Article sponsored by West Mountain
Winter is right around the corner, and in the Town of Queensbury, West Mountain Ski Area is gearing up for another season of skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. However, the next time you visit, it won’t be the West Mountain your parents remember. Over the last four years, the ski resort’s new owners have made major upgrades and improvements that have transformed West into the premier destination for winter fun in the Capital Region!
Discover Winter Fun Just a Short Drive Away
Conveniently located in the foothills of the Adirondacks between Lake George and Saratoga Springs, West Mountain is recognized as a top choice for winter outings along the East Coast. This 50+ year-old ski resort is family-friendly, extremely accessible, and offers over 126 acres of mixed terrain.
Since August of 2013, West has been under the ownership of the Montgomery Family, who are passionate about winter sports. Ahead of the 2017-18 winter season, current General Manager Sara Montgomery gave us some insight into what guests can look forward to on the slopes.
Snow, Snow & More Snow
Whether you’re a skier, a snowboarder, or someone who just loves being outdoors in winter, snow is probably what you care most about. West Mountain knows that snowfall can be hard to predict, so this year, they’ve upped their snowmaking game in order to provide excellent snow surfaces all season long.
In the event nature doesn’t cooperate, Montgomery told us, “You can still expect 85% of our trails to be covered by snow this winter thanks to our 20 new snow guns.” Each year the mountain’s dedicated crew of snowmakers work 24/7 to ensure that the mountain is ready to open in December.
Opening of the Northwest Lodge
One of the improvements skiers and snowboarders will be interested to learn about is the opening of the renovated Northwest Lodge.
The lodge is located a short distance down West Mountain Road from the Main Lodge. With the number of visitors to the ski area growing each winter, the Montgomery Family felt it was time to give this lodge a makeover.
When guests step inside for the first time, they’ll find a comfortable seating area, brand new bathrooms, and limited food and beverage options.
Furthermore, the lodge will act as a secondary entrance to West Mountain. The expansive parking lot will be open, and skiers and snowboarders will have the opportunity to purchase their tickets and head straight to the Northwest Lift. From there, they will have access to various downhill trails and the Northwest Passage, which connects to the trails above the Main Lodge.
Test Your Skills on the Steepest Slope
Throughout West Mountain’s history, one of their most legendary trails is named The Cure. Situated far above the Main Lodge near the highest point of the peak, many skiers have heard tales of this trail, but few have had a chance to actually ride it.
Thanks to recent restorations to The Cure, what was once a part of local folklore will become a permanent member of West’s downhill trail system. Workers have cleared up the overgrown trail and added snowmaking and lights.
The Cure has a double black diamond rating, which signifies it as an expert-level trail with a very steep pitch. However, for Montgomery, “One of the most exciting parts about the opening of The Cure is that both snowmaking and lighting have been added, and it will be open daily during regular operation hours.”
If The Cure sounds a little too intimidating for your skill level, West is still the place to be for a family-friendly skiing and snowboarding experience. They offer over 30 other trails that range from easy to intermediate to difficult.
A Bigger & Better Snow Tubing Park
Another reason West Mountain stands out among traditional ski resorts is that it features a snow tubing park for people of all ages (from toddlers to youths/adults). Snow tubing is a popular alternative for outdoor winter fun, and starting this season, you will notice more tubing lanes, a new magic carpet to transport tubing customers, and more tubes to accommodate increased tubing demand.
The most noticeable addition will be a new high-capacity conveyor lift, also known as a magic carpet lift. Previously, snow tubers had to sit in their tube as a lift pulled them to the top of the hill. Once they got there, they had to quickly get out and grab their tube.
While this is the type of lift you’d expect at a tubing park, West believed they could improve the process with a conveyor lift. Now, riders will be able to step on the lift and let it carry them and their snow tube to the top.
Not only that, but to give snow tubers even more options, Montgomery mentioned that two long chutes and two short chutes have been developed, meaning there will be a total of 10 chutes to choose from (four long and six short).
When you combine a magic carpet lift and more chutes with the extra tubes, you have a first-rate tubing park that is fun for everyone.
Why You Should Choose West
The main goal of all these improvements is to build on an already exceptional guest experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re a regular at the ski resort or are planning to visit for the first time this winter, West Mountain wants you to have a memorable time and continue to choose them as your destination for winter fun.
According to Montgomery, “What makes West unique is its close proximity to I-87 and other activities. It also offers convenient lot to lodge to lift access.”
The mountain is an easy drive north to Exit 18 from Saratoga Springs and nearby communities, and there are plenty of ways you can shape your winter outing. Go skiing, try snow tubing, and enjoy on-site dining – they are all possibilities at West.
Plan Your West Mountain Experience
If you can’t wait to visit West with the family, you can get a head start on planning your trip by buying tickets or season passes online today. There are a wide variety of package options to choose from, giving you some flexibility depending on your needs and interests.
The planned opening day is Saturday, December 16th (weather permitting), and the fun event will offer $17 lift tickets, live music, food and drink specials, a raffle, and more.
Skiers, snowboarders, and snow tubers in the Capital Region – get ready for a winter wonderland of activities at West Mountain!