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Any thoughts on Wisp (Maryland)?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

It turns out that my kids have the week before Christmas off, so I'd like to do some skiing then. Must be driving distance from DC and have on-site lodging. I have been to Snowshoe WV and Seven Springs PA, but never to Wisp MD. Does anybody have recent info about Wisp?

 

What I've learned so far:

  • There is a hotel and restaurant on site.
  • Hotel has indoor pool + hot tub (important for wife & kids).
  • Mid-week lodging and ticket rates are about half of what they will be during Christmas week.
  • Their webmaster doesn't know that a large, static image or PDF is better than a small "interactive" trail map.
  • Mostly green and blue runs, which is good for a couple of my kids.
  • Almost no black runs, and even those are probably laughable compared to where I want to ski.
  • Smallish area that could be fully explored in a day or two (but any skiing at all is better than sitting in an office).

 

What I don't know:

  • Is there likely to be snow before Christmas? Is the entire hill likely to be open?
  • Are there any VERY easy greens for a child who is still very tentative?
  • Are there any mogul runs so I can at least work on those skills?
  • Are the hotel and restaurant acceptable for a few days?
  • Is there a ski check or locker in the hotel, or do you have to bring skis to the room?
  • Is it true that too-frequent ticket-checking causes long lines even if few people? (read that somewhere)
  • Are the lifts horribly slow?

 

Thanks for any info!

 

P.S. Am willing to consider alternative suggestions.

 

post #2 of 4

Wisp is a good ski area for our region.  Currently having real estate woes, but ski ops have been top notch.  Never stayed in the slopeside hotel.  It's been there a long time, not sure when latest update of interior.  If it's been refreshed the location is hard to beat at Wisp for convenience to slopes.  Although don't rule out the glut of condos within about one mile of the slopes.  You might find something nicer with kitchen, etc. in comparable price range.  One thing very important for your plans, Wisp has a great snowmaking system and with a modicum of help from mother nature in cold temps it will likely have decent skiing before Christmas and would rate as good as anywhere in the mid-Atlantic on this count.  Plenty of long easy runs for newbies.  A few single blacks for advanced skiers, perhaps some moguls on Mainstreet, but not likely that early in season.  Not much vertical, but a lot of horizontal. Crowds should be very light in Dec 19-24, 2011 timeframe.

Here's a few relevant old trip reports:

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=953&mode=headlines

 

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=128&mode=headlines

 

 epicski resort guide:  http://www.epicski.com/products/wisp-resort

 

Other candidate for your plans:  Seven Springs

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input, James.

post #4 of 4

 

  • Is there likely to be snow before Christmas? Is the entire hill likely to be open?

 

Wisp has really good snow making, so there is a good chance that 90% of the hill will be open.  Wisp is in an area that does get a lot of snow, so if you keep your fingers crossed it could be 100%.  They get enough snow that they have a couple of runs that rely entirely on natural snow.

 

  • Are there any VERY easy greens for a child who is still very tentative?

 

They have one small green run called belly flop that is very easy that uses a magic carpet as a lift.

 

  • Are there any mogul runs so I can at least work on those skills?

 

The run the face or main street my be bumped up to one side, but I wouldn't count on it.  

 

  • Are the hotel and restaurant acceptable for a few days?

 

I haven't stayed at their hotel or used their restaurant so I can't comment on those.  Wisp is in a semi resort area so there are several restaurants near the resort.

 

  • Is there a ski check or locker in the hotel, or do you have to bring skis to the room?

 

Don't know.  I've only gone up to Wisp for day trips.

 

  • Is it true that too-frequent ticket-checking causes long lines even if few people? (read that somewhere)

 

I've never experienced this.  Wisp is divided up into three separate areas, so if one area is really crowded, there is a good chance that one of the other areas is less congested.  Since the Main street lift only accesses advanced terrain, I find the lines at that lift tend to be less than the base lifts or the north camp area lift.

 

  • Are the lifts horribly slow?

 

They are not fast, but then Wisp only has 700ft of vertical as well and I don't think any one lift accesses all 700ft of vertical.  If you are use to high speed quads, then these will feel really slow.  Otherwise they aren't the slowest in the region.  One thing that can be annoying is that there are a couple of runs that you need to ride two lifts to access.

 

 

Other places to consider are 7 springs, which I believe has a much nicer hotel and facilities and Snowshoe in West Virginia.  Both of these will likely cost a bit more than Wisp, especially Snowshoe.

 

Wisp is one of the best bets for snow in this area during early ski season.  Last year  they had all their trails open when I went up for a day trip the second week of December.  But then 7 Springs and Snowshoe are suppose to be good with snow as well.

 

Good luck with the family trip.

 

 

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