1.26.2009

Whitetail... the White Lie

Whitetail...
East Coast ski resorts and their WHITELIE... it is not just WHITETAIL


a few weeks back my old friend Mike Mapp aka Micro talked me into a quick afternoon assault on Ski Liberty
with a measure of my weekend and its window of opportunity I agreed that this quick out and back was in fact an excellent idea

neither of us were let down
the edges on our boards were as rusty as our skills
which was fine... the terrain of the east is pretty tame
especially when all skiable surfaces are man made
we arrived stoked and we left smiling

Ski Liberty got high marks from us on that day
the man made was at its East Coast Best!

there were no real lift lines to speak of
ticket purchase was just a moment's wait
and the cattle call queue to the super quads was a similar duration

it was a quick afternoon assault
an attack that seemed like a good model for future winter weekends to come
so when I got the call from Micro about boarding I could not resist the temptation
the initial thought was to hit Liberty again... yet I swayed Micro into testing out Whitetail
having poled a number of people on Liberty versus Whitetail I got a strong opinion leaning to Whitetail
so I felt compelled to make a comparison
to which Micro agreed

the noon time departure was a few minutes late just as the noon time departure had been late on the approach to Liberty
I drove up with Cargo Mike who had called about taking the Single Speeds to Rosaryville but was swayed towards snowboarding instead
Micro arrived a few minutes before us... we rolled in and parked right next to his truck finding him without even starting to look for him
he was suited up and ready to ride...

as Cargo Mike rented his gear Micro and I took a ride to the top
the lift lines were longer than they had been at Liberty just a few days prior
the mountain is slightly larger so the congestion seemed similar
each mountains had no shortage of human hazards to avoid

people were falling in front of us
people were screaming down the hill unable to slow down or turn
and the hill was littered with bodies of skiiers who looked awkward like box turltes stuck on their backs

as we worked our way down the mountain we were introduced to the Whitetail that I remembered
concrete hard chunks of corn snow and bigger

some nice man made for a few turns only to send the rider/skier whatever onto a sheet of ice
these textureless sheets of ice were tucked all over the mountain
one hill that takes the riders to an alternate chair was one massive 45 degree angle of ice

the conditions were tough
not the worst conditions I have experienced
as I have seen colder days with more ice
but it was pretty classic east coast
and not east coast at its best

we tried to stay positive
we traveled the mountain testing various runs
repeating some lines
each of us taking our preferred routes

I tried to stay on the sides of the trail rather than the center
the side of the trail where the sun still hit seemed like the closest resemblance of snow
I also pointed my board towards that poor man's powered
at this point in the day there was no corduroy
but corduroy man made is not the velvety pleasure that corduroy in the west is after a several inch dusting is pressed down by the groomer

we tried to stay positive
it was tough to stay positive
as the day got later the visibility got worse
as the bodies grew tired the ice became more and more unpleasant
my body was feeling worked by trying to work as much fun out of the mountain as I could

we zipped through the park a number of times
I avoided any and all features
as air is even less my thing on this concrete like substance

we departed no more early than I would have wanted to leave had there been better snow
but our departure was tainted a bit by our experience that day
call me a snow snob... but I have a hard time enjoying these sorts of conditions

I offered hesitation in comparing Liberty on a different day to this day at Whitetail
my guess was that the warm day prior followed by the cold evening and the cold day is what gave us the unforgiving sheets of ice

flurries now... but I think that they need more than flurries

my next approach to either Liberty or Whitetail will be after some natural snow... preferably on a weekday... and more than likely with my family

time to check the snow report for West Virginia
maybe a family trip to Canaan Valley will give us a better slope experience

Seven Springs is also an option... but I have never had anything but classic east coast there

Gwadzilla Archive on the recent Ski Liberty afternoon

GWADZILLA MENTION OF CANAAN

great photo from Canaan last year!

1 comment:

riderx said...

Tonight! New natural snow. A bunch of us SSers will be up at Liberty. The slopes are small but at least they are close.