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Mountain Message Blog

Monday, January 30, 2017

Powder Alert / Thank You Subaru

POWDER ALERT:  11" of snow has fallen in the past 4 days with a possible 5" more thru tomorrow.  What a great way to finish the first month of 2017!  Round-the-clock snowmaking continues and Wisp's Mountain Ops Team is rebuilding terrain in anticipation of re-opening more trails soon.  Stay in the know with the Mountain Report.  We will even deliver the daily Mountain Report to your inbox - sign up here.

A big shout out to Subaru of America, Inc. for a wonderful WinterFest Weekend!  We had many happy Subaru Owners at the event to enjoy some tasty treats, win giveaways, toast some s'mores and talk about all things Subaru.

Now let's go outside and play in the snow...

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Monday, January 30, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Awesome Weekend Ahead - Snow! Events!

Forecast

This weekend is lining up to be an amazing one!  First, there is snow in the forecast as Garrett County is currently under a Winter Weather Advisory from January 26 - 28 with 6" - 9" of snow accumulation possible.  Check out the forecast image below from www.noaa.gov.  In the ski world, that's equivalent to hitting all cherries on a slots machine - cha-ching!  Wisp's Mountain Ops Team will be turning on the snow guns as soon as the wet bulb allows.  Stay up-to-date on snowmaking and terrain status with the full Mountain Report.

forecast

Events

Next, we've got a great line-up of events in store.  

Friday kicks off the weekend with the Stage Wisp Concert Series in Wispers Bar.  Join the scene at 6:30pm when Scott Alexander takes the stage to showcase his singer songwriter talents and enjoy an adult beverage from the feature of the week - Bell's Brewery.

Saturday gets cranking at 9:00am with the Subaru WinterFest.  Stop by the Subaru Village at the base of Central Park Terrain Park for giveaways, entertainment and the latest and greatest from Subaru.

Check out the full Calendar of Events.

Lodging Packages

For those of you that had a New Year's Resolution to travel more, be more spontaneous or follow the weather - NOW IS YOUR CHANCE!  The Lodge at Wisp has made it easy and convenient for you to stay and play on the mountain with these weekend packages:

Wisp Weekend Experience Package Starting at $369 pp*

Enjoy 2-night’s lodging at the slope-side Lodge at Wisp and a 2-day Lift Ticket.

Learning Adventure Weekend Package Starting at $439 pp*

Enjoy 2-night’s lodging at the slope-side Lodge at Wisp, a Learn-to Ski or Snowboard Package on Saturday and a Lift and Rental Package on Sunday.

Call 800.462.69477 to book.

*Price is per person based on double occupancy, availability and advance reservation.  Valid Friday and Saturday nights.  Excludes February 17-18, 2017.  Not valid with other discounts, promotions or group stays.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Thursday, January 26, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

It's Still Winter!

It's SNOWING at Wisp Resort!  The snow started to fall around 1:00pm and after 2 hours, there is approximately 2" of accumulation with a possible 4" total in the forecast.  The photos below were taken at 2:00pm, Monday, January 23.  The snow was falling so hard and fast, the top of the mountain was not visible from the base.  Despite a week of not-so-cold weather, winter is still here and we are still skiing.  Our resilient Mountain Ops Team has worked their magic, moved around some snow and now Mother Nature has showed back up to support us.  Snowmaking should commence, as weather permits, later this week to beef up the trails for the weekend.  

Don't let winter slip by - book your winter getaway to The Lodge at Wisp.  Offering midweek and weekend specific packages plus, two new Valentine's Day Packages, The Lodge at Wisp is the ideal slopeside place to stay.  Call 800.462.9477 to book today.

Wisp Weekend Experience Package Starting at $369 pp*

Enjoy 2-night’s lodging at the slope-side Lodge at Wisp and a 2-day Lift Ticket.

Learning Adventure Weekend Package Starting at $439 pp*

Enjoy 2-night’s lodging at the slope-side Lodge at Wisp, a Learn-to Ski or Snowboard Package on Saturday and a Lift and Rental Package on Sunday.

