Easy drive, full use of vertical, facilities
Skied Whitetail for the first time on January 4th. I was staying with a friend in Southern Maryland who lives only 2.5 hrs away. It was an easy 2.5 hrs. You are off the interstate for about 15 minutes. If you live this close, and can bare the 57.00 lift ticket, it is worth going.
I was pleasantly surprised by the facilities. The lodge is well kept, and was overstaffed with hospitable friendly people in khakis and tucked in polos. The common area, which boasts picnic tables and the cafeteria is equipped with cubbies for you to stash your belongings while you ski. I immediately noticed that many people had brought their lunches. This may be a wise move if you have the whole family. The prices in the cafeteria are exorbitant to the point that it is humorous. The food is not terrible however, and there are a lot of choices. I will also add that the resort is dry, so don't count on grabbing a beer with lunch. It would probably be ten dollars anyway. Outside the lodge are ski racks, as well as a free ski check. All of the kids working the ski check were extremely polite, and not grunged out and apathetic. One of the people we were skiing with said that he had a pair of skis stolen from the rack a few years back, and I have read the same. There is a security guard that patrols the area around the racks, but I am not sure how he is supposed to keep track of 100 skis and faces. Not much of a deterrent.
From what I have read and heard I expected the mountain to be a madhouse considering it was a Sunday. I guess since families were coming off Christmas break this was not the case. Although it was more crowded than I would have liked there were no lift lines throughout the course of the day. A ski patrol had told us that the day before was extremely crowded, and this was clearly evident on the slopes. I have to blame the resort for the poor conditions. It was clear after the first couple of runs that none of the more difficult trails had been groomed. Pretty much every trail we skied was a field of leftover mini mogul crud. You were able to find some soft man made from the night before, but it confined you strictly to the very edge of each trail. I am a strong to advanced intermediate and found no challenges. The double black is comfortably skied by someone on my level. There is a great area for beginners off the Easy Rider with one nice long green, and a beginner blue. I think boarders would be happy with the terrain park, which had a lot more features than I had imagined. Numerous jumps, rails, as well as a large quarter pipe. Considering their vertical the trails are long and continuous. It's enough to keep you occupied for a day.
If you are a penny pincher you may feel cheated by the 57.00 lift ticket. I have come to terms with the fact that we live in the MidAtlantic and don't have a lot of options. Living in such a limited area (Hampton Roads), any day skiing is a good one. I will admit however that I felt cheated by the lack of grooming, and the condition they left the mountain in from the day before. I will go back to Whitetail when I am close by, and would recommend it for day trips.