The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) Board has voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area Unit Management Plan (UMP) to renovate the existing Porcupine Lodge located on top of Lookout Mountain.
The Lodge, a part of the original ski center, will be used by ski patrol and as a day-use only public warming hut and snack bar. The APA Board found the proposal conforms to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. ORDA is authorized to begin work to ensure Porcupine Lodge is open for the 2015-2016 ski season.
Porcupine Lodge is a 50 x 20-foot enclosed wood-frame building constructed in 1949 as part of the original Whiteface Mountain Ski Area, often referred to as Marble Mountain.
The structure is located on Lookout Mountain which hosts ski trails approved in the 2004 UMP. The building was saved in 1966 when most of Marble Mountain Ski Center facilities were removed. It was permitted to remain in 1974 in accordance with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and was used in the 1970s and 1980s by the Atmospheric Science Research Center.
According to an announcement made to the press, elements of the Porcupine Lodge project include:
- Improving the interior to comply with Life Safety Code and energy conservation requirements;
- Preserving the existing character of the Lodge with limited exterior improvements;
- Adding a removable outside deck addition no larger than approximately 30 x 30 feet;
- No additional tree cutting;
- Placing self-contained sanitary facilities near the structure. These facilities will have removable containers that will be transported to the Base Lodge and the contents disposed of via the Base Lodge sanitary system;
- Collecting solid waste in closed containers and transport them to the Base Lodge; and
- Using the Lodge only during the winter season.
According to the APA, the entire project will take place above 2,800-feet and Bicknell’s Thrush Habitat mitigation measures outlined in the 2004 UMP will apply. These include avoiding construction and the use of motor vehicles and motorized equipment at the site during the Bicknell’s thrush nesting period from May 1 – August 1.
Illustrations: Above, an early (c. 1950) map of Whiteface Mountain Ski Area showing the original Marble Mountain ski facilities; and below the interior of Porcupine Lodge (courtesy DEC).