A warm oasis that brings skiers coming back


For the third year running, White Grass Cross Country Ski and Touring Center was ranked in the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Cross Country Ski Areas.

Skiers getting ready to hit the trails.

This year White Grass placed fifth, last year they placed first, and in 2016 they placed second.

Before the snow even begins to fall in most areas in the lower 48, voting for the top 10 cross country ski areas starts in early November and ends in December.  The Nordic centers are nominated by cross country experts throughout the country.  Then, readers of USA Today and loyal visitors can vote every day for their favorite cross country spots.  Standings are public and often fluctuate as voting progresses, until they are taken off the air a week before the winners are announced.  “Even if you make the top 10, that’s pretty good,” White Grass Owner Chip Chase said.

While other cross country touring centers in the top 10 may have higher elevations and are a bit more snow rich, White Grass pulls their weight with intangibles that make the touring center so beloved.

“I think we utilize our website more than other Nordic areas.  Because it’s here today gone tomorrow,” Chip said in regards to the snow.   “We have a lot of website traffic,” Chase said.  He noted that on a good day, the site will receive 5,000 views.

But it’s not the weather data that viewers are yearning.  With the 24 hours new cycle, weather data streams in from so many different sources.  “White Grass website viewers like to see pictures.  They like to see people’s faces,” White Grass Ski Instructor Sue Haywood said.   “For a lot of people, this is their dream getaway, and they think it’s a special place.  The website is a way to stay connected,” Haywood said.

Of the website, Chase said, “It’s an outlet for our creativity, our photography skills, it’s what we spend a lot of time and energy on.  I think we also use the website to spread our philosophy of life.”

Instructor and Boot Technician Spencer Lee sees that philosophy embodied in White Grass’ emphasis on community, mind expansion, inclusion, and embracing the outdoors in a new way.  “It’s a warm little oasis in a more and more troubled world,” Lee said.

A view of Bald Knob from the Snow Farm.

That philosophy shines through at White Grass.  Walking into the lodge, warm welcomes, delicious food, and a vibrant energy is sure to greet you.  On the trails, the trails take skiers through magical glades and passages of forests that teem with snow-laden vigor.

As for the ranking, “I think we’re also an underdog,” Chase said.   “People don’t know about the snow belt in this part of the world. It’s called the Mountain State.  It’s the only state in the union that is 100 percent mountains.”

To see some friendly faces, visit https://whitegrass.com