Whitetail Base Elevation?
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Gibby
January 19, 2007
Member since 12/4/2006 🔗
10 posts
Just curious if anyone knows the base elevation (above sea level) of Whitetail. I saw one website, trails.com or something said it was 1800 ft above sea level, but it didn't say if that was the base or summit.

Just curious.

Thanks!
Scott - DCSki Editor
January 19, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts
Whitetail's base elevation is 860 feet above sea level, and the peak elevation is 1,800 feet. Whitetail reports their total vertical as 935 feet. (The base of the high-speed quad is probably a few feet higher than the base of the Lift Off Quad, accounting for the "missing" 5 feet.)

Whitetail list these elevations on their trail map:

appskiah
January 20, 2007
Member since 09/16/2006 🔗
88 posts
if you're curious:
i went to whitetail today and happened to take my GPS with me. I took readings at the base and summit; they came out pretty close to what Whitetail says, considering they probably round up some.

My summit reading: 1769 ft.
Base: 845ft.
therusty
January 22, 2007
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
Topozone's map looks like it has Whitetail's peak elevation at 1768 (if I have it figured out correctly).
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Mountain Masher
January 23, 2007
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
Given that Whitetail is located in a rather mild area (weather-wise) and at a relatively low elevation, it would have been preferable if the ski slopes were developed on a North facing ridge. With the slopes facing towards the South (in a general sense), it's a bit more difficult to hold snow. I often wonder if the original developers of Whitetail considered the disadvantage of having a Southern exposure, particularly in late season. Also, I wonder if there was 1,000 ft vertical ridge (located in the general area) with a North facing exposure that could have been developed into a ski area.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
January 23, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,363 posts
It is my understanding that the investors who started Whitetail looked at many mountain properties before they settled on this one. There were various obstacles to developing a ski resort or all of these properties.The original plan was to have 49 trails if you can imagine them trying to keep snow on 49 trails.

It wasn't long ago that there was an article in Baltimore Magazine indicating that Snowtime was going to spend $15 million developing College Mountain. This was a year or two after Whitetail openend. This plan was abandoned mostly due to local opposition and troubles getting permits to withdraw water out of a local creek.
It is not easy developing a ski resort. I find it ineresting that most of the ski areas in our area were not developed on the most favorable mountain terrain, but rather started as small mom and pop operations that gradually expanded into their current configuration. The only resorts that I can think of that were developed on the best ski mountains were Snowshoe, Canaan and Timberline (and maybe Blue Knob).
therusty
January 23, 2007
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
Quote:

Also, I wonder if there was 1,000 ft vertical ridge (located in the general area) with a North facing exposure that could have been developed into a ski area.



Look to the south on the topozone map that I linked to for an area that is labeled "the punch bowl". It's North facing and has 200 foot more vertical. Cross Mountain, a little further West, also has 1000+ feet of north facing vertical.
tomimcmillar
January 23, 2007
Member since 11/21/2004 🔗
129 posts
Quote:

Given that Whitetail is located in a rather mild area (weather-wise) and at a relatively low elevation, it would have been preferable if the ski slopes were developed on a North facing ridge. With the slopes facing towards the South (in a general sense), it's a bit more difficult to hold snow. I often wonder if the original developers of Whitetail considered the disadvantage of having a Southern exposure, particularly in late season. Also, I wonder if there was 1,000 ft vertical ridge (located in the general area) with a North facing exposure that could have been developed into a ski area.




yeah, I seriously doubt that they were bright enough to consider slope exposure when developing the original master plan, probably never even entered their minds.....
camp
January 23, 2007
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
596 posts
Quote:

I find it ineresting that most of the ski areas in our area were not developed on the most favorable mountain terrain,


I live near Whitetail now, and my in-laws have lived here for generations. All the folks living here remember when WT was being proposed and discussed, and even farmers and non-skiers alike all knew about aspect. The problem was "real estate" availablility, and finding a farmer or landowner willing to sell. Before, and as it was being built, all the locals laughed that it was being built on the wrong side of the mountain. They gave it 3 years, tops.
Gibby
January 23, 2007
Member since 12/4/2006 🔗
10 posts
I'm glad people started discussing Whitetail's south facing slope. I'd wondered myself why they did that, when you look straight ahead heading down the trails, note the nice north facing slope right across the sleep.
therusty
January 23, 2007
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
Whitetail's slopes generally face to the Southeast (the sun sets behind Snow Park).

