WILMINGTON - Ski and snowboard enthusiasts had plenty to be thankful for over the holiday weekend. There was snow flying, temperatures were cold enough to make snow and the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area officially opened for the season and will open seven days a week - barring a barrage of unseasonable warm weather.
"We're off to a good start of the season. It is great to be open seven days a week and we are very excited to be skiing off the gondola again," mountain manager Aaron Kellett told the Lake Placid News. "After a week of 50 degree temperatures day and night, we finally came across some good snowmaking weather on Friday (Nov. 23) and it was enough for the crews to get Excelsior in skiing shape."
Kellett said that it appears the weather will be cooperating and more terrain should be opening in the near future.
A skier moves along toward the beginning of the Excelsior trail during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as snowmaking is in full throttle on the slopes of Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington.
Photo courtesy of Whiteface Mountain
As of Wednesday, Whiteface had seven trails open and two lifts operating with primary surface of packed powder, according to the mountain's daily ski report. The Cloudsplitter Gondola has also been operating, and snow has been in the forecast for this week with cold temperatures expected to continue.
"The extended forecast looks very favorable and we expect to be making snow around the clock," Kellett said. He said that going into the weekend, the mountain plans on having a couple more trails from the summit of Little Whiteface and at least one of the full parks open.
"We just opened Essex and Lower Northway," Kellett told the News Wednesday. He added that snowmaking was under way on Victoria, John's Bypass, The Connector and Boreen, and the goal is to have those trails open for the weekend. "Hopefully we'll have about 12 trails open by Sunday, but it all depends on Mother Nature."
He said that over the weekend, the Facelift chairlift will also be open.
Kellett said the opening weekend was a success and praised the mountains crew for getting the mountain open and said he was happy with the crowd turnout.
"We had a good number for the weekend, a little more than we expected.
"A big thanks to everyone that came out for some early season skiing," he said, "and we look forward to another great winter."