Slopeside with Nick Borelli: Whiteface Mountain - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Slopeside with Nick Borelli: Whiteface Mountain

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WILMINGTON, N.Y. -

"I think it's awesome," said April Rivers of Lexington, Mass.

April Rivers and Carly Fair are making lots of turns at Whiteface, the home mountain for the 1980 Winter Olympics.

"Whiteface is so different because the Olympics were here. It just makes it a different mountain," explained Rivers.

"We're standing at one of the most historical Alpine venues in the world. This is the finish area for what was the men's and women's giant slalom and the men's and women's downhill event," said Jon Lundin of Whiteface.

Today, skiers can still ride down the same trails once used by Olympians.

"It was a really cool feeling to know that in something as recent as 1980-- or I think of as recent-- but it was a really neat feeling," said Rivers. 

While the Winter Olympics are happening in Sochi, in some form, they're also taking place at Whiteface. It's the winter challenge and the Alpine course has a lot of people like Rivers and Fair, testing their abilities.

"We did the course yesterday and we were like we want to do it again. But, also yesterday we did figure skating, curling and hockey. We're gonna hand in our score sheet and get our Olympic pin," said Fair.  

In a recent CNN article one of the former Olympic trails, Skyward, was ranked as the seventh best trail in North America.

"It's long and steep," said Rivers. "I like the pitch. I like the steeps. They're pretty cool"  

The steep trails coupled with Whiteface's 3,400-plus vertical drop makes for some challenging terrain. We're told that's part of the charm.

"Good vertical drop. The speed. You know it's a fast mountain. You can't go slow here," said Francisco Braun of Peru, N.Y.

The vertical drop means there's a lot of skiing real estate, so skiers are able to spread out. Currently the mountain is more than 90 percent open. Surfaces are primarily packed powder.

"It is firm, well-groomed, terrific shape. Very little ice, great conditions today," said Joe Martens of Glenmont, N.Y.

As an added bonus, on a clear enough day the views are pretty spectacular.

"To be able to see Lake Champlain from here all frozen over is unreal," said Fair.

The views, skiing, and Olympic aura is all a gold medal experience for Rivers and Fair. They're planning to come back soon.

"Definitely. Absolutely. Definitely," Rivers said.

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