WILMINGTON - The Whiteface Mountain Ski Center opened for the 2012-13 ski season over the weekend, six days ahead of schedule.
The ski area was open Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17 and 18. Both days featured skiing and snowboarding on the Upper Valley, Lower Valley and Fox trails.
Weather conditions included sunny skies and mild temperatures. Opening weekend attracted hundreds of skiers and riders, according to a press release issued by the state Olympic Regional Development Authority, which manages the state-owned facility.
Pictured is the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area on Friday, Nov. 16, a day before its opening day of the ski season. The mist of snowmakng can be seen at the top of one of the open trails. The mountain is scheduled to be open on Friday, Nov. 23. For more information, visit www.whiteface.com.
Photo/Richard Rosentreter/Lake Placid News
"There were a lot of smiling faces today, plenty of people excited to see the mountain open," ORDA President and CEO Ted Blazer said in the release. "The crew and staff at the mountain did an outstanding job getting it ready for today. This is day number one for what should be an exciting season ahead."
Blazer said recent weather and temperatures have been ideal for snowmaking. That, he said, allowed the mountain to open earlier than anticipated. Saturday marked the earliest opening for Whiteface since the 2003-04 season, which began Nov. 16.
"We read about the mountain opening in the paper today," Ryan Cross, of Essex, said in the release. "My wife and I thought that it would be fun to see what the skiing would be like. I'm glad that we did; the snow's great and the temperatures are perfect."
Whiteface will reopen Friday in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. ORDA's other ski resorts, Gore Mountain in North Creek in the Adirondacks and Belleayre in Highmount in the Catskills, are also scheduled to open during the holiday period, conditions permitting. Gore's opening day is Friday, while Belleayre is scheduled to open on Saturday.
For conditions reports at Whiteface, visit www.whiteface.com.