Windham Mountain: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
Windham Mountain in New York is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Windham Mountain, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsWhen it first opened in 1960, Windham Mountain resort was known as Cave Mountain Ski Area. The resort, which lies in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, is only 140 miles from Times Square in New York City and only 60 miles from Albany International Airport. Windham's marketing campaign stresses that the ski area has greater vertical than Massachusetts' slopes and is closer to the sprawling New York metro area than Vermont. The availability of night skiing is another major Windham attraction. Nearby ski areas in the northern Catskills include Hunter Mountain and Belleayre Mountain Ski Center.
The MountainWindham Mountain's ski area comprises West Peak and East Peak. With a base elevation of 1,500 feet and a summit elevation of 3,050 feet on West Peak and 3,100 on East Peak, Windham boasts a maximum vertical of 1,600 feet. Depending on weather conditions, Windham is generally open from late November through mid-April, and its annual snowfall averages 100 inches. If snowfall is lighter than usual, the ski area has snowmaking capabilities that cover 97 percent of its skiable terrain. The Wanderer, 1.5 miles in length, is Windham's longest trail.
Trails And LiftsForty-nine trails crisscross Windham Mountain's 269 acres of skiable terrain; the resort covers 730 acres in all. On The Snow's profile of Windham's trails classify 30 percent as suitable for beginners, 45 percent as suitable for intermediate skiers, 15 percent as suitable for advanced skiers and 10 percent as ideal for expert skiers. There's a lot for snowboarders and freestyle skiers to love about Windham's five terrain parks, including the Wraparound Mini Park for beginners. Ten lifts -- two high-speed quads, four triples, one double and three surface lifts -- can handle nearly 16,500 passengers an hour. Upper Wraparound, Upper Warpath and Upper Wiseacres are popular intermediate trails.
In The NewsWindham Mountain's Competition Center, introduced in the fall of 2011, serves as an operational base for participants and coaches in the ski area's Snow Sports junior seasonal program. Windham also hosts some regional college skiing competitions. In the mid-1960s, shortly after the establishment of the private Windham Mountain Club, ski celebrities Stein Erikson and Suzy Chaffee were frequent visitors. To provide winter fun for an even broader audience, Windham Mountain opened Mountain Top Adventure Park in 1998, which features multiple snow tubing lanes, an ice-skating rink and a kids snowmobile park.
CostFull-day, midweek lift tickets are $52 for adults 13 and older, $37 for juniors 7 to 12 years old and $10 for kids 6 and younger. Also available are multiday passes, night lift tickets and special group rates. Windham's rental shop carries Rossignol and Fischer skis, Salomon ski boots and Rossignol snowboards and boots. The basic daily rental cost for skis, boots and poles or snowboard and boots is $40 for standard equipment and $50 for high-performance gear. The Windham Snow Sports School offers 105-minute group lessons at $34 per person for guests whose skiing and boarding skills are rusty. Private lessons and children's lessons are also available.
Apres-SkiWindham Mountain offers a lively apres-ski scene with multiple restaurants and lounges in base and midmountain lodges, as well as in the nearby Winwood Inn and Condominiums (part of the Windham resort complex). Just off the slopes, guests can grab a bite to eat at The Wunderbar Cafe, BBQ and Bar, The Waffle Cabin, Mountain Express Cafeteria, Sushi Bar or Slider's Cafe. Guests can relax with a drink at Legends Bar and Grill, located on the third floor of the base lodge, or they can warm up with some spicy Mexican food at Rock'n Mexicana within the Winwood Inn.
WATCH: Windham Mountain
Windham Mountain kicks off the 2011-2012 season.