Ironically, West Mountain Ski Resort is located on the eastern side of New York, just west of Queensbury, and a comfortable drive from Albany. It’s this close location to Albany that makes West Mountain a popular resort in the area. There are 30 named trails that spread out over 126 acres. While the acreage may seem small, West Mountain is a wide resort with the peak elevation occurring over a ridge. The difficulty mix across the resort breaks down into 36 percent novice, 55 percent intermediate, and 9 percent expert. The vertical at West Mountain is just over 1000 feet, with the base lodge resting at 460 feet and ridge elevation at 1470 feet.
West Mountain has three proper lifts (a triple and two doubles) and two tow bars. The tow bars are found in the learning area, called The Melon Patch, where novice skiers can get adjusted to their new skis. Face Chair, the double accessible from the main lodge takes skiers half-way up the slope where skiers can either try their hand at some of the fun new obstacles at the terrain park or zip down the hill in a gentle straight cruiser. The triple chair will take you to the top of the ridge, where you can head back down to the main lodge or zip down to the northwest lodge. From that lodge, the other double lift will ferry you to the ridge, where the expert-rated AOA trail awaits or a fun beginner’s steep, the Midway.
The Bottom Line
With night skiing over a significant portion of its trails and its proximity to Albany, West Mountain attracts large numbers of people who head to the slopes for an evening of relaxing fun. The après-ski at West Mountain is also lively with live music every Wednesday and frequent concert events on Saturdays at the ESBE (East Slope Bar & Eatery). For frequent visitors during ski season, the West Mountain Mug Club offers up several benefits at the local Davidson Brothers Brewery including less expensive beer and a 10% discount every Saturday.
Whether you’re a regular or someone coming in to see what the party is all about, you’ll have a great time at West Mountain. There’s plenty of skiing for people of all ability levels and a fun and fresh local vibe on the mountain. It’s not the biggest resort in the state, but it doesn’t try to be. What it does excel at is providing great skiing and a good atmosphere.