Whiteface, the 1980 Olympic mountain near Lake Placid, opened Nov. 15. Gore, in North Creek, welcomed guests on Nov. 16.
“We are thrilled about the early opening,” Gore’s Emily Stanton told SnoCountry.com. “Guests got some early-season sliding in the sunshine, and we got several park features going as well. For this Saturday, look for a two-mile stretch of terrain from the gondola down to the base.”
Whiteface and Gore are among the three that are state-run by the Olympic Regional Development Authority. Gore and Whiteface will close for several days and plan to reopen Nov. 22.
Maple Ski Ridge, outside Schenectady, also opened last weekend after cranking up their snowmaking system Nov. 12. Two of its eight trails were available for Capitol Region skiers and riders.
“Friday night was surprisingly wonderful. We had a higher turnout than expected,” Kate Michener told us. “Saturday was gorgeous with spring skiing in November. We were most surprised by the amount of non-regulars that heard about us opening and showed up just wanting to ski.”
The news of the early openings got the attention of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose office made the official announcement.
“Our ski areas are an asset in attracting visitors to Upstate New York so that we can grow the local economy and support jobs in those communities,” stated Gov. Cuomo.
A third ORDA-operated resort, Belleayre in Highmount, plans to open Nov. 29.
Big Tupper Ski Area in Tupper Lake, which did not operate last season, has no such organizational structure propping it up. It is the centerpiece of a significant economic development initiative that was awarded a permit nearly two years ago. Yet several green groups have filed an Article 78 lawsuit challenging that verdict by the Adirondack Park Agency.
As Big Tupper awaits a resolution, it has organized its supporters and volunteers, and plans to open on Dec. 26 after necessary inspections are satisfied.
According to the National Ski Areas Association, 37 states offer skiing and boarding, and New York, with 50 such facilities as of last season, leads the list. A few more are ready to begin churning lifts.
Titus Mountain in Malone, near the Canadian border, has started pounding trails with machine-made snow using a fleet of brand new snow guns to enhance the existing technology.
Heading south to the Catskills, Hunter Mountain, which has always been a league leader in snowmaking, is currently covering slopes when temperatures permit. When Hunter opens, Big Lift cardholders will save 50 percent mid-week, 25 percent on weekends and 15 percent during holidays.
Neighboring Windham Mountain started making snow a week ago, employing $1.5 million in snowmaking upgrades. Windham will be anxious to unveil two more acres of beginner terrain on Whisper Run, as well as three new trails and another gladed run between Wedel and Wipeout.
While the Adirondacks stakes claim for the first to open, weather are cooperating all over the northeast, and more resorts will come online in the ensuing weeks. Check SnoCountry.com snow conditions daily.
Photo: Titus Mountain gets ready to open (Titus Mountain/Facebook)