2013 ski season preview [Pictures]
Ready to hit the slopes? Here's everything you need to know about the most popular ski resorts near Baltimore.
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Wisp Resort( Ryan Smith / Wisp / December 3, 2013 )
296 Marsh Hill Road, McHenry; 301-387-4000, wispresort.com
Distance from Baltimore: 182 miles
Vertical drop: 700 feet
Number of trails: 32
Activities: Wisp features a variety of alternative activities for fun both on and off the mountain. Check out its snowshoeing and Nordic skiing opportunities, the Canopy Tour zip line and ropes course, or get some wind in your hair on the resort's mountain roller coaster.
What's new for 2013: This season, Wisp has added alpine skiing to it's list of options for hitting the slopes.
Dining/drinking options: Wisp Resort offers a variety of different dining options, all located right within the resort. DC's Bar & Restaurant offers sit-down breakfast, lunch and dinner options, as well as a full-service bar that offers various happy hour deals throughout the week. For something quick, you can stop by Wispers Mountainside Bar, and the Pumphouse Cafe on the mountaintop offers snacks and refreshments while you're out on the slopes.
Rates: Lift tickets weekdays are a flat rate for all ages, $29-$39, depending on time of day and two-day $78; weekends $29-$69 per day, $79-$99 two-day weekend
Classes: Different learn-to-ride classes are tailored for adults, children, women and even aspiring freestyle riders looking to learn a thing or two about hitting the half pipe. When you're done, be sure to check out the Burton Progression parks. The progression parks offer low traffic, scaled down versions of professional freestyle parks with trick tips posted along the way as an added perk.
Lodging options: The on-site Wisp Resort offers ski-in/ski-out convenience when you stay slopeside, in addition to an indoor poor and health center, among other amenities. For a quieter getaway, check out Carmel Cove Inn down the road in Swanton. Rated "Best Getaway to a Winter Wonderland" by Washingtonian magazine, the Carmel Cove Inn offers fireplaces, Jacuzzis, WiFi and private breakfast. For another low-key getaway, look to Haley Farm B&B in Oakland, boasting a spa and retreat center.
Special events: Wisp will host the United States of America Snowboard Association's Appalachian series boardercross (BX/SX) event on the weekend of Feb. 1 and 2. You can simply watch, or register to compete at usasa.org (registration begins Dec. 15). Open to skiers and riders, Wisp hosts Friday Night Rail Jam events throughout the season. Dates for the open style rail jam's, held in the Pro Park, are Jan. 17, Feb. 15, and March 14.
Best deal of the season: Beginning Jan. 6, Wisp will offer a great Monday deal. For $39, you can get an all day lift ticket from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., which includes both ski or snowboard rental and a 60-minute clinic.