Whitetail 1/31 Trip Report
February 1, 2005
I left work early yesterday and skied Whitetail from 3:30 to 7:45. Apparently Fairfax County schools were closed on Monday, since the parking lot and slopes were crowded when I arrived. It looked like there were also several other youth bus trips to Whitetail. Since I was pulling in when most were about ready to leave, the crowds didn't affect me that much. With the recent crowds on Saturday and Monday, this has certainly been a good revenue week for Whitetail.
Even though the temperature was only in the 30's during the day, conditions were surprisingly firm during the late afternoon/evening. (Temps fell to the mid 20's when I left.) All the groomed runs had significant scraped spots due to the abnormally high traffic. As usual, Angel Drop was the worst by far.
I primarily skied Far Side for the first hour since it was the only Expert Chair trail in the sun and I knew it would close soon. It had several firm sections but the bottom face was very soft. Bold Decision was groomed and the center of the headwall was scraped off. There were none of the fun snowmaking swales to skier's left that were present in year's past. There was snow on the edges, but it was extremely tricky until it dried out later in the evening.
Exhibition was nicely bumped up top to bottom. Unfortunately for me, the bumps were quite firm during the time I skied - but that was some good practice. Speed control in icy bumps is a must and is not something I always do well on. If you can ski Exhibition during the day when the temps are warmer and the snow is softer, you'll be in for a treat.
Limelight and Snow Dancer were very firm; there was very little loose snow on the trails, and a lot of it was of the death cookie variety. Even an instructor remarked at how firm the trails were. Still, it was good practice for me to vainly attempt to edge cleanly on the stuff.
From experience, I knew that the conditions at Whitetail during the evening can be iffy. I wasn't anticipating the crowds during the day, and the freeze-thaw cycle was more than I anticipated. Still, I got some turns in and got some practice in less than ideal conditions.