President’s Day at Winterplace by Rob Story

Well, today takes the cake as the longest day of skiing for me this year.

When I looked at the forecast over the weekend, I decided that braving the crowds was going to be worth it for one of the best skiing days this season. The forecast was sunny skies and a high of 36, and that’s just about exactly what I got. I got there around 8:45, thinking that the lifts didn’t open until 9; I had completely forgotten that on holidays the lifts open at 8, which would have given me an hour more of fresh tracks.

It ended up not being a big deal, because the crowds weren’t what I thought they were going to be. I never waited more than 2 minutes or so in a lift line, and that was only at the busiest part of the day. A lot of this had to do with my being in the singles line, and forming my own singles line when there wasn’t one. Winterplace doesn’t do a very good job of delineating lift lines, so often there won’t really be a singles line at all. In this case I just had to make sure I inched my way to the front and jumped on a lift that wasn’t full.

The lines really started to build up when they only had the quad going to the top of the mountain, but they quickly opened up the triple and cleared out a majority of the crowds. The conditions were great, and were probably some of the best they had all season.

The day before had been a legitimate powder day, with reports of 6 inches of fresh snow that night. Another 5 inches fell during the day Sunday, so it was all groomed out by the time I got there Monday morning. Still, this made for really nice groomed/packed powder conditions, and the areas that were left ungroomed had some really nice little powder shots. It was bluebird skies all day, with only a few small clouds to be seen. The sun was out and the temps were great; after skiing in single digit and sub-zero temperatures for the past few weeks, 35 degrees felt great. For you bump skiers out there Turkey Chute is in fine form.

There are really nicely formed moguls the whole length of the trail, as you can see in some of the pictures I took. A word of advice for new skiers: I saw lots of beginner skiers trying out this trail on Monday. I would advise you get a couple days (at least!) under your belt before you attempt something like this, as I saw lots of those same skiers going out of control and having hard falls. I even saw a group getting recorded by their leader as they fell their way down the trail. Not only does this hinder the ability of good mogul skiers to find a line, but its just plain dangerous. I’m not trying to sound like a grumpy patroller, but I saw some people that could have seriously injured themselves on this trail the way they were skiing it. Just be smart about your decisions on the slopes, because a broken leg/torn knee ligament can end your day really quickly. That being said, the rest of the trails were awesome today. Snowbowl and Drop Off were both in fantastic shape, and the latter was great for working on those big GS-style turns. I skied these runs quite a bit during the day, in additions to Plunge, Nose Dive, and Woods Run (the most scenic trail on the mountain).

The conditions were so good that I ate lunch on the lift, because I just didn’t want to stop. Before I knew it the sun had gone down and it was time for a little night skiing. By the time 8:30 rolled around I had been on the slopes for eleven and a half hours, and my legs were screaming that it was time to go home. I had an awesome President’s day, and I hope some of you got a chance to get out and enjoy some time on the slopes.

Rob

You can visit his website at www.skieastlookwest.com  or You can write to Rob at [email protected]  

Be sure to check out the full sized versions of his Snowshoe Trip Report – CLICK HERE

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.