Love & Learn Package Starting at $174 pp*

Couple's will enjoy 1-night’s lodging at the slope-side Lodge at Wisp and an all-inclusive Learn-to Ski or Snowboard Package (lift ticket, equipment rental, group lesson) and a 3-course Valentine's Dinner at DC's Bar & Restaurant.

Madly in Love Midweek Package Starting at $159 pp*

Couple's will enjoy 1-night’s lodging at the slope-side Lodge at Wisp, a 1-day Lift Ticket and a 3-course Valentine's Dinner at DC's Bar & Restaurant.

Midweek Madness Package Starting at $84 pp*

Enjoy 1-night's lodging at the slope-side Lodge at Wisp and a 1-day Lift Ticket.

Learn-to Midweek Package Starting at $99 pp*

Enjoy 1-night’s lodging at the slope-side Lodge at Wisp and a Learn-to Ski or Snowboard Package.  It's everything you need to become a skier or snowboarder including a lift ticket, ski or snowboard equipment rental and a group lesson.

*Restrictions apply. See Lodging Specials Page for details.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Monday, January 23, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dining & Shopping / Sales & Specials

What would a resort experience be without dining and shopping?  Wisp offers plenty of options for both so you can please your palate and practice a little retail therapy.  

Dining

DC's Bar & Restaurant - McHenry Lodge

Wispers Bar - McHenry Lodge

Food Court - McHenry Lodge

Mountain Park Cafe - Mountain Park

The Pumphouse Cafe - Mountaintop

Shopping

Outdoor Elements - McHenry Lodge

Rossignol Concept Shop & Demo Center - McHenry Lodge

Mountain Park Shop - Mountain Park

Sundown Village Shop - Nordic Yurt in Sundown Village

Vertical Drop Shop - White Water Lodge

Sales

20% off select Outerwear in Outdoor Elements & Rossignol Concept Shop*

Season Pass Holder Special:  10% off purchase in Outdoor Elements & Rossignol Concept Shop*

Season Pass Holder Special:  $14 Demo Day on Sunday, January 22 in Rossignol Demo Center - limited availability*

*Sales cannot be combined with other discounts.  Pass Holders must present valid 16.17 Wisp Season Pass to receive offer.  Sale offers valid until January 31, 2017.

Weekly Specials at DC's Bar & Restaurant

Mountain Monday - A mountain-high sandwich creation of  the day with fries $9.99

Taco Tuesday - Taco creation of the day with sides $9.99

Wisp Wednesday - Burger creation of the day with fries $9.99 & $1 off Maple Ridge Amber Ale with burger purchase

Prime Rib Thursday - Hand-cut Prime Rib with baked potato and house salad $29.94

Fish Friday - Hand-battered Scrod with fries and slaw $16.94

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Make the Most of MLK Weekend

We hope you're as amped as we are about the upcoming long weekend!  Our Mountain Ops Team has spent the week setting the mountain up for prime conditions by opening more terrain including the East Ridge.  Here is some helpful information so you can make the most of this MLK weekend:

MLK Weekend Flash Sale at The Lodge at Wisp

Reserve a 2-night stay at The Lodge at Wisp and get the 3rd night for half price from January 12 thru 16, 2017.  Hurry, rooms are limited!  Call 800.462.9477 to reserve today. More details here. 

Terrain Openings & Mountain Report

The East Ridge opened this week with Main Street, Eye Opener, Down Under, Highline Pass and Odin's Chute.  Possum is expected to open this weekend and Central Park got a complete makeover with 11 new features.  Stay informed with the daily Mountain Report by having it delivered directly to your inbox - sign up here.

Mountain Park

Beyond skiing and snowboarding, there is an entire park dedicated to winter fun.  It's called the Mountain Park!  There's snow tubing, ice skating and the ever-popular mountain coaster.  Best deal going is the Winter Adventure Combo that includes all 3 activities.  Reservations are recommended for snow tubing - call 800.462.9477 to reserve today.

