Insider's guide to Whiteface Mountain

Whiteface Mountain is big. The summit is 4,867 feet in elevation, and there are 86 trails — totalling over 22 miles — to choose from. So what are you looking for? We talked to life-long skier and ski instructor Marcy Fagan to get the inside scoop on her favorite runs at the Face. Take a look at the handy guide below, try some of Marcy's suggestions, then have fun exploring the rest of the mountain.

1. First tracks: Approach to Mountain Run

If you’re up for a challenge first thing in the morning, Marcy says there’s no better option than Approach to Mountain Run. Take the gondola up Little Whiteface, pause to soak in the amazing view, then use Approach to approach Mountain Run, a steep, straight shot down the upper part of Little Whiteface. 

2. Shake off the rust: Upper Valley to Lower Valley

For a nice, accessible warm-up, hop on Face Lift and take Upper Valley to Lower Valley. This wide, straight combo is good for getting those ski legs working and ready for more demanding trails, like Mountain Run.

3. Supreme glade skiing: Sugar Valley Glades

Sugar Valley Glades are newer and friendlier than the other glades on Whiteface, and they’re also the most expansive. From the top of the Lookout Mountain chairlift, head out on the Wilmington Trail and you’ll hit Sugar Valley right away.

4. Cruise the Face: Excelsior

If you’re looking for a long cruiser, Marcy says Excelsior is the way to go. Starting at the top of the gondola, this long, twisty run delivers you to the top of Face Lift, where you can extend the trip by hooking up with Upper and Lower Valley. Or, if you’re feeling the burn — or the chill — head to Mid-Station from the bottom of Excelsior and get recharged.

5. The next step: Easy Street to Boreen

You’ve mastered Mixing Bowl and Bear is a breeze. What’s next? Hop on Face Lift and bear right at the top to take Easy Street to Boreen, which will return you to the bottom of Face Lift.

6. Adrenaline fueled fun: Skyward

This long, steep run begins at the 4,650 foot mark at the top of the Summit Quad, a perch that feels like the top of the world on a clear day. From there, this leg burner drops without hesitation and barely lets up until it ends at the beginning of the quad. Make sure you take in the view before the descent — you won’t want any distractions on the way down.

7. The family that skis together stays together: The Follies

If you have a family of avid skiers who can handle an intermediate challenge, Marcy says don’t miss The Follies. This twisty little run begins at the top of Summit Quad and follows Whiteface’s ridgeline toward Lake Placid. The views are outstanding and the terrain is varied and interesting. Use John’s Bypass to link up with Excelsior, Marcy’s favorite long cruiser, and you’ll wind up back where you started.

After you're done on the slopes, stick around for some food and music in the Whiteface Region!

Shaun Kittle

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