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Whitetail 2014 improvements

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Boring yes - but I needed a place to upload the pics

Paved parking lot at a ski resort??????

 

New Techno Alpine fan guns on Angel Drop = More snow for the terrain park and a quicker early season opening.

 

All new furniture in Marketplace. Seating capacity increased!

 

The private lesson desk has been moved out of the rental building into the children's center building. 

A wider view of the private lesson desk entrance.

You can also get to the private lesson desk through the green door you see here. Rental building is on the left. View is from the slopes.

 

The children's center building has been expanded. The old building ended at where the door from the right side of the building now is. The max # reservations accepted for our children's camp products will be bumped up a bit. Hopefully, we'll sell out slightly less often,

 

 

Fall colors at Whitetail.

post #2 of 10

I like the fact that all the parking lots at Massanutten are paved. :)

 

Some pics from early Jan 2014.  I was impressed that on a Monday when the temps were below 10 degrees all day, there was a host near the top of the steps from the parking lot available to answer questions.  Also nice that the walk is more or less flat, not uphill.  Probably only had 20 cars in the lot when I left soon after lunch.

 

 

 

post #3 of 10

I used to ski at Whitetail, back in the 90s, and remember when it opened.  I recall that the original owner (who may own it still) had a choice of developing a resort with either south-facing or north-facing slopes, and chose the former (actually SE for Whitetail), since he wanted DC-area skiers to be able to come up and "ski in the sun."  Not a smart choice for a mid-Atlantic resort, as became clear during the subsequent winters.  This led to talk of doing a north-facing expansion -- but nearly two decades later I can see from the current trail map that this still hasn't happened.


Edited by chemist - 11/9/14 at 4:21pm
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Not sure where you got your info from Chemist. There were 14 people in the original ownership group with the principle owner being of Japanese origin. The group went bankrupt after about 10 years. The resort is currently owned by Snow Time (which also owns Liberty, Round Top and some golf courses). I've seen the original master plan map showing all of the planned trails and lifts at full build out. Most of the expansion was to occur in the bowl between Snow Park and Fanciful (where the Sidewinder trail was put). There were no plans for a north facing expansion. There is northwest facing terrain off the top, but there is a nasty cliff band and a flat run out making it not very good for Mid Atlantic ski trails. There is also nearby North facing terrain with a slightly higher summit elevation, but it was not available to be developed and did not have the consistently steep pitches that Whitetail has. The story I heard was that when you looked at the topographic maps, there was no better place to put a ski resort that close to DC. Other than the SE facing slopes, it was ideal. Considering the grooming and snowmaking we have, that's not a big deal. Compared to Liberty, which is 30 minutes away and North Facing, Whitetail consistently reports similar snow base depths and generally opens and closes either at the same time or within one week. While we may get more spring slush than Liberty, we also get better corn snow conditions in the spring time.

post #5 of 10
Thanks for the detailed info. Rusty.   Sounds like your information is better than what I heard being discussed among the locals (people who were in the ski industry, but not part of Whitetail).  
 
The only thing on which I'd disagree is an academic point, namely your statement that "Considering the grooming and snowmaking we have, that's [the SE exposure] not a big deal."  The practicalities of being north-facing aside, I think being SE-facing is a big deal for Whitetail. I remember skiing there when their expert terrain (under the Expert's Choice Quad) had much better snow cover than the intermediate terrain, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this was because the former has less southern exposure.  More broadly, I recall Whitetail struggling during some winters in the 90s because they didn't have the snow cover, a problem that surely would have been far less if they faced north.   As to the comparison with Liberty, doesn't there have to be some other explanation for Whitetail maintaining comparable conditions?

