Whiteface, NY - April 15, 2007 - another powder day

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Whiteface, NY - April 15, 2007 - another powder day

Postby Patrick » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:13 pm

What a wonderful Sunday it was. Another April Powder Day, who would have though that we would get two Powder weekends in a row after that very Spring like April Fools. Yes, it fooled us all right.

These have been the best series (non-Spring) days I've seen in April.

Options for that Sunday were initially between Saddleback (free) and Whiteface. The advantages were that the latter could be done as a day trip from Ottawa. This was pretty important considering that the previous two weekends had me traveling toward Montreal for the weekend and that I was probably need to Montreal once my day drive option from Ottawa are over.

My daughter Morgane and I drove down from Ottawa (3 hours) and meet up with Lucky Luke, his friend Eric and SuperNat, my friend and Morgane's godmother who were coming down from Montreal (less than 2 hours). They had rain also all the way to Whiteface while we had snow for the last hour from Malone to Lake Placid. Storm was forecast, this looked like it was going to be a good day. :P Plus I had seen that the Slides were open the previous day. I think the last time I saw them open while at WF was in April 2002. [-o<

Lucky Luke and Eric were ready and stepped out for a run on the Cloudsplitter gondola. We were altogether for the next run. Started with the classic twisting (although much wider than before) Excelsior. Nothing hard about this run, soft soft soft and powder snow. Morgane isn?t necessarily a fan of blue runs, but she loved this one. Onto the Summit Quad. Visibility wasn't good, it was snowing hard. It was great. We went down Skyward (top entrance a bit sketchy) and ended up taking a new (for the map) trail at the bottom of Lower Skyward, Blazer's Bluff. BB is steep drop off the side of the Skyward. Lucky jumped in, Morgane made a one turn then tumbled in :? , but was okay. WOW?this is a great!!!

Everybody was warmed up, Lucky, Eric and SuperNat ended toward to the Slides while Morgane and I wanted to try Upper Cloudspin, but it was closed from the top. We ended entering UC on Lower Switchback. Fresh powder again. :o Morgane and I got at the bottom of the Summit Quad maybe a few minutes prior to the Slides expedition.

On the next run, I traded spots with SuperNat and headed with Lucky and Eric in The Slides. The last time I skied them, it was on warm and clear April day, unlike today. You couldn't sense the steepest of the Slides, you could only see 20-30 feet at a time. Slide #4 was closed, Slides #3 sounded sketchy, so #2 it was. Slide #2 is narrower than the wideopen #1 and pretty bumped up. Loose powder and bumps. Once you merged with Slide #1 toward the bottom, you have to negotiate a series cliffs/frozen or melting waterfalls. Stopping in the middle of these and looking up, you realize that this is pretty unique terrain for a lift-serviced stuff. \:D/

After lunch, Morgane and I skied Northway off Little WF which was fabulous (always love this trail) before meeting up with the group at the Summit Quad. We were able to hit the Slides one last time, last time of the year. Like the signed said: ?The Slides closed ? Better Luck Next Year?. :mrgreen:

We skied the Slides a few times during the day. Lucky (4 times), while SuperNat and Eric (3 times) took one run each with Morgane. I skied them twice on this day, which was okay, as I was the only one in our group that had skied them before.

Morgane wanted to ski something different off the top, the open other open option was The Follies (top Paron?s Run was closed) then Excelsior. She loved the zigzags and narrow trail even if it?s relatively flat.

At around 2:30pm, SuperNat and Eric called it a day, Morgane stopped skiing at 3:10pm. Her hands were frozen. She had changed her wet mittens for lighter DRYER gloves after lunch. Lucky and I ended back to the top using Facelift and Summit Quads. On this day, we virtually didn?t ski anything else than the Summit, the snow and mid and lower mountain was wet powder. The bottom was a mixte of frozen slush base and with wet snow. We were wet and it was really snowing hard. Temps was hovering around freezing.

Here is the Whiteface snow report reflects what we had?.16 inches fell during Sunday. \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/

I guess if this report could have emoticons, it would. :mrgreen:

So I am typing todays report! Over 30 inches will fall with this storm of historic proportions in April! This is going to be off the hook! We are closed Monday-Thursday this week, super high winds will be in town Mon and tues with the storm dying down on Wednesday. We will be reopening for Friday Saturday and Sunday April 20, 21, and 22. This will be fantastic!

