Whitetail and Liberty
67 posts
33 users
8k+ views
mdr227
4 months ago
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
193 posts
It looks like the weather for the next 10 days or more won't be good for snowmaking for local resorts, especially Whitetail and Liberty.   Not sure what the week after Christmas will be like, but I doubt either resort will open until closer to New Year's Day at the best and likely will be another year when they struggle to get more than minimal terrain open.    Wish that some of the resort like Massanutten, Bryce, Wintergreen, etc. that do a much better job committing to snowmaking would join Epic.
Timothy.grasso
4 months ago
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
70 posts
No, if they did join EPIC, they wouldn't make snow whenever possible.  The local ski mountains rock compared to large pass places.  Leave the little guy alone. 
jrstaley
4 months ago
Member since 12/15/2022 🔗
10 posts
Lib/WT/RT have all been making snow when possible, but the weather windows have been very short.  This weekend will be the third time in a row that warm rain has followed a snowmaking window.
Scott - DCSki Editor
4 months ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,249 posts
I live right near Whitetail and Liberty, and they’ve been running the guns every moment weather has allowed them to.
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ZARDOG
4 months ago
Member since 10/25/2020 🔗
177 posts

Once the next weather front Mon a bit colder. Most resorts open very little the first few days. Time works wonders.

We are still in drought so the rain is good. Snowmaking needs water. The real question will be are the later opens  getting later and will the cycle stay.  I need 8 good weeks, 3x a week to get my visits in.

Zardog

mdr227
4 months ago
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
193 posts

Unfortunately it's not looking good for any lengthy snowmaking for the next few weeks at least.    I am afraid this is going to be a very short season for Liberty and Whitetail.   

https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/WK34/

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter 
4 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
353 posts

mdr227 wrote:

Unfortunately it's not looking good for any lengthy snowmaking for the next few weeks at least.    I am afraid this is going to be a very short season for Liberty and Whitetail.   

https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/WK34/

 So frustrating - we've had six of seven frosts in Alexandria, but the weather hasn't permitted serious snowmaking 75 miles northwest.

powday
4 months ago
Member since 01/6/2014 🔗
40 posts

I do not want to sound like a Vail apologist, but Whitetail has made snow at every viable window possible this season. They upgraded/repaired several aspects of their snowmaking infrastructure that last season limited them, especially in the early season. I've regularly checked the webcams, and they have made snow at extremely marginal temperatures this year, but there is not much they can do when the wet bulb does not cooperate. 

Scott - DCSki Editor
4 months ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,249 posts

powday wrote:

I do not want to sound like a Vail apologist, but Whitetail has made snow at every viable window possible this season. They upgraded/repaired several aspects of their snowmaking infrastructure that last season limited them, especially in the early season. I've regularly checked the webcams, and they have made snow at extremely marginal temperatures this year, but there is not much they can do when the wet bulb does not cooperate. 

Yeah, I've never quite understood the notion that any Mid-Atlantic resort would willingly delay snowmaking.  The seasons here are so short that they all want to open as early as possible.  They're not selling lift tickets or food or retail or lessons or rentals when they're not open, and season passholders are unlikely to buy future passes if they don't feel they've gotten their money's worth.  So they absolutely want to get the lifts running as soon as possible.

But they also don't want to waste money making snow that's just going to melt before they're able to open.  And the weather here is so variable and hard to predict, so that makes those decisions challenging.

Crush
4 months ago
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,271 posts
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RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter 
4 months ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
259 posts

Scott, you make a good some good points about the economics of running a ski resort.  But you have to admit the different operators who have the same set of challenges are making very different decisions.

There are a number of resorts around here who are in roughly the same boat when it comes to snowmaking conditions.  Yet Massanutten and Bryce consistently open earlier and close later than Liberty/Whitetail.

This past weekend is a great example-  Liberty/Whitetail/Roundtop couldn't get open but Bryce had 7(!) runs open and Massanutten had 4. 

