guns

We walk through the the bar which was rocking with lights and a live band playing stuff like Guns N’ Roses. It was passed 9pm when we got our lift tickets. This was my third trip to Titus: the last one involved us showing up at unfortunately closed ski area during a terrible Spring Break 2012. The only visit which featured actual skiing was in February 2005. Morgane was only 7 at that time and it proved to be an excellent family ski area. It is a 1200′ vertical area with 3 small mountain with a calm atmosphere. The night skiing is limited to two sides of the smaller of these hills.

Ski Map


Ready for some turns


Sunset at the base of Chair I


Chair I

This was the ‘least’ good and the iciest conditions I had experienced in 18 outings so far this season. I have to say that the conditions for the last month have been consistently amazing. It was snowing and there was a nice layer of fresh snow, however the base was slick and firm and would have called for sharpen skis to fully appreciate it. It is true that ski areas north of the St.Lawrence divide hadn’t suffered any real thaw this season, unlike near or south of the border.

A trip to Titus is a bit of travel to simpler time with old lifts, old lighting and quieter trails. I always love skiing at rustic ski areas. The terrain offered to us didn’t add any extra value to make the trip from Ottawa, especially for the night skiing. The skiing isn’t steeper and the vertical isn’t really greater than the Ottawa locals have to offer. For the same distance, you can make it to Tremblant, but you won’t be able to find that rustic feeling, excellent family, quiet and beginner ski area.


Snowing on Chair I


Main Side and Chair IV

Our late evening started with a slow ride up the triple and a descent towards the other side of Moon Valley. Morgane mentioned that the black run wasn’t that much harder than Edelweiss’ green run Easy Street. There was maybe 7 various descents to be skied on this night. The plan had to ski non-stop until next year, but it was a cold night. The temperature was warmer than anticipated with a -14c compared to the -20c it was in Ottawa when we left, but it didn’t stop us from taking a small break to warm up.


Warming up


Fireworks and snowflakes galore

Our last moments of 2013 we done riding the slow double. Certain trails had their light shutoff and the trail closed by a simple chair during the fireworks so we could ski back to the main side from our location. With a few other skiers, we watched the fireworks from behind the chair then heading down the still blackened trails. The darken trails reminded me of night skiing when I was in High School in the early 1980s.

The run on the side of the double chair (chair I) with runs like Whistler, Sunset and Milky West-Ravine Run were more interesting than the flatter main side with chair IV with Milky West, Little Dip/Meadow Run, Chocolate Chip and Ridge Run, however that more remote Pine Run was nice and quiet. The Face was a sheet of ice-covered by small layer of snow. Besides the entertainment inside the Base Lodge, there was also a few people riding the beginner handle tow, in the novice terrain park or at the snowtubing park. A wonderful evening to spend outside.


First turns of 2014 in the dark

Tara and my wife were cold and called it quits for the night with maybe 30 minutes left. Morgane and I closed off our evening until last chair on the main side at 1am. It was a wonderful evening and I could see a better great way to celebrate the New Year and reaching month 100 in the ski streak. I have a voucher for Titus and I might make a return visit when the bigger mountain is open, because 2-hour
is a long drive for this skier to only ski 155 meters (508ft) vertical which is smaller than the hills next door. Still I wouldn’t have wanted to be at another place on this day.


MadPat celebrating the 100-month mark

Happy New Year everyone in the Ski Mad World.

20131231_titus

MadPat’s Gallery:
Titus NY – December 31, 2013 – New Years

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MadPat’s latest start of the ski season EVER!!! A few weeks ago I posted the December 18 start of my 1992-93 season from the French Alps. Although it was late start, the season 1994-95 would turn out to be even later. A night skiing outing on January 2, 1995 at St-Sauveur/Avila before driving back to the new job the next morning in Ottawa.

What do all these late starts have in common? Finishing a thesis; starting a new job 200 km from home or having a baby. The last one is the best reason of the three.

