While mtn biking around DCL the other day, I got "lost" at the top of Wisp and happened to stumble across the new terrain expansion project. Let me tell ya', they are being way too modest on their web site. What they are putting in has to be the largest ski area expansion the mid-atlantic has seen in years! As they state, they are adding 2 new lifts and 10 trails. What that description doesn't capture is the breadth of the project. From what I saw, at least 4 trails run straignt from the (new) summit to the (new) base, plus a whole basin of green/easy blue terrain. In short, they are building an entirely new ski area over on the northwest side of Marsh Mtn.
These shots give a glimpse of what is being done. The first few are from the staging area at the top of the mountain. The next ones are moving down the skiers left and then looking up from the bottom of the new basin lift. They are spending big bucks, and everything is absolutely 1st class. The trails have permanent snow making wands and lights all as part of an integrated system. Each wand/light is on a buried vault that contains the pump and computer driven controls. This is clearly one of the most advanced, state of the art systems installed anywhere. The work in the basin is quite far along, with almost all trail grading complete. They are currently working on the lift towers and the remaining snowmaking and lighting equipment. All told, this area has about 5 new green/easy blues, which will dramatically improve the experience for newbees, younger children, and anyone looking for consistent, easy terrain. This is the area in the aerial shot on their web site.
What's not shown in the aerial shot is the new trail coming down from the far left as you approach the lift loading area. This trail goes up to the new summit area to connect the other new lift and the fall line trails. It, too, has the integrated snowmaking and lighting in ground vaults and appears to be the way back to the current base area from the second part of the expansion.
The second part, west of the new basin, is where they are putting in the second new lift. The bottom is just uphill of the road to the yough, and it goes from this new base straight to the summit. There are four or five new trails feeding to the lift, each of which appears to take advantage of the full vertical. In tune with being a more advanced area, these runs are less perfectly graded and some have a pretty nice fall line. OK OK OK - here's the photos....
All in all, this expansion is going to dramatically expand the Wisp experience and make it the most expansive ski area between NY and Snowshoe. I can't wait to be one of the first on these trails! Thank you, WISP!