We are now in year 3 of Vail running the former SnoTime resorts.  You can't chalk up these consistent operational differences to "weather".

ps Blue Mountain, base elevation 455 feet, 80 miles northwest of Roundtop had 15 runs open on Saturday

padjaski68
4 months ago
Member since 01/21/2016 🔗
95 posts

Numbers speak volumes.  I was up at Jack Frost, Saturday and no crowds,  eventhough conditions were good.  To the South,  Blue Mtn was packed. If you reinvest and market the improvements year after year people will take notice. 

I rode the lift at JF with an owner of one of condos next to JF. He made a comment that defines VR's image. New lifts are fine and dandy, but you need to continue the improvements to have people show up.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
4 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,246 posts

From what I can tell for the weather patterns, comparing Wintergreen to Massanutten and/or Bryce may be more relevant than for Whitetail and Liberty.

I learned a while back that there are often times when Mnut can't make snow but Bryce can.  A few of the senior managers at Mnut started out working at Bryce.  The two operations teams stay in touch with each other.  Bryce is in a "cold sink" while the peak of Massanutten often ends up with an inversion.  There are often times when it's in the high 20s in the valley but the peak is over 32.

rbrtlav
4 months ago (edited 4 months ago)
Member since 12/2/2008 🔗
578 posts

RodneyBD wrote:

There are a number of resorts around here who are in roughly the same boat when it comes to snowmaking conditions.  Yet Massanutten and Bryce consistently open earlier and close later than Liberty/Whitetail.

This past weekend is a great example-  Liberty/Whitetail/Roundtop couldn't get open but Bryce had 7(!) runs open and Massanutten had 4. 

We are now in year 3 of Vail running the former SnoTime resorts.  You can't chalk up these consistent operational differences to "weather".

The weather at massanutten and Bryce isn’t quite the same as the snowTime resorts. Whitetail is also almost entirely southern facing, so high rate of snowmelt. While there was years they opened around thanksgiving (which vail doesn’t seem to have interest in) it looks like they usually opened around Christmas.  Whitetail especially can put out a ton of snow very quickly when conditions allow. While I know it isn’t fully indicative of what is going to happen out east, I’ve been in Colorado some this season and the resorts there seem better staffed and smoother ops than they have been since 2020. (Ie Outback gondola at keystone is actually running daily) 

Mid Atlantic is due for some cold weather, so hopefully they are ready for it when it comes. 

Snowshoe and 7 springs used to open around the same time, but snowshoe has invested incredible amounts of money in snowmaking (as has timberline) and the results speak for themselves. I suspect Vail is going to have to put some major investment in 7 springs in the next few years. 

vailsux
4 months ago
Member since 11/29/2023 🔗
6 posts

Looks like whitetail is blowing snow this morning. Nothing at liberty. 

Hoping for the best. 

hotelterp
4 months ago
Member since 01/20/2023 🔗
12 posts

Whitetail is still blowing this morning while Lib/RT are not due to slightly higher temps to the east. Ive got a group of 10 that wants to ski Friday - hoping WT can open by then, but am not optimistic. Probably will head to 7Springs.1702997000_joxewmphmzxv.jpg

hotelterp
4 months ago
Member since 01/20/2023 🔗
12 posts
Vailsux you beat me to it!
powday
4 months ago
Member since 01/6/2014 🔗
40 posts


 I think it is going to be a tough call for Whitetail on their opening date, given the forecast after this cold spell. Warmer temps & rain are forecast around and a few days after Christmas. I am not sure they will want to push out the snow whales on warm/wet ground. 

hotelterp wrote:

Whitetail is still blowing this morning while Lib/RT are not due to slightly higher temps to the east. Ive got a group of 10 that wants to ski Friday - hoping WT can open by then, but am not optimistic. Probably will head to 7Springs.1702997000_joxewmphmzxv.jpg

BrianLing
4 months ago
Member since 03/15/2018 🔗
10 posts

Was also checking webcam for Liberty they fired up all guns tonight although temp and moister only a little above marginal.1703037131_zkdojwnhbkkp.jpg

vailsux
3 months ago
Member since 11/29/2023 🔗
6 posts
Looks like Whitetail blew some snow last night/this morning. Looking at the temps and I think they may be able to reopen this weekend.
meredithb_14
3 months ago
Member since 12/13/2022 🔗
8 posts
does anyone remember when the last time whitetail or liberty was 100% open. Genuinely just curious 
Scott - DCSki Editor
3 months ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,249 posts

meredithb_14 wrote:

does anyone remember when the last time whitetail or liberty was 100% open. Genuinely just curious 

The 2021-2022 winter season, which seems long ago, but was the winter before last.  (Last winter was kind of a bust, sadly.)

