Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort is one of the best known ski resorts in New York. The 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid are best remembered for the “Miracle on Ice” victory by the United States hockey team over the Soviet Union. But while that game was being played, the attention of much of the rest of the world was focused ten miles away at Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort, where the Olympic alpine events were being held. Today, skiers from across the northeast come to Whiteface Mountain to ski the trails once blazed by Olympic athletes.
With a vertical drop of 3,430 feet (3,166 feet of it
serviced by lifts), Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort has
the highest vertical drop of any North American ski area
east of the Rocky
Mountains. Situated on the fifth highest mountain
in New York State, Whiteface
Mountain Ski Area is surrounded on all sides by the picturesque
Adirondack Mountains. Each trip to the Whiteface Mountain
summit provides spectacular views of the surrounding area.
For those who do not mind a short hike to the summit, Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort has some of the most challenging terrain in the East: the Slides. For a taste of what it was like to be an Olympic downhill skier, head to Cloudspin or Skyward off the Summit lift. Mogul lovers should try the bump runs off the Little Whiteface lift. In good snow, nip off these trails into the glades between Northway and Approach trails.
Intermediate skiers and snowboarders will find satisfying terrain from almost every lift on Whiteface Mountain. From the top of the gondola or Little Whiteface lift take the long winding Excelsior to L Valley. From the Summit lift, head skiers right onto Paron’s Run or the Follies.
Whiteface Mountain Ski Area also has much to offer beginners. If you have progressed beyond the quiet learning area of Mixing Bowl, head up the Face lift and come down Easy Street to Doreen to Server, ending at the bottom of the Bunny Hutch triple. This lift serves some the best and most secluded green runs at Whiteface Mountain.
Most visitors to Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort will want to stay in nearby Lake Placid. Home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is still a regional training ground for the U.S. Olympic Committee, and it is not unusual to see Olympic athletes roaming the streets. Try some other winter sports while you are here: bobsled, skating, or tobogganing. The best traditional lodge in town is the lakeside Mirror Lake Inn. If you want to be closer to the Whiteface Mountain slopes, stay at Ledgerock hotel, right opposite the resort.
A visit to Lake Placid Winter Olympics Museum is well worth the minimal entrance fee, but a trip to Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort lets skiers and snowboarders experience Winter Olympic history first hand.