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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Skiers hit the highway

Ron Konowitz and Mark Meschinelli on toll road on Sunday. Photo by Phil Brown.

Ron Konowitz and Mark Meschinelli on toll road on Sunday. Photo by Phil Brown.

They’re making snow on the one side of Whiteface, and people are skiing the toll road on the other.

I guess it must be winter.

The Whiteface Mountain Ski Area began making snow on November 2, two weeks earlier than last year, and hopes to open on November 26.

But skiers have been hitting the highway on the north side of the mountain for a few weeks already. I went there Sunday for the first time this season and found the road covered in snow (or ice) from the tollbooth all the way to the castle.

I saw more skiers and dogs on the highway than ever before. Some of the cars at the bottom had out-of-state plates. Among the skiers were Ron Konowitz and Mark Meschinelli, two backcountry veterans. Ron has already skied the road more than a dozen times this fall.

Incidentally, I tracked my descent with a GPS watch (a Garmin Forerunner). Here’s the beta:

Distance from the castle to the tollbooth: 5.0 miles on the button.

Distance from the Lake Placid turn to the tollbooth: 3.7 miles.

Minimum elevation: 2,325 feet.

Maximum elevation: 4,566 feet.

Net elevation gain: 2,241 feet.

Top speed: 19.3 mph.

On the way down I used my point-and-shoot camera to take the video below. I held the camera in my hand as I cruised down the mountain. The quality is not great, but you’ll get the idea. The dog at the beginning is a hoot.

Phil Brown

Contributor Phil Brown was editor of the Adirondack Explorer from 1999-2018. When he isn't at his desk, he's usually out hiking, paddling, skiing, or doing something else important.

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