I skied at Whitetail on February 2, 2022 (less than 2 years ago), and I believe every trail was open except Ledgewood, which was in the process of being "disowned" by Whitetail and no longer appears on any trail map.  So that trail didn't really count.

Here's my Firsthand Report from that trip, along with some photos.  Hopefully Whitetail looks like this again soon.

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MarkRebuck
3 months ago
Member since 12/16/2020 🔗
33 posts

Yup.  I was there on January 27, 2022.  Skied every run, and got an "Everest" by doing 29,500 feet of vertical over seven hours.  It was great.  I was just lapping and lapping all day.  I would start at Fanciful, work my way over to Far Side, then start over again.

Last year, I only went to Whitetail twice.  The first time there were zero black runs open, and even the blues were... sketchy.  The second time I went, the only black open was Bold Decision (and I don't think they opened anything else after).

Not blaming Vail here... they were blowing when they could.  But it makes me sad that Whitetail and Liberty are so marginal, and we keep ending up on the "a few degrees above freezing" side of things vs. "a few degrees below freezing".

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
353 posts
I'd be curious the last year that all Mid-Atlantic ski areas were fully open. It'd be a good line to add to resort profiles.

Since I only get out a few times a season, I don't have a great handle on who gets all the way open. I am fairly confident that neither Elk or Montage got there last year. In fact, I don't think Elk has opened every trail since 2020 when I started going there.

I wonder if Blue Knob has gotten every run open in the 21st century.
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RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
259 posts
Whitetail should get back open this weekend with a few runs.  Liberty will not open, confirmed from mgmt. 
newbie2022
3 months ago
Member since 01/26/2023 🔗
13 posts

Looking at the webcams and forecasts, they should have 24-36 hours of snow making potential between now and Saturday morning. I'd guess they nominally reopen on Friday with pretty sparse coverage and the guns on full blast all day. Saturday they can make snow all day in addition to the natural snow that arrives in the afternoon and over the evening. I don't think they'll open new terrain until Sunday, Saturday snow making conditions will likely be too good and it will be worth building a solid base on the trails that haven't opened yet ahead of the long weekend.  

danimals
3 months ago
Member since 03/19/2019 🔗
18 posts

wfyurasko wrote:

I'd be curious the last year that all Mid-Atlantic ski areas were fully open. It'd be a good line to add to resort profiles.

Since I only get out a few times a season, I don't have a great handle on who gets all the way open. I am fairly confident that neither Elk or Montage got there last year. In fact, I don't think Elk has opened every trail since 2020 when I started going there.

I wonder if Blue Knob has gotten every run open in the 21st century.

 I think it was the season after covid, when there were back to back storms, that blue knob was 100 percent open. That is one place that should never have trouble opening, but does. What a waste of elevation.

Anyone know why whitetail abandoned the ledgewood trail? and does anyone have a photo of the map with the proposed backside expansion?

I truly think over the next decade we will see a huge consolidation of ski areas in the region. There are so many so close together that the smaller hills in areas with marginal temperatures could be shuttered (or sold off) and have their resources focused elsewhere (inside of the vail portfolio at least)

powday
3 months ago
Member since 01/6/2014 🔗
40 posts

With the current forecast, temperatures except Thursday night are marginal for good snowmaking. Last night they started around 9 PM and ran all night with little to show. For most of that 24-36 hour window, the temps are in the upper 20s to mid 30s, with Friday the wind shifting from NW to SW (higher humidity). I would be shocked to see snow being made at 30-32 degrees and high humidity on Saturday. 

I am hopeful they will open, but the forecast after this weekend's potential storm does not look good. Tuesday night, the models forecast another .5 inch of rain. With the MLK weekend looming, will they try to maintain the snow piles until after Tuesday's rain and open on Wednesday or Thursday next week? 

