Mid-Atlantic Snow Resort FAQ
By the time it takes to pack, get to the Airport, Security, and the Runway,
You could be skiing or boarding.!
Washington Baltimore Metro Area 4th Largest 9.3 Million People (3% ski/board = 279,000 people)
Resource Reference and links for discounts are located at the end of this document.
ON THE WAY THERE:
Most towns are small on the way. Gas Stations are located 7 to 10 miles apart.
Small towns police the speed limit and the fines are doubled they are there 24 / 7.
Nice Scenery. Highways and Improved Secondary roads are well maintained.
1. Holiday Weekends are more crowded. Go early in the am, or travel further from the large cities. We live in an area of 8 million plus people. This area includes: Washington Baltimore Frederick, Northern VA, South Central PA, and some MD eastern shore.
2. Nights and weekdays are less crowded, same for Sunday.
3. Food consumption tends to occur during the noon hour. Take a nutrition bar and water. Play outside while others are in eating. When the 1 pm times rolls around the main lifts will be crowded.
4. For a no crowd and pristine pick – go early on a weekday that is not a school day off.
1. You can always find a good trail. Try all of the runs in order to find the sweet one.
2. People ski/ride like they drive. The left and center of a trail have the most traffic and less than ideal conditions. Try the right-hand side.3. Conditions are dictated by temps, humidity, grooming, and traffic.
4. Natural snow, if left on its own will form irregular bumps.
DO NOT BLOCK TRAILS:
Examples: Sitting across a trail with multiple people, (suggest sitting one behind another, near the side of a trail).
Sitting below a crest, knoll, or drop off is not a good idea.
RIGHT OF WAY:
Skier or Boarder in front of you always has the right of way. Boarders have a natural blind spot when turning depending on their stance.
Announce when overtaking, on your right / or / left depending. Make eye contact if possible, watch their rhythm, they may not be so consistent. If in doubt hit the brakes, take a breath.
What about ICE. How do I tackle ICE.?
What is ICE? Ice differs from hard-packed snow. The more traffic on a trail the more ice will form. The areas after the moguls have ice forming where the snowboarders land. Icing will be more in the middle and to the left of a trail. Stay to the right.
You can tackle ice. Look at ice skaters. An Ice Skate is still 2 metal edges. Look at what they can do. The key is dynamic balance. Your edges on both skis and snowboards need good tuned edges. Another thing is edge pressure. When I hit ice the natural instinct is to press down more to get a bite, but if you test this you can see the angle will be less not more. You need more angle to hold. Try to maintain a straighter course through the ice. Going perpendicular will not help at all.
What If I have a problem at the resort?
If it is first aid / injury related, go to the Ski Patrol for assistance. If you see someone down ask if they need help. Any person who works at the lifts or ski patrol can call on a radio for help. Be helpful, smile, give someone a hand.
Why take lessons? Why do drills?
If I handed you a baseball and asked you to throw a curve ball in a strike zone, could you do that without lessons and drills? Most likely not!! Lessons teach you the correct way to ski or board. The drills learned can be done the first few runs you make each time you go out. Did you know most people on the slope have bad habits? If you signed up for lessons take them!!! If not, take a class lesson once a year. Look at the ski / board levels and determine what skills you lack. Then check out the instruction area of the web page to find how to do drills. LESSON PACKAGE as low as $39.00
Its cold out, how can I stay warm.
Once you get wet, you will get cold. Take a break go inside and warm up. Use poly based fabrics that wick away the water. If you are a heat demon like me it will help to have vented jackets and pants. Hand and foot warmers are a good idea and they can go into jacket pockets for warmth. Put large hand warmers near you body core to keep you the warmest. Helmets keep you warm.
PAD and HEAD
“WHAT you can’t see can help your head and rear.”
Snowboarders, I recommend wrist guards and kneepads in the beginning. If you are a jumper/ get air I recommend a helmet and back pad. Helmets work. I have been saved from concussions. This does not mean you can hit a solid object full out and expect the helmet to save you. They are rated to 15 MPH.
SNOWFALL – Man Made Vs Natural
PA – Liberty, Whitetail, Roundtop avg 30 inches snowfall. Relies on snowmaking. BEST in Area.
PA – Blue Knob – 100 inches, snowmaking is not the greatest. More plans coming to add infrastructure for snowmaking.
MD Wisp – 160 inches, very good snowmaking. WV Timberline , Canaan 160 inches, ok snowmaking.
