I left work early on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 to make it to Pennsylvania’s Whitetail Resort for one last night of skiing. The slopes were beautiful and empty at night. Since it was a college night, the few people who were there were young and mostly snowboarders.
Surface conditions were not optimal early in the evening. The snow was mostly frozen granular with a few spots of solid ice. Since I had never skied in such conditions, we decided to hit Snow Park first. It was slow going at first as I got used to the conditions, but after about three runs we thought that we would try our luck on an intermediate trail.
We decided to go with Angel Drop, hoping that the conditions would be an improvement over what we saw at Snow Park. Sadly this was not the case, but we decided not to give up and went back to Snow Park.
This is when our luck began to change. As we kept skiing down Snow Park we noticed it getting easier and easier. At first we just thought we might be getting used to the icy conditions, but then we realized that there was a small cover of loose granular on the surface of much of the slope.
Our best theory is that with temperatures stabilized below freezing, there was no risk of the snow melting and re-freezing. Then as people skied down the slopes, the snow began to be broken up. By the time Whitetail was closing, the conditions were quite good. Our last few runs were some of the best that I’ve had in my brief skiing career.
Whitetail closed this past Sunday but may reopen for skiing on Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26, conditions permitting. If you’ve got the time, I’d definitely recommend sneaking off for one more visit before the season is up.
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