Bristol Mountain: Tops in Skiing

February 5, 2011 at 3:20 am Leave a comment

Ski resort, bristol

View of Bristol Mountain from the base

Tucked between Honeoye and Canandaigua Lakes, Bristol Mountain Ski Resort sports the highest vertical between the Catskills and the Rockies, at 1200′.  There are 138 acres of total skiable terrain. Most all lit for night skiing, and most with snow making.

Nigh at Bristol

View from the base at night

Bristol Mountain is open 7 days a week 9am-10pm, (night skiing mid December to mid-March). The mountain features 2 terrain parks and an Olympic-size halfpipe for snowboarders. And 2 large Nordic loops for traditional or skate skiing. It has 6 lifts, 2 are high-speed quad chairs.

Bristol Mountain was established in 1964 and a new lift was added in 1965. In 1969 the rate for skiing was $7.00. It costs $7 today just to ski the 2 Nordic loops!

Bristol Mountain

Trail map from 1967

Trail Map, Bristol

2011 Trail Map

I have been skiing at mountain since the 60s. My memories of Upper Rocket Run from night skiing in about 1973, was large sheets of ice so gnarly that they were dark gray in spots!  Like my parents did for me, I taught my 3 boys to “pizza pie” down the black diamonds with no fear at a young age, and as soon as I let them off the leash they dropped skis, took up snowboarding and left me in a cloud of snow spray.

Bristol Mountain

Getting ready to snow board, upstairs lodge

Recently I took my youngest, now 16, to snowboard with friends, and after they had their lift tickets and were off for 8 hours of skiing, I decided to explore the top of the mountain and the Nordic trails.

Bristol Mountain

View from the Demo Center at the Summit

It’s a long drive from the base of the downhill skiing side of the mountain around, and then up to the summit.  There is a demo shop which will let you try a wide array of downhill skis for a reasonable price. They also rent cross-country skis and snow shoes.

Bristol Mountain

Filling in the gouges

Hot waxing my sad skiis

I rented a pair of skate skis as this is one of the few spots that groom a wide trail perfect for this style of skiing. Meanwhile, I left my skis with the mountain’s waxing specialist who filed in 5 years of gouges with p-tex and then waxed them and filed some lovely edges so I could skate ski a bit better for the low price of $10!

Bristol Mountain nordic

Wide nordic trails have snow making and lights

The skiing was absolutely perfect. They have 2 short loops with snow making ability. So when there is no snow anywhere and you need to ski, Bristol will have LOTS of snow and great skiing.

In case you are thinking about trying skate skiing yourself, I made a short video. I think it may cause more motion sickness than passion to try the sport, but this gives you the idea that you can move along at a good clip.

Bristol Mountain is located at 5662 Route 64, Canandaigua, NY 14424.


Entry filed under: Activities, Bristol, Canadaigua Lake, Cross Country Skiing, Finger Lakes, Honeoye lake, New York, skiing, Snowshoeing. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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