Whitetail and Liberty Opening Date Guess
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therusty
November 21, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Snowmaking weather is in the forecast for both Whitetail and Liberty. My guess is that a Sunday November 27 (this would be a record earliest opening) opening of beginner only terrain is possible for Whitetail. If either resort blows snow Tuesday night, you know they'll be trying for a Sunday opening. There's a small chance they could blow around the clock from Friday to Sunday. The pre season target for opening day was December 3. Given the 6-10 day forecast, that will not be a problem. We might even get a rare mid-week opening.
ridenski - DCSki Supporter
November 22, 2005
Member since 04/11/2004
81 posts
Even better, Whitetail website says opening is Friday Nov. 25, 8AM to 5PM. Probably just the greens, but enough to drag the kids up for first turns. Time to vacuum the spiders out of my boots and try to find the poles somewhere in the garage... Pretty sure the Bandit Xs are in the basement. Wish I had taken my new snowboard into the shop a little sooner for the full tune. Advantage card here we go!
Scott - DCSki Editor
November 22, 2005
Member since 10/10/1999
1,095 posts
Quote:

Even better, Whitetail website says opening is Friday Nov. 25, 8AM to 5PM. Probably just the greens, but enough to drag the kids up for first turns. Time to vacuum the spiders out of my boots and try to find the poles somewhere in the garage... Pretty sure the Bandit Xs are in the basement. Wish I had taken my new snowboard into the shop a little sooner for the full tune. Advantage card here we go!




Don't want to disappoint, but the note on Whitetail's web site says "Holiday Hours for Guest Services and Whitetail Mountain Sports Shop." Whitetail is only saying that the retail shop and Guest Services (for getting season pass pictures taken, etc.) will be open -- they always open before the slopes do. Whitetail has not announced when they'll open for skiing, and I doubt it will be this weekend. My guess would be Dec. 2 or 3 if the weather holds up.
therusty
November 22, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Scott,

Dec 2 or 3 is a great guess. I started this thread because Whitetail always starts blowing snow first before publishing an opening date. Whitetail says they need 3-4 nights of snowmaking to open. Looking at the weather.com and accuweather forecasts for Whitetail and Liberty it looks real close. It all depends on:
1) How accurate the forecasts are
2) If mountain temps are 1-2 degrees colder than in town temps
3) How many hours of snowmaking per night
4) How much natural snow interferes with snowmaking

I have not looked at the "pro" weather sites for their forecasts. Accuweather has generally colder temps forecasted than Weather.com. Given the forecasted winds, mountain temps should be colder. The high 30 low 40s daytime temps would normally tell me that 8-12 hours per night is optomistic, but the 3 nights in a row of lows in the teens (/20) offset that. Natural snow, especially flurries, interferes with snowmaking. So far that does not look like a factor.

I'm basing my guess on the new rental building as the tipping factor. I'm thinking that even if the weather is on the short side of the snowmaking window, there will be enough to open Northern Lights, Velvet and Snow Park IF that is the target they shoot for. Because of the new rental building, I'm predicting that Whitetail will want to open with Northern Lights fully open (in the past, we've only opened the top half of NL first, concentrating on getting Angel Drop open on day 1). There will be an advantage to opening 11/27 to a light crowd to test the new flow in the rental building. That is, if the rental building is fully set up and ready to go by 11/27. Based on where they were 2 weeks ago that could kill my guess right there.

But I'm thinking it still might be possible for Liberty to open from the top on Sunday. I don't know about their opening mechanics, but they've only got 67% of Whitetail's vertical to cover and they might be able to blow on Wed night too.

If Whitetail or Liberty open this weekend, I'm betting we won't see an announcement until 10AM Saturday.
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langleyskier
November 22, 2005
Member since 12/7/2004
824 posts
I talked to a rep. from whitetail and they said the 3rd will be the most likey date for their opening
ridenski - DCSki Supporter
November 22, 2005
Member since 04/11/2004
81 posts
Dooooooohhhhhh!
energy177
November 22, 2005
Member since 12/1/2004
19 posts
Quote:

Snowmaking weather is in the forecast for both Whitetail and Liberty. My guess is that a Sunday November 27 (this would be a record earliest opening) opening of beginner only terrain is possible for Whitetail. If either resort blows snow Tuesday night, you know they'll be trying for a Sunday opening. There's a small chance they could blow around the clock from Friday to Sunday. The pre season target for opening day was December 3. Given the 6-10 day forecast, that will not be a problem. We might even get a rare mid-week opening.




