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Mountain Message Blog

Friday, December 30, 2016

Storm Update

As of noon on Friday, December 30, Wisp has received approximately 6" of fresh snow and it continues to fall.  A Winter Storm Warning is still in effect and is forecasting accumulations of up to 10 inches!  We say, 'Bring it!"  The cold temperatures that the storm brought have also allowed us to turn on the snowguns and we will continue to make snow as weather (and winds) permit.  Without a doubt, today is the best day of the season so far!

In other news:

Now is a good time to demo skis if you are in the market for a new pair.  Swing by the new Rossignol Concept Shop and Demo Center, located on the upper level of the McHenry Lodge, to demo a pair of new Rossignol Skis.  David Hall, Retail Extraordinaire, Aspiring Golf Professional and Freestyle Skier, will be happy to outfit you with a pair of Rossignol Demo Skis.  Don't forget Wisp Season Pass Holders, you receive a special demo rate all season long.  

New in the world of adult beverages -- Wisp Resort has partnered with Jailbreak Brewing Co. of Laurel Maryland to bring you an exclusive seasonal beer -- Maple Ridge Amber Ale.  Made with pure maple syrup, this medium body Amber Ale has a deep amber appearance followed by aromas of caramel, maple, and pie crust.  Maple Ridge Amber Ale is only available at Wisp Resort and Jailbreak Tap Room in Laurel Maryland.  Stop in to DC's Bar, Sundown Cafe or Wispers Bar (where you'll find Happy Bartender, Jordan, pictured below) for $4.99 pints all day, every day - Cheers! Please drink responsibly. 

Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse-open-sleigh at Wisp Resort!  Ray Miller of Pleasant Valley Dream Rides is offering Sleigh Rides on Fridays and Saturdays this weekend starting at 1pm from the Nordic Yurt at Sundown Village.  Guests can bundle up under blankets and enjoy the sounds of sleigh bells as Bill, the 14 year old Belgian Draft Horse, pulls the sleigh through a winter wonderland.  30-minute rides are $19pp and can be booked directly with Mr. Miller at the Nordic Yurt.  Over the fields we go, laughing all the way...

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Friday, December 30, 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Winter Storm Watch in Effect!

There's just something about that blazing red text and loud capitalization of a Winter Storm Watch that gives skiers and riders chills - good chills!  As your eyes scan the information for the forecasted snow accumulation, your heart quickens and thoughts of powdery turns immediately fill your head.

As of 12:00pm, Wednesday, December 28, Garrett County is under a Winter Storm Watch from Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon.  The National Weather Service has forecasted a potential snow accumulation of greater than 6 inches.  Keep your eye on the storm, book your stay at the Lodge at Wisp quickly as rooms are filling up and head to Deep Creek Lake for the first, and probably last, snow storm of 2016!  (2017 arrives on Sunday - wink, wink)

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Season's Greetings from Wisp Resort

Season's Greetings from Wisp Resort!  With a week of skiing already in the books for Winter 2016.2017, we are gearing up for an amazing Holiday Week.  Wisp's Mountain Ops Team is turning on the snowguns at every opportunity and the slopes are in great condition.  The Grooming Team received their holiday gift yesterday and immediately put it to the test last night (December 22)!  Groomer, Jared Feather, took the photo below this morning (December 23) of the new Prinoth Winch Cat with a beautiful mountain sunrise as a backdrop.  Jared said, "We tested the winch on Squirrel Cage last night, then ran it around the mountain."  Based on the photos below of Squirrel Cage this morning, it works great!  The shot of the whalebacks on Squirrel Cage was taken Wednesday and the groomed shot of Squirrel Cage was taken today (December 23).

The Holiday Season wouldn't be complete without a little shopping and dining!  Wisp's retail outlets are chock-full of amazing winter gear, trendy fashions, souvenirs and gifts.  Browse around our many outlets including Outdoor Elements, The Rossignol Concept Shop, Sundown Village Shop, The Mountain Park Shop and The Vertical Drop Shop.  After working up an appetite from all the shopping, relax in any of our dining outlets including DC's Bar & Restaurant.  DC's is featuring a special 4-course Christmas Dinner Menu on Sunday, December 25 from 11am - 9pm - bon appetit!

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Friday, December 23, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Opening Day - December 16, 2016

Maryland’s Wisp Resort will open for the 2016.2017 Winter Season on Friday, December 16, 2016 for skiing and snowboarding from 9am – 5pm thru Monday, December 19.  Beginning Tuesday, December 20, skiing and snowboarding will be available 9am – 9pm thru Saturday, December 31, 2016, then regular season hours will commence.  Standard and Premium Day pricing will be in effect with lift tickets for Friday and Sunday at $59 per day for adults and $49 per day for juniors ages 6 – 12; Saturday’s lift tickets are $79 for adults and $59 for juniors.  The Mountain Park will open on Friday from 4pm – 8pm with Snow Tubing, the Mountain Coaster and Ice Skating.  Rates for the Mountain Park include Snow Tubing at $34 per person per 2-hour session; Mountain Coaster at $14 for a single ride and $19 for double rider; Ice Skating at $14 for a 90-minute session with skate rental.  The Mountain Park will operate Saturday from 10am – 8pm and Sunday from 10am – 5pm then reopen Wednesday, December 21 for the remainder of the season.

