Note: this story was written in 2021 and was updated in January of 2023.
When winter arrives, there's snow choice but to start planning your next trip to Whiteface Mountain. What's that? You've never been? I'm here to tell you that skiing and riding at Whiteface is the piste-de-résistance of winter sports in the Adirondacks. Even if you are a veteran of the Olympic mountain, don't sleep on this blog. As you'll learn in any lesson, there's always room for improvement and insider tips are invaluable. So, sharpen those edges and tune up those boards! It's time to hit the slopes.
I can’t give away all the secret powder stashes, but I can help you get there quicker! Be sure that you ….
1. Buy your tickets in advance
This season, tickets can be purchased in advance online and while there are walk-up tickets, there are limited quantities available. Because there are limited quantities, tickets may sell out. You don’t want to get to the mountain and then realize you can’t even ski, so make sure you buy your passes before your trip! Purchases can be made directly from the Whiteface Mountain website and are on sale for the 2022/2023 season!
2. Get there early
So, once you have your tickets secured and you’re super excited to get out there, being ready for first tracks is next on the list. This is when the magic happens. Pro tip: everyone wants to ride the Cloudsplitter Gondola first thing, but that could mean a long line. I suggest hitting the Face Lift, which was upgraded this summer to access trails higher on the mountain. The former Bear Lift was also recently upgraded, and renamed to The Warhorse. Being a quad instead of a double, you and your group can now get to some lesser-traveled trails quicker!
3. Take a lesson
Lessons aren’t only for beginners! They are a great tool to help you make the most of your time on the mountain. Friends may be fun to ski or ride with, but they might not always be the best teachers. Whiteface has a dedicated, trained roster of instructors who can help you learn proper techniques and help you identify the best trails for your abilities. Lessons can't be booked online when you purchase tickets.
Don’t have your own skis or snowboard? That is absolutely not a problem. There are TWO Experience Centers with rentals available, one on the ground level of the main Base Lodge and one at Bear Den Lodge. Whiteface has ski and snowboard rental options for every skill level. (There are more than 1,200 pairs of skis and 200 snowboards to choose from!)
4. Rest for a minute
You know the saying “all roads lead to Rome?” Well, at Whiteface all trails lead to the Legacy Lodge. (That’s not entirely accurate but for the poetic sake of this blog, we’ll pretend.) The Midstation Lodge that had been in place since 1960 unfortunately burned in a tragic fire in 2019, but a new hotspot is emerging near the same foundation. The new Lodge will carry on the legacy of Midstation, but with a modern twist.
Everyone knows there are no friends on a powder day, but if you need a break, the Legacy Lodge is the perfect place to relax for a minute, or two. An outdoor heated patio will keep the ice away while you snack on a breakfast burrito or enjoy a cup of coffee. My tradition used to be to get first chair and then ski for a few hours, then stop for mid-morning coffee at Midstation. I know I’m not the only one who is excited for a coffee break at the most scenic rest area!
Pizza and French fries aren’t just skiing styles at Whiteface. There are plenty of dining options at Whiteface onsite. Don’t forget to fuel up! The main Base Lodge, Bear Den Lodge, and Legacy Lodge all have food options, from quick snacks to sit-down meals.
5. Plan ahead
It’s a digital age; everything we need to know is at our fingertips. This includes information on Whiteface. Be sure to check the latest health and safety protocols online before your trip. You can also check trail conditions to see what to expect that day. Conditions can change throughout the day, but it’s always a good idea to check in to see what’s been happening or if there's been snowmaking recently. (And to get an idea if your favorite trails will be open! I'm looking at you, Wilmington Trail.)
6. Sleep well and dream about powder
If you want to ensure a snow day, turn your pajamas inside out and flush some ice cubes down the toilet. Maybe these aren’t scientifically proven ways to encourage snow, but it can’t hurt to try! Make sure you’re well rested and think snow before your big day!
Whether you’re ready to soar down black diamonds or if it’s your first time on skis, head to Whiteface Mountain this winter. One day on the mountain is great, but a few days is even better! Stay at one of the region’s cozy lodging properties while you rest up for a full vacation's worth of outdoor adventure! I promise you won't be "board."