MERCERSBURG, Pa. — Fresh snow on the day after the equinox gave me the opportunity for my first literal spring skiing. My mid-week trip to Whitetail was also figuratively spring skiing, but enjoyable as it was surprising after the late February thaw.
I stared with ●Sidewinder, the delightful cruiser was my welcome to the mountain and it lived up to its reputation for a long trip up the Easy Rider lift, good conditions and wind. Stretched out, I moved over the Whitetail Express Quad to the top of the mountain. ■Limelight and ■Home Run runs were closed, so I started my intermediates with ■Snow Dancer. “Mashed potatoes” is how one snowboarder described it on the lift and it was apt. Still, it was manageable, but my lack of targeted leg exercises over the last month, made it burn. ■Fanciful was nothing but bumps and had few skiers all day long.
After another ride down Snow Dancer, I headed down ■Angel Drop and ♦Drop In to get over the black diamond runs. I generally skip the mogul-y ♦Bold Decision and today was no exception. ♦Exhibition was also pretty bumpy, so ♦Far Side was the only major expert run of the day for me. The top half was pretty smooth, but the bottom half was clumpy. I took several runs down it and then up the Experts Choice Quad lift.
To give me legs a break, I moved back over to the middle of the mountain on ■Ridge Runner, which is essentially a short Sidewinder with higher altitude and less wind. It feeds into Angel Drop which forks into Drop In back to the Experts Choice or through the terrain park, ♦Jib Junction. I alternated between the two, but skipped the terrain features because that’s just something I’m not going to get started on at this point in my career. The far right side of Jib Junction was trickier than the far left.
The rest of the day was largely splitting runs between Far Side and Angel Drop. As the afternoon proceeded, the clouds covered up the sun and the snow wasn’t quite as soft. A few times, I caught an edge, but stayed upright all day. I had a break for a Gatorade at the cafeteria ($4.34) and then a ride up Whitetail Express and Experts choice lifts, respectively, for my final runs down Angel Drop and Ridge Runner. My legs shot from only 3.5 hours of skiing, I took one last long ride up Easy Rider lift and then skied Sidewinder down to the edge of the hill near rental return.
Whitetail just keeps being the ski are I can’t say no to. If I had more time (had to wait out a 2-hour school delay for my oldest), I probably would have made the longer drive to Massanutten. However, despite Whitetail’s strange eastern exposure and summit of less than 1700 feet, it’s the go to mountain for DC commuter skiers. Snowtime should be proud of how well then run the mountain, the coverage is better than many mountains with significantly more elevation, the rental shop is efficient and views are good. I wish Snowtime would buy some other resorts and turn them around.
I made four trips this year, a post-college record. Here’s to my wonderful, understanding wife and a invitation for her to get back on skis next winter.
Whitetail is about 75 miles from the Capital Beltway (I-495) via I-270, I-70, MD 68 and Blair Valley Road (follow the snow flake signs and watch your speed).
On the scale of green circle to black diamond, I give the day a ■■. Spring skiing!