Snow is only one part of the equation. Grooming equipment and operators make a difference. The newer snow making equipment develops better crystals than year’s back. Some of the latest equipment is quiet and less obtrusive of vision. All resorts continue to upgrade their snow making ability. All resorts have new grooming machines, this adds to the quality of the trail. Computerized snow making is making a difference in coverage and quality. This stuff is good enough for the Winter Olympics.
What to expect in VERTICAL & LENGTH from 1 to 4 hrs away
Vertical – 1st Ridge : Blue Ridge Mtn Liberty Roundtop 600 ft vert, Bryce 500 ft Length – 1 mile or less
2nd Ridge: Whitetail 930 ft vert : Length 1 mile or less
3rd Ridge: Blue Knob 1072 ft vert Length up to 2 miles.
4th Ridge: Wisp, Timberline, Canaan 900 ft or less 1.5 mile length
5 to 6 hrs away Vertical is 1,500 feet at Snowshoe WV or Windham in Catskills NY.
And longer trails to 2 miles in length.
Look at the resort Webcams. Look at their weather / slope stat sheet.
Check skidome.org for weekly pick and snow conditions rank
Check other forums and blogs
All resorts have discounts for groups.
Most resorts have discount plans. Some have multi-day discounts
Real discounts start at 4 (four) visits for break even
4th and 5th Grade PA programs
Some free days, late night
Children 5 and under free lift ticket with paying adult
Specific Resort Considerations for Liberty Roundtop and Whitetail
1) Holiday Weekends are more crowded.
Roundtop is least crowded
ALL have 4 or 8 hour flex ticket so you pay for time. This helps keep everything flowing.
2) When are Lift Lines shortest?
In general Holiday 3 day weekends are the worst (MLK, Presidents) Day at Whitetail and Liberty. The weekend late night skis, draws a large crowd. At Liberty the back side is faster. There are bathrooms open on the back side at the South Pole. They have food there but not sure on the times. But the idea once you are on the back stay there. Weekday nights are not bad. Avoid doing lunch from 11:30 to 2:00 less people on the slope. At Liberty stay on the back, Roundtop far left lifts, Whitetail get to the black diamond runs during lunch time. On weekends early is a big plus. The kids are still sleeping. It gets more crowded in the afternoon.
3) Which resort is better?
Each place has its own pluses and minuses depending on a skier or boarder and whether you like to cruise or jump / halfpipe etc.
Roundtop – less crowded, good snowmaking, racin, : Tubing. Beer/Wine license.
Liberty – backside separates the green runs, good snowmaking, great set of medium trails. park, closest. New quad on front to replace the oldest lifts. Liquor license: Tubing.
Whitetail- Snowboard park, snowmaking big improvements last 4 years, wider trails, two new trails, dedicated double lift for park , highest vertical 930+ feet . tubing, No liquor license.
4) How long is the drive to Liberty, Whitetail, and Roundtop.
From Owings Mills, MD: Liberty: 1 Hour Roundtop: 1 hr 15 mins
Whitetail: 1 hr 30 mins
From Washington DC (National Cathedral): Liberty: 1 Hour 20 mins
5) WIND avoidance –
Liberty backside, wind tends to come up the front side.
Roundtop, move over to the left looking up at the mountain
Whitetail the far side Bold Decision, Exhibition
6) Rental fleet.
All three resorts have state of the art skis, snowboards, boots, binding.
Turn over every three years on the equipment.
7) Combined Stats
– 325 acres
– 52 Trails
– 100% Snowmaking
– 100% Lighted
– Vertical up to 930 feet
– Racing, Jams, Parks, Tubing, live music, themes
8) WI-FI Available in lodge
9) Group LESSON TIMES (always check ahead) – One on one call for appointment
Lessons are class lessons, based on your skill level.
Liberty – Lesson Times
+8 year old and up
Children Learning Center
Ski Packages are available for children ages 4-10.
Snowboard Packages are available for children ages 6-10
Daily lesson times are: 10am, Noon, 2pm, 4:30pm,
Evening 5:45pm, 7pm.
Children 3+ Private or Ski with me lesson
Children 4+ class lessons
Every Day: 10:00 am, Noon, 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm,
Evening 5:45 pm and 7:00 pm.
Children 4 to 7 and 8+ class lessons
Midweek/Non Peak – 10 am, (12pm peak), 2 pm, 3:30 pm,
Evening: 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm
Coupons & Discounts
SKI PA Learn to Ski/Snowboard, Bring a friend, and 49$ Learning package. See www.skipa.com click on programs.
Give your local resort a call if you have questions.