Priorities

The January 2003 season start was the day after my second daughter’s two-month birthday. Something has to take precedent to that first day on skis. Tara Erin Meije was born on November 4 at 8am: it started snowing at that exact moment. A nice 7 cm fell to the ground,  first snow accumulation to stay in Ottawa that season. Stoked, even if I wasn’t going to do much skiing in the next few months. I didn’t take much time off from work when Morgane was born 5 years prior, however I figured out a few things in the last few years. Work should never stop you from living or take too much room in your live. I might have taken only 2 days off work when Morgane was born: I wasn’t going to make that error twice. The Canadian Government extended the unemployment insurance for Maternal/Parental leave from 6 to 12 months. Maternal leave is 3 months and Dads or/and Moms are allowed an extra 9 months of parental leave. For our first daughter, as a student, my wife hadn’t enough insurable income to qualify for unemployment back in 1997, this time she did. She decided to take the 3 months maternal and I took all of the 9 months parental. Regardless if we were being paid or not, Caroline and I took a whole year off. A colleague at work mentioned that I was lucky to take the parental leave as his wife would never share it, I told him that he could have done the same thing. I was taking 3 months unpaid leave, my wife wasn’t going to be paid for 9 months during that year. Like for many things in my life; it’s all a question of choice and priorities. I understand that not everyone think they can afford it, however that work colleague’s family income was much greater than ours. He couldn’t take the time off maybe because they weren’t willing to sacrifice other things. Time flies, sometimes you just need to take time.

Everything requires is about sacrifices and choices. For example, If I wouldn’t ski I would be much richer….but my life would be poorer.

Busy Fall

Holidays are all ready over, school starts on Monday as we are heading into the second week of January with a looming first Ottawa Masters ski race on Wednesday night: my second season on the circuit. Although I started my year off work in early December, pre-Christmas time is always a busy time. We also had just moved in our new home two weeks prior to Tara arrival. I absolutely wanted to get some turns in before heading to the first race. I needed to go to Montreal, so I did what we often did in the first years we lived in Ottawa, go to Montreal with detours towards Tremblant or Whiteface. So instead of driving 6 hours return to get to Whiteface, I would 3.5 hour and make it to Montreal and back to Ottawa. The Tremblant route adds the same amount of time to the usual 4-hour return trip up North.

map-ot-wf-mtl
Google Map : Ottawa to Montreal via Whiteface NY. Mont Tremblant is at the top of map.

exchange_rate2003
Exchange rate from 1985 to January 2003

exchange_rate2013
Exchange rate from 1985 to current (January 2013)

Super Sunday it is…Surfin’ Sunday!!!

Early on Sunday morning, I grabbed my Fels straight 202cm skis and headed to Whiteface Mountain for some real vertical. I preferred Whiteface over Tremblant, it was the first of three Super Sunday of the season with lift tickets at $30 US. Even with the Canadian dollars being near its all-time low at below 65 cents US which had added an extra 60% to the price of the ticket. Lift tickets ended up costing almost $50 which was still cheaper than Tremblant’s full season rate.

I wasn’t looking to make a ton of runs, just first turns for the season. The gold was to get out then head to Montreal. Whiteface had received 13″ in the past 24 hours making for nice powder/packed powder conditions. Forecast called for some flurries during the day with temperatures hovering between -5c and -10c. Not to warm for an Island Madness Super Sunday theme. Summit runs were partially open and Northway was still closed. I did only 7 runs, probably skiing off the summit and Little Whiteface a couple of time. Not a fan of Cloudsplitter Gondola, just give the Little Whiteface double and Summit Quad for the day. Headed taking the road towards I-87 and Montreal to my mom’s home, back in Ottawa on Monday.

