Wisp area expansion
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tommo
August 22, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
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....

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/tommo301/album?.dir=/2471&.src=ph&.tok=phsIJgDBAmZETfu1

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! !
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
August 22, 2005
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,338 posts
Their web site indicates that the vertical drop for the expansion is 700 feet indicating that the VD for the resort has been increased by nearly 100 feet. Given that 7Springs is adding a new trail, we have alot to look forward to this winter. Now all we need is some snow.
RobertW
August 22, 2005
Member since 10/14/2004 🔗
199 posts
Thanks for the update Tommo. I can't wait for my family's annual reunion there this winter!
Roger Z
August 23, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Not sure about that 700 foot vertical. As a matter of fact, according to the topos, the front is more like 550 feet. This topo: http://www.terraserver-usa.com/image.asp...ccident%7cMD%7c shows the base lodge at about 2530 feet, for a 550 foot vertical to the summit at 3080 feet. The trails would have to drop below the existing county road to get near to 700 feet of vert- if they stop near that road or even above the farm, then it's no more than 600, tops.

Tommo- you were up there... how far over would you estimate the trails are on this topo? Are they further west than that farm beside the golf course? Do they drop below the road?
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tommo
August 23, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Based on the topo elevations, I would say that 700 total is very close to correct. The top contour is at 3080, and the new unloading platforms put in last year are at least 10' tall, so let's say 3090 for the top. The base of the lowest new lift is just about on or slightly below the 2400 contour interval on the east side of Hoyes Run Road. If you look closely at the map, there is a driveway dropping towards the creek where it shows an open area on the west side. The new lift is just up the road from there, about 10 or 15 vertical feet higher than the road surface. The farm on the map can be seen in a couple of the photos I posted with the lift to the left (looking down) for those runs. The top of the lift is probably right about 3000, so the fall line runs would be around 600' vertical. But it is a quality 600 feet, e.g. nice constant pitch!
Roger Z
August 24, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Yeah your photos look great Tommo. Those runs are not only nice looking in terms of their pitch and spacing in the trees, but it has some real pretty views of the next mountain north. This will make for some wonderful scenic contrasts at Wisp- Main Street looking onto Deep Creek Lake, the front face toward the farmland, and this new backside toward the mountains.

Really, if you take away Shays and Cupp, I'd take Wisp anyday over Snowshoe. Fewer crossovers, more consistent fall line, better advanced runs (all compared to the Basin only), and some nice "hidden" glade skiing. When it's complete, this new addition is going to make Wisp a formidable player in the Mid Atlantic.
Norsk
August 26, 2005
Member since 05/13/2003 🔗
315 posts
At the risk of stating the obvious...it is action time. For everyone on this board (self included) who has ever complained about the old slow lifts at Tline...the lack of terrain expansion (despite massive lodging expansion) at Snowshoe...the apparent focus on logging instead of skiing at BK...etc etc...now is the time to act. Wisp has taken the initiative that we have all hoped for, sort of a "build it and they will come" approach. If we want to see the other resorts follow suit, then Wisp MUST see some payoff from this investment. Its time for us to put our money (and ski time) where our mouths have been. We need to ski Wisp this winter.

I have no horse in this race. I've only skied Wisp once...usually go to Tline or Snowshoe. But this winter, I plan to be skiing Wisp often. And I hope that all of us who long for terrain expansion and new resorts in the mid-Atlantic will do the same. If we want those lifts upgraded at Tline, if we want more trails on the Cupp side at Snowshoe, then we have to show the resorts that there is a payoff from lift/terrain expansion. We have to ski Wisp. And with all that new terrain, its not like its tough duty.
hockeydave
August 26, 2005
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
I couldn't agree more. I've never been to Wisp, but I WILL venture south of the Mason-Dixon to give it a try this Winter.

7S is adding a new slope on North Face this year and adding a water park to be ready by next summer, but like Snowshoe, it seems to be focusing on definite ROI (new Southwinds @ Tahoe real housing development) instead of expanding the terrain. I never, ever go to 7S on a weekend due to the masses and lift lines. Hopefully 7S and others follow the lead of Wisp.

LM could instantly have more skiable terrain by adding snowmaking. (Please, someone, anyone, reopen LM!!!!).

HV also could add more terrain (lots of undeveloped land near its tubing park facing PA 31).
JohnL
August 26, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,514 posts
Quote:

At the risk of stating the obvious...it is action time. For everyone on this board (self included) who has ever complained about the old slow lifts at Tline...the lack of terrain expansion (despite massive lodging expansion) at Snowshoe...the apparent focus on logging instead of skiing at BK...etc etc...now is the time to act. Wisp has taken the initiative that we have all hoped for, sort of a "build it and they will come" approach. If we want to see the other resorts follow suit, then Wisp MUST see some payoff from this investment. Its time for us to put our money (and ski time) where our mouths have been. We need to ski Wisp this winter.

