Greetings from Lake Placid!
According to an old lift ticket on my ski jacket, I hadn’t been skiing since September 3rd, 2003. I was rusty, to say the least, and since I miss the mountains and the skiing of my native Pacific Northwest, I jumped at the opportunity to take part in the Women’s Only Experience in Lake Placid and ski the Northeast.
The trip, arranged by The Olympic Regional Development Authority, which operates the venues used during the 1980 Winter Olympics, includes a stay at the beautiful Mirror Lake Inn, and winter sports (skiing and bobsledding!) at Whiteface Mountain. Not only are the Inn and its surroundings Adirondack-ly beautiful, the list of winter activities here is endless – a winter sports enthusiast’s dream.
After a full day of delays and more delays, my first flight on a six-passenger plane, and a rescue ride from two kind men (once of which was Vinny McClelland, owner of The Mountaineer, an outdoor outfitter in nearby Keene Valley), I finally arrived at Mirror Lake Inn last night, and am already eager to get back onto the powdery slopes of the mountain tomorrow.
We started the morning off right with a breakfast buffet at Mirror Lake Inn’s restaurant, The View. Then, after a tour of the Inn’s various buildings and their lovely Adirondack-inspired suites (during which, I was envisioning one of the amazingly elaborate wood-carved stag chandeliers hanging in the suites hanging in my own Brooklyn apartment), we were off to the mountain!
Whiteface Mountain, known for its vertical drops and Olympic history, was voted the top ski resort in the Northeast and second in North America by Ski Magazine readers, and for the 18th consecutive year, the mountain was voted #1 for off-hill activities at nearby Olympic venues, including skating, bobsledding, and ski jumping. There’s also dog sledding, snowshoeing, and ice climbing, among other activities.
Since almost a decade had passed since my last run on skis, I was set up with a refresher course with the charming, accordion-playing Ed Kreil. Kreil is the mountain’s ski school director and created the program “Parallel From the Start.” Forget learning to ski with instructors screaming, “French fries! Now pizza pie!” From absolute beginners to people who need a little brushing up, this program features skiing on short skis, much like ski blades. Before I knew it, we were heading to the top of the mountain, 4,386 feet in the air. You can rest assured that I won’t be letting another seven years pass by before my next ski trip.
Tomorrow’s agenda – bobsledding, and…you guessed it – the spa!