Perfect Adirondack Christmas with snow and comfortable temps; Whiteface open to the summit
Timing is everything as the weather in the Lake Placid Adirondack region has turned to winter as the holiday revelers have arrived.
Prior to Christmas we had steady snowfall for several days, but tonight (Dec. 26) we are expecting to see the start of a storm that will end 12 inches or more later on Thursday.
Dr. Zhivago would be right at home in this winter wonderland. Temps will be in the 20s during the day....ideal for invigorating winter sports.
The readers of SKI Magazine, once again, have voted Lake Placid the top winter resort in North America for off-hill activities. But the on-hill stuff is pretty good right now, too. So we're offering the complete package. Read on, friends!
WHAT TO DO WITH ALL OF THIS
Whiteface Mountain snowmakers are embellishing Mother Nature's recent efforts. New trails are opening daily, and the summit quad is running to the top. This opens over 3,100 vertical feet to the base. Get conditions at whiteface.com.
Try cross country skiing and snow shoeing at the Whiteface Club Golf Course (partly owned by the Mirror Lake Inn) and at Mt. Van Hoevenberg's Olympic trail network for all levels of skiers. It's just 5 miles from LP, and 47 of the 50 kilometers of trails are available. And after the approaching storm, fugedaboudit. The Cascade Ski Touring Center, also on Rt. 73, is now open.
If you're coming soon, or thinking of it, here's a menu of things to do and what's happening.
Public skating on the Olympic Oval (just drive down Main St) with sessions from 1-3 PM and 7-9 PM. This is low-impact exercise, a way to meet up with people and a nice way to digest after dinner. Rent skates at the oval. There's a warm-up room, rest rooms and beverages at the rink, and food across the street. This is where Eric Heiden won 5 Olympic gold medals in 1980.
Bobsled rides are scheduled daily at Mount Van Hoevenberg, about 5 miles from Lake Placid on Rt 73. Reservations may be needed. Call ahead 518-523-4436 and get the scoop. It's a thrilling 1/2 mile on the same track used by the Olympians.
Near the track, you can cross country ski and snow shoe. Currently 47 of 50 kilometers (31 miles) of trail are prepared and open each day. The remainder will be available shortly...like after tonight's snowfall.
Snow tubing is fun to do at the entrance to the ski jumps on Rt. 73 on the edge of Lake Placid.
For family sledding (free), try the golf course just outside the village on Rt. 86. Drive through Main Street - no turns at all - and go straight through the second traffic light. About 1/4 later, you'll see the 17th fairway on your left. You'll know you're there when you see the kids, sleds and tracks. Just pull onto the shoulder and park.
EVENTS TO NOTE DURING THE HOLIDAYS
--Dec. 28: New Year's Masters Ski Jump at 6 PM. Ski jumping under the lights is not to be missed. The competition will include many of the top U.S. talents, with jumpers from the 2010 Winter Olympics. You will also see competitors that will be named to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
--Dec. 29: The same field of ski jumpers returns for more at 11 AM.
--Dec. 30: Stars on Ice debuts their new show at the Lake Placid Olympic Center. The 7:30 performance features 1976 Olympic gold medalist Doroth Hamill, Canadian and World Champion Kurt Browning, and popular Russian star Ekaterina Gordeeva. The show is created by the legendary Scott Hamilton. Tickets available at the arena box office. Call 518-523-3330.
--Dec. 31: New Year's Slidin' Eve from 5:30-9 PM: If you ever wanted to compete in a fun, safe luge race on the lower section of the course, here's your chance. Get coached by Olympic medal winners; hear live entertainment. Food and drink available, including S'mores and hot chocolate. Participation fees benefit the US Luge Team so its tax deductible.
--Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides at the golf course. Call 518-834-9933 to reserve.
As the day draws to a close, return to the MLI for daily afternoon tea and chocolate chip cookies, always complimentary, starting at 3:30.
That's Lake Placid's holiday present to you. All you have to do is come and take it!!
Season's greetings to all!!