In The Spotlight
New York's Whiteface may be a little biased when it comes to their favorite season (WINTER...of course), but this summer has been top notch too.
Believe it or not, there are less than 100 days out from their first day of snowmaking for the season, so for all you warm-weather lovers, it’s time to take in the last few weeks of summer fun at Whiteface and the Lake Placid Olympic Sites
Where else but Lake Placid would anyone dream up extreme tubing at the Olympic jumping complex? Hop a tube and hold on for the ride as you rocket down the 90-meter ski jump landing hill with speeds approaching 50 mph. Open through August 19.
If you've ever wondered what it feels like to be an Olympic slider, Lake Placid bobsled is the place to start. Led by a professional driver and brakeman, you'll begin at the half-mile point on the track and wind through Olympic turns known by sliders around the world. Feel the rumble of the sled thundering down the track, speed through one turn, bank high on the next one, and pick up speed on the straightaway. Open through September 3.
The Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway, stretching eight miles from Wilmington to the summit, allows visitors to drive to the top of New York State's fifth-highest peak. Once at the summit, enjoy views of the Adirondack High Peaks and visit a castle made of native stone. Open through October 8.
The Olympic Jumping Complex, home to the 90-meter and 120-meter ski jump towers and the freestyle aerial training facility, is open for chairlift and elevator tours through October. The complex offers a 26-story elevator ride to the sky deck atop the 120-meter tower for spectacular views of the Adirondacks. As you tour the venue, check out the high-flying athletes training for their chance at Olympic greatness.
The eight-passenger Cloudsplitter Gondola carries you from the Main Base Lodge to the top of Little Whiteface in fifteen minutes. At the top, an observation deck and picnic area await, as well as some of the best views of Lake Placid and the Adirondack High Peaks. Open daily through September 3 then Friday - Sunday through October 8.
Visitors can enjoy many of these activities for one price, when purchasing the single use Olympic Sites Passport, for $40 or the unlimited access, Gold Pass, for $89.
The nation’s best alpine ski racers will descend upon New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley Resort in 2019 and 2021 for U.S. Alpine Championship - the biggest race the resort has hosted since the White Circus visited in 1991 when Julie Parisien won the World Cup giant slalom.
Waterville Valley Resort will play host to the slalom, giant slalom, and parallel slalom events March 23-26, 2019. The parallel slalom event will be a new addition to the U.S. Alpine Championships calendar.
“The introduction of the parallel event into the U.S. Alpine Championships tech week is an effort the alpine department has been advocating for and is excited about,” noted U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Director, Jesse Hunt. “It’s a format that spectators understand and enjoy. With the introduction of more parallel events in the World Cup, as well as the team event in the Olympic Games’ calendar, it’s important we begin to place more focus on the event. The inclusion of parallel into U.S. Alpine Championships is proof of our commitment to developing our young talent to reach the podium for this discipline at all levels in the future.”
The International Ski Federation (FIS) is currently considering modifications to their format, which will be determined at the fall FIS meetings. Based on these conversations, format and qualification details will be modified accordingly for U.S. Alpine Championships.
“We are looking forward to bringing elite ski racing back to Waterville Valley Resort,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Systems and Operations Calum Clark. “The membership and fan base in the east is vast and extremely engaged with the sport, and our athletes love competing in front of them. Julie Parisien had a commanding and inspiring World Cup victory there in 1991, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard is excited to bring some of the best ski racers in the world, like two-time Olympic gold medalists Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety and Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn, back to the resort in hopes that they too will inspire the next generation.”
Waterville Valley Resort shares the enthusiasm for hosting the event. “This will be the biggest race that Waterville Valley Resort has hosted since our last World Cup in 1991. The whole team is excited to be bringing elite racing back to Waterville Valley,” says Waterville Valley Resort’s President and General Manager, Tim Smith. “I know our guests and pass holders won’t want to miss the opportunity to see these athletes in action.”
