What can you say about perfection? The day was wonderful and the trails were “awesome” in the words of President and General Manager, Don MacAskill. The resort was 100% open, and the terrain parks, as well as the slopes, were well-utilized and in terrific condition. The resort was full, but crowd control was excellent. It is daunting at first to see the full parking lots and the long lines at the lifts. But the lines moved quickly; my husband Charles and I did not spend more than 10 minutes in a lift line. The chairs were fast -; in some cases, too fast. They clipped your calves, if you did not hustle to get on and load quickly.
My experience coincides with my colleagues, Matthew Graham and Jim Kenney -; we all had super times at Whitetail, but on separate days. We were luckier than they -; we had warm weather and sunshine. The temperature hovered around the low thirties, and the sun graced us the entire time we were there. Sorry fellas -; but you are tougher than we are!
All the trails were well-covered and groomed (except Exhibition, where the moguls were allowed to remain). They should get even better this week, as natural snow is expected. On Sunday, conditions were packed powder with some powder on the sides, and some very fast, hard packed spots later in the day. They were fast! I am beginning to wonder if my Atomic skis are not too much for me to handle; I really don’t enjoy that speed!
We met with Don MacAskill in his office, and then went outside with him. As we talked, he casually picked up trash left behind by those who ate on the sunny patio. We noticed this dedication with Liberty President Eric Flynn also. No task is beneath them, if it improves the resorts. I wonder if other Presidents could learn from them?
Don told us conditions are the best of the season, and will get better. He talked about a weather forecaster who has a good record, so far. He has predicted a flip flop winter, with a late start but cold and abundant snow through March. So far, he has been correct! Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop own their resorts, and can keep them open as long as they choose, unlike some ski areas out West, which are committed to close on a certain date, because they are on public forest land.
If skiers and snowboarders want to maximize the use of their season passes, they would be advised to flock to the areas as much as they can in March, to encourage them to stay open. The weather is usually the best, and there are often some crazy springtime events at the end of the season. But, for now, that is a long way off.
Don also told us some other plans for Whitetail. He said they are very involved in a resort master plan, and are looking at the entire property. Golf is going well in the non-snow months. Other activities are planned. New houses and construction were evident in the woods on the way to Whitetail.
As for our day on the slopes, I enjoyed myself the most while cruising on the moderate intermediate trails. I did have some nice runs on Bold Decision and Farside, but was not about to try the crusty moguls on Exhibition. Bold Decision is listed as double diamond, but on Sunday, Exhibition was much tougher. I think I need to take another ski lesson in the near future, to understand my problems with the new skis, and feel more comfortable with them. It is fortunate that all of our local ski areas have such a strong fleet of good instructors.
Special activities are planned for all of the resorts, and their websites should always be checked out. Don told us the two-day “Operation Thank You” event went very well, and attracted about 400 soldiers, police officials, and First Responders each day. Liberty also had a similar event. On those days, the dedicated men and women were able to ski and board for free.
Other events include Women’s Day, on February 16th. There are a variety of activities, and $10 from every clinic ticket is donated for breast cancer research. Another inducement is 50% discounts on all skiing and boarding packages for return groups. There are always a lot of groups visiting Whitetail, coming in busloads, and the resort has many special features for them.
I am anxious to return to the beautiful, wide slopes, and hope to do so in the near future -; especially after a snowfall. Afternoon and night skiing are the best bets during the week, and there are no lift lines, so you can get in more runs. Definitely something to think about, if that weather forecaster is correct!
When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.
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