Firsthand Account: Timberline, Whitetail
By A DCSki Reader

On Thursday the 7th, Timberline had what was essentially 4 trails open from top to bottom, only running one of their full mountain (and rather slow) lifts. One of the trails was the mostly flat 2-mile long green Salamander slope. Fresh snow was everywhere, creating at least six inches of powder everywhere that had not been ridden on.

All day the cats prepared more slopes to be opened soon, and by the end of the afternoon session, handfuls of people (including myself) were sneaking onto the pristine powdery slopes that were closed to get a piece of the action. On the heavily used slopes (some of the upper-mountain intermediates), ice patches began to appear by mid-afternoon. The entire Canaan Valley area was blessed by the wintery weather of the past week and it looked like conditions would only improve in the days to come with more snowmaking.

I rode at Whitetail on Friday the 8th and Sunday the 10th. On the morning of the 8th, fresh snow continued to add to what the snowblowers had already put on the slopes, creating a nice base for all of the intermediates that were open. The conditions on the only real full-length black diamond open, “bold decision,” were poor the whole day. There were chunks of ice the size of golf balls covering much of it, tainting whatever powder had fallen in the previous hours. By the afternoon, much of the powder was gone, leaving only the ice chunks and the ice beneath exposed.

All of the lower intermediates kept good powdery conditions, hiding the ice below. The upper intermediates (heavily trafficked areas) all had exposed ice after several hours, however. Whitetail’s halfpipe has had the poorest possible conditions I can imagine -; it is actually an ice-pipe. This makes it impossible to ride the vertical parts without slipping down, even with the sharpest edges on your board. On Sunday, much of the good terrain was hard-packed snow. The pipe was still bad, but the grooming from the previous days helped conditions on most of the slopes.

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