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Holiday crowds at Deep Creek?
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Updated 2 months ago
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2 months ago

This coming New Year’s holiday will be my first time skiing at Deep Creek. I fully anticipate crowds and rip-off prices, but a couple Qs for those familiar:

1. What times would be best for me to ski to avoid peak crowds? I’ll be there from Dec. 29 through Jan. 2, and I’m willing to wake up early.

2. Or … would the crowds even be bearable? (I consider “unbearable” to be chairlift lines for more than 10-15 minutes and no personal space on the slopes… to me, that’s not worth the high ticket prices).

 

 

 

 

2 months ago

The best time to go out would probably be Sunday or Monday morning. Get out as soon as they open at 9:00 AM for any day though. You should be able to enjoy at least a few uncrowded runs at that time of day. It will really start to pick up around 10:00-10:30. Every once in a while it isn’t a bad idea to ski right around noon-1:00 PM because everyone goes in for lunch during those times. The slopes will then stay pretty crowded all afternoon until the sunset then it will begin to lighten up a little bit. Night skiing until 9 usually isn’t too crowded.

If you are skiing during those busy hours I would recommend avoiding the front side of the mountain. All areas of the mountain will be crowded but the front side (chairs 2 & 3) will be the worst. Usually, chair 1 has the shortest line of any lifts on the front side. Then, if you are able (and if it is open), just hang out over in the East Ridge area of the mountain for a while. You will probably wait 5-10 minutes to get on the lift but it is usually the least crowded section of the mountain. Both runs off of this lift are black diamonds so you have to be at least an intermediate skier to be able to stay over on this side of the mountain (which is nice because there isn’t a ton of people out of control on the slopes).

Hope this helped! Let me know if you have any more questions. Wisp is my home mountain! :)

2 months ago

skithealleghenies wrote:

The best time to go out would probably be Sunday or Monday morning. Get out as soon as they open at 9:00 AM for any day though. You should be able to enjoy at least a few uncrowded runs at that time of day. It will really start to pick up around 10:00-10:30. Every once in a while it isn’t a bad idea to ski right around noon-1:00 PM because everyone goes in for lunch during those times. The slopes will then stay pretty crowded all afternoon until the sunset then it will begin to lighten up a little bit. Night skiing until 9 usually isn’t too crowded.

If you are skiing during those busy hours I would recommend avoiding the front side of the mountain. All areas of the mountain will be crowded but the front side (chairs 2 & 3) will be the worst. Usually, chair 1 has the shortest line of any lifts on the front side. Then, if you are able (and if it is open), just hang out over in the East Ridge area of the mountain for a while. You will probably wait 5-10 minutes to get on the lift but it is usually the least crowded section of the mountain. Both runs off of this lift are black diamonds so you have to be at least an intermediate skier to be able to stay over on this side of the mountain (which is nice because there isn’t a ton of people out of control on the slopes).

Hope this helped! Let me know if you have any more questions. Wisp is my home mountain! :)

 

Thanks for the helpful reply! I might come back to you closer to the date for some more details. 

Do have one more question already: Are the black diamonds on the East Ridge “genuine” black diamonds or just Mid-Atlantic black diamonds? I can totally handle most Mid-Atlantic blacks I’ve encountered (ie Whitetail, Wintergreen…) but I know the difficulty elsewhere can be vastly different.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
2 months ago

DrSandy420 wrote:

skithealleghenies wrote:

The best time to go out would probably be Sunday or Monday morning. Get out as soon as they open at 9:00 AM for any day though. You should be able to enjoy at least a few uncrowded runs at that time of day. It will really start to pick up around 10:00-10:30. Every once in a while it isn’t a bad idea to ski right around noon-1:00 PM because everyone goes in for lunch during those times. The slopes will then stay pretty crowded all afternoon until the sunset then it will begin to lighten up a little bit. Night skiing until 9 usually isn’t too crowded.