Edited by chemist - 11/9/14 at 6:16pm
post #6 of 10

I should add I'd heard the very best terrain for an area near DC is actually near to Ski Liberty, but that it's owned by Mt. St. Mary's, and they're not willing to sell.  From the topo maps, I think it's the  north-facing terrain that drops off of either Carrick Knob down to the Emmitsburg Reservoir, or the terrain that drops from College Mountain Round Top to Rainbow Lake (both pictured on left, below). Or both together, which would yield a substantial amount of terrain! You can see that Carrick, in particular, has a consistent pitch that is similar in angle, vertical, and elevation to Whitetail's (Whitetail base area indicated with green balloon on right), but offers the advantages of being directly north-facing, closer to DC (enough to matter, at least for me), and potentially larger.  It's the unfulfilled fantasy of DC-area skiers :).   Since you're familiar with the topo studies of the area, as well as Liberty management, I'd be interested to hear your comments (including whether either of these, or both together, are in fact the terrain Liberty was trying to buy).   [Just to avoid confusion: the peak labeled "College Mountain Round Top" is not Roundtop ski area, which is in an entirely different location.]

 


Edited by chemist - 11/9/14 at 6:15pm
post #7 of 10

What happened to College Mountain? A guy was going to open a ski area there about 10 years ago. Liberty (Snowtime) bought him out.

 

I guess they then pulled the plug deciding it was to close to Ski Liberty !

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdskier View Post
 

What happened to College Mountain? A guy was going to open a ski area there about 10 years ago. Liberty (Snowtime) bought him out.

 

I guess they then pulled the plug deciding it was to close to Ski Liberty !

That's interesting!  The last I'd heard, from about 15 years ago, was that they weren't able to buy that property.  And what about Carrick Knob?  Is it as promising at it looks from the topo map, or are there issues that preclude its development for skiing?.  Maybe @TheRusty can give us the current scoop. 

post #9 of 10

The problem with College Mountain was that the town of Emmitsburg voted down the construction of base facilities and other necessary infrastructure. Trails had already been cut on Carrick Knob (DCSki has an older USGS satellite image that shows the trail cuts: http://www.dcski.com/lostareas/viewlostprofile.php?id=13), but the townspeople balked at the idea of the traffic and resources necessary to operate (like any of these areas, it would be fully dependent on snowmaking), so permitting for the next phase was denied and development went nowhere. Here's my craptacular rendering of the hill with trails, per both the DCSki account and a blog post about hiking and skiing the area in the 90s (http://gorillasadventures.blogspot.com/2005/12/ski-college-mountain-bushwack.html):

 

 

 

Being able to see this terrain from the slopes at Liberty Mountain, as well as seeing them during summer bike rides in Frederick County, MD, it's a shame that this resort never came to fruition. It would be great to have another area with steeper slopes and more vertical. That said, given climate change and the overall skiing financial scene in the greater DC-MD-VA area, it's very much a dead idea. 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post
 

The problem with College Mountain was that the town of Emmitsburg voted down the construction of base facilities and other necessary infrastructure. Trails had already been cut on Carrick Knob (DCSki has an older USGS satellite image that shows the trail cuts: http://www.dcski.com/lostareas/viewlostprofile.php?id=13), but the townspeople balked at the idea of the traffic and resources necessary to operate (like any of these areas, it would be fully dependent on snowmaking), so permitting for the next phase was denied and development went nowhere. Here's my craptacular rendering of the hill with trails, per both the DCSki account and a blog post about hiking and skiing the area in the 90s (http://gorillasadventures.blogspot.com/2005/12/ski-college-mountain-bushwack.html):

 

 

 

Being able to see this terrain from the slopes at Liberty Mountain, as well as seeing them during summer bike rides in Frederick County, MD, it's a shame that this resort never came to fruition. It would be great to have another area with steeper slopes and more vertical. That said, given climate change and the overall skiing financial scene in the greater DC-MD-VA area, it's very much a dead idea. 

Thanks for that info.--it's nice to know what actually happened!  So I can see the trails they cut didn't drop off of Carrick Knob, but are rather just east of that, dropping north off Indian Lookout. 

 

It would be interesting to see a pic looking up at the whole place when the trails were freshly cut.

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