The biggest change at Wisp for the 2007-2008 winter season doesn’t involve or require snow. On August 30, 2007, Wisp opened its new Mountain Coaster, a German-engineered hybrid between an alpine slide and roller coaster. Wisp’s Mountain Coaster is one of only four located in the U.S., and is among the steepest. Although fairly new to the U.S., Mountain Coasters are popular in Europe, where over 80 have been constructed. Wisp will be operating the coaster year-round, and its track is lit for night “coasting.” The coaster can reach speeds up to 25 miles per hour on the stainless steel track, and riders can use a centrifugal braking system along the 3,500 feet of track as the coaster winds and twists down 350 vertical feet. The coaster took four months to install and includes extensive safety features.
Other changes for 2007-2008 do involve snow. Burton’s Learn to Ride Freestyle Center is coming to Wisp this winter, providing instruction to beginner and intermediate snowboarders in Terrain Park and Super Pipe techniques. Wisp will also designate a Terrain Park and Rail Park for beginners and intermediates.
Reflecting the popularity of Wisp’s Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park, a new 5,000 square foot structure has been constructed to provide tubing and Mountain Coaster ticket sales, food and beverage service, and day lodge area. The structure has 26-foot tall cathedral ceilings and skylights, and overlooks the tubing lanes. Wisp has also added a Mini-Sledding Area specifically for children under 42 inches tall.
Finally, Wisp has enhanced snowmaking by adding eight SMI 320 guns to the Squirrel Cage and Down Under trails.
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
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