If you are skiing during those busy hours I would recommend avoiding the front side of the mountain. All areas of the mountain will be crowded but the front side (chairs 2 & 3) will be the worst. Usually, chair 1 has the shortest line of any lifts on the front side. Then, if you are able (and if it is open), just hang out over in the East Ridge area of the mountain for a while. You will probably wait 5-10 minutes to get on the lift but it is usually the least crowded section of the mountain. Both runs off of this lift are black diamonds so you have to be at least an intermediate skier to be able to stay over on this side of the mountain (which is nice because there isn’t a ton of people out of control on the slopes).

Hope this helped! Let me know if you have any more questions. Wisp is my home mountain! :)

 

Thanks for the helpful reply! I might come back to you closer to the date for some more details. 

Do have one more question already: Are the black diamonds on the East Ridge “genuine” black diamonds or just Mid-Atlantic black diamonds? I can totally handle most Mid-Atlantic blacks I’ve encountered (ie Whitetail, Wintergreen…) but I know the difficulty elsewhere can be vastly different.

East Ridge I assume is the Mainstreet chairlift going down to the lake.  Very pretty lake views on those trails.  There is nothing at Wisp that is harder than the steepest trails at Whitetail.  In fact, it’s overall an easier mtn, but skis bigger than you might think.

2 months ago

DrSandy420 wrote:

skithealleghenies wrote:

The best time to go out would probably be Sunday or Monday morning. Get out as soon as they open at 9:00 AM for any day though. You should be able to enjoy at least a few uncrowded runs at that time of day. It will really start to pick up around 10:00-10:30. Every once in a while it isn’t a bad idea to ski right around noon-1:00 PM because everyone goes in for lunch during those times. The slopes will then stay pretty crowded all afternoon until the sunset then it will begin to lighten up a little bit. Night skiing until 9 usually isn’t too crowded.

If you are skiing during those busy hours I would recommend avoiding the front side of the mountain. All areas of the mountain will be crowded but the front side (chairs 2 & 3) will be the worst. Usually, chair 1 has the shortest line of any lifts on the front side. Then, if you are able (and if it is open), just hang out over in the East Ridge area of the mountain for a while. You will probably wait 5-10 minutes to get on the lift but it is usually the least crowded section of the mountain. Both runs off of this lift are black diamonds so you have to be at least an intermediate skier to be able to stay over on this side of the mountain (which is nice because there isn’t a ton of people out of control on the slopes).

Hope this helped! Let me know if you have any more questions. Wisp is my home mountain! :)

 

Thanks for the helpful reply! I might come back to you closer to the date for some more details. 

Do have one more question already: Are the black diamonds on the East Ridge “genuine” black diamonds or just Mid-Atlantic black diamonds? I can totally handle most Mid-Atlantic blacks I’ve encountered (ie Whitetail, Wintergreen…) but I know the difficulty elsewhere can be vastly different.

I have never been to Whitetail or Wintergreen, but Mainstreet over on that side of the mountain is short but decently steep for the Mid-Atlantic. The right side of “The Face” and “Devil’s Drop” (when it is open) are the steepest parts of the mountain there.

2 months ago

Does the fact that there are 2 parallel chairs on the front side help keep the lines manageable? The one weekend I was at Wisp it was later in the season so the crowds were pretty light, but I did wonder if the multiple chairs would help with crowds when busy.

I did like Wisp quite a bit when I was there. The Face (on the front side) is steeper than anything at Wintergreen, but still solidly in the category of “Mid-Atlantic black”. The east side is fun and has great views, but be aware that the main chair on that side (chair 5) doesn’t give you access to all of the east side trails - there is a short chairlift (chair 4) that you need to take after chair 5 to get to Odin’s Chute and Down Under (the one blue on that side).

If you can make it over to the North side, there are a couple blues and an easy black that I thought were a lot of fun. I am not sure how the crowds would be here vs on the East side.

