His criteria is challenging runs and trees.  If you want length, vertical, continuous steepness then you are correct.  If you want the best trails for setting up a race course then you are correct.  The only challenge on Whiteface, as I interpret Miguel's criteria, is Empire, which it seldom open and only with natural snow.  The slides are hard to consider in the same context since there is no human involvement in their operation other than ski patrol assessment and control.  If you consider the slides then you should consider any mountain in the state equally.  I mean any like Marcy, Colden etc.

If you go back to Whiteface in the 60's and 70's before the, ahem; improvements for the Olympics then Whiteface could easily be considered one of the most challenging in the East.  Tucker snowcats could not groom the likes of Wilderness, McKenzie and Mountain run.  They could not access the summit double trails and there was no snowmaking on them.  The only way to open them and get a liftie to the top was to snowmobile a ski patroller to the summit up the highway and have him drop in off the highway and ski down to the top of the lift to man the station while I rode up to take the duty tour.  On those days I would have traded my pay to be that patroller.

Of the limited places I have skied in my lifetime there are two that I cannot do continuously top to bottom and just keep making runs.  Those two are MRG and Hickory.  Ounce for ounce, pound for pound, the 1200 ft of vert at Hickory blows Whiteface away.  Remember the criteria.

Also, in regards to #13 I think the stats need to be rechecked.  I believe they receive consistantly 400 to 500 inches of snow annually.  Thats all natural and no bull.  Ask anyone who lives in the Tug Hill Plateau.

Tag Gross <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
LOL...Come on Miguel you can't seriously put Hunter and Gore in the same
league with Whiteface! No way!

-----Original Message-----
From: Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Miguel Naughton
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 11:00 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [SKIVT-L] Top 20 NY ski areas

With a little time on my hands, and still feeling good about those
Cubbies, I decided to rank NY ski areas. This list is prioritized
for people that want challenging runs and trees. I'm curious to hear
what others think of this ranking.

I couldn't pick a #1 because Hunter, Whiteface and Gore are all so
different from each other.

1. Whiteface. Pros: 3,000 vert, Olympic town with many diversions,
long runs Cons: Expensive, little tree skiing, bad exposure, not
much natural snow

1. Hunter. Pros: gigantic snowmaking system, lots of bumps,
challenging Hunter West, good vertical Cons: crowds, hyper NY vibe,
no tree skiing, little natural snow, no town nearby

1. Gore. Pros: scenic, sort of feels like northern VT, a few glades
including unique Twister glade. Cons: jerky ski patrol, too many
blue cruisers, no town nearby

4. Windham. Pros: 1600 vert, lots of snowmaking Cons: no tree
skiing, not many bumps either

5. Holiday Valley. Pros: much diversity with bumps, glades and
cruisers, mellow clientele, 200" snowfall, good value, interesting
town. Cons: jerky ski patrol, there's only so much you can do with
750 vert.

6. Greek Peak. Pros: variety of runs with cruisers, bumps and a
couple of glades. Cons: Decrepit base facilities, ugly powerlines,
nothing very challenging.

7. Plattekill. Pros: inexpensive, amazingly uncrowded, no patrol
hassles, many steep runs, ski wherever you want Cons: little
snowmaking, disgusting food, much pebbles and crumbly rocks, mud/clay
in parking lot hard to remove from car, slopes face southeast

8. Belleayre. Pros: reasonably priced, not too crowded. Cons: not
very challenging, runs are all very similar, very limited tree
skiing, 1400 vert skis like 600 vert

9. McCauley. Pros: cheap, interesting mix with bumps and trees (on
and off map), claim to receive 300" snowfall. Cons: 600 vert, swarms
of snowmobiles in the area

10. Labrador. Pros: I heard it's a decent 700 vert hill.

11. Toggenburg. see comments for Labrador

12. West. Pros: 1000 vert Cons: looks pretty boring from Northway

13. Snow Ridge. Pros: 230" snowfall, according to it has
some interesting runs. Cons: 400 vert

14. Titus. Pros: cheap, decent natural snowfall, long season Cons:
boring, very poor use of 1200 vert

15. Song. Pros: looks OK from I81

16. Kissing Bridge. Pros: lots of runs, decent natural snowfall
Cons: 500 vert

17. Bristol. Pros: nice base facilities Cons: how could they throw
away 1200 ft of vert? jerky ski patrol, no trees, only a few icy
bumps, yuck

18. Willard. Pros: Guido used to patrol here, no?

19. Swain. Pros: OK if you live nearby

20. Oak. Pros: cheap, got state aid to buy chairlift and some

I realize I have omitted Hickory (not open very often) and semi-private
areas like Holimont and Hunts Hollow.

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