“We anticipate opening Squirrel Cage, Grouse Way, Wisp Trail, Sunset Blvd and the Wisp Kids Learning Terrain for Opening Day, Friday, December 16.  On Saturday, we will add Central Park Terrain Park along with 8 trails in the North Camp area:  Happy Camper, Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Backbone Pass, Ace’s Run, Whip Saw, Over the Edge and Ridge Run.  More terrain will open as snowmaking progresses,” commented Mountain Operations Director, Artie Speicher.  Wisp Resort began snowmaking on Thursday, December 8 and as of 11am Thursday, December 15, a total of 43 million gallons of water has been pumped producing 282 acre feet of snow while running the system for 123 total hours. Wisp Resort’s General Manager, Jerry Geisler stated, “Being able to open a ski resort in the Mid-Atlantic by mid-December is always a challenge. Mother Nature has cooperated and our Snowmaking and Grooming Crews have done an exceptional job in difficult conditions. Over 500 employees in departments ranging from Parking, Ski Lifts, Snow Tubing, Ski Rentals, Food and Beverage, Retail, Ski and Snowboard Instruction, Ski Patrol, Mountain  Hosts, Hotel and Facilities are excited to welcome guests and we all look forward to a long snowy winter.”

ALL OPERATIONS ARE TENTATIVE AND WEATHER PERMITTING.  For the most up-to-date conditions, lift operations and trail openings visit Wisp Resort’s mountain report.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Snowmaking Update and Fun Facts

As of 3:00pm Sunday, December 11, snowmaking operations are shutting down with temperatures reaching above 28 degrees.  The next anticipated snowmaking round looks to be shaping up for late Tuesday, December 13.  What a productive past couple of days our Mountain Ops Team had!  Here are a few fun facts to digest as we get ready for round two:

  • Snowmaking system ran for 73 hours
  • 638 worker hours
  • 31 million gallons pumped
  • 203 acre feet of snow produced

Wisp Resort and the Deep Creek Lake area are home to generations of families that have made their living in the tourism and hospitality industry.  Many siblings have influenced the career paths of their family members and Wisp's Snowmaking Team boasts several brigades of  brothers.  Four different sets of brothers totaling half of the overall snowmaking team are brothers:  The Cosner Family includes Jerry, John and Tarry; The Broadwater Clan has Colby and Cory and their half-brother Dan Kerr; The Sines Men are Jonathan and Jerhett and The Stephens Crew have Andrew 'AJ' and Nate.  These ten men, along with ten others, produce the quality snow product that we all love to play on. Thank you Snowmaking Crew, keep up the good work!

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Monday, December 12, 2016

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Snowguns Blazing!

Snowmaking is underway for the 2016.2017 Winter Season.  At 1:00pm on Thursday, December 8, Wisp's Mountain Ops Team turned on the snowguns and will be concentrating most of the effort on front side trails including Squirrel Cage, The Face, Sunset Blvd, Wisp Trail, Central Park and the Snow Tubing Park.  Weather conditions are looking ideal for snowmkaing all through the weekend and our Mountain Ops Team will be working around the clock to lay down a quality snow product in anticipation of Opening Day which is tentatively set for Friday, December 16.  Follow the Snowmaking Team's progress by checking out the webcam over the next few days.  Let Winter Begin!

Check out this 24-hr time lapse of the first snowmaking of the season!

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Friday, December 09, 2016

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Happy December and The Science of Snowmaking

Happy December!   Wisp Resort and the Deep Creek Lake Area have seen a few cold spells and flurries of snow which means Winter is near. Our Mountain Operations Team is poised to begin snowmaking as soon as the weather conditions are just right. There are many factors that go into the Science of Snowmaking. We asked our Director of Mountain Operations, Artie Speicher, to give us a quick tutorial on what it takes to turn on the guns.  "We make snow based on what is called a 'wet bulb' which is a combination of ambient temperature and humidity.  For example: 32 degrees with 100 percent humidity would be a 32 wet bulb; 32 degrees with 90 percent humidity would be 31 wet bulb.  Roughly, for every 10 percent of humidity drop, the wet bulb temperature will drop one degree.  Wisp's snowmaking system ideally needs a 26 or lower wet bulb to have any real production," he stated.  Another major factor to add into the mix is wind.  The direction and speed of wind can greatly impact snowmaking operations.  Artie finished by adding, "starting next Thursday night, December 8, good snowmaking temperatures should be consistent enough and we plan to hit it hard if the forecast holds true."  Once snowmaking begins, the Mountain Ops Team will be seen all over the mountain and in the control room of the Pumphouse.  

While you uncover your skis and snowboards for the upcoming season, consider treating them to a tune up from The Tuning Center at Wisp Resort.  It's essentially a spa for your gear!  Clean sharp edges.  Fresh coat of wax.  Check and adjust on bindings.  Your well tuned equipment will treat you better on-snow!  Bring your equipment by The Tuning Center located on the lower level of the McHenry Lodge.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Saturday, December 03, 2016