Whitetail Snow Skills Day 2019

  • Saturday, March 23, 2019
  • 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Whitetail Ski Resort


Registration is closed

Snow Skills Day


This will be an opportunity to practice snow skills at the Whitetail Ski Resort after it closes for the season. A ski area can be nearly ideal for basic snow practice, with great spaces for ice axe self arrest work, anchor building, and snow movement.


The date will depend entirely on when the downhill ski season ends. Our planned date is Saturday, March 23.


If you sign up please be aware that we will need to arrive together at Whitetail (no straggling in late) to check in and sign their releases and leave together. The meeting will be no later than 7:30 at the McDonald's near Clear Spring, MD (quite near Whitetail). If you are not at the Clear Spring, MD McDonald's at 7:30 you will not be able to enter Whitetail. After meeting at the McDonald's we will proceed together to Whitetail. We will also leave Whitetail together at the end of the event.

When signing up please add yourself to the spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ALM5NY5UcPPg85ykdVTNeZ6PJkTa5sU9rXIm3fBxVb4/edit#gid=0 and indicate your level. For level please classify yourself as follows:

1. Beginner. You want to learn how to put on crampons, self-arrest, and move over snow. Beginner+ if you did stuff at ASW but not since.

2. Intermediate: You already know how to put on crampons, kick steps, plunge step, and you've self-arrested before. You've done them more than just once at ASW. You want to practice these skills and learn to use pickets, make anchors, and do other skills. At this level if you want to do glacier travel and crevasse rescue you need to learn the Texas prussik method and how to rig a 3:1 haul before you go to Whitetail.

3. Advanced: You are solid on all basic skills with multiple days of practice on each and you've got all the gear. You can rig for glacier travel, you know how to rig a 3:1 haul for rescue on rock. You have something you want to practice, presumably with your partner. Tell us what it is you want to practice. If you want to practice glacier travel and crevasse rescue then indicate and note how you know the pre-requisites.

4. Instructor: You feel good about teaching and supervising basic skills.


Basic equipment for this event will be crampon compatible boots, crampons, and an ice axe (ice tools not necessary). If you'll need boots, crampons, or an ice axe please note that on the spreadsheet and contact the club Gearmeister. The club has gear to lend out, but you must check with the gearmeister@patcms.org to reserve gear, especially boots in your size. You may also be able to borrow gear from club members. If the weather is warm we might ignore crampons (they might be pointless) and just work on movement with boots.

Also bring harness and helmet, lunch, sunscreen, and clothes suitable for a full day on the snow. You will want hard shells for ice axe arrest practice and probably not your expensive ultralight jacket as late season snow is abrasive.

Crevasse Rescue Practice:

A lot of people come to this event wanting to learn roped glacier movement and crevasse rescue. This is a good location for basic practice. However, a lot of the skill is on arranging ropes and simple haul rigging, things more efficiently taught off the snow. We want to maximize time on the snow doing snow skills practice not learning how to rig a 3:1 haul. So if you sign up looking to do crevasse practice then we expect that you will arrive already knowing the basics, including rigging a Texas prussik for glacer travel or the equivalent and a 3:1 haul or you will attend a hands-on session that will be scheduled prior.


Climbing is a dangerous sport and serious injury may occur.

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