I have no horse in this race. I've only skied Wisp once...usually go to Tline or Snowshoe. But this winter, I plan to be skiing Wisp often. And I hope that all of us who long for terrain expansion and new resorts in the mid-Atlantic will do the same. If we want those lifts upgraded at Tline, if we want more trails on the Cupp side at Snowshoe, then we have to show the resorts that there is a payoff from lift/terrain expansion. We have to ski Wisp. And with all that new terrain, its not like its tough duty.





I'll certainly check out Wisp this winter, especially with new terrain opening. However, whether I go more than once depends upon how the new terrain holds up against the terrain at T-Line, Blue Knob and Laurel Mountain (if it opens.) Slow lifts, a rocky base in the trees, etc., are only one factor in deciding where I ski.

I'm sure Wisp's investment in new infrastructure did not take into account the participation of the small, but mostly hard-core, segment of the market that most DCSkiers are in. The masses will decide the success of the expansion, not us.
tommo
August 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Looks like they took the plane up again....

http://www.skiwisp.com/winter_expansion.htm
Roger Z
August 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
WOW! Look at those three runs! I love the spacing of trees in between them- will give each run a nice, secluded feel as you go down it.

This is without a doubt one of the coolest expansions around here since Whitetail opened in 1992. One question: is this both parts of the expansion, or is there even more planned for future seasons?
JohnL
August 31, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,514 posts
The left-most trail in the picture looks very nice. Fairly narrow, a bit of a jag in the middle and it appears they even left a strand of trees in the middle of the trail at the very bottom. A bit short on vertical compared to the other two trails.

Quote:

I love the spacing of trees in between them- will give each run a nice, secluded feel as you go down it.





I like what's in the trees even better.
Roger Z
August 31, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Bears? Poison Ivy? JohnL, you've lost me...
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
August 31, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
Quote:

At the risk of stating the obvious...it is action time. For everyone on this board (self included) who has ever complained about the old slow lifts at Tline...the lack of terrain expansion (despite massive lodging expansion) at Snowshoe...the apparent focus on logging instead of skiing at BK...etc etc...now is the time to act.




Sad to say but I've never skied WISP and it is only 1 hour from my base at Timberline. NEXT YEAR I PROMISE TO CHECK IT OUT, especially early in the season when Timberline rarely has much open. I am sort of thinking of trying to hit 7 Springs, Wisp, and Timberline in the same day--sort of a Mid-Atlantic BIG DAY for skiing.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
August 31, 2005
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,338 posts
[QUOTE:I am sort of thinking of trying to hit 7 Springs, Wisp, and Timberline in the same day--sort of a Mid-Atlantic BIG DAY for skiing.]

That's alot of lift tickets. It is a 45 minute drive from Wisp to 7Springs and an hour drvie to go from Timberline to Wisp. That's 4 hours of driving and skiing at 3 resorts. Whoa! Don't put yourself in early grave.You need to savor the experience like fine wine.
bawalker
August 31, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
John - what about a Timberline AND Wisp DCSki day? Heck I'd even go with a banner and I wonder if any resorts would hang it up? Hey, it's worth the promotion
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 1, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
Quote:

That's alot of lift tickets. It is a 45 minute drive from Wisp to 7Springs and an hour drvie to go from Timberline to Wisp. That's 4 hours of driving and skiing at 3 resorts. Whoa! Don't put yourself in early grave.You need to savor the experience like fine wine.




Two half day tickets plus my T-line season pass. Expensive but it might be fun and would give me a chance to compare snow, service, etc at three major resorts in the same day. Obviously, morning snow is better than afternoon snow, but I will still have a good basis for comparison.
Roger Z
November 14, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
So, bored at my GA job, I was browsing Wisp's website this morning and was looking at the photos of the North Camp Expansion again. How long do you think until they open the run under the new chairlift as an advanced, natural snow mogul run? It's like the triple chair liftline at Canaan Valley- it's not an official run but they open it when the snow is there, and it's a great run. I'd like to see them do the same with that Wisp liftline.
JohnL
November 14, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,514 posts
Quote:

I was browsing Wisp's website this morning and was looking at the photos of the North Camp Expansion again. How long do you think until they open the run under the new chairlift as an advanced, natural snow mogul run? It's like the triple chair liftline at Canaan Valley- it's not an official run but they open it when the snow is there, and it's a great run. I'd like to see them do the same with that Wisp liftline.




I was thinking the identical thing this past weekend. At the National Ski Expo in Dulles, Wisp had a large aireal photo (poster size) of the new terrain at their booth. The lift line was barely visible in the photo since it was so narrow. It looked like the terrain under the lift might have the best continuous fall line of all the new trails, plus being so narrow, it would probably retain snow well.

From the same poster, the black diamond trail looked pretty steep (noticed some retaining bars across the slope), and there is a section of uncut trees in the middle of the trail at the very bottom. The black diamond trail doesn't have a lot of vertical (compared to the other new trails), since you need to traverse to get to the top of the trail, and then after the trail, traverse on a run-out to get back to the lift.
Lietmotiv
November 17, 2005
Member since 12/31/2001 🔗
113 posts
I have never skied Wisp either even though I always tell Lori at the Wisp booth that I'll get out there this year. If we do a dcski day there I'll go.

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