LAKE PLACID & WHITEFACE, NEW YORK
Elevation: 4,416 feet
Vertical drop: 3,350 feet
Annual snowfall: 213 inches in 2000
Skiable acreage: 224 acres
Terrain: 33% beginner, 33% intermediate, 33% advanced/expert
Lifts: 1 gondola, 1 high-speed quad, 2 triples, 6 doubles, 1 rope tow
Info: 800-44-PLACID; whiteface.com
Getting there: Fly into Albany or Burlington, and drive two hours to Lake Placid. From New York City and Boston, it's a five-hour hump. Continental flies to Adirondack Airport in Saranac Lake, 20 miles away.
Prices: Last season's one-day adult pass was $46. There are discounts for teens and seniors (65-69). Six and under and 70 and over ski free.
Food & drink: On Wednesdays after the locals' race at Whiteface, head for the Cloudspin Lounge in the lodge for $2 drafts. Then follow the crowd to the Alpine Cellar (518-523-2180) for $3.95 bratwurst plates and a choice of 80 beers. Cameron's (518-523-7872), decorated with busts of Darth Vader and Elvis and other thrift-store finds, makes a killer Black Angus burger.
Lodging: With mahogany walls, oak spiral staircases, featherbeds, moose heads, and fireplaces, the Mirror Lake Inn (518-523-2544) offers the quintessential Adirondack experience. (See photo below.) It's worth the coin. If you're on a budget, there are dozens of motels in town to choose from.
Let the games begin: For only $39, a Winter Passport gets you one bobsled ride, one day of X-C at Mount Van Hoevenberg, three passes to public skating in the 1932 arena or the speed skating oval, a ski-jumper's view from the skydeck observation area on top of the 120-meter tower, and admission to the Winter Olympic Museum. Call 518-523-1655 for more information or check out the website at www.orda.org. For dogsledding call Thunder Mountain Dog Sled Tours (518-891-6239).