LAKE PLACID, New York ??вЂќ With the return of colder weather and pending snowfall this week, the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) announced Tuesday the opening of Whiteface and Gore Mountains for alpine skiing and riding as well as the Verizon Sports Complex in Lake Placid for cross country skiing and snow shoeing.
In the case of the Verizon Sports Complex, this is a re-opening as the venue operated for two days in late October after a snowstorm.
Whiteface will open with beginner to intermediate trails on Excelsior, Summit Express, Upper Valley and Lower Valley as well as Mixing Bowl. This run from the top of Little Whiteface to the base is two and a half miles. The eight-passenger, high-speed Cloudsplitter gondola and Mixing Bowl lift will service skiers and boarders.
Snowmaking has taken place intermittently over the past two weeks, but with snow and sub-freezing temperatures in the immediate forecast, Whiteface guns began working overtime Tuesday morning. Uninterrupted snowmaking is in sight through the weekend.
“We expect very good conditions for openers this weekend,” said Whiteface General Manager Jay Rand. “Earlier in the week, we had some hikers who skied and they reported that the snow was really good. We anticipate that it will just keep getting better.”
Gore Mountain will also open for the season on Friday. Guests can save an additional $10 by donating a non-perishable food item at the ticket window. Terrain scheduled to open includes Topridge for experts, and Foxlair and Wild Air for intermediates, serviced by the Northwoods gondola and the Topridge triple chair.
Snowmaking began November 17, and recent cold nights have been very productive for snowmakers. Gore Mountain has operated over 100 guns simultaneously at times during the last week. As of Tuesday morning, natural snow was falling and accumulations are forecasted into Thanksgiving Day.
“The snowmaking and grooming improvements Gore Mountain has made during the last year will make a noticeable difference for guests during this early season,” said Emily Stanton, Gore Mountain Marketing Manager. “Also look for five new additions to our trail map.”
ORDA’s cross country skiing and snow shoeing venue will operate Friday through Sunday. The ski shop and snack bar will be in service throughout the period, while the ski school will offer lessons Saturday and Sunday.
“The total number of trails that we would open would be dependent on snowfall amounts,” said venue supervisor Greg Stratford. “The maximum we could open would be 30-37 kilometers (20-25 miles) as that is what has been prepared so far.”
The cross country and biathlon site of the 1980 Winter Games has a total of 50 kilometers (31 miles) of trails available. The site will close after the weekend to resume trail work and re-open on November 30, weather-permitting.