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First mid-Atlantic Weekend - Whitetail and Massanutten

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well it's an awfully late start to the season, but this past week was finally cold and some of the mid-Atlantic places were able to at least partially open. After watching intently all week to make sure the rain was going to hold off, I decided to do Whitetail on Friday, and Massanutten on Saturday.

 

Day 1 - Whitetail (Friday)

 

I headed up to Whitetail early, and walked up to this view of no one there yet :

 

 

They start the lifts at 8 for season pass holders, and 8:30 for everyone else... I think I was 2nd chair of the non-pass holders. As you can probably tell in the pic, it was foggy... and would get foggier a bit later in the day. I've never skied in fog, and it wasn't too bad. But I did stop a couple of times to kind of get my bearing and make sure I was heading the right way. 

 

Whitetail had 3 runs open, 1 long green (Sidewinder), and 2 of the blues off the HSQ (Angel Drop and Fanciful). Once up top on any of the runs it was a bit soupy. Here's the top of Sidewinder (and the blues were a bit worse).

 

 

The pic makes it look worse than it was, though it was pretty foggy and froze to my goggles. Eventually I ditched them and skied without them, as it wasn't too cold.

 

Whitetail was also having a demo day, which was a pretty big event. There were about 15 tents including some brand specific ones, and $30 lift tickets. (There seemed to be a lot of big boards out there, on a typical man-made icy, slushy day. Don't tell anyone in the "Tyranny of Fat" or "Overselling Wide Skis" threads, or I think some heads may explode. ;))

 

I didn't participate in the demo day, as this was only my third time on my current skis that I bought last year, so I figured I'd get used to them first.

 

 

I also met up with @marznc for a lot of the day, and she was there for the demo too. Here she is on some Dynastars :

 

 

We also met up with @Jamesj, and @Laurel Hill Crazie for a couple of runs after lunch. Great to meet some more bears... but by that time I was toast, and as I was skiing the next day, I didn't want to push it. I'm sure I'll be skiing with them again, probably at either the Aspen Gathering or the mid-Atlantic Gathering.

 

Overall, Whitetail never got too busy... no real liftlines to speak of by 2:30 when I left. This was the bottom of Angel Drop at the HSQ (Whitetail Express) lift mid-morning :

 

 

And the bottom of the other two open runs where they merge :

 

 

 

Day 2 - Massanutten (today, Saturday)

 

Today I drove down to Massanutten, on another foggy day. Not quite as much fog at Massanutten as at Whitetail, but in spots at the top. It was also a demo day at M'nut, though a much smaller one. And they had their main blue (Showtime) and one of the black (Diamond Jim) runs open.

 

I again met up with @marznc at her home hill, and today I did a little demo'ing for the first time ever. Per this beginner demo'ing thread - http://www.epicski.com/t/142999/what-is-a-demo-day-for-skis-a-beginner-zone-thread - I got to answer a few of my own questions, and it was fun to try several different skis.

 

The demo tent was from Freestyle Ski and Board shop, out of Charlottesville, VA :

 

 

I wound up trying four different pair - Rossi E80's in two different lengths, K2 Ikonics, and Rossi Heros. It was interesting to feel the difference - the K2's I actually liked especially (I'm an intermediate) and the Hero's were harder to hook-up/get the edge to engage, I thought. The E80's were pretty similar to my Atomic Nomads.

 

Here are a couple of pics from while we were demo'ing. This is riding lift 4 up to the bottom of lift 6 (serving the black run - Diamond Jim) where the demo tent was. The bottom of the slope on the right is Diamond Jim. The slope on the left is the blue Showtime.

 

 

 And here's a view of lift 6 and the bottom of Diamond Jim around 11 AM, with fog in evidence and the lights on. 

 

 

 

After demo'ing, and after lunch, I joined an advanced beginner/intermediate clinic that marznc was able to hook me up with (thanks a bunch!!!) and I was the only person who showed up. So I got a 1.5 hour private lesson instead!!! That was fun, and hopefully helpful, and afterward it was time to head home.

 

All in all... a great start to the season. Now we need more cold weather!

post #2 of 14
Quote: = dbostedo
After demo'ing, and after lunch, I joined an advanced beginner/intermediate clinic that marznc was able to hook me up with (thanks a bunch!!!) and I was the only person who showed up. So I got a 1.5 hour private lesson instead!!! That was fun, and hopefully helpful, and afterward it was time to head home.

Glad you made it out to Mnut today!  The snow stayed quite nice since the temps stayed in the mid-40s and there wasn't any sun.  I stayed on Lift 5 for the rest of the afternoon since the clouds were pushing down Diamond Jim.

 

The intermediate clinic is one of the best deals around.  The Level 2 instructor you had is new to Mnut.  He seems like a very good addition to the ski school.  Heard that the new instructor building has enough lockers for every instructor to have their own.  That's a big change from before.

post #3 of 14

There were so many tents at the Whitetail demo day, it was hard to choose.  The surprise was seeing Stockli and there was a 156cm so I gave them a try thinking they would be a little on the long side.  Was surprised to find that the Laser SC is really fun for me at 5'0", 120 lbs.  Now I understand why my Massanutten coach likes his so much.  Also enjoyed the Nordica Wild Belle, but I expected they would be a good fit.  The other winners were the Dynastar Glory 84 and Elite 11.

 

Not too many skis shorter than 154 to be found.  A petite intermediate would've been pretty limited.  But I suspect the dense fog was probably the bigger issue for any intermediates who thought about demo'ing.  It got even thicker later in the afternoon.  By then there were few people on the slopes so could go a bit faster without worrying about dodging others.  The snow conditions were pretty nice if you didn't mind the low visibility.

