WILMINGTON - The slopes of Whiteface Mountain are now open - for the summer.
The Olympic Regional Development Authority has announced the opening of its mountain biking trails, Cloudsplitter Gondola, and disc golf course at Whiteface effective June 18.
According to ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin, the organization implemented the disc golf course at Whiteface last year after seeing the growing popularity of disc golf at other resorts.
"Some staff had played before and Lake Placid High School principal Dave Messner, who is an avid player, helped with the course layout and planning," Lundin explained.
In disc golf, players use flying discs instead of clubs and balls to go from the tee box to the hole, usually a metal chain basket of some sort. The object of the game is the same as golf: Complete each hole with as few strokes, or in this case, throws as possible.
The course at Whiteface has nine holes, each about 300 feet in length. Starting and ending at the main lift, it follows some of the most popular ski trails, including Mixing Bowl, Wolf, Boreen, Roundabout and Lower Valley.
It proved to be quite popular as more than 650 rounds were played last year.
"It turned out to be a good family activity," said Lundin. "We found the people who were taking advantage of the gondola rides would see people using the course and would want to use it themselves when their ride was over."
Disc golf a Whiteface will run daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Oct. 11. The cost for nine holes is $5 per person with disc included. A season's pass is $35.
Also beginning June 18, the eight-person Cloudsplitter Gondola will reopen for the summer and carry passengers from the Main Base Lodge to the top of Little Whiteface. At the summit of Little Whiteface, an observation deck and picnic area awaits, as well as breathtaking views. The cost is $18 for adults and juniors (ages 7-12) and seniors (ages 65+) are $13.