With the recent cold spell, I decided to take my chances and went up to Whitetail on Friday evening. According to Whitetail’s website, they had several good nights of snowmaking and more than half of the trails were listed as open in the snow report. Well, it looked good enough for me and I headed up to the mountain in excitment as it was my first trip this season! Yeah, I know it’s pretty late in the season to start snowboarding - but as we all know, we have had a VERY mild winter.
I arrived at the mountain at 5:30 p.m. as I had a night skiing lift ticket, valid from 5-10 p.m. At the base, I could see several ugly brown trails which were obviously closed. I quickly surveyed the two chair lifts (Whitetail Express and Easy Rider Quad) which were visible from where I was standing and there was absolutely no line!
Since it was my first trip of the season, I decided it would be a good idea to get on the Easy Rider Quad chair lift and shred down on Snow Park trail before heading to the intermediates. I had to make sure I still remembered how to ride my snowboard! After the first two runs down on that trail, I was pretty warmed up and got my snowboarding legs back. I was ready for something more difficult, and got on Whitetail Express lift immediately, as there were still no lines at all. I wasn’t sure what to expect on a Friday night at the slopes, fortunately not everybody wanted to spend their Friday on the mountain.
On the way up, I could see that Limelight trail wasn’t covered edge to edge with snow. Yeah, the trail had snow from the top to bottom, but it was narrow as the section under the chairlift had no snow. I would say about 1/3 of the trail was not white. At the top, I decided that I would take my chance on Limelight as I had a pretty good idea what to expect from my first ride up to the top. There weren’t too many people on that trail as the conditions were much better on Angel Drop, which I later found out. It was my first and last run down Limelight as I spent the rest of night on Angel Drop.
On Angel Drop, there was good snow coverage with the exception of some bare spots on the lower part of the Terrain Park. Since it was dark, there were only two trails leading from the bottom of Upper Angel Drop. The choice was either the Terrain Park at Lower Angel Drop or Home Run as the other expert trails were closed. I spent the rest of my evening snowboarding on Angel Drop and the Terrain Park. The snow conditions were machine-made packed powder, as adveristed on the website. During my countless trips up and down the mountain, I was treated to a nice viewing of the full moon as it rose over the horizon changing color from hazy orange into a bright and refined white moon!
Right before closing time, I was so exhausted and both my legs and arms were aching real badly. It was time to call it quits and on my last run down the Terrain Park, I noticed several Whitetail staffers taking down poles and plastic fences around the grassy sections of the Terrain Park, probably preparing for grooming. Air temperature at approximately 10:15 p.m. was hovering at the freezing mark.
My trip to Whitetail was worthwhile after all, as I had a great time on the slopes. It’s well worth the pain and aches on my arms and legs. It’s quite a miracle that I am able to type this report!