Spring skiing is here early this year. Avid snow lovers certainly would have loved a longer winter season but the early rains and high temperatures have given us what may be spring. We are lucky enough to live near a mountain that provides us with snow-blowing so we are holding on tight to our top-most trails. We also have been graced with some fresh snow this week.
Whiteface has offered a sweet deal to those who will be skiing the East NY next year- if you buy a seasons pass for winter 2017/2018 they will grant you free skiing for the rest of this season.
Whiteface will also continue their usual deals- Why Not Wednesdays when you bring a Coca-Cola product for a full-day lift ticket of $48 & Give Back Sundays when you bring a donation for listed non-profits and receive half off.
Liftopia also is a great option for cheaper lift tickets. I haven’t personally utilized this site because a season pass is worth it for me, but I have heard several success stories.
Is the mountain super crowded? There aren’t enough trails open anymore to avoid all of the people? Kids everywhere and people blocking your path? This is because you have visited Whiteface on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. During the week this time of year Whiteface is an epic playground. There have been days when I’ve felt like the only person on the mountain besides the liftys. —>Side note: Appreciate, Appreciate, Appreciate. Those liftys, those cooks, those on register, those are your mountain people. They are working while you ski so they can ski. They’re inside and running lifts on the best days for YOU. They have name tags so learn their names and use them. Tip the cooks a little extra on those sunny days. We all need each other. <—
The snow is softer because the days are warmer, or because it’s March it could be sheer ice. How do we deal with these severely varying conditions? Technique.
Hit a patch of ice? Breathe, and slide until you can catch edge. Engage your core. Don’t let fear overcome, snow exists on the other side of those three seconds of pure terror. Even those who ski well fear falling on ice.
Snow suddenly soften? Keep your tips up and drop your butt slightly lower. Engage your lower body. Power through those slow wet patches with ease.
Catch a patch of fog? Look ahead. This is great technique for all skiing but sometimes it’s hard to look away from your skis or out of your close vicinity. Skiing is like driving. You want to constantly be changing perspective from left to right, near to far, so no small details are missed. Eyes always open and alert.
I’ve shared thoughts previously about layering and what I wear to the mountain, but spring skiing is a little different. On a warmer day (40+) I like to make sure I have on an entirely wicking base layer (no cotton!). One pair of extra socks and gloves always go into the pack. Also an entirely waterproof outer layer as opposed to maybe a usual down jacket is smarter on warmer days in case of falling. The snow will be meltier than usual.
Last but not Least:
Whiteface is a huge mountain, and is meant to be explored. Leave your comfort zone, whatever that is, and try some trails you haven’t previously visited. Recently I’ve found that I consistently explore the same path while on Whiteface. This weekend a friend was visiting from out of town and we took him skiing. He loved riding down Excelsior -blue trail-, practicing his turns, looking at the mountains, and just cruising. It gave me a new appreciation for those trails that I have dubbed “not difficult enough”. My favorite trails have been closed for two weeks -glades- and I really learned to love the rest of the mountain. Taking it easy, appreciating the view, and carving some solid turns makes for a different kind of awesome day. As of tonight we’re fully into spring. This means appreciating the little things like stopping to smell the evergreen!
Have fun out there!