Fort McCoy News Dec. 8, 2017

Whitetail Ridge prepares for upcoming season

Public Affairs Staff

As the temperatures drop, Whitetail Ridge Ski Area staff members are preparing for the upcoming 2017-18 season.

The ski hill's opening date is tentatively scheduled for the week of Dec. 18, though the important factor is the weather, said Program Manager Nick Sanjari with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

While they don't need to wait for natural snow to fall, the temperature does need to be in the 20s before staff members can make snow. The humidity also plays a role; it's difficult to make snow in high humidity, Sanjari said.

Maintenance personnel for Whitetail Ridge Ski Area work on a tow line Nov. 29 at Fort McCoy. The facility has a tenative opening of the week of Dec. 18, weather permitting.,
Maintenance personnel for Whitetail Ridge Ski Area work on a tow line
Nov. 29 at Fort McCoy. The facility has a tenative opening of the week of
Dec. 18, weather permitting.
Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

Whitetail Ridge provides a Family-friendly outing, Sanjari said. It features space to ski, tube, and snowboard for people of all ages and skill levels. Staff members plan to expand the tubing lanes this year and add new features and obstacles to the terrain park for snowboarders.

The area also offers access to local trails and rents both snowshoe and cross-country equipment.

"I don't think a lot of people know that we have that (equipment) for rental on the trails," Sanjari said.

The jump pillow, which was introduced and tested last year, will be available full time, he said. The jump pillow is an inflatable pillow that gives skiers and snowboarders a safe place to land after performing jumps.

"Our highlight is our jump pillow. That's really what sets us apart from other ski hills," Sanjari said.

The ski hill is also a great place for beginners, he said. "New to the hill this year is a 'pony lift' that is great for beginners," Sanjari said.

One-on-one skiing lessons are available, which can be scheduled ahead of time or upon arrival at the ski area. Those who aren't comfortable skiing or snowboarding can go tubing instead.

The chalet offers a place to warm up, get something to eat, or simply watch the outdoor action. The chalet also provides group packages for events like birthday parties or can be rented for private events.

Whitetail Ridge offers a number of special events each season in addition to its usual activities. Special events planned for this season include:

• Snowshoe 5k (Jan. 6) — A 5k walk with snowshoes through the woods.

• Winter Extravaganza (Jan. 20) — An outdoor bash featuring a variety of contests for all ages and skill levels.

• Cardboard Classic (Jan. 27) — Build a sled out of cardboard and race it downhill.

• Moonlit Snowshoe tour (Feb. 3) – A guided tour through the woods with three different trails to choose from.

• Military Appreciation & Chili Cook-Off (Feb. 10) — An event featuring specials for military members and Families and a chance for members of the public to show their appreciation. The Chili Cook-Off will be during the day.

All dates are tentative and subject to weather conditions.

Pine View Recreation Area, Whitetail Ridge, and all events are open to the public.

For more information, including current prices, visit or or call 608-388-4498.