 

newbie2022 wrote:

Looking at the webcams and forecasts, they should have 24-36 hours of snow making potential between now and Saturday morning. I'd guess they nominally reopen on Friday with pretty sparse coverage and the guns on full blast all day. Saturday they can make snow all day in addition to the natural snow that arrives in the afternoon and over the evening. I don't think they'll open new terrain until Sunday, Saturday snow making conditions will likely be too good and it will be worth building a solid base on the trails that haven't opened yet ahead of the long weekend.  

mdr227
3 months ago
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
193 posts
Does anyone remember the last time that Liberty and Whitetail have not really opened (I know WT opened for a few days with effectively two real trails open) yet this late into the season?   I know both tried to make snow some this week, but with absolutely nothing to show for it.   Was hoping to get to one of them on Monday after the snow, but not optimistic that there will be anything more than a couple of thin trails open.    
SeniorSki
3 months ago
Member since 01/31/2022 🔗
139 posts
Hate to say it but if and when WT opens it will get wiped out with the next Tuesday storm, heavy rain in forecast. Have to face the facts this area is changing, the last 5 inch plus snowfall was back in 2016. As for BK the ship has already left the dock. Negative thinking but if WT and Liberty fold Massanutten, TL, Canaan and BK would benefit. 
songfta
3 months ago
Member since 05/10/2004 🔗
51 posts

powday wrote:

With the current forecast, temperatures except Thursday night are marginal for good snowmaking. Last night they started around 9 PM and ran all night with little to show. For most of that 24-36 hour window, the temps are in the upper 20s to mid 30s, with Friday the wind shifting from NW to SW (higher humidity). I would be shocked to see snow being made at 30-32 degrees and high humidity on Saturday. 

Liberty said the wet bulb temps won't be conducive to any decent snowmaking once the storm arrives. From their Instagram:

We are also anticipating the arrival of 4 inches or more natural snow Saturday. While natural snow is lovely, it could also bring increased humidity, which would inhibit us from making snow. Wet bulb temperature, which is a combination of air temperature and humidity, plays a crucial role in snowmaking. For efficient snowmaking, we need a wet bulb temperature of 24 degrees or lower though we can have sporadic success at 28-degree wet bulb. If we try to make snow with high wet bulb temperatures, we will end up watering the grass on the slopes and melting everything we are able to make.

I am hopeful they will open, but the forecast after this weekend's potential storm does not look good. Tuesday night, the models forecast another .5 inch of rain. With the MLK weekend looming, will they try to maintain the snow piles until after Tuesday's rain and open on Wednesday or Thursday next week?

That's all they can hope for, really. Then they may be able to open limited trails - they'll concentrate on learning areas and terrain parks as these tend to be the most popular and biggest revenue. I don't envy them one iota.

vailsux
3 months ago
Member since 11/29/2023 🔗
6 posts
Whitetail is a go for tomorrow! 
RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
259 posts
Anyone ever seen Liberty open with just the frontside open?  Or even just midstation on the Alpine quad and the two beginner quads on looker's left?
mdr227
3 months ago
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
193 posts


 Looks like Liberty is opening with just the two basic beginner lifts, can't ever remember them opening with just those two lifts.   I guess it's just a chance to get the employees working and a trial run.   They've been blowing snow hard the last 24 hours plus got a bunch of natural snow so hopefully the other lifts and slopes are not far from opening.  

RodneyBD wrote:

Anyone ever seen Liberty open with just the frontside open?  Or even just midstation on the Alpine quad and the two beginner quads on looker's left?
jn_freedman
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 03/17/2018 🔗
24 posts

I'm going to sound like a hater but I went to Whitetail yesterday and it felt like I was going to a Commanders Game ala Daniel Snyder.

I get the weather makes it hard (er) for VRI to create a compelling product but it was just soul-less.  The good ole days of things like Pho lunch day and farside being open may be over....

