In skiing, there are few adventures that can equal the sheer beauty and spiritual uplift of skiing down a well-groomed mountain, while the sky is on fire. Gold, pink, and blue clouds, combined with a fire red sunset and the glorious white of the mountains. No Christmas decorations can ever compete with that glory!
Whitetail on Saturday, December 20th, was a thoroughly enjoyable experience! As I have said many times, nothing can beat the advantage of our local areas - especially Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop. To be able to work in the Washington D.C. area for half a day, and then get to the snow-covered countryside and mountains in less than two hours is a priceless benefit.
Whitetail on Saturday was good, and is getting better. Some runs were, naturally, crusted and a bit icy - nothing very dramatic. Others, such as Snow Park in the more shaded, easier areas, were a delightful glide. Limelight was a bit icy for my tastes, but Exhibition was better. Again, all those conditions change constantly, as they do in any ski area. Now that the season is starting, Whitetail should get better each day. Snow is made, and the trails are constantly groomed. At this writing, 13 trails and 6 lifts are open. The conditions are listed as “machine groomed packed powder, with a 16 to 22 inch base.”
Until the area is fully open, there may be discount tickets available. Again, you do not have to ski all day - half day and twilight tickets are fine. The best bet is still the season pass and the Advantage Discount Card. Until December 23rd, there is a $19 “learn to ski” special.
Whitetail is open Christmas Day, from noon until 10:00 at night. There is also a New Year’s buffet special, with skiing until 1:00 a.m. It features the buffet and D.J. entertainment. Alcohol is not supposed to be permitted, but that adds to the family atmosphere of the event. If people follow the rules, it should also make the skiing, riding, tubing, and the drive home safer on New Year’s. In other discount news, Whitetail (and other Pennsylvania resorts) will be offering a $10 “Learn to Ski Day” on January 8, 2004 - a great bargain for new skiers and snowboarders. (Call the resort at 717-328-9400 to find out more or make reservations -; limited slots for this program usually sell out in advance.)
One other note, there is a terrific family atmosphere at Whitetail. I have been skiing there seriously for a number of seasons, and it gets better each year. There is still something special about going to an area and seeing a lot of familiar faces. Friends are from all ethnic groups and nationalities - I am always pleased to see more people from overseas, speaking different languages and learing to navigate the slopes. I am also pleased to see a growing number of adaptive skiers and boarders on the slopes. But even the strangers become familiar, as we see many of the same people each week. It gives an extra surge of warmth to the often cold temperatures of the mountains!
When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.