Whitetail Night Skiing 12/29
Well after much debate about whether to drive up to Whitetail for some night skiing last night (given that it was 50 degrees during part of the day) I decided that I passed up too many opportunities to go skiing last year because the conditions were "iffy" and so I went anyway. Overall it was a great night, although it was a little strange as well.
The conditions were pretty mushy, but I didn't see any bare spots on the trails. You could still hold a decent edge, but you were never really sure whether the mound of snow you were heading toward was a mogul or just a lump of mash potatoes. Toward the end of the night, Bold decision had some fun bumps and the trail was pretty narrow given the limited snow, making for a real fun little run.
It had been a while since I went night skiing and I had forgotten how much fun it can be. The only problem was that because you knew there wasn't a whole lot of snow, you never knew whether an approaching darkened area was a bare spot or a dark spot. Turns out, they were all dark spots, but it took a while to get your confidence up heading into those areas. The crowds were pretty minimal.
The strange part of the night was that around 8:00, the main quad broke down with people on it. As a result, no one could ski the blues in the middle of the moubntain and no one could get to the expert side unless you were already over there. Fortunately, we were over on the expert side of the mountain at this time. There were about 15-20 skiers who figured out that if you left the expert area you couldn't get back. The result was that we practically had the entire expert side all to ourselves. From about 8:15 on, the lifties at the bottom of the expert quad kept threatening that they were going to close the expert side and they finally did it around 9:15. There was no reason to close it that early as the conditions were still fine. Worse, it pretty much meant our skiing was done as the main quad was still broken down. Wasn't a huge deal for us as our legs were pretty shot being the first day out for the year. (Funny how you always remember yourself during the off season as a better skier than you actually are).
I would guess that conditions at Whitetail would still be pretty good today (12/30) and tonight, but I would be hesitant to go after today. While the trails have adequate coverage, they are slowly getting more narrow as they move the trail markers in as the trail edges melt away.
This was my first trip back to Whitetail in a huge number of years. It really is a fun little resort and well worth the 90 minute drive for night skiing.