2002-03 ski season

It was a late start to the season and I don’t know how many days I was going to get this season? Even if I stayed home with my wife and our new-born, the priorities were necessarily turns. Of course I would have my regular Wednesday nights Masters ski race and registered Morgane for ski lessons at Edelweiss. I would also get the odd trip to outside the region. Ski lessons were starting the following weekend: 8 Saturdays until early March. Although Morgane started skiing in March 2000, this was going to the first time in lessons. I wanted to book something that would force us on the hill at a regular basis, because without the weekly dedicated time at the hill between Dad and the oldest daughter, there would be a danger to not taking the time for her. Morgane was the centre of our World for 5 years: now she wasn’t alone and we needed to balance that. It’s nice to have a new kid in town, as long as you don’t forgot the one you already have.

There is also the real possibility of the family leaving one month to visit my wife’s family in France and show the baby to the grand-mothers. Probably the best time to go before Morgane gets to Grade 1 next year. If we go, I’ll definitely bring my skis in make some turns.

Stay tuned!!!

Whiteface snow report

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End of the season is already around the corner. My last ski outing felt like ages ago. After a talk with Lucky Luke at my mom’s funeral in Montreal and on the need to get out and make some turns, no matter where…I was back in Ottawa went Lucky told me he was heading for Whiteface. I needed to drive back to Montreal, but I was probably looking at some turns at St-Sauveur on a detour on another Ottawa-Montreal drive. I didn’t feel like paying at Tremblant, the detour was longer and the drive was longer for WF. I’m happy that my good friend Lucky dragged me out of unpleasant business and told me about the $17 lift tix deal at Whiteface.

Last liftserved day in the state of New York.

Skied on the same day last year…I don’t remember ever seeing so little snow at WF on their last day.

Gondola and Little Whiteface double were the only lifts in service. The day started off gray, but the sun found a way to find us at the end of the day. There was also signs on a dusting of snow on upper Little WF and the trees from the summit. I got at the mountain at 10ish and brought my old B1s on the gondola, not expecting wall-to-wall coverage that I found at Tremblant.

First run was down Excelsior with a lunch to drop off, as skiing to the base was sketchy. Order of the day was looping off Little Whiteface, to the mid or to the top. I saw Lucky and his clan right away on Mountain Run. \:D/ We skied Mountain Run, Wilderness and Thruway off the mid or Approach and Excelsior off the top. The top of Wilderness required some walking to get to or you could take a lower traverse.

There was also the “Closed” which we wondered why??? We lapped it a few times at the end of the day, best snow and run of the day. Overall snow was soft, but some flat areas mainly at the top of the double or around the midstation looked like someone stuffed the blender with Oreo cookies (real dirty slush) mixed with some chocolate chips (small rocks). The steep parts were okay. :mrgreen: The kids downloaded with the Gondola while Lucky, Anne-Marie and myself skied to the bottom. Lucky’s kids had already done it on their own earlier. There were a few narrow spots toward Broadway and at the bottom through the park. Snow in a narrow strip that disappeared maybe 100 ft from the base of the Face Lift.

So, here is the different runs options:

Off the top: A) Approach toward the mid 1) Thruway, 2) Mountain Run 3) Wilderness
B) 4) Excelsior or 5) Lower Essex/Northway to L Empire-Broadway
All to the way to the bottom via L Valley and SnowPark(name?)

Pictures are a courtesy of Lucky Luke:

Lucky’s kids at the top of Wilderness.

Lucky Anna-Maria

Lucky Alex

Lucky Alex in the bumps in “Closed”

Lucky Vero

Lucky Pat 😉

20100411_wf

Originally posted on Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:34 pm on firsttracksonline

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Days of a few firsts.

First time at this ski area. I’m pretty sure the following was a first. Daytrip where the distance in kilometers (one way or both) was greater than the vertical of the ski area. 250km vs 130m approximately. Leaving the locals which have greater vertical than this Tug I’ve been hearing about for years. The local scene was white, but wasn’t happening.

If it wouldn’t been for the snow that he had all week, but the storm brewing south of the border… then I saw skimore’s post last Friday. This got me thinking:

Tug got 18 last night and

This Afternoon: Snow showers and areas of blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 21. West wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 32 to 38 inches possible.

