Bristol Mountain Ski Getaways

ski getaways

Bristol's 2200' summit and 1200' vertical drop should put to rest the notion that New York west of the Adirondacks is flat as a pancake. The Finger Lakes region is decidedly not flat, and Bristol is but one example.

Drawing mainly from Rochester, 35 minutes away, Bristol has taken steps in recent years to take full advantage of its location and natural setting. New trails, new lifts, a built-in half pipe, improved lighting, a new lodge, and the beginnings of an on-mountain village are some of the things Bristol has added in just the past few years. Combined with nearly 100% snowmaking and an extensive night operation, Bristol is an increasingly attractive choice for western New York skiers and riders looking for a destination resort experience.

Even while all the pieces are being put in place, the mountain offers a lot. A solid half of the terrain is intermediate, about a third is beginner (which includes some nice long runs) and the rest is black diamond. Two quads (one high speed), two triples, a double, and a surface lift serve this terrain, 33 slopes in all, with runs up to two miles in length.

Beginners will especially enjoy Milky Way, one of Bristol's newest trails (along with Nova), a pleasant cruise interspersed with islands of trees - it's very much like a park - and even a couple of bridges to cross. Intermediates have the most choices, but the trio of Northstar (big turns), Universe (medium turns), and Galaxy (no turns) is probably the most fun. The more advanced have several choices, but black diamond Upper Rocket and Challenger (the latter off the Sunset Double) are two good bets; while Quantum Leap and Comet are the two steepest trails on the mountain.

The in-ground half pipe on Morning Star is just one of the play features at Bristol. At the top of the trail is a "junior" or practice pipe (the lower pipe, over 400' long, is often referred to as the "master" pipe) and a full-on terrain park. The whole complex is lighted for nighttime fun.