November 27th would be a record opening date? where did you find this information? I thought it was earlier than that, maybe somewhere around the 24th of november. I know roundtop has opened earlier than the 27th...
therusty
November 22, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
The 27th would be a record opening date for Whitetail. It's only been open since 1991. We had a Nov 30th date a few years ago.
therusty
November 22, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Looking at the web cams - no snowmaking tonight. There'd only be 7 hours for the window anyway. But here's a tasty little clue that appeared today on Whitetail's site:

Quote:

At this time, favorable winter weather is on its' way! We anticipate firing up the arsenal this Thursday night around 10PM. As of now, it looks like we will be able to keep the guns running 'round the clock through Sunday morning! Please stay tuned to the website for the announcement of a possible opening date!



EasternSkiBum
November 23, 2005
Member since 08/20/2004
68 posts
This just in from the Liberty website:

Snowmaking to begin this Friday!
Our dedicated snowmaking staff will be working round the clock this weekend to take advantage of Old Man Winter's early visit! Although we aren't sure just yet, we hope to set an opening date for early December - keep an eye on the web, or sign up for our daily newsletter and be the first to know
therusty
November 23, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
What no guesses ESB?

I wonder if Liberty's Friday = Friday morning?

Whitetail has a dusting of snow showing on the web cams. I've got ground covered here in Mount Airy. The golf course in Mount Airy still had ice in the sand traps this afternoon. This bodes well for the slopes to be frozen/near frozen when they do start making snow.

Sunday is still possible. 12/3 is a virtual certitude.
LordHedgie
November 24, 2005
Member since 12/1/2004
49 posts
I'm about 20 miles southeast of Liberty, and what looks like a "dusting" on the webcams looks more like a half inch here. Not nearly enough to ski on, but I do question the decision not to begin snowmaking until Friday... Still, whenever they open, I'll see you there!
langleyskier
November 24, 2005
Member since 12/7/2004
824 posts
Forecast is not looking good for next week's snowmaking
therusty
November 24, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Damn! The forecast is now 10 degrees warmer through the week than it was 2 days ago. So much for certitudiness. Too bad that jet stream couldn't a stuck around longer.

BTW - they could not make snow last night because the ground level air was too close to freezing (warm) relative to the humidity. Tonight is the night!
EasternSkiBum
November 25, 2005
Member since 08/20/2004
68 posts
Quote:

What no guesses ESB?

I wonder if Liberty's Friday = Friday morning?

Whitetail has a dusting of snow showing on the web cams. I've got ground covered here in Mount Airy. The golf course in Mount Airy still had ice in the sand traps this afternoon. This bodes well for the slopes to be frozen/near frozen when they do start making snow.

Sunday is still possible. 12/3 is a virtual certitude.




I don't guess at these things anymore.... I've been at Liberty way toooo looong to play that game. I'm never right anyway.
LordHedgie
November 25, 2005
Member since 12/1/2004
49 posts
A couple of days ago I would have agreed that 12/3 was certitude. There's no way they'd open this weekend; it just wouldn't make sense. But 12/3...

Now with the updated forecast, I'm putting odds at 50-50, dependant more on the weather than any decisions by Liberty.
therusty
November 26, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
It was close. The web cams show enough coverage on the beginner terrain to open. They did blow on lower Northern Lights. But there's not enough coverage on Angel drop if the terrain viewable from the web cam is representative.

The strategy was a little unusual. There was snow blown in the expert base area and on the tubing runs that probably won't last through the week. They also started blowing significant snow on Limelight and the Launching Pad beginner area. This is not usually done until after opening.

It looks like there will be no snowmaking tonight. Based on the warm weather next week, I'm now GUESSing a 12/10 opening for Whitetail and Liberty.
therusty
December 1, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
12/10 is looking better. There's still a few piles left on the slopes today.