Tonight: Snow and widespread blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 12. Wind chill values as low as zero. West wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 15 to 21 inches possible.

Saturday: Snow showers, mainly before 10am. High near 27. Wind chill values as low as -3. West wind between 10 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

I decided to PM skimore, he had invited me down a couple years ago and I was always curious. I could only afford being away for one day, daytrip destination only. As I was giving 40-60 odds of me actually making the trip, I kept staring at the computer screen that showed a strong lake effect instead of working. Too busy, but I had to get out. Then I was pretty much decided, skimore mentioned a friend that what part of his Chic Choc party last April and that he lived somewhere in Eastern Ontario. The friend in question was Taiga from TTips which lives in Ottawa only 2 miles from my home.

Taiga and I agreed at a 5am pickup time. The distance from Ottawa to Tug is something like 220km. The snow level was pretty low at the border which is the St.Lawrence River. Across the border, I had no idea where I was going, lucky Taiga had been to Tug before. After a few minutes, he tells me that he might have missed the turnoff…back we go, heading back from where we came from then we turned. Again, we turned too early and we are heading in the right direction, but the road would then turn west…back on our steps. #-o Looking on a Blackberry and trying to find the proper route…we found a interconnecting road and rejoined Highway 812, where we were suppose to be in the first place. Great, I was lost, no maps will travel.

As we are driving, the snow banks were getting higher. Wow…then in Lowville we made the wrong turn at the Fork in the road. 🙄 We weren’t too far that there was a huge sign mentioned the ski area was 2 miles to the right. 8-[ The plan had been to meet skimore as we wanted to skin up before the lifts opened, however we got there only 20 minutes before the scheduled opening of the lift. We hurried indoor, got changed and heading to wait in line. It would seem all these people know each other. Waiting for the lift to open, I was looking at the main run…not one track. Wow, it was beautiful. :drool: Taiga noticed skimore toward the top of the hill skinning. The lift took a while to get going, so skimore managed a first tracks before the people started arriving on the top. Most of the people assault that wide run next to the liftline. It was fun, however the pitch was a bit flat for this amount of new snow. We repeated this one more time and then saw skimore at the top. He said that this was too flat and that we needed to follow him. I don’t know where he brought us? Faceshots, pillows, not sure if this was an official trail or if we turned away from the ski area. At one point, there was this drop, the slope wasn’t getting steeper, it was a sharp drop. I was somewhat concern with all the trees and branches around, but it didn’t seem to be much of a problem as skimore and friends charged down. This terrain is steep and intense (although short), not many place this small have terrain like this in their off-piste. We headed back further and further skiing through some nasty prickly branches, like skiing through bard wire, you don’t want a face shot here. 😕 At the bottom of the drop, we were to negotiate a creek crossing. Back on top, back in the woods. I thought we were back at the same place, but skimore mentioned that this place wasn’t. I didn’t know where we were. Lost again, no maps, will travel.

A well deserved lunch at the bar, we headed back up with some skins as we were going to head toward a closed part of the hill. Trackless in the woods and on the trails, but not as steep. We decided to headback to where we were in the morning. We were a fairly big group, but we started to split up. Taiga and I got loss with skimore one more time. For the next run, I was toasted and wanted to ski the official trails. This is a fun local area, not much of a challenge…until you get lost.

Thanks to skimore for being a wonderful guide and lending a set of skis and skins. Not a ton of vertical and a lot of pushing, but I was done.

Powderqueen wrote:

I hope they got some pix to post.

It’s been my experience, when the skiing is real good, you don’t stop for pics. This is the only thing that skimore got (posted in the other FTO TR):

This is what some of the terrain looks like (taken last year by skimore): short and sick…sweet. :mrgreen:

Don’t ask me where this place is, because I don’t know, I was lost the whole time. O:)

Finally to end this TR, this quote from the ski area’s snow report says it all:

This report is effective 5pm Saturday, December 12, 2009.

