WILMINGTON - The ski season is young, but already there have been some quality days on the slopes at the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area in Wilmington.
Nationally, there has been a drought of snow. Midwest cities such as Chicago have yet to record measurable snow this fall - some of them about to reach records for consecutive days without, according to The Weather Channel. But here on the Adirondack slopes, there is snow to ski on.
Twenty trails were open on Sunday, and despite some warmer temperatures and rain the past few days, Whiteface is still in good shape says the mountain's general manager Aaron Kellett.
A skier gets set to go down Victoria Sunday, Dec. 2 at Whiteface Mountain.
Photo/Richard Rosentreter/Lake Placid News
"This warm weather is something very common in the early part of the ski season," Kellett told the News on Tuesday, "Once the temperature drops again we will fire up the snow guns and cover our bread and butter trails, Excelsior, Upper Valley, Lower Valley, Mixing Bowl and Fox.
As of Wednesday, Whiteface had 16 trails open and 2 lifts operating with primary surface of loose granular, according to the mountain's daily ski report. Snow was coming down during the early afternoon.
Kellett said the mountain does have a game plan for the early season fluctuation of temperatures and weather conditions.
"We strategically did not groom a couple trails during this warm spell in order to preserve the snow," he told the News. "When we have made enough snow to re-coat our open trails, approximately 1 day, we will carry on with getting the rest of the mountain open."
Kellett said on Tuesday, the mountain wasn't impacted too negatively with the warmer temperatures early in the week.
"The mountain was not hit hard at all. It was actually a very fun couple of days. The weather was warm and the snow was soft," he said. "We only had to close one trail due to coverage and that was actually a trail that was open on natural snow only. The other 19 trails were buried with snow so they are still open and in good condition."
The efforts to maintain good skiing conditions and skiable terrain will continue the rest of the week and into the weekend, according to Kellett.
"We expect to have at least 19 trails and three lifts open (for the weekend)," he said. "It looks like the weather will be back to normal and guests can expect groomed terrain and packed powder surface."
On Sunday, Dec. 9, Whiteface will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the 1932 Winter Olympic Games and the 32 anniversary of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games with discounted lift tickets of $40 for adults, $35 for teens and seniors and $30 for juniors.
A rail jam, the first park event of the season will also take place on Sunday. Registration is from 8 to 10 a.m. at the guest service desk. There is a $10 entry fee. Competitions start 11 a.m. Helmets are required and the grand prize will be a K2 Brigade snowboard.
The Broadway Terrain Park is also open. Features include a foot rail, rainbow box, water tank, 20-foot jump and flat box to down rail.
For more information on ski conditions, visit www.whiteface.com or call 518-946-2223.