Adirondack ski video: Descent from McKenzie Pass

McKenzie Pass. Photo by Phil Brown.
McKenzie Pass. Photo by Phil Brown.

The Jackrabbit Ski Trail offers lots of great skiing over its twenty-four miles, but the best part is the six-mile stretch from Whiteface Inn Road in Lake Placid to McKenzie Pond Road outside Saranac Lake.  The highlight is a mile-and-a-half downhill run from McKenzie Pass to McKenzie Pond.

On Sunday, I did a round trip to the top of the pass from McKenzie Pond Road. It took me nearly forty-five minutes to climb the hill (after skiing two miles to its base) and just five minutes to descend. That might seem like a lousy pain-to-pleasure ratio, but the schuss makes up in exhilaration what it lacks in duration.

I made a  video of my descent with the Adirondack Explorer Chest Cam (a point-and-shoot strapped to my chest). You’ll hear me narrate as I ski (btw, the Hemingway story I refer to is titled “Cross-Country Snow”).

I wore a GPS watch that measured my progress. I averaged 14 mph and reached a top speed of about 25 mph.


About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

Reader Interactions


  1. bry says

    i snowboard and have snowshoes, i’m not as versatile in the bush or on flats, with that in mind which hike and ride do you see being easier or more suitable for the one plank enthusiast, we have a camp in thendara, i did a mini bc trip up a knob near us and i loved the solitude and beauty of it all, not to mention the free lift ticket 🙂

  2. Phil says

    One reference is David Goodman’s “Backcountry Skiing Adventures: Vermont and New York,” which includes info for snowboarders. However, all the trips are in the High Peaks region, and there aren’t all that many described. Not sure how the mountains in Old Forge would be for snowboarding. Perhaps you could find some lines off the Vista Trail on Onondaga Mt. A forest ranger might have some ideas. Ask him where to find open glades.

  3. nogods says

    Thanks for posting the video – very interesting ans enjoyable to watch as I prepare for a mid-spring hike up Mckenzie. Almost makes me wish there was snow left.

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