It looks like winter is finally here. [b]We received a total of 38″ of snow on Friday and the skiing and riding today were absolutely fantastic. If you weren’t here today you don’t know what you missed.

Thanks LAKE ONTARIO !!

Originally posted on Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:34 am on firsttracksonline

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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

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What a wonderful Sunday it was. Another April Powder Day, who would have though that we would get two Powder weekends in a row after that very Spring like April Fools. Yes, it fooled us all right.

The proof…no pics on a powder day.

These have been the best series (non-Spring) days I’ve seen in April.

Options for that Sunday were initially between Saddleback (free) and Whiteface. The advantages were that the latter could be done as a day trip from Ottawa. This was pretty important considering that the previous two weekends had me traveling toward Montreal for the weekend and that I will probably need to go through Montreal once my day drive option from Ottawa are over.

My daughter Morgane and I drove down from Ottawa (3 hours) and meet up with Lucky Luke, his friend Eric and SuperNat, my friend and Morgane’s godmother. They were coming down from Montreal (less than 2 hours away). They also had rain all the way to Whiteface while we had snow for the last hour from Malone to Lake Placid. A storm was forecasted, this looked like it was going to be a good day. 😛 Plus I had seen that the Slides were open the previous day. I think the last time I saw them open while at WF was in April 2002. [-o<

Lucky Luke and Eric were ready and stepped out for a run on the Cloudsplitter gondola. We were altogether for the next run. Started with the classic twisting (although much wider than before) Excelsior. Nothing hard about this run, soft soft soft and powder snow. Morgane isn’t necessarily a fan of blue runs, but she loved this one. Onto the Summit Quad. Visibility wasn’t good, it was snowing hard. It was great. We went down Skyward (top entrance a bit sketchy) and ended up taking a new (for the map) trail at the bottom of Lower Skyward, Blazer’s Bluff. BB is steep drop off the side of the Skyward. Lucky jumped in, Morgane made a one turn then tumbled in 😕 , but was okay. WOW…this is a great!!!

When everybody was warmed up, Lucky, Eric and SuperNat headed toward to the Slides while Morgane and I wanted to try Upper Cloudspin, but it was closed from the top. We ended entering UC on Lower Switchback. Fresh powder again. 😮 Morgane and I got at the bottom of the Summit Quad maybe a few minutes prior to the Slides expedition.

On the next run, I traded spots with SuperNat and headed with Lucky and Eric in The Slides. The last time I skied them, it was on warm and clear April day, unlike today. You couldn’t sense the steepest of the Slides, you could only see 20-30 feet at a time. Slide #4 was closed, Slides #3 sounded sketchy, so #2 it was. Slide #2 is narrower than the wideopen #1 and pretty bumped up. Loose powder and bumps. Once you merged with Slide #1 toward the bottom, you have to negotiate a series cliffs/frozen or melting waterfalls. Stopping in the middle of these and looking up, you realize that this is pretty unique terrain for a lift-serviced stuff. \:D/

After lunch, Morgane and I skied Northway off Little WF which was fabulous (always love this trail) before meeting up with the group at the Summit Quad. We were able to hit the Slides one last time, last time of the year. Like the signed said: “The Slides closed, Better Luck Next Year”. :mrgreen:

We skied the Slides a few times during the day. Lucky (4 times), while SuperNat and Eric (3 times) took one run each with Morgane. I skied them twice on this day, which was okay, as I was the only one in our group that had skied them before.

Morgane wanted to ski something different off the top, the open other open option was The Follies (top Paron’s Run was closed) then Excelsior. She loved the zigzags and narrow trail even if it’s relatively flat.

At around 2:30pm, SuperNat and Eric called it a day, Morgane stopped skiing at 3:10pm. Her hands were frozen. She had changed her wet mittens for lighter DRYER gloves after lunch. Lucky and I ended back to the top using Facelift and Summit Quads. On this day, we virtually didn’t ski anything else than the Summit, the snow and mid and lower mountain was wet powder. The bottom was a mixed of frozen slush base and with wet snow. We were wet and it was really snowing hard. Temps was hovering around freezing.

