Ski Maryland: Skiing Means Wisp Here -

Wisp Resort in Western Maryland's Garrett County is an easy-going drive of less than three hours from Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Pittsburgh; Annapolis; and points in between.

Wisp has a long season, averaging 121 days, usually running from Thanksgiving into late March. The resort's sophisticated snowmaking system, which covers 90 percent of terrain, accounts for the length and reliability of that season. This fully automatic snowmaker relies on TechnoAlpin fan guns controlled by weather-station monitoring computers.

A view up the hill and a view of the chair lifts at Wisp Resort, MarylandSkiers and riders will find 32 slopes and trails spread over 132 acres, with a comfortable 700-foot vertical of a 3,115-foot-tall summit. Wisp is weighted toward beginner runs, with 41 percent of terrain ranked as green, including Possum, a trail that stretches from the top of three chairs for 1.5 miles, covering more than 10 acres. Intermediate terrain makes up 28 percent of the offerings, with the remaining 31 percent considered advanced.

Wisp's freestyle offerings include the Pro Terrain Park, Rail Park, and Super Pipe, Whip Saw Terrain Trail, Kid Zones and new Terrain Gardens mini parks. Snow tubers can enjoy the nine-chute Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park with its own rope tows to the top of the hill. Terrain is served by two quad chairs and five triples, three carpets, and four surface tows. Night skiing is offered on 90 percent of the mountain.

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