2 months ago

Update from OP: 

After looking at ticket prices, I’m seriously questioning whether this would be worth it. For just a morning session (9-1 pm), it’s $69 during that holiday week.

I’d go for the splurge if I thought the skiing would be any good, but the threat of huge crowds and long lines truly does turn me off. It’s a dilemma, though, because I get to ski so rarely….

 

 

2 months ago

DrSandy420 wrote:

 For just a morning session (9-1 pm), it’s $69 during that holiday week.

Today, Wisp has 9 runs and 5 lifts open and will most likely see an inch of RAIN thu + Fri..  I wonder how much more they can open by New Years.   

 

2 months ago

DrSandy420 wrote:

… It’s a dilemma, though, because I get to ski so rarely….

That there would end the dilemma for me.

2 months ago

Do you really think it’s worth paying $70 for three hours where 15% of the time is on slopes (quick, short Mid-Atlantic slopes) and the rest is shuffling in line among agitated people? Sweating in your ski clothes… parents barking at kids….a teenager directing who you ride with…

 

camp wrote:

 

That there would end the dilemma for me.

 

2 months ago

DrSandy420 wrote:

Do you really think it’s worth paying $70 for three hours where 15% of the time is on slopes (quick, short Mid-Atlantic slopes) and the rest is shuffling in line among agitated people? Sweating in your ski clothes… parents barking at kids….a teenager directing who you ride with…

camp wrote:

That there would end the dilemma for me.

Wow, so much negativity ahead of the game, there’s no way you’ll find any enjoyment.  Better to find a different, non-holiday, weekend.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

DrSandy420 wrote:

Do you really think it’s worth paying $70 for three hours where 15% of the time is on slopes (quick, short Mid-Atlantic slopes) and the rest is shuffling in line among agitated people? Sweating in your ski clothes… parents barking at kids….a teenager directing who you ride with

The way I used to handle holiday weekends for friends at Massanutten was that they would get a multi-day ticket.  That meant night sessions were included for all days.  We would get to the lodge about an hour before lifts opened (with younger kids), ski from 9:00-11:30, then take a long lunch at the condo.  By the time we went back around 2:30 or 3:00, the lift lines were thinning.  We’d ski for as long as the kids were interested since 100% of the trails are lit.

Mnut has 4-hour and 8-hour tickets, starting any time 9:00-1:00, plus night session starts at 4:00.

The bonus at Mnut is that there is never a lift line on Lift 6 to the summit.  However, if only DJ is open then not quite worth the drive.  Although skiing off the top of Lift 5 is good fun when Upper Showtime is open.  No line 9:00-10:30.  During holiday weekends, Lift 5 doesn’t usually have much of a line after 3:00 or so.  Never been during Christmas week.

2 months ago

Bonzski wrote:

camp wrote:

That there would end the dilemma for me.

Wow, so much negativity ahead of the game, there’s no way you’ll find any enjoyment.  Better to find a different, non-holiday, weekend.

What I meant by my comment is: Yes, I’d ski. Especially if I didn’t get to ski that often.

2 months ago

camp wrote:

Bonzski wrote:

camp wrote:

That there would end the dilemma for me.

Wow, so much negativity ahead of the game, there’s no way you’ll find any enjoyment.  Better to find a different, non-holiday, weekend.

What I meant by my comment is: Yes, I’d ski. Especially if I didn’t get to ski that often.

Sorry Camp, my comment was for the OP.  I’m with you.

2 months ago

Bonzski wrote:

Sorry Camp, my comment was for the OP.  I’m with you.

I’ve already been out on several days this season that would probably not show up as a positive if I were to develop some sort of calculation of miles driven, trail counts, vertical, weather etc. My name is camp and I have a problem. But at least, crowds weren’t an issue in the early season so far.

2 months ago

They have a 4 no blackout lift ticket and transferable sale that ends today for under $200… 

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