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Whiteface Mountain opens a day early

November 28, 2016
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Outdoors Writer ( , Lake Placid News

WILMINGTON - Whiteface Mountain Ski Center was able to push its opening day up by 24 hours thanks to fresh snow.

The mountain was slated to open Friday, Nov. 25, but with more than a foot of snow falling the previous weekend, it opened on Thanksgiving Day with a decent crowd.

"We had about 500 people show up, and we were able to ski off the top of the gondola so it was a really awesome start to the winter," Whiteface General Manager Aaron Kellet said Friday morning. "We're expanding and moving our snowmaking operation to new trails as we speak."

Article Photos

Skiers and snowboarders enjoy six trails and warm weather Friday, Nov. 25 at Whiteface Mountain Ski Center in Wilmington, which opened for the season on Thanksgiving.
(News photo — Justin A. Levine)

Kellet said six trails were open and that the snow earlier in the week was a boon to business after last year's anemic winter.

"That snowstorm was very awesome," he said. "It helped us get ready for opening day, which was fantastic."

Friday's warm weather and low-hanging clouds made visibility difficult, but snow cover on the half-dozen open trails was solid. There were just a few patches of dirty snow but no bare spots.

"It's pretty good for preseason," Brandon Keil, a snowboarder from Fort Drum, said with a laugh. "It's not as good as Colorado preseason, but it's not bad.

"I'm just glad to be back on the board."

The summit is not yet open, but the Face Lift and gondola were running, leading skiers and snowboarders to the top of Little Whiteface, where they could access moderate trails including Excelsior, Summit Express and Upper and Lower Valley. The ski bowl, where lessons are taught, was also open.

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