Here is the Whiteface snow report reflects what we had … 16 inches fell during Sunday. \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/

I guess if this report could have emoticons, it would. :mrgreen:

So I am typing todays report! Over 30 inches will fall with this storm of historic proportions in April! This is going to be off the hook! We are closed Monday-Thursday this week, super high winds will be in town Mon and tues with the storm dying down on Wednesday. We will be reopening for Friday Saturday and Sunday April 20, 21, and 22. This will be fantastic!

I skied all over the mountain today and the summit it is a whole different world I have never seen it so fabulous in April ever in my life. The slides opened today and once again I totally chickened out. Someday I will get my nerve up. I love the trail to the slides it is so majical and gorgeous it is my favorite trail on the mountain. But I go in turn around and come out. I am still freaked out at the very thought of skiing over a frozen waterfall of slide one.

While I was the huge chicken, many people were enjoying 2 fabulous days hittin’ the slides.

Powder Powder everywhere,,,,,,,,,,,,if I had my podcast I would seriously be singing my off-key POWDER song for you. on second thought it is probably better for you that it is not working. Really thinking about this my podcast could have been sabotaged by my coworkers that hate my off-key powder day song.

See you on Friday, hunker down for the next couple of days rest up and be ready to rip!!!!!!!

See you at Whiteface,

Bridget “oh please of please never let winter end”; Hinman

A great day all around, but it wasn’t over? 😯

As Lucky, Eric and Natalie left East toward the I-87 and Montreal in a snowstorm, Morgane and I headed West on Highway 86 toward Lake Placid which would eventually lead us north to Ottawa. Maybe 2 miles from the parking lot in Wilmington Notch, I was told that two SUVs collided which resulted into the road being blocked. 😕

Over one hour waiting in the pouring snow. At around 6pm a firefighter told us that the road wouldn’t be freed until at least another hour. I figured that on a normal day without snow, I had another 3 hours to drive to get home in Ottawa plus my daughter was getting hungry.
#-o

From local news on WNBZ

Several other road and highway mishaps occurred during the storm, including a two-car, head-on accident on Route 86 in Wilmington Notch. The Lake Placid Fire Department sent two trucks and 23 members to assist Wilmington Fire and Rescue at 4:51 p.m. Sunday.
One person had to be extricated from their vehicle. But State Police in Wilmington reported no injuries from the crash.

Also newspaper story about the conditions on that Sunday.

Heavy snow causes power outages in upstate New York – Press Republican on April 16th

At this point, I made a decision, the notch is really the only easy access across the Adirondack at this time and it was shut, so I decided to head toward Montreal. Much snow had fallen in the last 1-2 hours, the drive was mostly on fresh tracks on route 9N. The drive here and on I-87 was at about 40mph (60kmh). Many cars were off the road. After supper at Plattsburgh, we ended up waiting 40 minutes at the border, also got the second degree from the border guard because I didn’t have any ID for my daughter (I had forgotten for once).
😳 8-[ 😡

Once in Quebec, the road hadn’t been plowed at all in this snowstorm and over 6 inches of snow, which means driving 20mph (30kmh) all the way to Montreal. 😡 😡 😡 Arrived at my mom?s house passed 11pm, totally exhausted.

THE WORST PART???

There was no way I was going to be able to drive 125 miles (200 km) on a Monday morning and bring my daughter to school and get to work a day after a snowstorm (maybe 6-8 inches feel on Montreal). It was raining hard this morning. I was thinking, great we’ll go to Mont Sutton and ski some fresh powder!!! SuperNat was ready to join us and skip work, but no, Sutton was closed due to a power outage. How about Bromont and St-Sauveur, both closed due to weather. Jay? I wasn’t going to risk crossing the border again. So on this Monday, I had to use a Vacation Day not to go skiing after a snowstorm. The question was, Will anybody believe me at work???