No solutions from my end just a bit of a vent....

snapdragon
3 months ago
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
346 posts
whitetail high speed on hold...run down as well
snapdragon
3 months ago
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
346 posts
angel drop and jib junction...no traffic
newbie2022
3 months ago
Member since 01/26/2023 🔗
13 posts
Has anyone been or heard from people at liberty this season? Is the greens only pushing more advance skiers to RT/WT? Or everyone that would usually be there just cramming into the one road down? 
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,576 posts

They are running the guns just about everywhere today. Weather is favorable for around the clock snow making over the next several days. I am sure they want to open but the weather has sucked for snow making. 

Fairfield Pennsylvania Snow Weather Cam | Liberty Mountain Resort

 

newbie2022 wrote:

Has anyone been or heard from people at liberty this season? Is the greens only pushing more advance skiers to RT/WT? Or everyone that would usually be there just cramming into the one road down? 
fosphenytoin - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/20/2017 🔗
169 posts
Debating if I should go skiing tomorrow (1st day of the season).  Shall I hit Liberty or Whitetail?  Whitetail has more trails open per terrain status as of tonight.  
mdr227
3 months ago
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
193 posts
Does anyone have any inside info on when Liberty will be opening up the backside trails (and the blacks on the front side)?   I am really surprised they didn't have them open today from watching the web cams the last couple of days.   They look to have a ton of snow made on most of the closed trails and have been blowing non-stop.    Hope they will have them open tomorrow so people can finally get out and ski there.   
newbie2022
3 months ago
Member since 01/26/2023 🔗
13 posts
A couple new trails opened today, with some more tomorrow (Dipsey, vertigo, west side park, whitney's way, Upper Heavenly, and Whitney's Way). I was there Monday and guns were going constantly on everything they're prepping, sounds like there should be some more routes down the back of the mountain in by the weekend.
mdr227
3 months ago
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
193 posts
Not sure if they've updated their snow report yet today (Whitetail has as it opened up Sidewinder) as it still shows only 6 trails open and nothing on the back side.   It does look like they groomed at the top of the summit overnight so hoping that means some of the back side will be open.   Definitely have made plenty of snow the last five days or so and can't imagine why they wouldn't open more today, but again it's Vail and here we are mid-January and they still only have beginner trails open after natural snow this week plus temperatures cold enough to continuously make snow for days.  
vailsux
3 months ago
Member since 11/29/2023 🔗
6 posts

While browsing Whitetail's trail report in amazement that despite days of around the clock snowmaking, the mountain is still only half open, I noticed that on the trail report that Drop In is a double black but on the trail map it is a single black. Anyone know why this may be the case? 

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Lastrun
3 months ago
Member since 06/20/2023 🔗
7 posts

It may be a simple as the map was developed and implemented under the old owners, and the lift and terrain report under the new.

No fan of Vail's snowmaking plans the last couple of seasons with the local resorts, but not surprised at where they are with snowmaking.  Issue is they need to "repair" the rain and temp damage to what was already open as well as try to open new trails.  

powday
3 months ago
Member since 01/6/2014 🔗
40 posts


 Drop In on the far left side of the trail toward the bottom is the steepest pitch at Whitetail. 

That said, it is bizarre that given the ideal snowmaking weather over the past few days/nights the snow cover on Exhibition is nearly non-existent. As usual, it seems they are throwing significant resources on building a huge base on Angel Drop. 

Lastrun wrote:

It may be a simple as the map was developed and implemented under the old owners, and the lift and terrain report under the new.

No fan of Vail's snowmaking plans the last couple of seasons with the local resorts, but not surprised at where they are with snowmaking.  Issue is they need to "repair" the rain and temp damage to what was already open as well as try to open new trails.  

