Friday, April 14, 2017

Adirondack Easter Services on Gore and Whiteface

This Easter, my family is choosing to leave the traditional religious service behind and mark the day on the top of Little Whiteface. Though not everyone commemorates Easter, we hope a sunrise service will be a tradition my child embraces – as well as on that briefly takes her focus off candy hunts.

Every year Gore and Whiteface Ski Resorts offer a nondenominational service that brings everyone closer to nature. Each Easter the two Adirondack ski resorts offer free gondola rides so that everyone can be part of this unique experience.

Gore Mountain’s gondola will start loading passengers around 6:15 am for the 7 am mountaintop service. Anyone boarding the gondola is still required to have a ticket, including year-round pass-holders. The last visitors will be boarded at 6:45 am to ensure that the service is undisturbed from gondola background noise. Guests are welcome to bring folding chairs onto the gondola.

The early morning ride is free, but for anyone planning on staying around to ski, spring lift tickets prices are in effect. An unlimited Easter buffet is offered at the Tahawus Room directly following the service.

Whiteface Mountain’s nondenominational service starts just a bit later. The Cloudsplitter Gondola will open for complimentary rides at 7:15 am for its 8 am service at the Little Whiteface Observation deck. (An inclement weather location is set in place for the Ausable Room at the Main Lodge.) The gondola will then close during the service and reopen for foot traffic for anyone wishing to take a $22 gondola ride throughout the day.

After the service it’s all about spring skiing, a Sunday brunch buffet and egg hunts for children ages 6-under and ages 7-12 around the Whiteface Mixing Bowl trail. The egg hunt is free and easily accessible to all. Children can walk to the various trails to search for over 4,000 eggs. Egg hunt times are staggered so that everyone has a chance to find something.

There are certainly many options that allow us to bring family together during Easter. My family will be celebrating Easter on the summit of Little Whiteface while my son hikes the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. We look forward to connecting a continent away through service, nature and mountaintops. Enjoy!

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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