Claylick mountain on the other side of the street cuts off access to Kasies Knob above and behind it. Kasies does have a run out to the North - Northeast offering an 1100 foot vertical, but the pitch is way too flat on the run out and there's only about 400 foot of vertical at a decent pitch. Whitetail has a more consistent pitch and a good variety of pitch accesible to a common base area.

Looking at the topo map, the punch bowl looks like the most ideal location in the area, except for I think the summit is in the wildlife management area, the resort property would have had to cross state lines and there's a pipeline running through the area. You know, it's those pesky little details that get you every time.

Still, I do miss the old radio commercials where some guy with a jackhammer was trying to move the mountain to face north as way to promote that Liberty was built in the right direction.

It's interesting how many Liberty regulars come to Whitetail when it's really cold out.
Roger Z
January 23, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
If Whitetail and Seven Springs were in opposite locations, Whitetail would hands down be the best skiing in the Mid-Atlantic, period. As it is, the only reason it isn't is because of it's elevation and location. I have on more than one occasion passed up heading out to WV to ski Whitetail when the conditions are right. One of my best Mid-Atl skiing days was Superbowl Sunday, Whitetail. 28 degrees, they made snow all day, and nary a liftline to be found. When the conditions are right, the consistent fall-line makes WT one of the best destinations south of NY.

Unfortunately, they're not right as often as they could be if they were higher or north-facing...
kennedy
January 24, 2007
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Just an odd aside. Look at close ups of Whitetail and Liberty on Google Earth. Whitetail's was obviously shot in Summer while Liberty's is in the peak of the season. You can even pick out the table tops in the terrain park.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
January 24, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,363 posts
Minor quibbles - the mountain is in the wrong location and faces the wrong direction.
I haven't been there is a long time, but my gripe was always the snow. It was always 'granular', but I guess that more the properties of manmade snow that has been baked in the sun. I find that when you get a mix of natural snow and manmade (atleast here in the Mid-Atlantic) that the texture is better. Thus if we could move Whitetail west of the Appalachian front, it would be great. Since we can't do that we're stuck witht he sugar snow that is most often the conditions at Whitetail. However, I agree that that the terrain is some of the best in the MA.
MadMonk
January 24, 2007
Member since 12/27/2004 🔗
235 posts
Went up to Whitetail this morning for my first turns of the season. Overall I was pretty impressed with the conditions given the long warm spell.

I'll give a brief review of the trails I skied.

1. Limelight - The worst snow that I skied all day. It had a a few icy patches and then thick man-made. Not terrible just the least favorite of the day.

2. Angel Drop - Pretty good consistent snow all the way down. Not heavy, not hard, just good fun carving, packed machine-made. A few thin spots seemed to be developing though.

3. Exhibition - Mainly a mixture of packed and unpacked machine made. One tiny icy spot towards the skiers right. Very oood skiing for the most part.

The connectors with exception of Fallmount (gravel on the trail) were in good shape. No lift-lines.

It looks like Snow Dancer and Bold Decision should open tomorrow, Friday at the latest.

Far Side seems to have a lot of work to do on the lower portion. It doesn't look like the last 200 yards has even seen a snow gun. The upper portion off the lift looked pretty good though.
Roger Z
January 24, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
I wonder if Tory could have been the Whitetail of the West... Virginia, that is.

