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 December 10, 2010

Leisure

Whitetail Ridge Ski Area set to open
Dec. 18, weather permitting

Story & photos by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Fort McCoy’s Whitetail Ridge Ski Area is scheduled to open for the season, weather permitting, Saturday, Dec. 18. The facility is open to the public.

PHOTO: A Fort McCoy Outdoor Recreation employee prepares the Whitetail Ridge T-bar ski lift for the upcoming winter season.Photo by Rob Schuette
A Fort McCoy Outdoor Recreation employee prepares the Whitetail Ridge T-bar ski lift for the upcoming winter season.

Hours and prices will remain the same as last year, according to Pam Budda, Fort McCoy Outdoor Recreation manager.

Prices are available for individuals and group use, as well as daily and seasonal use.

Skiing and Ski Chalet hours will be Fridays from 4:30-9 p.m.; Saturdays from noon-9 p.m. and Sundays from noon-6 p.m. Snow tubing will be available Fridays from 5-8:30 p.m.; Saturdays from 12:30-8:30 p.m.; and Sundays from 12:30-5:30 p.m.

Outdoor Recreation staff used the colder weather that began in early December to get off to a quick start making snow. Staff members are covering the snow-tubing slopes with the white stuff first and then will cover the ski slopes. Grooming equipment is used to help prepare the slopes.

Snow tubers will have two 800-foot long lanes (slopes) to traverse this year. Snowtubers can use a tow rope and can rent snow tubes at the hill.

“New this year is a warming hut at the bottom of the hill to keep tubers warm in between runs,” Budda said.

Skiers and snowboarders again will have access to slopes ranging from beginner levels to slopes with a vertical drop of more than 185 feet and 1,300 feet in length. A self-loading T-bar ski lift takes patrons to the top of the slopes.

PHOTO: Snow-making machines add the white fluffy stuff to the Whitetail Ridge slopes. Photo by Rob Schuette
Snow-making machines add the white fluffy stuff to the Whitetail Ridge slopes. Snow that fell in the Fort McCoy area Dec. 3-4 also helped cover the slopes.

Snowboarders also will have access to a terrain park, she said.

Members of the National Ski Patrol will support the hill during operational hours and provide safety support. Budda said skiing and snowboarding lessons also will be offered.

“New this year is a renovated bonfire area at the bottom of the hill near the Ski Chalet that allows patrons to warm up

 between runs while remaining outdoors,” she said.

Cross-country skiing and snowmobiling also will be available as conditions permit.

Both activities depend upon a sufficient cover of natural snow, Budda said.

Patrons can use the Ski Chalet facility to keep warm and its large windows to view the action. The facility includes indoor activities, equipment rental, and a Family area where a variety of food and beverages are sold.

Tactics Paintball and Laser Tag facilities also are located at Whitetail Ridge.

Lodging options are available at the nearby Pine View Recreation Area, which is open year-round.

For more information about programming, special events and weather conditions, call 608-388-4498/3517 or toll-free at 1-800-531-4703.

Information about Whitetail Ridge activities, which includes costs for tows, lifts and equipment rental, also is available online at the Fort McCoy Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation website at http://www.mccoymwr.com.

Whitetail Ridge to offer special events

Special events are on tap at Fort McCoy’s Whitetail Ridge Ski Area during the 2010-2011 winter season.

A welcome-back special is set for the facility’s opening Saturday, Dec. 18, weather permitting.

Whitetail Ridge will observe holiday hours from Dec. 24 through Jan. 2: Dec. 24-25 closed; Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2011 from noon-8 p.m.; and Jan. 2 from noon to 6 p.m.

New specials this year include Friday Family Nights, which is four tubing passes, sodas and cookies and a pizza for $32, and Super Saver Sundays, which is either an adult lift ticket and equipment rental for $35 or junior lift ticket and equipment rental for $25.

Other special events are a Geo-Caching Contest from Jan. 1-March 1.

The Winter Extravaganza and Adventure Race will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 29 and is open to the public.

In February, Whitetail Ridge opens at noon Friday, Feb. 18, and a Moonlight Ski Event will be held Monday, Feb. 28.

A Customer Appreciation Day is scheduled for March 5, weather permitting.

Group rates and birthday party packages also are available upon request.

For more information about Whitetail Ridge events, call 608-388-4498/3517 or 1-800-531-4703.

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