Firsthand Report: Special Times at Whitetail
Author thumbnail By Connie Lawn, DCSki Columnist

Saturday, February 12, 2011 was a special day for me at Whitetail because of the instruction of Bill Dietrich, head of the Ski School and Executive Director of the “Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation.” They do amazing things with skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. I took several runs down the mountain with Bill. He brought back my confidence and sense of smooth cruising. He also helped me over the occasional slick patches, and braced me during the strong gusts of wind. This is the second time in a month the wind has followed me to the slopes, but I found it exhilarating and exciting.

Instructors Tom Irving, Bill Dietrich, and Mike Caselle provide instruction at Whitetail. Photo provided by Charles Sneiderman.

My husband Charles followed us for a while, and then went off to the more exciting slopes. Everything was fast packed powder. Snow is made and groomed most nights, except nice big moguls which are left on Exhibition.

One of the interesting features of Whitetail on this weekend were the training classes for the Special Olympics Athletes. They are amazing and inspiring, and they participate in several events each year. Bill says they trained 79 members of the Special Olympics this season, and 138 Wounded Warriors. Some can come in and ski or snowboard whenever they want, rather than on a designated weekend. Some of the instructors from sister resort Liberty also come over to help with their training when large numbers are expected. The work of the instructors is voluntary, and donations keep the programs afloat. They are necessary and tax deductible. In these times of draconian budget cuts, these programs for special athletes need all the private help they can get.

By the way, while on the subject of ailments, it might be nice if you can stop and say a prayer for Buddy Hauk. He is the popular Chief Mountain Host - the friendly guy with the warm smile and the big cowboy hat. He has been ill, and we all wish for his speedy recovery. He is making progress, and made a visit to his beloved mountain. He expects to return full time in the future.

Finally check out the Whitetail website for special races and upcoming springtime activities. Can you believe it is nearly time for spring sports? For me, that is the absolute best time to be on the slopes! Take advantage of it while it is still possible!

David and Robert Levin are first-time visitors to Whitetail. Photo provided by Charles Sneiderman.

Return Visit on February 18, 2011

It was hot, sunny, and a perfect Friday to take off and return to the wonderful slopes. We joined a group of Wounded Warriors from Ft. Meade. They were better skiers and snowboarders than most of the rest of us. There was a large crowd on the mountain, but nothing compared to the weekends. The weather was in the 70’s, but most of the snow had not melted or turned to mush. In fact, it was still fast and hard packed in many places. I preferred Stalker for the best cruising conditions. Charles enjoyed Bold Decision, Angel Drop, and a variety of other trails. There were patches of open space, with no cover, but they were well marked. By next week, another cold front is expected, and snowmaking should resume. It was a glorious day for sport, or just for sitting in the sun, visiting, and enjoying the beauty of the slopes.

Two Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation at Whitetail is now affiliated with Disabled Sports USA and Wounded Warrior Project. Photo provided by Charles Sneiderman.
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About Connie Lawn

When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.

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