yotestang
3 months ago
Member since 12/12/2014 🔗
17 posts
I believe they can only run so many of the guns at one time.  Meaning that they will make snow on a series of runs for a period of time, shut down and move to another series of runs (cant have the entire mountain online at one time).  Given the excellent weather window, they are also using the air/ water guns (which I understand are more finicky on weather factors), which also eats into what can be running at a given time.  Far Side is entirely air/ water, and in the marginal weather windows the last few seasons have provided, was kept out of the mix to allow the fan guns to do their job on the terrain they occupy.  The good news is that it appears WT has decided this window was too good to pass up and has been hammering Far Side.  My guess is they will move/ reallocate resources to exhibition once Far Side has enough snow to push out and open.  These yellow fan guns on exhibition can operate on a slimmer weather window and are fully automated so they can come on and off in windows that are too short to manually run the air/ water guns.  Any of the trails that have the older red and blue fan guns (sidewinder, snow dancer) also seem to be neglected.  I suppose these are not automated like the newer yellow fan guns, and thus must also be somewhat finicky in marginal weather windows, and require more labor to turn on and off.  They did open Sidewinder and run those red guns, so like Exhibition, I bet Snowdancer gets some love in the very near future if this weather keeps up.  This is on top of improving existing terrain that was impacted by the rains.  To expand beyond WT, I believe Liberty has the older fan guns and air/ water guns, and they have been even slower to open new terrain.  I am not trying to defend Vail, but our overnight temps have been warmer the last few seasons and the snowmaking weather windows shorter, so anyone operating under older technology is probably suffering unless we get weather like we are having now.
Scott - DCSki Editor
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,249 posts

Except for a few brief times, every time I've checked the webcam the past few days they've been making snow on Exhibition, including right now.  (If you're going by the webcam alone, they are often making snow on the upper parts of Exhibition out of view, which you won't be seeing on the webcam.  Each TechnoAlpin gun can be automatically controlled individually, so often they focus on the upper mountain, as they'll be pushing snow down as they groom it in preparation for opening.)

I'm sure Exhibition will be open by the weekend, along with nearly 100% of terrain, if not fully 100%.

powday
3 months ago
Member since 01/6/2014 🔗
40 posts


I'm glad to hear they are blowing snow at the top of the Exhibition. The Techno guns on Exhibition are part of the automated system so I know they can put down a hell of a lot of snow in a short time window.

Scott wrote:

Except for a few brief times, every time I've checked the webcam the past few days they've been making snow on Exhibition, including right now.  (If you're going by the webcam alone, they are often making snow on the upper parts of Exhbition out of view, which you won't be seeing on the webcam.  Each TechnoAlpin gun can be automatically controlled individually, so often they focus on the upper mountain, as they'll be pushing snow down as they groom it in preparation for opening.)

I'm sure Exhibition will be open by the weekend, along with nearly 100% of terrain, if not fully 100%.

RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
259 posts
So have to defend Vail on this - you have to wait 24-48 hours to push out a whale. Something to do with letting the pile dry out some. I’d rather they maximize blowing some massive whales if it means holding off on terrain expansion during the week. 
rbrtlav
3 months ago
Member since 12/2/2008 🔗
578 posts

RodneyBD wrote:

So have to defend Vail on this - you have to wait 24-48 hours to push out a whale. Something to do with letting the pile dry out some. I’d rather they maximize blowing some massive whales if it means holding off on terrain expansion during the week. 

 Also with the cold temperatures right now adding snowmaking and the wind is dangerous. Keeping trails closed until the weekend lets them keep snowmaking at full capacity to establish a solid base while the weather is cold. This is probably the best snowmaking window liberty and whitetail have had under vails ownership. 

mdr227
3 months ago
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
193 posts
Both places are really running the guns all out which is great and should be able to through the weekend.   My big complaint with Liberty is that they take so long to update their snow report each morning (and they don't show the date/time it was last updated).   Early in the season until most of the trails are open it's usually a decision for me between Liberty and WT for a quick 1/2 day trip.   Today for example at 7:30 AM it still showed Liberty with only Upper Heavenly and Whitney's Way open on the backside, but sometime after it they added Lower Ultra.   Don't know why they can't update it before 7 AM like most resorts (they had it groomed overnight so it wasn't a last minute decision) do so people can have more knowledge about available terrain when making a decision as to which resort to go to.  
RunBikeSwim
3 months ago
Member since 11/14/2023 🔗
6 posts
Hey folks--wondering if it will be safe to drive out to Whitetail from DC this afternoon?
MarkRebuck
3 months ago
Member since 12/16/2020 🔗
33 posts
im at whitetail now.  when i drove up (15 from leesburg to 70 west) this morning, the va section was bad but everything north of the potomac was fine.  chairlift chat with a few other folks all said 70 was fine all the way.  
MarkRebuck
3 months ago
Member since 12/16/2020 🔗
33 posts
whitetail is pretty packed too… lots of families because nova and md schools cancelled 
SeniorSki
3 months ago
Member since 01/31/2022 🔗
139 posts

