For the third winter in a row, the Mountaineer has had to cancel its annual backcountry ski festival due to a lack of snow. The Keene Valley store had planned to hold the festival this weekend. As usual, a variety of backcountry ski tours and clinics were on the schedule. Ironically, the region is seeing some snow today after a prolonged thaw. “You can’t get frustrated; it’s the weather,” said Dustin Ulrich, a Mountaineer worker. “You can’t do much about that.” Ulrich said the Mountaineer staff plans to discuss whether or how to continue the ski festival in the future. >>More
A skier who vanished from Whiteface Mountain and somehow ended up in California doesn’t recall what happened in the six days he went missing, according to New York State Police. “We ask no one to jump to any conclusions,” said Major John Tibbitts at a news conference in Ray Brook Wednesday afternoon. Constantinos “Danny” Filippidos, a forty-nine-year-old firefighter from Toronto, had been skiing on Wednesday, February 7, when he told friends he wanted to take one last run. When he failed to return by the time the resort closed, his companions alerted authorities. His car was still in the Whiteface >>More
The 5.5-mile Whiteface Mountain highway offers backcountry enthusiasts a chance to test their ski legs before the onset of winter in the Adirondacks.
On Sunday I spent the day skiing in the backcountry. On Monday I hiked up Baker Mountain looking for wildflowers. Yep, it’s mud season. Although I had two good ski days last weekend, my season is at an end. I skied the Whiteface Memorial Highway on Saturday and several trails in the High Peaks on Sunday. I found plenty of snow at higher elevations, and die-hard skiers know that it’s likely to remain for a while. I’d probably get out a few more times myself if my schedule allowed it. Overall, it was a pretty good winter. We had two >>More
On Saturday, my girlfriend Carol and I skied up the unplowed Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway. From the tollbooth to the end of the road it’s a 5.4-mile climb, long but not very steep. It took us roughly three hours. Of course, the descent is the fun part. It normally takes less than an hour. Because there was so much powder, our downhill run took a little longer. In places, the skiing was almost too mellow, especially between the two hairpin turns. Often we pushed with our poles to sustain momentum. Since this was Carol’s first time skiing the highway, this >>More
We had a brief snow squall in Saranac Lake this afternoon. No accumulation, but the cedars outside the office window got a nice dusting. So I wasn’t too surprised when Ron Konowitz called to say he had just skied the toll road on Whiteface Mountain. As the robin is to spring, Ron Kon is to winter. He is usually the first, or among the first, to hit the toll road in the fall and the last to put his skis away in the spring. Last season, he went skiing more than 160 times, mostly in the backcountry. This season, he >>More
Well, we didn’t get the 4 to 7 inches of snow in the forecast, but we did get a few inches–enough to make the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway skiable from top to bottom over the weekend. I did the road on Sunday with Ron Konowitz, one of Keene’s more prominent ski bums. When we got to the tollhouse about 10 a.m., there already were a half-dozen cars parked on the road’s shoulder. Locals often run into old friends and acquaintances on early-season ski trips up the highway, as usually there’s nowhere else to ski. On Sunday, Ron and I stopped >>More