LAKE PLACID, NY – Whiteface Mountain mid-station lodge and restaurant burned to the ground Saturday night, lighting the north country sky with an eerie red glow that was seen for miles. The structure was burned to its frame, flames soaring like the last reel of a Frankenstein movie, with nothing remaining but a smoking hole in the ground and twisted metal. Although firefighters were transported up the mountain by Snowcats, nothing could be done to save the building.
Undaunted, the mountain opened as normal on Sunday morning, welcoming nearly 1,200 skiers and snowboarders. You have to salute the indefatigable spirit of North Country winter sports enthusiasts.
The mid-station was a critical resting point mid-run on those bitter cold, windy, icy North Country days and handled significant overflow, with two restaurants. “We drank many a cup of hot chocolate there,” gushed one patron, chiming in on the mountain’s Facebook page. “It gets cold up on Iceface…”
On a happier note, sources say Whiteface has been cleared to build a new gondola. We’ll have more n that story as it develops. Whiteface hosted two winter Olympics – 1932 and 1980 and is also home to a significant part of the USOC winter teams’ practice facilities.