- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 19, 2003

Whitetail never disappoints. That's one of the few constants in this sport built on ever-changing weather.
A recent visit to the ski/snowboard area in Mercersburg, Pa., reaffirmed that Whitetail does it all, and does it well.
The snow was impeccable, thanks to more than a week of prime snowmaking weather. The lifts quickly and efficiently whisked the few skiers there on a Monday up the mountain without any waiting.
The folks behind the counters all had smiles: the grill guy who traded jokes as he flipped burgers; the woman in Etc. Etc., Whitetail's exotic coffee kiosk who discussed different coffee roasts; and chatty granddad types in the rental shop. All of them were saying, "Glad you're here. Go have some fun."
And fun was to be had. Under a blue sky embellished with puffed-up clouds and on snow chilled to the perfect consistency to make long, sweeping turns across the nearly empty slopes, the day became one to savor and file away in the "best ever" category.
"We've been having some of the best conditions ever at Whitetail," said Chris Black of the resort's communications department. "And that's because of the cold weather. And the snow. When it snows in the city, it puts the idea in people's minds that there must be snow on the mountain. Even when there was rain in D.C., it was snow up here."
Improvements to Whitetail are easy to spot. The food court was reconfigured to improve traffic flow. The retail shop, Whitetail Mountain Sports, is in a new building attached to the main lodge. The rental building is larger and has more efficient flow patterns. Lights were added to Whitetail's expert terrain making 16 of 19 trails available for night skiing. And Whitetail created a snow tubing area with two tows and its own lodge. The tubing area is at the far end of the parking lots near the snowmaking plant, well away from the skiing and snowboarding slopes.
Whitetail's Flex Ticket is the way to go if you are only able to squeeze in a couple of hours of skiing on a weekday morning. You can show up any time during the day and buy a four- or eight-hour block of skiing. The adult four-hour flex costs $33 during the week, $41 on weekends while the eight-hour is $39 weekdays and $46 on weekends. Information: 717/328-9400; skiwhitetail.com.
Music and skiing To mark the King holiday, Canaan Valley Resort, in Davis, W.Va., will have live music in the Bear Paw Lodge to accompany night skiing tonight. Caanan Valley schedules night skiing Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights during the season. Beginning Wednesday, Canaan will have NASTAR ski racing. NASTAR is a national program of recreational ski racing for all ages and abilities. 800/622-4121; canaanresort.com.
Resorts observe daughter week Three resorts in the Middle Atlantic region will observe Take your Daughter to the Snow Week from Jan.27 to Feb.2. Mountain Creek Resort (Vernon, N.J.), Massanutten Resort (Harrisonburg, Va.) and Mystic Mountain at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa (Farmington, Pa.) are participating in the sixth renewal of the annual event. Information: 949/499-2225, daughterweek.com; Mountain Creek 973/827-2000, mountaincreek.com; Massanutten 540/289-9441, massresort.com; Nemacolin 800/422-2736, nemacolin.com.
Wintergreen opens new trail Wintergreen, in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, has a new trail, Cross Cut, that connects two upper mountain slopes in the Highlands area of the resort where expert skiers and snowboarders hang out. The new trail gives Wintergreen 20 slopes and trails, serviced by five lifts. There are also two snow tubing parks at the resort. Information: 434/325-2200; wintergreenresort.com.
Wisp welcomes snow With more than 70 inches of natural snow so far this winter, Wisp at Deep Creek Mountain Resort, McHenry, Md., is having one of its best seasons. Earlier this month, Wisp had doubled last year's skier visits and was running 30 percent ahead of skier visits from the record-setting 2000-01 season. Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park saw an increase of 5,088 tubers from last year, thanks to the snow, three more lanes and more days operating. Information: 301/387-4911; skiwisp.com.
Snow Sports appears on Sundays in The Washington Times during the winter. Contact: [email protected]


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