I just had my first snowboarding trip of '05 to my staple resort, Whitetail.
As usual I left early in the morning and arrived at the mountain in time for opening. Caught my first run off the quad down Upper Angel Drop to Drop In and caught the expert chair to the top. The first run was as usual not as good as I'd like but not bad either. I had to stop halfway to put on my neoprene face mask. It was bitingly cold yesterday and I felt for anyone skiing or riding without face cover.
The second run was on Far Side which I guess hasn't been open long and apart for high winds and ripples of driven snow it was a great ride with tons of fresh along the sides. At this point and for the rest of my stay it is dumping. From there we tried bold decision which was a bit icy and not all that fun.
Most of the morning was spent hitting the terrain park which, apart from the huge number of hits, rails, spines and some kind of mini pipe, had huge stashes of untracked powder. It remained uncrowded all day and provided some of the best runs. So good that even beyond the poitn where my legs give up I was pushing for just one more run.
Over all it was an outstanding day. The crowded ebbed and flowed. Sometimes heavy other times light. Upper Angel is always a zoo. Not much you can do about it.
The only thing that bothered me is that the plowing along the access road to Whitetail is never plowed. It was seriously borderline chains when I left. That initial hill when you take right out of the mountain is touch and go. If they at least plowed that portion it would be something.
Regardless it was an epic day and if I get another like it this season I'll call the season an overall success.
A J bar or rope tow like Whitetail said they were going to install over the summer would fix Upper Angel drop!!!
Half the users of Upper Angel are going to the terrain park, so give them a shorter trip
hey kennedy i was at whitetail saturday as well. didnt quite make the opening, but arrived shortly after. the storm may have been something of a bust, but the new snow at whitetail was incredible. i was there all day and were finding powder stashes right up to the end. and the freshies were so light and nice.
an epic day to say the least. it would have been my best whitetail day ever, except that somehow i was able to get there on presidents day 2003, when there was two feet of fresh on the ground at opening.
I went up to Whitetail on Saturday too. I knew I had to go up once I heard of the "big storm" that was set to hit. I was not dissapointed.... the snow was great all day except for a little iciness on the lower part of Limelight. I think conditions were slighlty icier than people expected I saw several people being taken down the slopes in the sleds.
I had a great day there with the exception of an incounter with a snowboarder. He came from behind me and cut me off, and then sat down (or maybe fell--- it all happened too quick) right in my path. My right ski hit the back of his board and I went flying over him. Thankfully, my only injuries are a slightly swollen ankle, and a very bruised knee. At least he apologized for cutting me off.
Yeah I had a run in with a skier. It wasn't really anyone's fault. He came across my line but he didn't see me I tried to turn and avoid but it was too late, I managed to scrub some speed so the impact wasn't too bad, I think I caught the worst of it. I agree that some kind of seperate tow or lift for the park is key. Upper Angel is a zoo. I know one was schedule for this season but got pushed, maybe next year. That said the park this year is outstanding, the sheer quantity of hits was ridiculous. I did one run where I spent more time in the air than on the groun.
We also went to Whitetail on Saturday. Got there around 9:30/10. At that time the access roads had been plowed. Allthough I was still glad to have 4X4. The day was great. I did have to wait in that huge line to get goggles but it was worth it. My wife is a beginger skier and she had such a great time on Saturday that we are going back this week so she can take some more lessons. She wants to get off the greens.
Upper Angel drop is about the worst spot at whitetail for crowds. Fortunatly the snow was soft and cushy or it would have been worse.
I fell once on bold decision but thanks to the 2 ft of pow on the side of the trail I didnt even feel it. The bumps on bold decision were smaller than usual and covered with soft snow. IMO BD had the best conditions.
I had a close call on Far Side. I was riding at the edge and did a kind of surfing style top turn on one of the banks. A few large lumps if ice came loose and I went down on my but. When I slid to a halt there was a 20# lump of solid ice between my legs getting a touch too close to the jewels. It was pretty funny but it could have been painful. Far Side was so windy that I had to crouch and tuck a little just so I could hold a line and not come to a stop. It was in really nice shape though.
I wish the chair under the lift wasn't bumped though. I really enjoy riding that trail but once it's bumped it's just pretty much off limits on a board. I'd prefer that groomed and BD bumped to be honest.
I was at Whitetail at 8AM. The Mercersburg plows were just turning around at the border, but that only covers the last two miles. MD usually has better plowing on Blairs Valley Road, but the traffic was keeping the pavement bare when I went through. You must have left just before Clear Spring
plowed, because it was smooth sailing when I left at 6PM.
BTW - if you want to learn how to ride the bumps, I teach up there.
Thanks for the offer. I'm thinking it's more the length of my board than anything else. I used to ride a 156 which I could flick through quick turns pretty easily. Now I ride a 168 which doesn't appreciate that kind of abuse.
I may have to stop by and take you up on those lessons.
I was learning to ride bumps at wisp a little bit on some blues where the snowpack was getting pushed into bumps and I was really happy with myself on how I was handling those. Mind you they were knee high bumps, but bumps none the less.
Plus a good friend of mine moved to Hagerstown and now works at Whitetail. I'm not sure if he teaches or if he just does maintaince work on the slopes, his name is Jonathan "Buck" Branson. Kinda short and can take on any slope on a board. He learned in the French Alps.
Q: how often is the pipe cut at local resorts. It looks like once at the start of the season and thats it. Anyone know?
I ride a 168 too. But I am also 5'10" 215 lb.
I know most of the 230+ folks in ski school. I don't know jonathan buck branson, but he sounds like a guy I rode up the lift with last weekend.
Whitetail generally cuts the pipe "as needed". It all depends on wear (from traffic or weather) and snow making. You don't want to cut it too often because that will take too much snow out. We will often cut it a day or two before competitions.
therusty - You'd know him if you see him because he's really short. 5'2" ish maybe? Blonde or dirty blonde hair and has a laid back carefree attitude. I talked to him last week and I think he works Thur-Sun(?) doing work like installing the rails, and work of that nature. He's not on patrols or intructing as far as I know, just a general employee of Whitetail.
If you happen to meet him say you know "Walkie". It's an inside joke/nickname a few have for me.