Catch of the Day - Whiteface Ski Area, NY
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JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 2, 2004
Member since 01/14/2004
2,645 posts
Whiteface has the greatest vertical drop (approx 3,200' lifts, 3,400' hike) in the eastern US. Unlike many hills, the full vertical is clearly evident from the ski area access road and is sure to impress new arrivals. Lifts top out at around 4,400' and the true summit is 4,867'. The snowy, open area to the right of the highest liftline is a double black diamond zone called The Slides.
http://community.webshots.com/photo/94720788/131258084zuYIRA
Norsk
August 2, 2004
Member since 05/13/2003
315 posts
This might be a good intro for a DCSki discussion to pass the awful summertime.

What three eastern ski areas come closest to providing a taste of skiing in the West? Criteria are yours to choose: snow quality, terrain, vert, type of mountains, etc etc. But puh-leeze NOT the resort village or its amenities -- lets stick to the skiing.

I nominate:

Whiteface
Cannon Mtn.
Jay Peak
JohnL
August 2, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Norsk,

You are asking the wrong question. It should be "What three western areas come closest to providing a taste of skiing in the East?"
JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 2, 2004
Member since 01/14/2004
2,645 posts
Your 3 are definitely big Eastern areas. Along with Cannon, NH, I'd also nominate Wildcat, NH. There is something about NH ski areas, I guess because of less touristy development near the slopes, they seem a little wilder than VT. Having said that, on an uncrowded day the terrain around Killington Peak and Bear Mtn sections of Killington,VT seems expansive or "western" to me.

Local area: Snowshoe, WV - once I was there after a one foot+ snowfall. On a day when the sun came out and the crowds died down, all the fluffy snow hanging on the spruce trees sure made the Basin side slopes look like relatively high altitude western treelined trails. Though the vertical isn't huge, the terrain in that part of Snowshoe lies between about 4100 to 4800', some of the very highest in the East.

BTW: here's an aerial view of the upper slopes of Whiteface.
http://community.webshots.com/photo/78147708/78149451HIlnNF
JohnL
August 2, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
  • Jay Peak - Has a tram, it's a good size mountain, the upper couple hundred feet are very rugged and it has glade skiing and snowfall amounts that many western resorts would die for.
  • Sugarloaf - only eastern resort with an above tree-line snowfield.
  • Tuckerman's Ravine - would make many western skiers soil their Bogners. Strongest record winds (if Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly are excluded.)


Jim,
From your second picture link I can see how The Slides got their name. Two great pictures. Keep 'em coming.
Buckeye Skier
August 2, 2004
Member since 01/11/2004
54 posts
We skied Whiteface for 2 days last March, that is the picture I was hoping to take. I didn't get to because the summit was always socked in. Whiteface definitely has a western feel just because the vertical is so massive. Skiing from the summit to the base is one heckuva run. I just wish we could have had a clear day to get the wide open see forever feeling.
Sugarloaf is also one big mountain. On our one day there we didn't get to the summit because of the wind. It gave you the western feeling from having such a wide expanse to ski. I know the summit would add to that feeling.
We ski mainly PA,WV,and western NY. All the resorts we've been to in NE have that big mountain feeling compared to where we normally ski.
My only western experience was at Sun Valley. Some places in the east can give you some of the feeling, but nothing matches the real thing.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 3, 2004
Member since 01/14/2004
2,645 posts
If any of you fellow message boarders have skied or boarded The Slides - well I'd have to shake your hand sometime. It is truly extreme and is so steep it is rarely open because snow won't stick to it easily.
Roy
August 4, 2004
Member since 01/11/2000
609 posts
I don't have 3 but here's a couple to throw out for their glades. Mt. Snow, VT and Mt. Sunapee, NH. Mt. Snow has 4-5 glade areas that are very varied. Some are close together and some are wide open (think Steamboat's Aspens without the champagne). These were great late march runs.

Mt. Sunapee I only halfway throw out. I was there the day before I skied Mt. Snow and only got to peer down the glade runs. They had them closed. I thought about ducking the line but thought better of it. It looked like it had potential and appeared similar to some of the gully runs at Jackson Hole. I guess I'll just have to go back again this year to find out.
Roy
August 4, 2004
Member since 01/11/2000
609 posts
John the only western resort that comes to mind is Loveland Ski Area. Anyone that has driven Hwy 70 from Denver, you've seen this one just before you go through the Eisenhower tunnel.

I skied it in December on a very windy day. It was ice throughout most of the area. I felt at home.
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