I skied all over the mountain today and the summit it is a whole different world I have never seen it so fabulous in April ever in my life. The slides opened today and once again I totally chickened out. Someday I will get my nerve up. I love the trail to the slides it is so majical and gorgeous it is my favorite trail on the mountain. But I go in turn around and come out. I am still freaked out at the very thought of skiing over a frozen waterfall of slide one.

While I was the huge chicken, many people were enjoying 2 fabulous days hittin' the slides.

Powder Powder everywhere,,,,,,,,,,,,if I had my podcast I would seriously be singing my off-key POWDER song for you. on second thought it is probably better for you that it is not working. Really thinking about this my podcast could have been sabotaged by my coworkers that hate my off-key powder day song.

See you on Friday, hunker down for the next couple of days rest up and be ready to rip!!!!!!!

See you at Whiteface,

Bridget "oh please of please never let winter end" Hinman



A great day all around, but it wasn't over? :shock:

As Lucky, Eric and Natalie left East toward the I-87 and Montreal in a snowstorm, Morgane and I headed West on Highway 86 toward Lake Placid which would eventually lead us north to Ottawa. Maybe 2 miles from the parking lot in Wilmington Notch, I was told that two SUVs collided which resulted into the road being blocked. :?

Over one hour waiting in the pouring snow. At around 6pm a firefighter told us that the road wouldn't be freed until at least another hour. I figured that on a normal day without snow, I had another 3 hours to drive to get home in Ottawa plus my daughter was getting hungry.
#-o

From local news...

http://www.wnbz.com/main.htm

Several other road and highway mishaps occurred during the storm, including a two-car, head-on accident on Route 86 in Wilmington Notch. The Lake Placid Fire Department sent two trucks and 23 members to assist Wilmington Fire and Rescue at 4:51 p.m. Sunday.
One person had to be extricated from their vehicle. But State Police in Wilmington reported no injuries from the crash.


Also newspaper story about the condtions on that Sunday.

Heavy snow causes power outages in upstate New York - Press Republican on April 16th


At this point, I made a decision, the notch is really the only easy access across the Adirondack at this time and it was shut, so I decided to head toward Montreal. Much snow had fallen in the last 1-2 hours, the drive was mostly on fresh tracks on route 9N. The drive here and on I-87 was at about 40mph (60kmh). Many cars were off the road. After supper at Plattsburgh, we ended up waiting 40 minutes at the border, also got a second degree from the border guard because I didn't have any ID for my daughter (I had forgotten for once).
:oops: 8-[ :x

Once in Quebec, the road hadn't been plowed at all in this snowstorm and over 6 inches of snow, which means driving 20mph (30kmh) all the way to Montreal. :x :x :x Arrived at my mom?s house passed 11pm, totally exhausted.

THE WORST PART???

There was no way I was going to be able to drive 125 miles (200 km) on a Monday morning and bring my daughter to school and get to work a day after a snowstorm (maybe 6-8 inches feel on Montreal). It was raining hard this morning. I was thinking, great we'll go to Mont Sutton and ski some fresh powder!!! SuperNat was ready to join us and skip work, but no, Sutton was closed due to a power outage. How about Bromont and St-Sauveur, both closed due to weather. Jay? I wasn't going to risk crossing the border again. So on this Monday, I had to use a Vacation Day not to go skiing after a snowstorm. The question was, Will anybody believe me at work???

Hoping to go back at Whiteface on Sunday with Morgane, however this time forecast is for sunny and 66F (19c). I guess it will be really Spring skiing this time. 8)

Edit: I forgot to mentioned that the mountain was virtually deserted except in the Slides (which isn't exactly a ton of people).
Last edited by Patrick on Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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re: Whiteface, NY - April 15, 2007 - another powder day

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:14 pm

Was this Morgane's first real powder experience? How did she handle it?

My impression is that the Slides are skiable less often than the lower chair at Mt. Baldy. You were lucky to get them.

Did you consider letting Morgane ski the Slides? Will you let her ski them in more forgiving spring conditions this weekend? Maybe after you do a checkout run first? How do the Slides compare to Tucks? Paradise at MRG? Great Falls at Moonlight where you dropped your backpack?
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Re: re: Whiteface, NY - April 15, 2007 - another powder day

Postby Patrick » Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:45 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Was this Morgane's first real powder experience? How did she handle it?

Almost, but not the first.
Her first would have been at Titus (NY) two years ago.
Last year we had a great powder day at Smuggs during Spring Break and I believe we were able to find some powder at MRG at Spring Break this year (not sure, would have to check the FTO report). We also found some off trail powder at Tremblant on Easter Monday.

She was handle it fine, she was sometimes fighting for her balance, but did well.

