Whitetail tips sought from frequent visitors
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Scott - DCSki Editor
August 2, 2003
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,249 posts
Hi folks!

In support of an article I'm writing on Whitetail, I'm looking for seasoned Whitetail visitors that are willing to provide some insight and tips on how to get the best out of Whitetail. (The article is for a ski magazine, not DCSki.)

If you visit Whitetail frequently and would be willing to field some questions via e-mail (and possibly be quoted in the article), please send me an e-mail at scott@dcski.com.


- Scott

August 11, 2003
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
My comments for Whitetail are:
a. Check the webcams in advance not the snow report. If there's brown on the webcam or it looks nasty don't go.

b. Get there early. I did it all last season. Get in the parking lot before they open, put all your gear on go buy your lift ticket and roll up on the first lift. I caught first tracks on the balck diamonds last season after they had blown hard on it the night before. Awesome.

c. Leave early. Get 4 solid good hours before the midday crowds and call it a day.

I get there early. I ride hard and solid for 4 hour hours then I get the hell out. By the time every other skier and rider in the midatlantic shows up I'm already done. I had the best snow the smallest lines and the most fun and I'm back home early enough to still enjoy doing other stuff for the rest of the day.

This is solid stuff I apply whenever I ride and especially if I'm riding solo because I don't have to wait on anyone.

August 11, 2003
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
We use the same technique at Liberty ... be geared up and in the ticket line when they open then head for the lifts. Just about the time (11:30) the runs turn really sloppy and the lift lines become a serious pain, its time to go home.

Best day we had was one Sunday last season. We followed procedure above. About 9:00 am a heavy snow set in, effectively keeping most of the DC skiers tied up in nasty slow traffic on 270. We had the place to ourselves with perhaps another 50 or so skiers. By the time we left (noonish) the plows had been thru and roads were sorta clear to go home. Empty runs, empty lift lines and freshies! What's not to like!!!

JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 15, 2003
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,976 posts
Feel free to use anything helpful from: http://www.dcski.com/news/2003/01_24_2003/whitetail.php3
I'm not a frequent visitor, but I sure enjoyed the place on a sunny weekday in Jan 2003 during a long stretch of good snowmaking weather.
August 22, 2003
Member since 12/12/2000 🔗
274 posts
not sure if its what you had in mind for the article...but i was at whitetail this past presidents day. the day after the mega snow-dump. two feet of powder on every run! we had freshies all day. then they opened the backside runs, and we had freshies all night. anyway i could come up with some superlative quotes regarding that day...
August 22, 2003
Member since 11/20/2001 🔗
218 posts
I was there from the day b4 the storm, through both days of it, and left about 3 PM of the day after when the hoards from the cities finally started arriving. It was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience for mid-Atlantic skiing.

> ...then they opened the backside runs ...

What backside? Do you mean the expert pod?

Look at the picture at the top of www.skiwhitetail.com . All intermediate and expert runs are essentially parallel to each other. In addition, the intermediate, never-ever and novice runs all dump into the same place (ie, the base lodge). To the best of my knowledge, there is no "backside" (although I wish there was ).

Tom / PM

September 3, 2003
Member since 12/12/2000 🔗
274 posts
yeah, by "backside" i meant the runs over on the "expert" part of the "mountain".
October 3, 2003
Member since 06/23/2000 🔗
61 posts
My best piece of advice is to go on a weekday. You virtually have the place to yourself. I managed a couple days of 30+k vert per day last season.
October 3, 2003
Member since 03/30/2004 🔗
16 posts
the presidents day storm was a waste of my time - the morning that the storm was at its peak....whitetail did not even open....get this, they said they had to delay the opening because of too much snow...you gotta be kidding me - your a ski area!! - at that point it was only about 10 inches or so but snowing hard.....they couldnt tell me a time that they would open - just that it would be a long while - i turned around and went home - next day hit west va.....
October 7, 2003
Member since 11/20/2001 🔗
218 posts
> ...the morning that the storm was at its peak, whitetail did not even open.
> Get this, they said they had to delay the opening because of too much snow...

Precisely which day are you taking about? We were there from 11 AM to closing each day, from the day before the storm hit, through the storm, to the day after the storm. The only day on which they delayed things was AFTER the storm. I guess that a delay could have happened before we arrived in the morning, but this is the first I heard anything of this.

Tom / PM

October 7, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,551 posts
As memory serves correct, Whitetail opened late on blizzard Monday (President's Day). Noon maybe. The high-speed quad *may* not have been open right away. The Expert's Choice chair was closed until the evening. I remember this because I was mad I couldn't get dug out in time, but by checking their website I realized I wasn't missing as much as I thought I was...

I made it to Whitetail the next day - the Tuesday when the Fed Government was closed. I think they opened at the normal time. There were first tracks on Far Side and lot's of chopped up (and windblown) snow on Bold Decision and Exhibition. Moisture content of the snow was surprisingly high. The rest of the mountain may have been groomed by that point?

I thought they were closed the Sunday of the storm. Or at least they had drastically reduced hours.

jimc brings up a good point - during/right after the once every 4-5 year mega dumps that we get around here, expect Whitetail to have delayed openings and early closings. From their website, I recall that their reasoning is concern about driving conditions, inability of their workers to get to Whitetail and the need to shovel out and groom some of the trails. The average Whitetail skier can't handle a foot of new snow and Whitetail isn't as organized as they should be. This ain't Alta where these dumps are common.

October 8, 2003
Member since 11/20/2001 🔗
218 posts
> ...The rest of the mountain may have been groomed by that point?..
> ...I thought they were closed the Sunday of the storm. Or at least they
> had drastically reduced hours...

On Sunday, they opened well before we arrived (around 10:30, started to ski around 11), and they kept all the lifts going to 6 PM, when they shut down for the night. There was almost no one on the mountain, and the snow was of unbelievable hero quality. IMHO, this was the ski day of the decade for WT. By 6 PM Sunday, there was probably 14" of new snow on the ground.

However, by mid-afternoon on Sun, rumors were flying about I-70 being periodically closed and then re-opened, the exit to the parking lot was periodically blocked by people getting stuck, and the access road also being periodically blocked for the same reason. We skied to the bitter end, and then hung around after closing to let traffic clear b4 we drove back to our hotel in Hagerstown. By the time we drove down the access road at around 7 PM, I counted 10 SUV's that had gone off the road. I have 4wd and 4 snows on my SUV, so we had no problem, but I think they did the right thing by not having a night skiing session that day.

By Monday AM, there was around 24 to 28" on the ground, and the snow had stopped. We got there with no problem, but many of the workers couldn't get through, so there was a delayed opening. You are correct about the opening hours and lift operation.

The snow was *much* heavier than on Sunday and got rapidly cut-up by the few hundred people that were skiing at that point. If we hadn't had our fat crud skis along, the resulting heavy and deeply tracked up mush wouldn't have been much fun. By 4 PM, the hoards from the city were starting to arrive en masse, so we bailed out and drove back to DC. They hadn't groomed anything by the time we left.

Tom / PM

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