I did get an update on the original blowing strategy. Based on the original forecast of 10 days of cold temps, Whitetail was planning on opening 12/3 with all lifts and tubing open. Shwing and a miss on that one. Based on the amount of snow they were able to blow, they could have opened 11/27 with Snowpark, Velvet and Northern Lights open (if that was the strategy), but then would have had to close after that.

It looks like Liberty is in the same boat with respect to what's left of original snowmaking and possible opening date.

Remember folks - $19 learn to ski packages and free lessons at all levels before 12/23! Get that xmas shopping done early.
snowcone
December 1, 2005
Member since 09/27/2002
589 posts
Hey Rusty:
Is that free lessons gambit only for Liberty or is it also for Whitetail? I wonder because I don't see any notice to that effect on the Whitetail website.
therusty
December 2, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
The offer is good at all 3 resorts: Whitetail, Liberty and Roundtop.
Chad
December 2, 2005
Member since 12/12/2000
270 posts
Quote:

Remember folks - $19 learn to ski packages and free lessons at all levels before 12/23!




hey is this deal going to be restricted to the bunny hill, as in the past? i think its great that whitetail is offering these deals as incentives to those trying it out for the first time. every year i take first-timers up to whitetail and teach them how to ride.

but i find its dang near impossible to teach new snowboarders on that flat bunny hill. you gotta have some slope to get you up on an edge. HEY WHITETAIL, open this deal at least to the fixed-grip quad!
therusty
December 2, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Hi Chad,

The $19 learn to ski/ride package is designed for first timers only. It's main purpose is to attract new participants to the sport. Of course, if you're already a skier or rider, $19 is a good opportunity to TRY the other sport and a good reason to come to the mountain when all the trails are not open yet. If you're just starting out, there's no need to be allowed to go on the high speed lift because it's not safe for 99.99% of the "first time" population. This is a great deal. The normal weekend price for this product is $74.

We do recognize the need to provide an alternative offer to existing skiers/riders for an early season visit. This is why we are offering the free lessons special (that's a $30 value). If you think you're good enough that a free lesson won't help you, then I'd like to talk to you about a deal that provides free skiing for the entire season.

Between the Advantage cards (40% off and 6th ticket free)and the Snow Blast Bonus cards (e.g. 2 for 1 lift tickets for the first week of the season) and these early season deals, Whitetail, Liberty and Roundtop are offering some pretty huge discounts.

If you were to use the Snow Blast card to buy a four hour ticket at 2 for one and take a free lesson, you'd be paying $23.50 for what would normally cost $77. That's close to a 70% discount. Note that the advantage card gives you an even better deal over the whole season once you earn a free ticket. You want to get an "EZ" package (lift/rental/lesson - normally $81) for $19. That would be an 77% discount. That's asking for a lot, but we're not that far off. But I'll tell you a little secret. If you bring a group, the group learn to ski package is an EZ package.

No matter how we structure our deals, I'm sure there will always be something to complain about. But you can't knock us for not trying.
Chad
December 2, 2005
Member since 12/12/2000
270 posts
Quote:

No matter how we structure our deals, I'm sure there will always be something to complain about. But you can't knock us for not trying.




hi rusty. i didnt mean it as a complaint. i love whitetail and aplaud its efforts to make it easy and inexpensive for learners. i just wish they would open the beginner deal to the fixed-grip quad (not the hi-speed).

i take first-timers on the bunny hill for the first ride or two, but try to get them on the fixed-grip as soon as they get the hang of loading onto the lift (and crawling out of the way at the top). the bunny hill is too flat to teach snowboarders, imo. and really who would want to spend their entire time on the bunny hill? most of my first-timers work hard and get themselves beyond the bunny hill level in no more than an hour or so.

when i take first-timers there we almost always take advantage of some other promo, and whitetail always has something going on. KUDOS!

-chad
therusty
December 3, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Then get your first timers in with a group. The group tickets get EZ packages. If you're teaching first timers to board, you ought to consider getting paid for it.
therusty
December 5, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Liberty has announced a plan to open Friday 12/9. Whitetail is planning for "later" this week. Right now, that looks like it also means Friday.

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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