Tony Crocker wrote:My impression is that the Slides are skiable less often than the lower chair at Mt. Baldy. You were lucky to get them.


Was it luck? I was bound to see them open at one time. I generally ski Whiteface 2-3 times a year and the last time I saw them open was in April 2002.

Tony Crocker wrote:Did you consider letting Morgane ski the Slides?

Only for a fraction of a second prior to my first run. Definitely not after.

Tony Crocker wrote:Will you let her ski them in more forgiving spring conditions this weekend?


Steepest is an issue, but the biggest one is in negotiating the waterfalls/cliffs. There are a series of them, if you screw up above them, you can serious hurt yourself.

Tony Crocker wrote:How do the Slides compare to Tucks? Paradise at MRG? Great Falls at Moonlight where you dropped your backpack?


Hard to see, so it hard to say.

Tucks: My impression is that Tucks is steeper, however there isn't the waterfall/cliffs area to negotiate or jumps, Tucks is generally pure steepness.

Paradise: this one is harder. The waterfall/cliff section is like a series of the first waterfall/cliff to jumps on Paradise. The overall steepness is also longer. I would say that the Slides is more dangerous and more backcountry-ish than Paradise.

Great Falls at Moonlight. I think that the general feel of GF is similar to Tucks, smooth and nothing to negotiate/jumps around. GF might be steeper, but the runout easier.
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re: Whiteface, NY - April 15, 2007 - another powder day

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:11 pm

I generally ski Whiteface 2-3 times a year and the last time I saw them open was in April 2002.
Yes that's like lower Baldy: skiable for ~2 months every 3-4 years, some years a couple of weeks, close to half of seasons, not at all.

Great Falls at Moonlight. I think that the general feel of GF is similar to Tucks
Topography of Tucks is just like western alpine steeps. Anybody comfortable in Tucks is good to go at Squaw, Snowbird, etc.

I expected Paradise to be most similar. I forgot to ask if Morgane has skied Paradise. She may need a few western trips to get comfortable on steeps. Or maybe she'll learn to thread rabbit warrens like admin.
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Re: re: Whiteface, NY - April 15, 2007 - another powder day

Postby Patrick » Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:30 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I forgot to ask if Morgane has skied Paradise. She may need a few western trips to get comfortable on steeps. Or maybe she'll learn to thread rabbit warrens like admin.

No she hasn't skied Paradise, I decided against it.

I don't think the issue here (Paradise) isn't the steepest, but the mandatory cliff/waterfall jumping. She is fine as long as there isn't jumping involved.

There also the self-arrest part that she need to figure out. :shock:

What Morgane needs more and foremost is mileage right now. Sunday should be her #99 day lifetime, so she still has so way to go.
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re: Whiteface, NY - April 15, 2007 - another powder day

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:47 pm

Sunday should be her #99 day lifetime, so she still has so way to go.
By the end of age 9 season Adam was at 104 days, 1.5 million vertical. There's a note from the age 9 season that "he liked High Rustler" at Alta.

She is fine as long as there isn't jumping involved.
I thought advanced kids and jumping go hand in hand. Haven't we already seen pics of JSpin's 4-year-old in the air? In fairness, Adam inspected but did not ski Corbet's Couloir at age 10.

Paradise's waterfall was not that big a drop when I saw it in 2003. The key is whether the snow in the landing area is soft, which of course it was on a 60 degree day.
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Re: re: Whiteface, NY - April 15, 2007 - another powder day

Postby Patrick » Sat Apr 21, 2007 6:41 am

Tony Crocker wrote:There's a note from the age 9 season that "he liked High Rustler" at Alta.

From what I recall of it, she would probably be fine in High Rustler.

Paradise's waterfall was not that big a drop when I saw it in 2003. The key is whether the snow in the landing area is soft, which of course it was on a 60 degree day.


The problem with the first cliff was probably shoulder height for her, yes she could have done it. In style? Probably not, but there's also a need for a parent to know when NOT to push his child to far on a hill before she masters all the abilities required. Instead, we skied Fall Line were she can start experiencing and mastering her skills.
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re: Whiteface, NY - April 15, 2007 - another powder day

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Apr 21, 2007 4:36 pm

I remember when Adam was 8, looking down Slot at Squaw Valley, I told him he had to start making his own judgments about what was within his ability to ski without my pushing in either direction. I knew that it would not be long before he started doing stuff I wouldn't, so he needed to develop that judgment. There are places (clearly The Slides, and maybe Paradise too) where you are committed before you see the toughest part though.
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