WISP on Sunday...a major disappointment
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The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 22, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,100 posts
After skiing WISP under roaring snow guns all day Saturday, and seeing huge whales on multiple trails I really anticipated seeing more open and groomed terrain.
Wrong! Lots of griping in the lodge, at the ski school desk, at the Ski Basket check area. In short, lots of disappointed customers that might just take their business elsewhere later in the season. What were they thinking? Main Street slope appeared ready for opening, if they would have groomed the huge mounds; but no effort to groom and no explanation. And the ski report indicated that the three slopes off the ""furtherestmost"" North Camp chair had been groomed. Well, if that was grooming, then they better take lessons from Deer Valley or any local area. These three trails are not real wide and 3/4 of the width were covered with huge piles of snow/ice, 5+feet high, and the rest of the trail had moguls and chopped up snow. I doubt they had groomed these trails, but if they had there was no evidence of it two hours after opening, and at that, a late opening. At most a groomer had maybe made one pass down the trail. Heard lots of complaining while on the chair.
AND WHAT GIVES WITH THE BASKET CHECK? I have used this most convenient amenity at multiple resorts, both in the east and out west, but never have I been ripped off for $8/per day for the privilege. Not very customer friendly if you ask me.
IMO WISP has great potential but for some reason management of slopes, grooming, and amenities needs to rethink what they are doing or risk alienating the clientele who can easily take their business to other nearby resorts.
Anybody else there this past weekend? Would love to read your thoughts. I really believe in supporting the local areas, and this has been an awful year for skiing in the MidAtlantic to date, but this past weekend at WISP really squelched my desire to return. They have spent a ton of money on improvements and then they seem to go and screw up the critical last 10% - good customer relations.
THE COLONEL
Clay
January 22, 2007
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Colonel,
I felt the same way on Sunday at Timberline as I rode the lift up to the same old trail while looking at all of the mounds of snow laying on Lower Almost Heaven just begging to be groomed. I really do understand and empathize with your frustration, but what can the resorts do? They can't really post on a bulletin board or website "Here is a list of why we did what we did". We have to take it on faith that they know what they're doing and they're doing it for a good reason (i.e. to build a base deep enough to last until March). I know this is not a good answer and I really do feel your pain and yes, you can take your business elsewhere but it gives me some comfort that the resorts are thinking longer term rather than "how can we make the people here today happy even if it means they will be unhappy in the long run".

Clay
lightguy
January 22, 2007
Member since 10/11/2005 🔗
19 posts
Wisp's Ski Report now says Main Street and Down Under, as well as chairs 4 and 5, will be opening tomorrow. My guess is they didn't have the staff to run the resort, make snow full blast, and still groom the giant piles off of Main Street, plus staff the 2 lifts that have to run for Main Street to open.
Steve
January 22, 2007
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
We made our first trip to Timberline this weekend, probably the last. It did look like the advanced skiers could have a good time if all the slopes were opened, and I know that weather has been a huge factor, but with that, why can't customer service be better.

Colonel, you complained about a $8 basket check? I've never been to resort without a ski check on the weekends. Just hundreds of pairs of skis lying around. Nobody seemed to know what was going on, would more slopes be open tomorrow etc. And can't they put a clock in the lift towers? That would cost about $100. Internet service didn't work in the pub when I tried. Probably good, cause I was trying to see if Wisp was in better shape. When we go to Wisp for a long weekend, we buy a multi day ticket and they let us ski on Fri night for free. At T-line it was $20 to go down ONE trail. My son and his friends lasted 45 minutes. And the signs, NO REFUNDs on and on. So much for WVA hospitality.

I think at this point, T-Line is one and done.