Events

Kick the long weekend off with the Stage Wisp Concert Series on Friday at 6:30pm in Wispers Bar located in the McHenry Lodge.  

Attention all freestyle skiers and riders - the BlackStrap Rail Jam Series #1 is Saturday, January 14 in Central Park.  Get the low down here.

Hours of Operation

There are lots of moving parts and outlets at Wisp Resort - stay tuned in with all the openings and closing times here.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Terrain Opening Update & Thank a Snowmaker

With extremely cold weather for the past four days, Wisp's Snowmaking Team has done some hard core snowmaking!  The photos below that were taken today show the massive piles of snow this hard-working crew has created over the past few days.  (And Bear, the dog, who was properly dressed for the weather and loving it!)  These snow piles are often referred to as whale-backs and some of them resemble volcanos while others like sculptures.  Soon, these piles will become beautifully groomed trails to ski on!  And that's the big question - when will more terrain open?  

We plan to open the East Ridge on Tuesday, January 10 with Down Under, Main Street, Highline, and Lower Eye Opener along with Chairs 4 and 5.  Snowmaking continues on Upper Eye Opener and Odin’s Chute which may come online later this week.  Possum trail was loaded with snowguns last night with a goal to open for Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend.  

The Snowmaking Team is a group of hard working dedicated individuals that perform their job in some of the most extreme conditions. They work through the tough elements of nature for 12 hour shifts to turn our mountain into a winter wonderland.  A shift will usually start with a quick review of the weather forecast, the snowmaking plan, and work assignments while all of the crew is putting on layers of clothes before heading out to the slopes.  The crew is usually sent out in teams of 2, this is due to the many potential hazards of the job. The snowmakers will be encountering icy slopes, cold temperatures, high voltage equipment, and high pressure water. 

Once out on the mountain, the crews trek down the trails on foot or sometimes snowmobile.  The Controller in the Pumphouse will wait for requests from the team on the ground to turn on the guns.  Only after hoses are attached to the guns, power turned on to the equipment, and water put to the guns; does the magical plume of snow shoot from the snowmaking gun.  Snowmakers walk out to where the plume is falling and check the crystal formation then adjusts the water flow in the gun to control the quality and quantity of the snow being produced. This is a process that will continue throughout the entire shift as the temperature and humidity constantly change, which affect the type of snow being produced. 

Snowmaking is one of the hardest physical jobs on the mountain. Wet, cold and frozen are all daily occurrences in the life of a snowmaker.  A veteran snowmaker was once heard interviewing a new recruit, “So you want to make snow? Have you ever ran thru a car wash at 10 degrees in your underwear? Well, that is what snowmaking can be!”  Snowmakers have a strong passion for making snow. They take great pride in watching the trail grow from blades of grass to massive piles of snow and watching people ski and ride on what they produce.  Next time your see a bundled up frozen Snowmaker checking their plume of snow, stop and thank them.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Sunday, January 08, 2017

Saturday, January 07, 2017

A nite's tale - Groomer / Snowcat Operator

A NIGHTS TALE – A SNOWCAT OPERATOR
by Director of Mountain Operations, Artie Speicher

To the vast majority of us who leave behind carved-up slopes and return the next morning to find smooth perfect corduroy surfaces, what happens under the cover of darkness is a little like magic. In reality, it’s not, grooming is part snow science, part instinct, long high-energy playlist, much caffeine, and—even though those tough-as-nails groomers might not admit it—a lot of love for the mountain and snow.

Set the scene:  It’s now  9:30pm and velvety dark has swallowed the slopes, save for the snowcat’s headlight beams, which lead the way uphill, then downhill, then uphill again. On the back of the snowcat is a tiller, which first churns the snow, then presses it into corduroy. Marshall Lewis is using it to groom Wisp Trail, one of Wisp’s green-circle runs. Marshall is the grooming supervisor leading a team of hardy men, who seem to thrive on a lack of sleep. 

