Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, has always been a popular ski resort for folks from the Greater Washington D.C. Baltimore Metropolitan area. Located about a 90 minute drive from both of these towns, it is conveniently close to Interstate 70. It is a picturesque trip. Upon arrival at the resort’s muddy parking lot, which is a country mile to the lift ticket window, you can pay an exorbitant amount of money to purchase a four hour lift ticket.
My wife and I went skiing here during a weekday last week, and due to terrible weather conditions along with Dennis Kucinich’s packed house campaign events, we were able to enjoy an almost empty resort. After purchasing our four hour flex tickets for $40 each, from the lady at the window who was playing paper, rock, scissors by herself, we headed for the slopes. The slopes looked more like a golf course, as only several of them were covered with fake snow. While the resort could not be blamed for the global warming effects caused by the local cow farm’s methane problem, we were shocked that they were charging full price.
Due to the lack of acceptable conditions, and lack of skiing in the past year, we decided to stick to the easier and more intermediate slopes. The first slopes we decided to try were Northern Lights and Velvet, which are serviced by two double quad lifts. These lifts are fairly slow, and are similar to a moped, in that they are fun to ride until your friends see you on them. After reading a Sports Illustrated and Modern Maturity Magazine, we were able to disembark for our first run. These slopes are outstanding for newer skiers, and still a lot of fun for people with more experience. Almost Home interlopes between the two, but had some grassy knolls and a lack of grooming during our visit.
The employees on these lifts did a great job in difficult conditions, as they were able to keep the loading and exit zones loaded with flattened snow. We enjoyed getting to know some of the young men and women from other countries, who do these temporary jobs. Many of them had never seen snow before working at the resort, and they have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Whitetail Resort has a new sheriff in town as well, and his name is Ray. He was diligently checking our lift tickets with his scanner, and watching out for any violations. While he was a bit on the rough, gruff, and tough side, he was a lot warmer than the sheriff from the movie “Deliverance,” which was played by James Dickey. He was more like the manager of the Cleveland Indians in “Major League,” and we greatly appreciated his help after a couple falls.
Although it is listed as an easier slope, Snow Park is by all means intermediate, and would be considered advanced at a smaller resort such as Bryce. A quick moving quad lift services this slope, and there is a great view from on top of this mountain on the left side of the resort. Although not as high as the near 1,800-foot plateau of the right side slopes, it is almost “high enough” to understand the lyrics of the Grateful Dead. There is a steep incline after exiting the slope, that will make you scream with joy, and there are two smaller ones that make it quite a ride. The conditions were excellent throughout this slope, with minimal amounts of grass or thin cover. The advanced slopes such as Fanciful, Exhibition, and Bold Decision looked tempting, but had more patches than I have on my near bald head.
Considering the weather conditions, Whitetail Resort did a good job with the fake snow. Fake snow will have to do until the real stuff arrives sometime this winter. We were impressed by the quality of Whitetail’s slopes, and by the fact that their employees were both helpful and friendly. They were nice enough to charge us $3.50 for a bottled water, and there’s nothing better than a $2.00 Snickers bar. While the cost of food at ski areas makes a movie theatre’s concessions seem reasonable, we had a great time out on the slopes that were available to ski on, and we will return later this season.