Steve
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RobertW
January 22, 2007
Member since 10/14/2004 🔗
199 posts
I wasn't at Wisp, but I spoke to some friends who were there and they expressed the same feelings of frustration. "Why didn't they open Main Street and Down Under?" was muttered by my friend several times. He also remarked that Ace's Run was "an icy ungroomed mess". This sounds nothing like the resort I have visited at least 15 times over the last 4 years. Weird. Perhaps Down Under or Eye Opener (which are the only access to Main Street) were not ready yet but my friend told me Down Under "looked plenty ready to me". (Main Street/Down Under will open Tuesday according to the website).

I am a big fan of 7 Springs (I am a passholder), but they have left me scratching my head this year also despite their herculean "snow trucking" efforts. I ran up for a few quick runs Saturday night in anticipation of a trip I am planning for Wednesday to see what was going on. I was disappointed in the snowmaking efforts on the North Face. I know the temperature/humidity has been whacky but the weather station at the Ski Patrol headquarters is reporting 21 DegF at 11:40 PM and there is no eveidence of snowmaking on the web cams. Even with the 95% humidity being reported, this is well below the 26 DegF maximum of the HKD towers at 100% humidity.

Maybe I'm just frustrated. January is slipping away and I still have not skied Gunnar, Yodeler or Giant Steps.
wvrocks
January 23, 2007
Member since 11/9/2004 🔗
262 posts
Steve, what was bad about the customer service at Timberline? Were the people you talked to rude or just not able to answer your questions?

There are clocks in most of the lift shack windows. Also one on the sign by the singles line at the Thunderdraft Triple. (it may not be working, can't remember) Did they not have a list of trails open for night skiing when you paid for your lift tickets? Seems that would be something you would check before dropping the cash. Especially in a year where snowmaking has been slow, trail counts are down and you are at a mountain that is notorious for having little night skiing available. Don't get me wrong, Timberline has problems. I know its no fun to drive to a resort and not get what you hope to but a little research beforehand could save you some headaches and money.

.......................................

As far as why they didn't have Almost Heaven opened on Sunday, I would bet it was because all of the snowmaker/groomers were busy moving stuff around on Twister, Lower Dew Drop, Whiteout and getting the guns ready to make snow. They still had to groom the rest of the mountain sometime too. Those guys can't be everywhere at once.
kwillg6
January 23, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,023 posts
I think when all is said and done in mid March, T-line will have the best coverage on a wide variety of trails. I didn't say all trails. I expect that after they get twister open, DD and thunder will be the next and last. Upper heaven will be a casulty of this weird winter as will some of the other minor trails. A concertrated effort to get ample base on their advanced and beginner terrain will pay dividends for weeks. Right now, I can't think of any mountain who's done better in preparing for the long haul.
tommo
January 23, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Quote:

Main Street slope appeared ready for opening, if they would have groomed the huge mounds; but no effort to groom and no explanation. And the ski report indicated that the three slopes off the ""furtherestmost"" North Camp chair had been groomed




I was not at Wisp this weekend, although my daughter was, and the main "complaint" I heard was that the guns were running all day on Saturday. That, of course, is a no win proposition for the resort as sking with snowmaking is awful but not making snow when possible is worse. As to the unopened terrain, there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about how to properly make snow for ski slope coverage. As I understand it, you ideally make snow in large piles which then should be allowed to settle for 1 to 3 days based on weather conditions. This allows the excess water to drain and the snow to setup. These whales can be skied over on an otherwise open slope, but shouldn't be pushed around until settling is complete. If skied prematurely, you get the result you disliked on the Northcamp trails. As to Mainstreet, it may have been ready to go, but unless Down Under or Eye Opener was ready, there's no way to get there.

$8 for the basket check does seem quite high, but I have no reference - what have you paid recently at other areas? I was in Colorado over the weekend and single use lockers were $4. Ski check was $5. I've not seen many free services at any ski area...
MadMonk
January 23, 2007
Member since 12/27/2004 🔗
235 posts
I'm not sure if it's true in Wisp's case but I remember reading an article about snowmaking a few years ago. One thing it stated was that most snowmakers/groomers like to allow their snow mounds a few days to dry out. I guess that with a few cold/dry days of rest the manmade snow that forms whales tends to lose some of it's moisture content making for less icy manmade product when groomed. What I can't remember is how they explained the loss of moisture content, but I do remember the article because I was thinking about this very topic when I read it.
tromano
January 23, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
I am surprised by the amount of complaining. You have to pay for stuff like ski check or basket check at a resort, either its paid for as part of your ticket or ala carte either way you pay for it. Whats $8? I pay $10 for a movie.