I've hit WT on good snow days and man are they sweet. But they are few and far between, as I guess all good days have been this year.
Gibby
January 24, 2007
Member since 12/4/2006 🔗
10 posts
In the end, we are lucky to have a place like Whitetail around, regardless of south facing slopes, and strange run names like "Fanciful" and "Snow Dancer" that sound like they are the names of skating routines from the Disney film the Ice Princess.
kennedy
January 24, 2007
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
I usually get one great day per year at Whitetail. I agree though if you catch it on a good one it's top notch. I had one day last year where it started snowing before we got there and snowed all day and the place was half empty. awesome stuff. The only thing to be careful of there when it's snowing is when you leave. Coming out the gate and taking a run at that first hill on a snow day can be hit or miss. I've seen one or two cars slide back down it a bit at times.
tromano
January 24, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
The tail has some nice terrain, but its very similar to Cannan Valley. The experts choice has maybe 700' vertical on a continous fallline. Nice but not amazing. I agree, some natural snow and colder temps would allow some nice tree skiing to be had.

Still the draw of WT is the location 90 minutes from DC. The trails are not all that compared to BlueKnob or even laurel mtn. The difference is that WT is a well operated, well capitalized, and provides excellent service. On the other hand LM and BK (and to a lesser extent Tline) offer less in terms of snow making, lifts, grooming, etc...
langleyskier
January 24, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
I have to disagree with most to say that whitetail, while it is no aspen, is probably on of the better resorts in the region as far as organization, snowmaking, and lifts.

1) organization- i love how the separate beginners, beginner-intermediates, intermediates, and advanced skiers (going from left to right). It is always nice to get to the experts choice quad and not have to wait in a long lift line or ski way overcrowded slopes and the fact that it is called "experts choice" keeps many of the less advanced skiers away.
2)snowmaking- besides wisp, snowshoe, and wintergreen; they probably have the best and most advanced snowmaking system in the region. Also, i like how they make an effort to open up a variety of terrain and not just cater to beginners.
3) lifts- the high speed makes for a much more enjoyable day of skiing (although it breaks down at times) and like i said before-- its nice the have a lift for the beginner, advanced, and intermediate slopes.

also they do a really good job with the lodge, parking, and have a really great terrain park.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
January 24, 2007
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,363 posts
I skied Whitetail 2 days after the blizzard of '93. It was awesome. The best local skiing I beleive that I have ever experienced. I actually called in sick that day. The next day I went to work with my face completely sunburned, except for where my goggles were.

The road to Whitetail in many cases was only one lane with 10 foot high snow drifts. It was an amazing day.
Scott - DCSki Editor
January 24, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts
I try not to play favorites, but I will admit that Whitetail is the resort I visit most often in the mid-Atlantic. Part of that is location: it's only 90 minutes away, and a fairly easy drive. But I love the decent vertical and that high-speed quad. The lodge, free ski check, etc. are very nice -- the place definitely feels upscale and the employees are usually very friendly.

Originally, I mostly visited Whitetail at night because that was the only time I could ski. And conditions were often icy. But I love the nighttime views and skiing under the stars -- hearing nothing but the faint whir of a chairlift in the distance. And I can't explain it, but one of my best experiences at Whitetail was at night during a pouring rainstorm. I was taking a group lesson, and I think we were the only ones on the entire mountain. I sure wouldn't want to ski in the rain every day, but the rain made it a surreal experience and certainly memorable. I think what made it fun is that everyone in the group, including the instructor, delighted in the fact that we were being ridiculous for skiing in such miserable conditions. So we just got a kick out of it.

In recent years, I've usually visited Whitetail during the day midweek. And the snow conditions are often quite good, especially since there are hardly ever crowds midweek. That is the best time to go.
therusty
January 24, 2007
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
I skied Whitetail in the blizzard of 93 and the day after. The blizzard of 96 was better. I skied one run the day after (had to hike for it), but I got waist deep snow that bubbled to chest high.
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