Weather: Sunny (to cloudy) and cold for the Mid-Atlantic. My car temp sensor said 26 degrees when I pulled into the parking lot and about the same when I left. The sun warmed things up a lot when it was out early in the afternoon.
Conditions: Great job by Whitetail with it's extensive snow making this past week. It's hard to believe that Whitetail was closed this past Sunday/Monday. The only trails not open today were Farside (black), Fanciful & Snow Dancer (blues) and the half-pipe. I didn't see the half-pipe, but they were blowing snow all day on the other three trails. Look for them to be open real soon; with another cold week ahead, they'll certainly be open for MLK weekend.
Coverage was great on just about all trails I skied (blues and blacks). Limelight's coverage at the very top was getting a bit thin and there was a very bare spot at the bottom. Very typical for Limelight. The coverage was sparse under the high-speed and Expert's Choice chairs, as is normally the case. Ski patrol marked off a line down the trails; if you skied on the wrong side of the poles, you took your chances.
Since it was cold and we were skiing solely man-made, the base was definitely firm. I was skiing on a new pair of Atomics, so I had no problem with the firmness. There was some very good packed powder at the sides of most trails. Exhibition was groomed, so it skied like a blue. Whitetails web site advertised bumps on Bold Decision; if they call those bumps I'd hate to think what they call conditions of the trails at Mary Jane in Winter Park. There was a roll or two on Bold Decision with the isolated dimple. Bumps don't form in the Mid-Atlantic unless you have lot's of natural snow or warm weather or an incredible horde of skiers/boarders.
Speaking of incredible hordes, Upper Angel Drop still remains the most popular trail, and as a result, it was over-skied (icy spots with piles of snow interspersed). However, I've seen it much, much worse.
Terrain Park: I'm a skier with brand-new skis, so I avoid rails, boxes and non-snow features like the plague. The park had no jumps for skiers or snowboarders - website did say one jump. Prolly written by the mogul reviewer. Friends of mine said that the Tail had some nice jumps in December. Wouldn't be surprised if some surfaced for MLK weekend.
Crowds: As expected, the high-speed quad had a nice line when I started at 1 PM. Took about 10 minutes to get on a chair, so the line moved pretty well. Headed straight for the Expert's Choice (EC) quad to avoid the crowd. The EC quad had a bit of a line at first, but after that, pretty much only 5-7 groups ahead of me after that. Can't complain about that. I could complain that the lift stopped at least three times for each of my first few runs. It was probably caused by relatively inexperienced sliders having probs getting on/exiting the lift. When I was waiting for some friends at the top of the lift, the lift exit looked like it belonged on a Warren Miller flick. (I did drop my ski pole right before getting on one chair, it was retrieved by a boarder with a nice shoe-string grab, so I won't rag on the newbies too much. Happens to the best of us.)
When we made it back to the High-Speed Quad about 3:15, the front-side crowds had vanished. Pretty much only a group or two ahead of us. About as good as it get's on a weekend at the Tail.
Angel Drop was the only trail that was crowded. For most of the day, it was the typical human rodeo show.
Normally I don't take the bus from the parking lot to the lodge since I can hoof it faster, but a bus was waiting right at the edge of the car line. I was on the bus in less than five minutes and got a solo ride to the lodge. Talking to the driver, he said the bus runs most weekends, holidays and during Xmas week.
Since I only was skiing a four-hour flex, I didn't sample the fine cuisine at Whitetail. Plus, I only had 89 cents in loose change on me and couldn't afford the $2.11 for a cup of Joe.
Pretty much typing this without any review, so excuse any typoes, grammmer and other miscues.
The only thing I question is the Whitetail ski instructor bringing 15 kids, and I mean knee high kids, throught the terrain park. They a lot of them were not exactly in control and I think they were a danger to themselves and others. I really question the wisdom of that.
Probably going to skip skiing this weekend as the crowds will be out of control (I think), particularly if we get a few inches of snow on Wed/Thurs as forecast. The four hour flex pass from 8:00 to 12:00 at RT or WT sounds like a great idea; might try that the following weekend and avoid the afternoon mayhem.
That said, it's always a bad idea to avoid a good weather weekend around here as we never know what the next weekend will bring, but I'll take my chances. If only we had a place like Solitude or Snowbird 20 minutes from the Beltway...
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