A March visit to Whitecap Mountain
Spring break 2006 presented an opportunity to check out a ski area that was within a reasonable distance (avoid flights) and promised a decent amount of snow. I surfed the web last week seeking such a destination and found Whitecap, a resort that Ski Magazine has posted favorable words on the years. Those reviews, along with a very attractive package ($199 per person for 3 nights, 3 day lift tickets, 2 dinners, 3 breakfast meals, rentals and a one hour daily group lesson) sealed the deal.
Whitecap is an easy four hour drive north from Madison. We arrived just as crews were clearing snow from last weekend’s 20 to 30″ storm – creating great midwest conditions for our visit. Whitecap’s founder: Dave (an amazingly active guy), mentioned in between bulldozing snow, grooming trails, cleaning rooms, helping with the lifts and feeding wood to lodge fireplaces that a number of cars were stuck during the storm (see photo) and the resort lost power for a short period of time.
Our package include a room in the Whitecap Lodge. This facility provides very convenient ski in/ski out access, nearby parking, a large hot tub and indoor heated pool. The only downside to the lodging was the smoking rooms nearby (be sure to request non-smoking if that is important to you). Perhaps living in Madison has made it far too uncommon to encounter a smoking facility. I was surprised at the number of smoker skiers. The rooms had plenty of hot water for a decent shower. Some include a kitchenette while others feature a microwave and small refrigerator.
Whitecap’s 43 trails provide a great deal of variety, from wide, well groomed slopes for beginners to some quite challenging (viewed from a chair lift) double black diamonds. The requisite bunny hill is available for newby’s. They also offer a tiny slope with a “magic carpet” for those just starting out. The other extreme, at least from a view perspective is the double chairlift that goes up Eagles Nest Mountain and continues, if you’d like, over a valley to the top of Thunder Mountain.
There was never a wait at the chairlifts and whitecap provides plenty of terrain to keep one busy for several days.
Links & Commentary
Go Ski’s discussion board has some useful comments.
Bill Semion took a look at Whitecap’s new trails a few months ago.
I’ve posted some additional photos below.
Dave takes pride in his family oriented destination, as well he should. There’s also a golf course for summer fun.