Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lake Placid, NY

Art Devlin’s Olympic Motor Inn
We got a great view out of our balcony. The place is walking distance to quite a few restaurants and also has a free shuttle bus to Whiteface Ski Area. Lobby provides coffee and muffins in the morning for a quick breakfast.

Balcony View 
I was warned in advance that Whiteface is more geared toward intermediate (blue trails) and experts (black trails). Most of the trails on the top half of the mountain are blue or black. If you want to do a scenic ride, take the cloudsplitter gondola and then ride it back down. Since gondolas are enclosed and your ski equipment go outside of it, you don’t have to worry about getting on and jumping off with your skis. While you are up on the lookout point, be sure to watch out for strong winds and take your photos quickly! If you want to ski down, you have your choice of blue and black trails. I skied down the blue trail once, but found it pretty difficult. The second time I went up the gondola I just rode it back down.



The lodge has a nice outdoor picnic area for warmer days (day 1 of our trip) and indoor fireplaces with comfy chairs (for day 2 when it was cold).
First day we just brought Subway Foot Long sandwiches for lunch. Second day I bought chicken fingers and fries from the food court and thought they were pretty tasty.

Back to more skiing. I took a 2-hour lesson the day 1 which was helpful. Finally figured out how to ski parallel as opposed to wedge (pizza stance) all the way down. At first it proved difficult but the zigzag S way was much better for steeper hills. It was only after falling down the blue trail on day 2 when I realized maybe I needed more work on skiing and controlling my turns/stops. Day 2 afternoon I most did drills on the bunny slope and a beginning hill. Some slope reviews:
-Mixing Bowl: bunny hill near base lodge. Wide and very little slope. Mostly you’ll see people taking lessons. Day 2 was a bit icy but mostly a very good place to warm up and do your skiing drills.
-Round-a-bout: Not really a trail, it’s just a flat path that leads to the Bear Lift.
-Bear: My most comfortable green trail. I did my lessons on this one so I got the slopes all figured out. 
-Fox: I keep falling toward the end of this probably due to lack of speed control. I think it’s a bit steeper than the Bear.
-Gold/Silver: Near the kids lodge. When I went to that side I didn’t see many people on the slopes. Basically bunny hills for that lodge. When you take the lift, you can ski down a path that will lead you back to base lodge. You can also take a bus back to base lodge. 
-Excelsior: the blue that leads from the gondola downhill. I fell so many times it’s not even funny…
-Easy way: it’s a green from mid-mountain but still proved to be difficult and long for me. All of these long trails are a few times longer than the Blue Mountain green trails, even the Paradise.

Dining Review (next entry)

Other Assorted Photos (shutterfly album)

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