Opening Weekend at Whitetail 1
Author thumbnail By Connie Lawn, DCSki Columnist

Connie Lawn visited Whitetail on opening day. Photo provided by Charles Sneiderman.
Why were all those people smiling, laughing, and having fun? It is because they were finally able to sweep down snow in the regional areas. The local ski resorts have enough cold weather to make snow. It is true, not all the trails are yet open, but it is a start. On the other hand, the crowds are down, and prices are reduced. In fact, Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop have a $19 a day special until December the 24th. It is meant for lessons -; “learn to ski or snowboard packages.” We saw a lot of people taking advantage of the lessons.

At Whitetail, it was magic to drive up and see the sparkling white mountains, springing up from the brown, naked woods nearby and the fields filled with grazing cattle. There were also a number of deer crossing the roads -; be careful with the driving!

Thanks to the magic (and expense) of snowmaking, Whitetail managed to get 7 trails open the first day, and 2 lifts. During the full season, there are 19 runs. None of the expert slopes had yet opened. The most popular lift was the Whitetail Express which took us to Angel Drop and the Terrain Park. The view, as always, is magnificent! The upper part of Angel Drop was smooth and beautiful, but (of course) hardpacked, as was expected. Lower down, it became much more crowded and chunked up, as skiers and boarders crowded together towards the Terrain Park. There were a few bare sports, ice (later on) and rocks. But, it was the first day, with no natural snow. We still had a blast!

We spent most of the day taking the Easy Rider Quad Chair, and sailing down Snowpark. It was smooth, well-groomed, hard and fast. The crowds were less, and the ski experience was delicious! Worth waiting 8 months for.

The sunset glowed bright red over the glistening while slopes. The lights were on, and crowds began arriving for night skiing. Larger groups were emerging, since the Saturday Redskins game had ended! Earlier in the day, the crowd of skiers contained many from other countries -; a large number from Washington’s diplomatic, banking, and international community. They don’t care much for football, but they know good skiing close to home. There were also a number of school ski clubs, and a troop of skiing Santas made their appearance. Earlier in the day, a Rail Jam was sponsored at Whitetail.

By the way, Whitetail has a few new amenities worth discussing. The cafeteria and bathrooms were modern and glistening, thanks to renovations over the summer. A “Starbucks” booth has replaced last year’s coffee shop. And, more tissues were available in machines near the lifts -; very important during flu and cold season.

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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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Reader Comments

December 20, 2004
there's a starbucks hot chocolate with my name on it!

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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