Hoping to go back at Whiteface on Sunday with Morgane, however this time forecast is for sunny and 66F (19c). I guess it will be really Spring skiing this time. 8)

Edit: I forgot to mentioned that the mountain was virtually deserted except in the Slides (which isn’t exactly a ton of people).

Log of the Day

Originally posted on Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:13 pm on
firsttracksonline

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Okay, so it was raining on Saturday at MRG, but what else was different with Sunday at Whiteface besides the sun?

Temps were cooler: 19F at the Summit / 33F at the base at 6am. If I remember correctly, it was 61F on the top of General Stark mountain the previous day at 9am.

riverc0il wrote:

anyone that firmly believes a bad day of skiing is better than a good day at the office doesn’t get out on days like this there definitely are days on which i would rather be working than skiing, this was one of them. the only day of the season i can recall thinking “man, should have stayed home.”

This was going to be a different type of day. Life is Fun, Diversity is great. 😀

Admin wrote:

Day 46 (…) Seems to me that Marc “Sally” C forgot to set his clock this morning, so Nancy had a few runs in before Sally even started. ?

Day 45:

It was the type of day in which it pay off to not be first or second in line, but sleep in. 😛 It’s easy with a 2 1/2 hour drive back to Montreal in the rain and losing one hour to daylight saving time. Today I was heading back home to Ottawa with a slight detour via Whiteface.

Started riding the Cloudsplitter Gondola at 11am and with Essex (black diamond) on Little Whiteface as first run: Groomed + Frozen solid and icy. Sounds a bit like Riverc0il’s conditions at last day on Cannon. Unfortunately my edges weren’t as sharp after skiing dirt/mud mixt with a quarter inch of corn snow on the lower part of Bunny at MRG the previous day. Ah yes, marching across the top of a down tree on the rainy run down Paradise probably didn’t help either. Upper Northway: the neighbouring trail wasn’t better in the afternoon. These runs and North facing and never softened up.

Skyward and Cloudspin were definitely softer, except maybe for the few 100 yards off the top of Skyward before noon. Cloudspin terrain was a mix bag of bumps and bare shots. Skyward was groomed, but soften up real good in the afternoon.

Other fun runs were off Little Whiteface, runs like Mountain Run, Thruway and Wilderness. However the best run of the day was Mackenzie from the top. This is a fun run that is often overlooked. The top part turns and twist against the fall-line. This part was firm, but not icy like Essex and Northway. The lower part was a dream come true for all the Joes of this world. 🙂 The ending was thin and required a 3-5ft jump over the mud.

The middle blues in the upper Facelift area had serious ice flow and coverage issue while the bottom flat part of the mountain was a slush fest at the end of the day.

Runs skiied:
Skyward (3 times)
Cloudspin – the Niagara pitch was great fun as always.
Paron’s Run – coverage issue in the middle.

Mackenzie (3 times – run of the day)
Wilderness, Mountain Run, Thruway (2) – soft corn
Essex, Northway – icy and frozen solid
Excelsior – real soft like the whole bottom of the mountain.

From what I understood, the mountain is planning to close on Easter Weekend, however the coverage is thin at certain places at the bottom and around the upper part of the Facelift quad. Well have to wait and see how quick it melts.

Official open trail count: 47

Ah yes, after using some quotes from Admin and Riverc0il I even got something for Tony.

I was at the lift at 10:53am.
Runs: 15
Time: 4:51 (including 30 minutes lunch)
Descent: 7971m – 74m/min (26K vertical) – not bad for a ski day in the East and starting just before 11am.
Ascent: 7979m – 58m/min

It’s true that Whiteface’s vertical is similar to Snowbird.

As you can see, I finally got to use my Suunto watch.

20060402_wf
Day’s Log

Originally posted on Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:09 pm on firsttracksonline

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