Resort Comparisons
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The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 8, 2003
Member since 03/5/2004
3,062 posts
When comparing one resort and conditions to another it is important to make sure the comparisons are equal.
For example, Snowshoe opened with a reported 30"+ base on all open trails, 7Springs is openning more terrain daily, but much of it is on very little base. Let there be a thaw like Tues and Wed this week, or rain, and see what happens. I enjoy and ski both resorts, but the one with a base that will withstand whatever mother nature throws at it while I am spending multiple days there will get my vote as the place to go. The number of open trails is important, but quality is critical. So when one compares any resort to another, check into everything...not just the number of open trails. Snowshoe has the altitude and financial backing to recover from bad weather probably quicker than any other WV, PA, VA and MD resort.
Apparently the Whitetail quad was not functioning correctly on Sunday. If that be the case, and the resort's website failed to mention this, then shame of them. I thought Whitetail had gotten past the plague of several years ago when conditions were always reported far more favorably than one found when arriving on site.
The Colonel
MichaelB
December 9, 2003
Member since 11/20/2000
61 posts
Apparently Whitetail hasn't learned anything. When I arrived at 1:00 p.m. last Sunday, I was greeted by young smiling cashier who advised me that "congratulations", we just started our all day $15 special. Since this was opening day for me, I wasn't as suspicious as I should have been in my zeal to get out there. But, when I passed under the portico and saw the lift lines, my heart sank. They were loading every third seat and (we timed it) exactly every 11 minutes the whole system would kick the circuit breaker and have to be reset which took another 6 minutes. This continued up until 4 p.m. when things seemed to get better. It would have been nice of Whitetail to let us know "up front" what conditions we could expect instead of having to discover them on our own after they mislead us. Trust me, I live in Frederick and haven't missed an opening day at Whitetail in many years and every year, time after time, that High speed quad lift has problems in the early part of the season which Whitetail tries to cover up.

Caveat Emptor

MTB

JohnL
December 9, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,510 posts
Good to know about the early season lift problems. I'll file this one away for future reference.

I don't think Whitetail was "covering up" anything; they probably felt they could get the problem resolved right away. Sounds like you discovered the problem early on - did you ask for your money back? If not, did you get $15 worth of use?

(Anonymous)
December 9, 2003
I would like to comment on the base totals that are posted by resorts. I know for a fact that Seven springs base is more than sufficient to handle the warm up that is coming this weekend. They tend to go on the conservative side when estimating the base. They also are one of the few resorts in the area if not the country that has the ability to blow snow on ALL of their slopes at the same time which can make up quickly for lost base.

I skied there all weekend on new Crosmax 10's with no problems, actually there was not one time that I was worried about hitting bottom.

Bottom line I think that the conditions at the Springs are more consistant and recover faster than at any other resort around.

gatkinso
December 10, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
On Saturday at 7Springs I didn't see one bare patch. So talk about the thin base all you want, you may actually be correct... but it seemed to all be covered.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 10, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
I was at 7 Springs on Sunday and I concur with the comments of SpringsRegular. 7 Springs has fixed guns on all of its slopes so touch ups are a snap. Also, the resort's compressed air system allows the resort to make snow at higher temperatures than resorts like Timberline that rely completely on airless, fan guns. 7 Springs consitantly offers some of the best manmade snow in the region...

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 12-10-2003).]

JohnL
December 10, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,510 posts
MichaelB,

Thanks for posting about the lift problems - not all news needs to be good news. At least I'm not as bummed about not being able to go last weekend.

Now keep our fingers crossed that whatever rain we get the next day doesn't erode the snow base too much...

I'd love to get some turns in this weekend.

kennedy
December 10, 2003
Member since 12/8/2001
792 posts
I've had issues with that high speed quad before. I remember being there about 2years ago. The place was packed. More than I'd ever seen before and the mixing bowl was living up to its name. The lift line was a mass of crushed people trying to maneouver boards and skis withing inches of each other. The quad broke down every 2 minutes. I seriously spend 20 minutes on the thing at least ascending the mountain. I got so tired of it I decided to walk back up the terrain park instead of taking the lift. It was an absolute shambles. I kind of like Whitetail but it's the stupid stuff they do like that that really make me wonder if my $40+ dollars might be better spent elsewhere.
Scott - DCSki Editor
December 10, 2003
Member since 10/10/1999
1,096 posts
I haven't had problems with the Whitetail Express, and have ridden it an awful lot, but I've often wondered if it doesn't run slower now than it did the first year or two.

I seem to recall that Whitetail's brochures during the first year or two of operation (in the early 90's) said that the Whitetail Express took 3 minutes to go from bottom to top. And I remember it really flew. In more recent years, it seems to be running quite a bit slower. (Still very fast, mind you.)

I know the lifts can be run at variable speeds and I wonder if it isn't being run slower than peak to preserve life and reduce wear, etc. This is all conjecture on my part -- I might be imagining the 3 minute lift time, but that sure sticks in my head. If anyone knows more about the mechanics and maintenance of lifts, I'm eager to learn -- I find the evolution of lift technology to be fascinating.

JohnL
December 11, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,510 posts
Scott,

The Whitetail Express definitely runs slower than it used to. I remember in the early/mid-90's looking down at the ground and being amazed at how fast the chair was moving.

The only Whitetail lift I've experience problems with has been the Expert's Choice lift. Nothing as bad as what was described happening to the Express. Since it is not a detachable lift, the Express also suffers slow-downs/stoppages due to inexperienced skiers (for Farside or groomed Exhibition?) loading/unloading.

MichaelB
December 11, 2003
Member since 11/20/2000
61 posts
To JohnL:

You are probably right, they thought they could fix it, but it was a problem from opening to 4 pm when the crowds thinned.

Yes, I did get my $5 worth and then some....grin. Whitetail just didn't seem ready for everyone. This happens every year up there.

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