 

 

post #4 of 14

The Massanutten demo weekend is one tent by Freestyle, a shop in Charlottesville.  Also has a shop at Wintergreen.  They brought a few models in 2-3 sizes by Blizzard, Volkl, Nordica, and Rossignol.  I gave the Volkl Kenja 156 and Volkl Yumi 154 a try.  As expected, they are too much work for me.  Hold great but I have more fun on something softer like the K2 BeLUVed or a Rossi Temptation.  Sat is was cloudy at the top of DJ but not the top of Upper Showtime.  Sun was blue sky by mid-morning, but a little soft when temps made it to 50.

 

Demo tent at the base of Lift 6, near the Mid-Mountain Grill run by ski/board team parents on weekends

 

New umbrella bar and smoker/grill near the main lodge

post #5 of 14

@marznc I believe your skills are solid enough to ski on just about everything, longer skis shouldn't be too much of a handicap for you assuming your knee is sound.  I could understand wanting to keep less torsion if your knee bothers you to ski longer.  But, from what I've seen skiing with you, you CAN rock longer boards if you want to.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

@marznc I believe your skills are solid enough to ski on just about everything, longer skis shouldn't be too much of a handicap for you assuming your knee is sound.  I could understand wanting to keep less torsion if your knee bothers you to ski longer.  But, from what I've seen skiing with you, you CAN rock longer boards if you want to.


Yes, I can ski on just about anything between 145 and 165cm in length for skis 65-95mm underfoot at this point.   At the same time, I know enough now to be very aware when it's taking more work to bend a ski to achieve the same carve compared to a softer ski that is more appropriate to my height/weight and strength.  The difference between this year and a few years ago is that I can bend any Volkl.  But I would never consider buying or renting a Volkl.  Same for the Blizzard Viva X7ti, which I tried at 146 and 153.  I know plenty of women who like both.  Most are taller, but also a few petite women.  That's why demo'ing can be worth the time.

 

My ACL-less knee (popped off June 2012, not skiing) is a non-issue and has been starting with the 2013-14 season. I started doing off-season fitness training on a pretty consistent basis after the 2012-13 season was over.  I'm much stronger in general and a better skier compared to a few seasons ago.  Last season I skied 70 days and the season before got in 50 days, with 25+ days out west.  Plus quite a few lessons with Level 3 instructors at Mnut and out west.  It all adds up after a while.

 

When I make it to a free demo day, I tend to take out skis that I expect to not like more than the ones that I'm sure will be fun.  I learn a lot about my skiing that way, as well as the differences between skis.

 

When I rent out west, Rossi, Dynastar, or Nordica are brands that I look for when the powder is a bit deep for my Blizzard Black Pearls, 159cm.  Unless I can find the DPS Nina 99, 158cm.  The Head Joy line work well too.  I bought the Head Absolut Joy last summer based on the demo runs at Mnut last year.  Demo'd the 153 and bought the 148cm since I'll mostly ski those in the mid-Atlantic.  That much lighter to carry from the parking lot. ;)

post #7 of 14

Thanks for the post and pics. 

 

I plan on getting to Whitetail during presidents weekend.  Hopefully the weather will be good then like in 2014. 2015 was not too bad, just very cold.

post #8 of 14

70 days last season?  I think I had 70 days over the last 7 years! LOL

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyPilgrim View Post
 

Thanks for the post and pics. 

 

I plan on getting to Whitetail during presidents weekend.  Hopefully the weather will be good then like in 2014. 2015 was not too bad, just very cold.

 

Get up early - it will be PACKED.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJskier164 View Post
 

70 days last season?  I think I had 70 days over the last 7 years! LOL

 

Hmm... I now wondering if I've got 70 days yet for my life.... 

 

Let's see... 13 last season, 1 or 2 most years before that, though there was a 5 in there one year....

 

I probably have a little under 60 days in my life, and I started skiing in 1990 I think.

post #11 of 14

I think the most I had in one season was probably in the 20s.   Hmmm... i just realized this is my 40th year.  :rolleyes  

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJskier164 View Post
 

70 days last season?  I think I had 70 days over the last 7 years! LOL

 

Hmm... I now wondering if I've got 70 days yet for my life.... 

 

Let's see... 13 last season, 1 or 2 most years before that, though there was a 5 in there one year....

 

I probably have a little under 60 days in my life, and I started skiing in 1990 I think.


First season over 15 days after I got my daughter on skis in 2004 was 2009-10.  That was the winter that Mnut had powder days twice.  Also the first time I took ski trip out west that included meeting up with folks from an online ski forum.  When I was working, the total was probably about 40 days over 25 years.

 

I'm taking full advantage of having an enabling non-skiing spouse.  Was supposed to be home until Fri when my friends will start the holiday weekend with their kids, but I'm back at Mnut already so I can ski Paradice tomorrow and do another Silver Clinic.

 

The flip side of messing up a knee is that I started taking high level lessons in addition to doing ski conditioning year round.  Was always a ski nut, but never expected to ever ski some of the off-piste terrain that I've explored in recent years.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

Get up early - it will be PACKED.

 

Good advice.  Picked up my ticket and gear by 8:30am

 

The crowds were not too bad, IMO.  The worst lines were between 12-5 PM.  The staff kept the lines moving well.  I think the brutal cold kept the crowds away on Sunday 2015FEB15.

post #14 of 14

Nice write-up y'all.

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