Whitetail 1/9 Trip Report
January 9, 2005
Surprisingly enough, despite the endless warm temps and rain, Whitetail was open today, I was there skiing, and my skis were unscathed. Where were the rest of you? I went mostly for practice and conditioning since I knew the conditions would be very shaky. The surface consisted primarily of scraped sugar snow, firmish perma-frost, mud, rocks and grass.
Actually, Exhibition had pretty amazing cover due to Whitetail's improved snowmaking and their recent grooming of the trail. There was one main dirt section (visible in the top of the Whitetail webcam of Exhibition), another small poorly-covered section near the top, but the rest of the trail had perfect coverage. The snow surface was generally tricky sugar snow - I was struggling performing ski drills on it, but it free-skied fine. Drop In had pretty solid cover since it isn't used much.
Angel Drop to Home Run or the Terrain Park were the runs open off the high-speed. There was a 20-30 foot section at the top of Angel Drop (across the entire trail) that was total sketch. Brown snow with some rocks on top. By the end of the day, I was straightlining the section at the very edge of the trail to minimize hitting rocks. There was a smaller, less heinous section of sketch near the bottom of Home Run. The Terrain Park was in better shape and still had some decent sized hits on it - a V-shaped jump, two table tops and a spine. So Whitetail had not sacrificed the terrain features for additional snow coverage. IMHO, this was a good idea since the additional snow would not have made a difference in the coverage and the features are pretty nice. I was a bit surprised by the first V-shaped bump; I was expecting it to be a table top, caught some decent but conservative air, looked down to spot my landing on the table top or down slope and realizied in mid-air there was no table top below me, just a flat snow surface, a lot, lot lower than I expected. I did manage to pull off a three point landing - glad my butt had plently of extra padding from the holidays.
With the forecasted warm temps & probable rain during this week, it wouldn't surprise me if Whitetail had to close for a couple of days this week. They had exhausted all the snow piles I could see, so the bare spots would have to be groomed over with no new snow put on them. However, the second half of MLK weekend may be pretty decent. The coverage is pretty decent on the majority of the square footage of the open trails and the closed trails still have a fair amount of snow on the ground. With 24-48 hours of round the clock snowmaking, they'll rally pretty quickly.