I’m actually blogging! There’s an expression, those who can, teach. Well, those who teach have no spare time, believe me.
I have found some time in the midst of prepping, planning, correcting, teaching, calling, following-up, preventing, counselling, and recovering to ski. And so, a ski travel post.
I grew up skiing on two amazing little ski hills in the Eastern Townships, Shefford Valley and Mt. Glen, both of which have been mothballed for somewhere around a decade now (it’s when I type stuff like that that I suddenly realize: I’m almost done my 20s)…. and, on some New England ski hills.
I have to admit, I hate the Disney-esque, mass produced feeling I get at most Quebec ski hills (Yes, Mont Ste-Anne, Tremblant, and Ski Bromont, that means: you). There’s something about the rustic quality of most New England resorts that reminds me of those dearly departed hills I spent my childhood and teen years on, and makes the sport feel a little more real.
So, after Googling New England ski deals, we found out about Whiteface’s Super Sundays. There are several Sundays a year, where you can ski all day for 40$. Which, when you consider how much a day pass costs at most big hills, is pretty darn good. And then, I googled Whiteface and found out it has the highest vertical East of the Rockies, and I was sold. (It’s 3,216 feet puts it 30 feet shorter than Lake Louise in Banff, to give some perspective). For those with the skills, guts, and avalanche equipment, you can actually hike from the Summit Lift to the top of The Slides, putting you at 3,430 feet, higher than Vail, to give some perspective on the size of Whiteface.
My boyfriend was upset that the Slides were closed that day, due to lack of snow cover, but I was personally relieved, as I don’t think I’m quite up to navigating through avalanche zones, and skiing over frozen waterfalls. We did, however, find some other adventures at The Face. We had the chance to ski the skicross/boardcross course, twice, which was a nice adrenaline rush. My boyfriend also navigated down the 1980 Olympics men’s super G course (I chickend out and took a blue square down, and ended up in a field of moguls that were nearly my height).
The whole spring skiing thing is a bit tricky mid-March on a hill of this size; at the top, we frozen, and had winter ski conditions. Half way down, we had to stop and strip off layers of clothing, as when we met with the granular spring-y snow, the weather was too hot for full-on winter gear.
Unlike Quebec stations, who feel the need to groom away every bump, and fence off every tree and cliff, Whiteface trusts you to use your brains. The Wilmington, a leg burner of a blue square trail, was a good example of this.
Overall, we enjoyed our day, the conditions, the lack of lift lines on a crowded day, the courtesy of skiiers, boarders, and staff alike, and the cheap price.
The final Super Sunday of the season is April 7, weather permitting. Beforewarned, the ticket office only accepts cash and credit cards, no debit. Canadian is accepted at the ticket office, but not for purchasing food, beverages, etc.
From our home on the South Shore in St-Hyacinthe, it took us about an hour and a half, with no traffic at the border.
We plan to return as often as possible next winter. 🙂