The downhill, super-G and alpine combined events will take place prior to the Waterville Valley events, and the venue will be announced shortly. Much like the 2015-2018 Sugarloaf, Maine/Sun Valley, Idaho venue arrangement, U.S. Ski & Snowboard looks to continue the successful long-term calendar plan to move the annual celebration of American ski racing to top resorts around the United States. That said, U.S. Ski & Snowboard will be looking to the west for 2020 and 2022 and the announcement will be forthcoming.
A lack of space at Winter Park has forced the 79-year-old Eskimo Ski Club to cease a program that has brought thousands of Denver-area youngsters onto the slopes of the Colorado mountain.
Club officials recently announced that they could not come to an agreement with Winter Park for a location to headquarter the club. Resort officials said they have run out of space in the aging Balcony House at the base of Winter Park, and could not provide sufficient room for lockers for the club’s instructors either at Winter Park or neighboring Mary Jane.
“It is with great sadness that I am writing this,” said club director Annie Bulkley in an email to members. “Winter Park needs the Eskimo Headquarters room for their employee lockers as they are presently stacked 3 to a locker and there is no more available space that will work for the Club’s needs.”
Starting in 1939 by Bulkley’s father Frank, the Eskimo Ski Club sought to teach youngsters from the greater Denver area how to ski on the city-owned mountain. By the start of WWII, 300-400 youngsters rode then-Denver & Salt Lake railroad every Saturday.
After the war, Bulkley convinced officials of what had become the Denver & Rio Grande to run a “ski train” on Saturdays that would get the young “Eskimos” up to the hill. When the ski train stopped running, Eskimo members rode special buses over Berthoud Pass to Winter Park.
The club had 320 members last season. No plans have been announced as to its future.
Summer vacationers often seek out lakefront property to cool off, and a number of ski and snowboard resorts across the West are blessed with a lake within spittin’ distance.
SnoCountry scanned the West and found an intriguing collection “surf and turf” offerings.
Two resorts -- Heavenly and Homewood -- sit right on the shore of Lake Tahoe for boating, fishing, excursions and swimming beaches. (Surface water temps top out at 65-70 F. so be ready for an exhilarating plunge.)
Homewood has linked up with Homewood High & Dry Marina at its base with rentals of jet skis, kayaks, paddleboards and more – plus a water ski school for instruction.
Over in Colorado, Keystone and Breckenridge are a short ride from Lake Dillon – a reservoir at 9,000 feet elevation. Marinas in Frisco and Dillon rent out fishing boats, party barges and sailboats, and quiet picnicking can be had along some 29 miles of shoreline.
One of SoCal’s favorite places to cool off is Big Bear Lake – some two hours’ drive from the L.A. Basin. Both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain look down onto the lake that has renowned fishing and all manner of watercraft for rent and instruction..
In North Idaho, super-deep Lake Pend Oreille spreads out below Schweitzer Mountain. National forest and state lands have a myriad of trails, beaches, marinas and picnic sites. Fishing best for cold-water trout, and Kokanee and Mackinaw salmon, and shops in Sandpoint rent most anything that floats.
To the west, you’ll find the Payette Lake and Brundage Mountain. The 5,000-acre lake boasts watersports galore, and evening lake cruises. Farther downriver, Tamarack Resort sits on the western shore of Cascade Lake – 47 square miles of high-mountain water. Nearby towns are full of rental and retail shops for any water-bound need.
Canoing near Brundage Mountain (McCall Chamber/Facebook)
Lake Tahoe speads out below Heavenly (Heavenly/Facebook)
Boats galore at shoreline below Homewood (Homewood/Facebook)
All manner of watercraft in Summit County (Town of Dillon/Facebook)
Hook a big on on Big Bear Lake (Big Bear Lake/Facebook)
Ridin' high above Lake Pend Oreille (Schweitzer/Facebook)
Enjoy an evening cruise near Tamarack (Lake Cascade State Park/Facebook)