Whitetail 11/18 Report
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JohnL
December 19, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
I skied Whitetail on a 4-hour flex pass this past Saturday afternoon (~10:30AM - 3PM). It was Whitetail's Opening Day and my first time on skis this season. Undoubtably the snow conditions at the local Snowtime areas (Whitetail, Liberty, Roundtop) were not as good as the western areas (Snowshoe, Canaan/TL, Wisp, Seven Springs), but I was able to sneak in some skiing with only a short drive.

Am I spazing out, or was a surface lift supposed to be installed in Whitetail's Jib Junction terrain park? I didn't notice it.

Mid-week rates were in effect (as they should have been given the limited terrain open.) With an Advantage Card, the 4-hour flex was around $22. I got my money's worth. There were some very long lines (at least 30 minutes) for Advantage Card holders who needed to get their picture taken. While I got my card at the Dulles Ski Expo, I had to wait for friends who mailed in their order. It didn't affect me too much, since I was able to grab some needed breakfast during the wait (delayed hang-over.) When we left Whitetail around 3 PM, the line was still pretty long (though not quite as bad.)

There was one route open on the high-speed quad (Angel Drop to the Terrain Park) and the main green run was open on the green chair. We waited at most 3 groups of sliders ahead of us on those two lifts. I noticed there was probably a 5 minute (or so) wait on the novice chair during the afternoon. While the lift lines were non-existent, Angel Drop and the Terrain Park got to be pretty crowded in the afternoon. On some runs you almost had the trail to yourself, on others, you got caught up in a mass of snow sliders. The Terrain Park was pretty nasty for crowds. There was some sort of rail jam in the park; as a result people tended to stop in large groups in the park. After the rail jam, there was often a very large group of snowboarders sitting on the snow, taking up 3/4 of the width of the trail. It was not a safe situation, and I noticed Ski Patrollers politely asking them to move over numerous times. It was mostly a situation of clueless teenagers being clueless than anything else. Terrain parks are the malls of this century for hanging out.

The trails were less crowded than a typical weekend, but were a bit tricky at times for the first day on skis. I like to do a lot of drills during the first few days of the season, the trails were often a bit too crowded for drills. I've had some pretty amazing first days at Whitetail in the past, Saturday was not so amazing. (Still better than sitting at home.)

The snow conditions and coverage were also tricky for the first day on skis. The temps probably peaked in the mid 40's, so the conditions were variable. Some sections were scraped bare by traffic, and other sections had some sticky snow. Before noon, there were some snow chunks on the surface, these chunks dissipated as the day went on due to skier traffic and warming temps. I'm sure the best conditions were at 8:30 AM when the trails opened, but I was out the night before.

With the exception of the terrain park, coverage was good. There were some rocks and slight bare spots in the park. I was unlucky and hit a rock in some piled-up snow on the side of the upper park; as a result Ski Center is treating my skis this week for a core shot. My bases and edges looked brand new except for the one hit; it was mostly bad luck on my part.

So I'm day one and counting. Not the best opening day for conditions and my own personal skiing, but things will only get better as the season progresses.
Scott - DCSki Editor
December 19, 2004
Member since 10/10/1999
1,091 posts
Quote:

Am I spazing out, or was a surface lift supposed to be installed in Whitetail's Jib Junction terrain park? I didn't notice it.




That was the plan this past summer, but due to timing issues I believe that enhancement has been pushed back until next summer. So, if all works out, it should be added before the 2005-2006 winter season.

I received a press release from Whitetail in June that said the surface lift would be added, and the first version of my "What's New for 2004" Whitetail article included a mention of it. But by fall, Whitetail's plans had changed, so I had to amend the article.

So you're not spacing out. There were plans at one point, but they've been delayed.
kennedy
December 19, 2004
Member since 12/8/2001
792 posts
I spent Sunday afternoon at whitetail. Conditions were as expected. Lot's of bare spots, snow was either heavy slushy stuff or ice. I'm not complaining, it was good to cut turns but I definitely took some bails. My fiance took a horrendous faceplant on Stalker. I also took advantage of the free lesson. Not tooting my horn but it makes you feel better when the instructor says I should try teaching. Highlight of my day.

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

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