The tulips were coming up a week ago. Now we are skiing. The situation has improved. Just because a resort didn't open one trail or whatever doesn't mean they have bad service or that they don't care about you or whoever. Trails take time and a lot of work to open, bases are still thin. The slopes will be open when they are ready. The last thing you want is for them to groom it out when the base is too thin and then big chunks of rock and dirt get in there. another week of cold natural snow and snow making. This weekend will be better all around.
fishnski
January 23, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Hey, I'm with the colonel...$8 is a Little high..BUT..While I was waiting for my funny little hunny outside the bathroom at TL this weekend I just happened to glance over & saw a guy that was carrying my skiis off! I ran out & grabbed them back from him...VIOLENTLY...He claimed that they looked just like his.. yeh RIGHT!
Crush
January 23, 2007
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,000 posts
folks .... AHEM! You're skiing. you get to put on your gear and do it. You get to make turns and get maybe a little air and move your butt from left to right. you get to snake around and enjoy that feeling of your feet crossing under your body making turns. i just paid $70 for a half-day tic @ Park City Mountain Resort so i could ski with my friend D. and cru. totally worth it. and you are skiing.
Tucker
January 23, 2007
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
Hey that's crazy about your skis...over the last few years there have rarely been cases of stolen equipment,,,but this year I have heard of several...karma will get'em...

by the way anyone...what's a basket check...is that some sort of customer service...what's customer service anyway...you expect someone to serve you that drink...smile for the camera...
SCWVA
January 23, 2007
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
My wife's brand spanking new K2 Burnin Luv skis were stolen at Jiminy Peak this past Sunday. The skis were stolen in less than four minutes(she went in to use the restroom). They were actually split apart in two different ski racks. Thievin mother F*^&ers. May the ski gods will haunt their sorry a$$'s forever.
Crush
January 24, 2007
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,000 posts
that sucks! skis know stuff ... they'll give that person a busted acl and they deserve it.
tromano
January 24, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
That sucks man. Hopefully you can get them back.
Taylormatt
January 24, 2007
Member since 12/3/2004 🔗
339 posts
Quote:

Quote:

Main Street slope appeared ready for opening, if they would have groomed the huge mounds; but no effort to groom and no explanation. And the ski report indicated that the three slopes off the ""furtherestmost"" North Camp chair had been groomed




I was not at Wisp this weekend, although my daughter was, and the main "complaint" I heard was that the guns were running all day on Saturday. That, of course, is a no win proposition for the resort as sking with snowmaking is awful but not making snow when possible is worse. As to the unopened terrain, there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about how to properly make snow for ski slope coverage. As I understand it, you ideally make snow in large piles which then should be allowed to settle for 1 to 3 days based on weather conditions. This allows the excess water to drain and the snow to setup. These whales can be skied over on an otherwise open slope, but shouldn't be pushed around until settling is complete. If skied prematurely, you get the result you disliked on the Northcamp trails. As to Mainstreet, it may have been ready to go, but unless Down Under or Eye Opener was ready, there's no way to get there.

$8 for the basket check does seem quite high, but I have no reference - what have you paid recently at other areas? I was in Colorado over the weekend and single use lockers were $4. Ski check was $5. I've not seen many free services at any ski area...




Tommo, you got it right. Most people think snow is made and immediately groomed. It's not always the case, especially when large amounts are made at once like many resorts had to do recently. Snow needs to "cure" before being pushed around or it turns to crap real fast. It also depends on how thin the thin areas between the piles are. If thin and uncured, the cats sink right to the mud and churn it into the uncured snow...making a bigger mess.
Clay
January 24, 2007
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
That's good info. I never knew that. All my hours on this board are beneficial - I've learned something!

