Early Sunday morning, friends and I packed the car with our snow gear and off we drove 2 hours from Montreal to beautiful Whiteface Mountain, NY. The drive up to Wilmington offered breathtaking views and simply got us pumped for the day ahead.

As we entered the parking lot, we noticed all the cars parked and quickly realized we were not the only keeners there that morning to take advantage of the awesome Santa Suit Sunday. Though we weren’t parked near the lodge, access was easy, with frequent shuttles offered back and forth from the parking to the lodge.

We were kindly greeted by mountain volunteers wearing bright orange jackets. They offered such a nice welcome with their great smiles and directed people to the right location. The ambience in the lodge as well as on the slopes was very festive for a Sunday.

Whiteface Mountain was celebrating the thrid annual Santas Ski Free Day. Skiers and riders who donned their best Mr. or Mrs. Claus costume could enjoy a free day of skiing and riding in true holiday spirit. Those who didn’t have a jolly red suit, could donate a new toy or a gently winter coat and receive a 50% off a lift ticket for the day. All coats and toys collected will be a gift to someone in need during the holidays.

Needless to say, we donned our red suits, took a group photo with all the other santas and off we went.

The first runs of the day were up Face Lift Chair. As we skied Boreen, Upper and Lower Valley which were nice beginner and intermediate runs to warm our legs up. The trail conditions were nice as they offered variable conditions on packed powder. Impressive what shooting the mountain with 300 snow canons can do. 46 trails open and 6 lifts.

We then took the Cloudsplitter Gondola up to the top of Little Whiteface where there were stunning views of the region. The Essex trail was a nice long run all the way to the bottom with breathtaking views. One word to describe how I felt; freedom!

It was a beautiful day, even though it was cloudy in the morning, we had beautiful sunshine in the afternoon. With nice temperatures of around -5 degrees Celsius.

The Base Camp Market located in the main lodge, offered beautiful views of the mountain while we ate a delicious hot bowl of chili. They even have cozy sofas to relax between runs.

After lunch, we set off to what was going to be an awesome afternoon of skiing with great conditions but unfortunately one of my friends got hurt going down Mountain Run. Ski patrollers got him down to the bottom of the hill where an ambulance was waiting to take him to the ER. We spent the afternoon at the Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid where they took x-rays and then splinted his ankle for the drive back to Canada. The verdict: a fractured ankle broken at a few places and unfortunately surgery. Get well soon Seb!

Even though our ski day ended abruptly, needless to say I will be back! I can’t wait to discover the trails Whiteface Summit and Lookout Mountain have to offer! Plus, every Wednesday, excluding the holidays, it’s Why Not Wednesday at Whiteface. Present an unopened Dasani or Coca-Cola product on Wednesdays and get a one-day lift ticket for only $48.

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