His job seems as rad as everyone says it is, but he does not seem bothered by its oddities: working almost solo, in the dark, and all night long. The night is the opposite of the hectic busy day that had occurred on the resorts slopes. It is a peaceful night, the stars, the wildlife, the graveyard shift’s sunrise; the views from the top of the mountain all are some of the reasons why he and his crew love what they do. However, it runs deeper than that, they take great pride in providing smooth perfect corduroy runs behind each pass of the machine.

He gets a radio call from one of the other snowcat operators working in North Camp, where snowmaking has been running most of the night, he asks for some help as the piles of freshly made snow are quite large. Marshall aims his machine and heads to the North Camp area. When he arrives he raises the tiller and starts to spread the snow across the slope. He moves the snowcat back and forth across the trail each time pushing the snow from the huge pile to spread it to an even coverage on the grassy slope with precision, his hands moving like grease lightning as he controls both the power to the tracks and the blade on the front of the machine which seems to move in many directions but always leaving a smooth even surface.

The crew will continue the process throughout the night 10 to 12 hours on the shift. They will generally meet at the shop for a dinner break and to re-fuel their machines. It is a job that requires long hours, but like the snowmakers, the groomers are an integral part of providing a great snow surface and are an important part of Wisp’s Mountain Operations Team.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Saturday, January 07, 2017

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Ready. Set. Snow!

Looks like Mother Nature is giving us her first taste of Winter for 2017 starting today!  The temperature is steadily dropping and our Mountain Ops Team is poised to make snow.  Snowmaking will continue into the weekend with temps forecasted to range from the low 20s to single digits over the next couple of days.  Plus, we may even see a few inches of natural snow. The Snowmaking Crew will first focus efforts on already open terrain with thinning coverage then move to unopened terrain.  Our Grooming Team will be looking to massage those large piles of snow so we can open more terrain as soon as possible with a goal to have the majority of trails open next weekend for Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday.  

Speaking of Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday Weekend - make your plans now!  The newly renovated slopeside Lodge at Wisp is THE place to stay during your winter getaway. With 100 completely renovated rooms, new entrance and check-in area plus, a cozy Court Yard with a fire pit that just screams apres ski, you'll appreciate the comfort and convenience it has to offer. The indoor pool and hot tub is always a great activity before or after skiing to get your muscles loose and stretched out.  The Lodge at Wisp is connected to the McHenry Lodge where of most the skier / rider services, dining and shopping outlet are located.  Give us a call to book today - 800.462.9477.  

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Thursday, January 05, 2017

Monday, January 02, 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year - Welcome to 2017!  As the holidays come to a close, we want to thank all of our guests that visited the resort during the holiday season.  We appreciate you choosing Wisp Resort as the gathering place to spend your precious time with friends and family and hope you will be back again this winter season.  With a new year, comes new opportunities for change and in our case, we are waiting on a change in weather.  This roller coaster of weather will take a turn midweek and is forecasted to bring favorable snowmaking conditions starting Wednesday evening, January 4.   Wisp's Mountain Ops Team plans to make snow on the currently open terrain with thin cover then begin snowmaking on unopened terrain in hopes of having all slopes and trails online for Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Weekend, January 13 - 16.  One of the job perks of being a Snowmaker is to witness incredible sunrises like the one pictured below that was taken by Snowmaker Colby Broadwater just a few days ago.

There are a few activities at Wisp Resort that don't require any snow - Ice Skating and the Mountain Coaster.  Both activities are located in the Mountain Park and operate on the same schedule as Snow Tubing.  The 50' X 85' oval Ice Rink creates it's own climate with a 100 ton chiller and uses a mini-Zamboni® to groom the surface.  The Mountain Coaster is a gravitational hybrid of an Alpine Slide and a Roller Coaster boasting a 1,300-foot uphill track while twisting, turning, dipping, and rolling for 3,500-feet downhill over 350 vertical feet.  Individual tickets are available for both activities or save a few dollars with the Winter Adventure Combo that includes an Ice Skating Session with skate rental, a single Mountain Coaster ride and a Snow Tubing session.

Last Edited by The Wisperer on Monday, January 02, 2017