1705769584_sabfcliennqx.jpgHoly crap Batman, are you kidding me, sink or swim, not me. 

mdr227
3 months ago
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
193 posts

I can't understand how anyone can find skiing at WT with those kinds of lift lines enjoyable (or skiing anywhere).   Had to be 20 minutes in line at a minimum.   If you ride the Beginner Quad it's an 8-10 minute lift ride normally, but often stops frequently, especially when crowded so you'd be lucky to get two runs down Snowpark or Sidewinder in an hour.   The high speed quad is a 4-5 minute ride so one could maybe get 5 runs if they are lucky in two hours (maybe just 4).   You wait so long in line and on the lifts for a 2 minute trip down the mountain.   At least out West you can take a while getting down the runs and have some variety.   

I don't want to rehash all the complaints about WT and Liberty after Epic has taken over, but rather ask if anyone can think of ways to make them better.    Of course limiting pass sales would help, but that won't happen.   In terms of investment newer lifts with more capacity (6 packs like Timberline, Massanutten and Wintergreen have) would be a big help and make the experience better.   Not much chance for expanding terrain at either resort especially since they are rarely fully open with the limited snow making opportunities.   Besides potential lift upgrades (which I know are pipe dreams) what other possible solutions are there?

Scott - DCSki Editor
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,249 posts

This weekend was an anomaly (which happens from time to time in the Mid-Atlantic) -- a weekend after a (rare) snowstorm with perfect conditions and near 100% open terrain after a very warm/delayed start to the season.  People were itching to get on the slopes and it showed.  I heard that Whitetail's parking lot was completely full and they began turning away cars around lunchtime.  The access road was backed up for miles.

In that kind of situation, faster/higher capacity lifts aren't going to help.

There are only a handful of times in Whitetail's history where they reached capacity and had to turn away cars.  Today was one of them.  Whitetail will be virtually empty come Monday, and other weekends aren't likely to be this crowded.

I can’t really think of ways to avoid cases like today short of requiring reservations for everyone, which I don’t think would be popular. 

teleman
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 07/8/2005 🔗
186 posts
Meanwhile, I skied boot top powder at Canaan Valley today in single digit temperatures with zero lift lines.  There were places all over that mountain that were untracked as of closing at 4:30.

If you make the extra effort to drive one more hour from Northern Virginia, you’ll be much happier.  

I was a Whitetailer  for over 15 years and I wouldn’t be caught dead at that place on the weekends anymore.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,038 posts


 

teleman wrote:

Meanwhile, I skied boot top powder at Canaan Valley today in single digit temperatures with zero lift lines.  There were places all over that mountain that were untracked as of closing at 4:30.

Laurel is usually like that but the masses discovered her today.

GGNagy
3 months ago
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
504 posts


 Could the slopes available from that lift handle the the extra number of skiers? WT express directly services 4 ways down, at full open. Could those 4 runs handle 1.5x the people? 

mdr227 wrote:

I can't understand how anyone can find skiing at WT with those kinds of lift lines enjoyable (or skiing anywhere).   Had to be 20 minutes in line at a minimum.   If you ride the Beginner Quad it's an 8-10 minute lift ride normally, but often stops frequently, especially when crowded so you'd be lucky to get two runs down Snowpark or Sidewinder in an hour.   The high speed quad is a 4-5 minute ride so one could maybe get 5 runs if they are lucky in two hours (maybe just 4).   You wait so long in line and on the lifts for a 2 minute trip down the mountain.   At least out West you can take a while getting down the runs and have some variety.   

I don't want to rehash all the complaints about WT and Liberty after Epic has taken over, but rather ask if anyone can think of ways to make them better.    Of course limiting pass sales would help, but that won't happen.   In terms of investment newer lifts with more capacity (6 packs like Timberline, Massanutten and Wintergreen have) would be a big help and make the experience better.   Not much chance for expanding terrain at either resort especially since they are rarely fully open with the limited snow making opportunities.   Besides potential lift upgrades (which I know are pipe dreams) what other possible solutions are there?

