Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The worlds happiest man

It would be hard to find a person happier than Chip Chase. Chip is one of the founders of Whitegrass Touring Center. He and his wonderful wife Laurie are certainly the force and genius behind the success of the most unique ski center in North America.

And how could Chip NOT be happy? He lives on the toe of a ski paradise that includes 50 km of trails -- all ranging from 3200 ft to 4400 ft. He has the Dolly Sods Wilderness area right next to that, and two alpine ski areas next that that! He lives in an area that has defied the housing boom and has dodged the hokey development bullet that has been the death of many other authentic and unique places in our country.

He is surrounded by his wonderful family, his wife Laurie who with her staff produces what could be the best food I have ever eaten, let alone at a ski area. He is also surrounded by his children, all of whom ski better than you do. How proud can a dad be to have a touring center packed to the gills with people, eating talking and relaxing when your sons are hucking backflips on Nordic gear out the front window? The whole place was roaring with every hit.

Chip also has some of the best music in the world coming to his neighborhood. If you don’t believe it check out the “Purple Fiddles” web site http://www.purplefiddle.com some of those bands and musicians play at his café every night. Chip is also happy because after 30 years of doing biz he shows up at work every winter to all of HIS friends. These are people who come every year to see him, to ski to eat and to just enjoy his ski area and his life.

Cool thing is that you too can enjoy a small bit of Chips happiness. A perfect day is a nice ski on the trails, lunch at the center and then a nice hot sauna just before a four star meal at the café while a bluegrass band seals the deal.
Oh yeah and then there is Barry’s world……..


"snomonkey" said...

It sounds to me like someone might be booking a one-way ticket to the Land of Good Karma, a.k.a. Canaan.
Trust me that you stand among many who consider Chip Chase and Whitegrass life-changing discoveries.

I told someone Saturday night - a xcountry skier at the Purple Fiddle who'd never been to WG - that it is the best ski place in the United States. I think they thought I was drunk, but now with your posts I have proof of my sobriety.

It was great skiing with y'all Monday morning and dancin' at the Purple Fiddle. I really enjoyed reading your reactions and share every bit of your enthusiasm about WG, Canaan and the people attracted to this secret stash.

Hope we cross paths again.

Best, Mark

Chris W said...

Enjoying your posts about Whitegrass and Chip. I'm a WI native, learned to ski on the golf courses of Milwaukee County back in the 70s (!), and have been heading to Whitegrass from our N. VA home for about the past ten years. In your three days there you came to realize what we came to realize (more slowly - took us a while ;-) ) over the years about the wonderful vibe of Whitegrass and Canaan Valley thanks to Chip and his crew and many others. We've now got our own vacation house nearby there to enjoy it more ourselves and to share with others. Thanks for the stories!


PS - will be building a wood sauna next summer and will be checking your site for ideas and designs...

Anonymous said...

Whitegrass and Chip capture the essence of Canaan and more. What makes whitegrass such a great place is not just the location and trails, its chip. Run by anyone else, it would be just a ski center in a beautiful place. Run by Chip, whitegrass has a special vibe and spirit that is infectious and is what really makes the people come back again and again with only smiles on their faces and ready to celebrate life in a way that they may not be able to elsewhere. He is the canaan valley jester that spreads his spirit and brings smiles to everyone he encounters, wherever he goes.