Nov 06, 2008
The six expert runs on Hunter West can seem downright deserted.
After a prolonged promotional wrestling match, Whiteface has finally wrested the "East's biggest vertical drop" title from Killington. No doubt the resort is counting on this to finally bring the skier visits it deserves. We doubt it will happen. It seems the masses have already decided that Whiteface is too far, too hard, and too cold, which is too damn bad, because it's a fine piece of rock with sustained bumps, trees, and screamers all over the hill. Need a second opinion? Check in with the Pumphouse gang, which gathers at the pumphouse between the Niagra and Victoria steeps to grill venison, swill local brew, and plot runs down ungroomed gems like Upper Cloudspin and Empire.
When it dumps, slog your boards 15 minutes from the summit to the narrow throat that accesses the thousand-foot ungroomed, cliff-studded slice of backcountry vert known as the Slides.
With a modest 168 inches annually, Whiteface can't claim quantity. But the bitter Adirondack winters ensure that the white stays light.
The Alpine Cellar (518-523-2180) offers fireside lounging in a chalet atmosphere, a vast array of imported brews, and, on Wednesday nights, the best bratwurst you'll find east of Wisconsin.
"I love pulling into the lot on a powder day and looking up at the Slides. There's nothing else in the East like it. On a good day, it feels like you're skiing out West."
Vertical Drop 3,166 feet
Snowfall 168 inches