GGNagy
3 months ago
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
504 posts


 LOL.. yes. I think I waited 16 chairs at one point! *gasp* The only real traffic on the slopes was deer path, which is to be expected. 

Being one of the first time in years that I rode with other skiers/riders most every trip up, I did a lot of chatting. 

There were at least 3 chairs when I rode with people that drove right past WT, like me,  and made the 3+ hour trek to LM. 

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:


 

teleman wrote:

Meanwhile, I skied boot top powder at Canaan Valley today in single digit temperatures with zero lift lines.  There were places all over that mountain that were untracked as of closing at 4:30.

Laurel is usually like that but the masses discovered her today.

wgo
3 months ago
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,666 posts

It was busy at Timberline but they handled the crowds well. I used the singles line and even with frequent lift slowdowns I generally waited only 5 minutes or so.

First couple runs were 1000 vert of powder turns. After that the obvious stuff was tracked out but there was powder to be found all day.

SeniorSki
3 months ago
Member since 01/31/2022 🔗
139 posts

Line is already growing at WT. 

The perfect storm, very slow start to ski season, 2 days of 5 plus inches of snow each day, pent up demand, week of cold temps allowing continuous snow making, few skiers can ski mid-week, the job thing, got to use my ski pass or loose it. (Brings up a good discussion, will start a thread) Threatening warm weather coming. Equals long lines……

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
353 posts
Blue bird day at CV today - glad I waited a day to take my sons who are very new to skiing. Not crowded and pretty good conditions on the few non-bunny slope trails I got on.
Bijan
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 01/16/2018 🔗
10 posts

Yea, Whitetail was busy Sunday. I didn't go last year and I can't remember the last time I was able to ski more than 2 trails so was kind of excited it was fully open.

There was a reasonable wait at 9 in the lift line. I was mentally prepped for crowds but by 1045 it became harder to enjoy the day. When I left at 1230 the queue was a joke and there was no order to anything. Every man for himself type situation and that stresses me out. The expert's choice quad wasn't as stressful, but it also wasn't a short cut to more skiing. Still had long lines, and you have to factor in the shorter runs and slow lift. Also the snow was more skied off.

Another thing that sticks out to me at WT is that the lift stops (the main detachable one) more than any other place I've been to. Beyond the lack of control at the back end, WT doesn't do a good job of managing the queue when you're getting close to loading (fine for me but I can see why beginners struggle). You also notice little things like not maintaining the loading zone (like sweeping away of chunks of snow that cause beginners to fall).

It did occur to me as @Scott mentioned above that this was a unique situation with a lot of pent up demand. We'll see how things go and if Sunday was an outlier or the new normal when most of the hill is open. In my head I was thinking Saturday would have been a disaster and Sunday just a normal busy weekend day.

I went to Timberline last Saturday (a holiday weekend) and it was busy but there was order and I think a 10 minute wait was the max. I'd drive the extra 3 hours roundtrip to have an experience like I did on 1/13 at TL vs the experience I had at WT on 1/21. That's before you factor in TL had better snow conditions.

Also gotta say it was just typical WT conditions with lots of skied off sections. It's what I expected and not complaining, but this wasn't a special Mid Atl ski day. Whereas people above me are saying powder conditions at TL/CV over the weekend with minimal lift lines. What is saving me from regret is that I couldn't ski Saturday and TL is tough for me to do for a Sunday day trip.

mdr227
2 months ago
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
193 posts
I think it was last Monday or Tuesday when Liberty finally opened up more than the basic beginner bunny hill trails so through today they have had only about 8 days of anything more than the most basic terrain open (and luckily they have been nice cold days with some great conditions), but for the next few weeks it appears that conditions will be pretty rough for skiing with warm temps and rain (though some like those conditions) so we may be looking at late Feb and Liberty only had a little more than a week of good conditions.   I sure hope we get the cold air returning in mid to late Feb and into March so Liberty and other resorts can get closer to a normal season.   I know it's tough for the staff there when there is such a short season.  

Ski and Tell

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