$3.33 per trail (Wisp TR)
It looks like $3.33 per trail must be the new going rate for early season skiing in the mid-atlantic!! As at CV, that was the breakdown yesterday at Wisp as well. And at $30 for 9 trails, a well spent $3.33 it was!
Arriving a bit after 9:00, we were pleasantly suprised to see not only the main front face slopes open, but a report that the one of the new lifts would be running for the very first time. Given the warm temps that had settled in overnight, that seemed unlikely, but, hey, who knows? So, we rode Chair 3 to the top and, just a promised, saw the brand new Chair 6 Quad turning with a couple of people on the chairs. Even better, the ropes were down on the new, Happy Camper trail. Not wanting to miss a truly unique opportunity, we headed down this broad, scenic green for a first skiing view of the North Camp expansion.
And what an expansion it is! Unlike the typical green slope, the "basin" area of North Camp consists of several winding greens. The two that were open, Happy Camper and Backbone pass, have a consistent pitch from top to bottom. Moreover, they are serviced by Wisp's new, state of the art snowmaking system, with fixed wands on computer controlled vaults. Based on the excellent coverage that had been made in just 24 hours, it appears that any concerns about the western exposure of the new trails are misplaced. Moreover, the new exposure yields better light and some great views. At the bottom of these trails, the new quad, with thick cushions on the seats, goes straight back to the new summit lift station.
After several runs on the new beginner terrain and trip back down Wisp Trail, we settled into the steeps and bumps that were open. In preparation for the warm weather this week, Wisp had built a series of large whales all the way down Squirrel Cage and Face. Mixed with significant moguls on the right side, this made for some of the best runs I've ever had on those slopes. With soft, soft snow and the near vertical backsides of the whales, you could carve right into very high pitched drops time and time again back to the base. After several top to bottom runs on these two, we headed over to Muskrat for some scenic cruising runs overlooking Deep Creek lake and around Boulder, finishing across Belly Flop. Boulder, in particular, will benefit from the new blue trails over in North Camp, and that was very much the case on Sunday. Unlike the bowling alley that it used to be, Boulder was a pleasurable way back to the lodge.
All in all, Sunday was the best early season skiing I have ever experienced in the mid-atlantic. Quite a few others enjoyed it as well, with a decent number of boarders and skiiers on the slopes throughout the day. But with no lines, early season rates, great conditions and a nice variety of top to bottom runs, it was a rare Thankgiving weekend treat! I can't wait for the cold weather to return and the opening of the rest of North Camp and the East Ridge trails.
Very nice post Tommo! With the TR you posted above and the terrain expansion I believe it might be time for my 1st visit to Wisp. I must profess my self proclaimed addiction to 7S could be weakening.
Thanks again for the juicy report.