Can't ski? Grab a tube

Resort activities are diverse in snowy season

Resort activities are diverse in snowy season

December 22, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

Local skiing is off to an early start with regional ski resorts optimistic about the season.

It's like mid-winter February conditions in mid-December, says Chris Black, marketing coordinator for Whitetail Mountain Resort in Mercersburg, Pa.

"Conditions are phenomenal for this time of year," he says.

Perfect conditions for skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, cardboard sledding, pond skimming and ... mountain biking?

Among the upcoming events at regional ski resorts is the Springfest Mountain Bike Race & Bump Contest at Whitetail Mountain Resort on March 4.

Mountain bikers ride down a snow-covered trail, says Amy Stine, special events coordinator for the resort.

"It's actually more fun to see who can stay on their bikes," she says.

Here are lists of some of the upcoming events at regional ski resorts.

Wisp Resort events

WHEN: Through Sunday, March 5: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays and Mondays; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Check snow tubing and holiday hours at


WHERE: Wisp Resort, 296 Marsh Hill Road, McHenry, Md.

COST: Lift tickets range from $15 to $55. For details go to

DIRECTIONS: Take Interstate 70 west to Hancock to Interstate 68 west and Cumberland, Md. Take Exit 14A to U.S. 219 south to McHenry, Md. Travel along U.S. 219 for 14 miles to McHenry. Follow signs to Wisp.

MORE: For more information, call 1-301-387-4911,e-mail or go to

Schedule includes:

Dec. 31: Bonfire at Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park with music, games and open-session tubing from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Live music at lodge from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fireworks at midnight and free party favor. Ticket reservations recommended.

Jan. 6: Heroes' Day, active members of the U.S. military, police and firefighters get a free lift ticket, and family members get a discount.

Jan. 7 to March 18: Stage Wisp Concert Series. Free Saturday evening concerts begin at 5:30 p.m. in the lodge.

Jan. 7: Bear Claw snow-tubing party with music, bonfire, games and food. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. $30 per person. Also on Jan. 21 and 28; Feb. 4 and 11; and March 4, 11 and 18.

Jan. 7: Asylum Rail Jam freestyle competition and Next Snow Search 2006

Jan. 21: Asylum Rail Jam freestyle competition

Jan. 22: Deep Creek Winter Sports Team Invitational. Race open to the public.

Jan. 28: Next Snow Search 2006 and Wisp Freestyle Festival with Asylum Rail Jam and slope-style and half-pipe elements.

Jan. 29: Red Bull Sledneck Shows; professional snowmobilers sling themselves and their snowmobiles off ramps, part of a course built in the parking lot. Stunts include back flips. There will be a post-show autograph session.

Feb. 10 through Feb. 12: Freeze Frame Freestyle Camp. Learn freestyle techniques on park features like the half pipe. Includes photo workshop. Limited availability. To register and get more information, go to

Feb. 11: Wisp Cup Slalom. Race open to public.

Feb. 12: Wisp Cup Freeride Challenge & Asylum Rail Jam.

Feb. 24: Mardi Gras on the Mountain with concert.

March 4: Asylum Rail Jam Finals

March 19: Cardboard Boxcar Derby

March 26: Pond Skim

Whitetail Mountain Resort events

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day for skiing and snowboarding as long as trails are snow-covered. Snow tubing hours are 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check for holiday hours.

WHERE: Whitetail Mountain Resort, 13805 Blairs Valley Road, Mercersburg, Pa.

COST: Prices vary. Check online for details.

DIRECTIONS: Take Interstate 70 west to Exit 18 for Clear Spring. Turn right off the exit ramp and go straight at the traffic light in Clear Spring. Follow the snowflake and Whitetail signs seven miles to Whitetail Mountain Resort, 13805 Blairs Valley Road.

MORE: 19 slopes, two terrain parks, snow tubing. Expanded rental building.

For more information, call 1-717-328-9400, e-mail or go to Call for reservations.

Schedule includes:

Dec. 31: New Year's Eve party with casino theme, late night ski/board/tube (until 1 a.m. Jan. 1) and midnight fireworks. Reservations are required for the buffet.

Jan. 5: Pennsylvania Learn to Ski Day. Skiing and snowboarding costs $10 for four hours, either 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Includes lift ticket, lesson and rental. For ages 8 and older. Limited to some beginner trails.

Jan. 7: Qualifying competition for Next X Snow. Winning skier/boarder will represent Whitetail at finals in Killington, Vt., in March.

Jan. 7 and Jan. 8: Maryland Special Olympics

Jan. 20: Rail Jam at Jib Junction, a terrain park for skiers and snowboarders. Freestyle competition.

Jan. 21: Light-night tubing party, until midnight.

Jan. 22: Slam Bam Huck Jam freestyle competition at Jib Junction.

Jan. 29: Snow X Race, downhill race with jumps for skiers and snowboarders. Elimination style. Four racers at a time.

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