Clay
Steve
January 25, 2007
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
No, nobody was rude, and I thought some of the lift operators very courteous. I looked for clocks and didn't see any in the two lifts middle and right that serve green terrain.

Mind you, we made this reservation in Aug or Sept, so we were going snow or no snow. I had read everything I could on this board and their website. I checked the web site the day before we left and a Rail Jam was scheduled for Saturday. Well if there's a Rail Jam, then there's a rail. But that was canceled last minute. As far as knowing that night skiing was not T-line's strong point, this was our first visit and didn't know the trails. Yes there's a list, but without knowing the trails, the list doesn't help that much.

The rates and open trails were posted on 8 1/2 X 11 paper taped in the windows. They can work on their signs a little.

We just kept saying to each other "What would Liberty or Whitetail do with all this snow?" I had never heard that snow had to cure and I don't want to beat them up over the weather. Its just that we'll try several other resorts before we would consider coming back.

Steve
wvrocks
January 25, 2007
Member since 11/9/2004 🔗
262 posts
Fair enough. I guess its one of those live and learn deals. Don't be afraid to give T-line another try though. Don't come for the night skiing. Wait till the trail counts are up and the snow is better and you will probably be pleased with the experience. Yeah the lifts will move along at a glacial pace, the terrain park (much to Tucker's frustration) won't be compeletly up and running but when most of the terrain is open and the snow is good its worth the hassle.

For some unknown reason, T'line management can't completely wrap their heads around the importance of terrain parks. The bunch that works with the park are top notch but they don't get much support. They had a few boxes up earlier this season but the warm weather took them out. Every other mountain in our area makes the park a priority. Must be a fad or something.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 25, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,100 posts
Since I can not find a way to change the name of this thread (I made the first post) and since WISP has now opened more terrain and a new ski weekend is approaching, I sugges we post to some other thread or make a new one so that this thread, originally about last weekend, and real negative sounding toward WISP, will just fade away. No point in continuing to beat the drum.
The Colonel
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
January 25, 2007
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
Quote:

No, nobody was rude, and I thought some of the lift operators very courteous. I looked for clocks and didn't see any in the two lifts middle and right that serve green terrain.

Mind you, we made this reservation in Aug or Sept, so we were going snow or no snow. I had read everything I could on this board and their website. I checked the web site the day before we left and a Rail Jam was scheduled for Saturday. Well if there's a Rail Jam, then there's a rail. But that was canceled last minute. As far as knowing that night skiing was not T-line's strong point, this was our first visit and didn't know the trails. Yes there's a list, but without knowing the trails, the list doesn't help that much.

The rates and open trails were posted on 8 1/2 X 11 paper taped in the windows. They can work on their signs a little.

We just kept saying to each other "What would Liberty or Whitetail do with all this snow?" I had never heard that snow had to cure and I don't want to beat them up over the weather. Its just that we'll try several other resorts before we would consider coming back.

Steve




Chuck is the new lift manager this year and Chuck rocks! But with that being said, I have to agree with Steve that T-line could stand some improvement in the customer service area. Enough said....
fishnski
January 25, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Ok..With the lift chairs on the thunderdraft allready so low to the ground,..will they be scraping the bottom with all this new Dumpage?...& will the landing of all our Rumps be even more jarring?...If we cannot speed the sucker up,..can we PAD it???
Clay
January 25, 2007
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Good point, I hadn't thought of that - but what a nice problem to have! FWIW I always let the metal chairs smack me in the boots before I sit down. My boots will probably need replaced because of the lift before I out-ski them.

Clay
bawalker
January 25, 2007
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Just look at it this way, if snow is deep enough and high enough, jump off the chair at your favorite spot and ride back down. Solves the problem of less time on the lifts.

Or better yet... huck the pumphouse and grab onto a chair!
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