First Turns, WhiteGrass 12/18
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tomimcmillar
December 20, 2004
Member since 11/21/2004 🔗
129 posts
Saw the reports from T-line, thought I'd share what we found next door.

Saturday morn, 5am alarm. Not feeling too touched by the company christmas shindig, a good sign. Couple yogurts for breakfast, pick up my buddy Dave, and we're on the road by 6, heading for Whitegrass.

Uneventful drive, no speedtrap sitting outside of Keyser. Surprisingly, we're only the third or fourth car in Chip's lot, arriving around 9:15. After making the social rounds and gearing up, we set out just before 10:00, starting our search for the 'goods.'

Playing a hunch, we went for elevation right away. Climbed directly up to Roundtop, tried some rusty turns in the sketchy snow, bailed on that effort and continued to climb on up to the top of Baldy. Took the trail thru the spruce and checked out the new shelter at the drop in to the Baldy Steeps, shweet! A quick snack break and then back to looking for that stash of turnable snow. We headed over to National Nordic, and found some depth, but still tough turns due to no base, pockets of grass and whatnot. We bailed on our search from there, skied across to Canaan Valley, and popped thru the Rabbit Hole at the upper lift shacks. CV was only open to Mid Station, so we poached some upper runs down and hit the open groomers to the bottom. Really funky snow above midstation, weird manmade shtuff with a tip hooking crust. From the midstation, typical hardsnow groomer fare, but finally, a chance for a tele refresher run. Much easier to tune the turn when not worried about rocks and sticks and below snow obstacles. Actually got the little Fischers up on edge, felt that sweet back foot carving sensation and found that up/down transition rythm. With that run, we had finally made some respectable turns and wanted more! Checking the watch, it was now 12:30, so we decided to beeline back to WhiteGrass, jump in the car and run to Timberline for the afternoon session.

But....on the way back to WG we tried out lower Springers Orchard and found that stash we'd been hunting since morn. A nice little pocket of windblown powpow had settled into the gully. Ended up spending the rest of the afternoon running laps on this little snowfield. Definitely some tricky spots, some exposed grass to ski over, some roots and sticks, but also turnable snow about boot top deep in spots. Exhausted after too many 'just one more' laps to count, we slogged our way back up and across to Roundtop for the final run to the lodge. This time we actually made some turns, having had the chance to ski some snow that wasn't quite so 'variable.' Chip even has a bit of a groomer started along the old liftline snowfence, a bit of corduroy to cruise on before munching on some of the awesome eats from the cafe.

All in all, a great opening day. Over 6 hours out on the skis, lots of turns and a great mini tour to start the season. Made my traditional first tracks at Whitegrass, which is definitely good for the kharma. A safe drive home, stumble thru the door 9:30ish, half a beer and then it's Sunday.........
Denis - DCSki Supporter
December 20, 2004
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,214 posts
Nice Tom, very nice. Hope you said hello to Chip and Laurie for me.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 20, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,922 posts
WG is the most underrated ski resort in the region. Free the heel and try Nordic. Thanks for the great report. It made my day.

PS Denis, my snow tires got their first workout this weekend. It was your story that convinced me to buy them. Thanks!
ski_guy_59
December 20, 2004
Member since 11/9/2001 🔗
221 posts
Skiing from WG to CV...how do you ride the lift back up w/o a CV ticket? Or do you Climb? Sounds like it was a great first day!
Denis - DCSki Supporter
December 20, 2004
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,214 posts
You get a single ride for $5.
ski_guy_59
December 21, 2004
Member since 11/9/2001 🔗
221 posts
I was pretty sure that is how resorts work things like that...thanks for the post.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
December 21, 2004
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,214 posts
Hey Tom, are you on one of the Fischer S-Bound skis? How do you like them?
tomimcmillar
December 21, 2004
Member since 11/21/2004 🔗
129 posts
yeah Denis,

I'm on the Outtabounds and love them. Use a pair of Excursions to drive them, just had some G3 T/9's mounted to replace the red Chili's. Now they're even lighter.

This'll be the third full season on these sticks, and they're showing the wear of thin MASH snow. I can't really say anything bad about them, they do everything advertised, and then some. The extra camber might be a bit of an issue on hard snow, but I skied them plenty under the lifts at Roundtop when learning to tele. They weren't the greatest on bulletproof, but they worked just fine. Also have a definite speed limit that's noticable on groomers. I've also skied the larger Boundless with a bit more shape and overall width. Found that the Boundless climbs a bit better, probably due to less built in camber, softer flex. Kick n glide for both is what it is, more of a shuffle n glide with a bit of skating tossed in.

When I replace these, I'm going with the Boundless, feeling that it's marginally better in the turn then the Outtabounds, just a bit grippier on the climbs and a bit more float when it's soft. I'll keep the Outta's for when it's thin and for stomping around our local rock strewn stashes.

Haven't put much time on the Karhu versions, Pyxis, etc. From what I've seen, I think the Fischers are better turning, the Karhus better touring. Don't know squat about the new Rossi or Atomic offerings.

peace.
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