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first year looking to take a trip from cincinnati

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

so i started skiing regularly this year.  i got a season pass to perfect north, in indiana.  its just a small mountain but only half hour away and ive done pretty good for only skiing about 2 months.  i can do all the black diamonds here, though im sure they arent as hard as real big mountains.  

 

im taking a trip for my birthday.  I wanna try a great place to ski.  powdery and not ice with a lot of trail and long trails would be great. im going with some really experienced skiiers, so some double blacks would be great for them.  can anyone provide any good suggestions within 8 hours of a drive from cincinnati?  thanks guys!

post #2 of 29

The closest big mountain skiing within 8 hours would be Snoshoe WV.  Not terribly steep and you would have to really pick your day to find any powder and it might not be all that light.  It is fairly expensive there.

 

Past that you can make Summit County, CO in 18 1/2  hours if the roads are good and you have the time.

post #3 of 29

8 hours is going to kill a day travelling anyway.  So why not take turns driving and make a marathon push to get to CO in one day?

post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 

thanks guys!  the problem with going out west is the fact that me and a guy im going with cant take any days off.  we were planning on leaving friday and just staying overnight and skiing all day saturday and sunday.  or leaving really early saturday morning (around 3) and getting there to ski saving a nights worth of lodging.

 

anything decent in michigan with a lot of powder?  also what about blue knob in PA.  ive read all good things except they suck at making powder and are sometimes really icy.  any verification?

post #5 of 29

http://www.holidayvalley.com/

 

I can't speak for others but, most folks I know in Northeastern Ohio choose Holiday Valley as the weekend getaway spot. Other places worth a look are Seven Springs or Peak n' Peak.

post #6 of 29

Blue Knob is a great mountain when they have snow.  They depend on Mother Nature a great deal for snow making.  It can be very cold and icy at this resort.  However, that can be the case at any mid-Atlantic resort depending on the weather and snow conditions.  Snowshoe is another great resort, with lots of snow making and lodging options. 

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Louie View Post

The closest big mountain skiing within 8 hours would be Snoshoe WV.  Not terribly steep and you would have to really pick your day to find any powder and it might not be all that light.  It is fairly expensive there.


Have you ever skied at Snowshoe? It's not that big. There are only two runs that descend the 1500 vertical feet, the rest are less than 1000 vert. Timberline in West Virginia is closer to Cleveland and has lots of nice groomers that descend the full 1000 feet, and much better lodging and dining options for someone with a car. Spending one of the two days at nearby Canaan Valley Ski Resort would enhance the variety. Not quite as much vertical as Timberline, but a fun hill with interesting terrain. They get a fair amount of snow, more than average this year, should be good.

 

Holiday Valley might be a better choice than WVA or PA. I've never skied there.

 

Blue Knob requires more snow to open it's most challenging stuff but they have already open almost everything a first year skier would enjoy, see intermediate, advanced intermediate, and advanced; http://www.blueknob.com/winter/conditions.php

 

A lot of skiers from Ohio ski Seven Springs. Good on hill lodging/dining, a good choice if you want to park your car Friday night and not use it again until you leave Sunday evening.

post #8 of 29

   i live in cincinnati too and 8 and a half hours gets you to bristol mountain new york 1200 feet vertical only $55.00 8 hour lift tickets(snowshoe is $75.00) and seven springs at 5 to 6 hours away. seven springs is a blast lots of runs, and the place is truely a resort they have 4 or 5 different places to eat in the hotel bowling ally, game room and indoor pool and 3 bars. we go to seven springs every march because they stay open 2 to 3 weeks longer than perfect north that closes at the end of february. 

post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucunc156 View Post
anything decent in michigan with a lot of powder?  also what about blue knob in PA.  ive read all good things except they suck at making powder and are sometimes really icy.  any verification?

 

A couple points about "powder":
 

1) There's very little "powder" anywhere east of the rockies.  Sometimes you get fresh reasonably light snow, but most of what falls in the great lakes basin is too heavy to be called powder.

 

2) Powder is ephemeral.  A snowstorm comes through and dumps fresh, then people ski it out in an hour or two and there's no powder anymore (unless you want to hike).  That's the nature of powder - here today at 9am, gone today at noon.  The point is you can't just plan to go somewhere where there's powder - the weather has to cooperate, and it's hit or miss.

 

3) Most beginners flail  in powder.  You probably will too.

 

Reading between the lines, it doesn't sound as if what you really want is  "powder", but rather better softer smoother snow than what you usually get in Indiana.  The fact is that it's hard to make good quality snow, and the further south you are the harder it is and the more you are dependent on manmade snow.  Couple this with the fact that warmer temps mean more freeze/thaw cycles, and you'll find that the ski resorts at "marginal" latitudes have lousy snow. 

 

This is a real problem in PA - Seven Springs, Camelback, Blue Mt, Blue Knob et al have trouble maintaining a consistent quality snowpack.  Sometimes it's good, but usually it isn't.  I've never skied WV, but by all reports they have the same problem - it just doesn't get cold enough and stay cold consistently to have good snow.

 

To answer your question about Michigan:

I'd say that Northern Lower Peninsula is a viable option. Northern Michigan (Boyne Country) usually has pretty good snow, but the hills are small for the distance you'll be driving.  As a fairly new skier, you'd probably find a lot of fun trails to ski at Nubs or either of the Boynes; your friends would have something to ski, although nothing terribly challenging unless they want to dip into the trees.  The UP has some really nice resorts, but they're too far for a weekend jaunt.  Southern Michigan (Holly, Bittersweet, et al) would be a waste of your time.

 

Holiday Valley in upstate NY is a good choice.  It's a bit closer, and it's got a bit more vertical.  Like Northern Michigan, it get's lots of lake effect snow and is far enough north that the snow quality is usually pretty good.  However, I don't think it's any more challenging than Boyne Country.  If you go on a weekday, Holimont is even better, but it's a private place so regular folks like us can only ski it weekdays.

 

Bristol might also be a good choice , although it's farther.

 

post #10 of 29

I'm from NE Ohio and am taking a trip to Whiteface in Lake Placid this Thursday. Its about 8.5 hrs from Cleveland, but is by far the closest "big" mountain I was able to find. Having gone from Ohio/Western NY&PA to the NE (NH/VT), I can tell you, it's worth the few extra hours in the car for big mountain experience. Holiday Valley, PnP, Holimont are all great, but not what I'd consider for a 'trip'. Just my two cents...

post #11 of 29

Hey unc you didn't say when you are planning to take this trip. Here http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads33/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=62410#Post62410  are some pictures of what's up in West Virginia right now, yesterday actually. 146" to date. No way to compare the snow in western pa to WV, the base at Timberline is 3200', might be a bit higher than the summit at 7 Springs.

post #12 of 29

I wouldn't waste money on another trip to Snowshoe.  I ski 30-40 days a year at PNS and other than lower Shay's revenge you won't find anything any tougher there just longer.  The only way I would return to Snowshoe would be if I could get there before a big dump which they do get from time to time.  I know a lot of local folks that like going to Seven Springs and a few guys that rave about Timberline. 

 

Food for though:  Not including the plane ride I can ski in Utah much cheaper and a have whole lot better experience than Snowshoe.  Delta does offer an early direct flight from CVG to SLC that will get you there in time to ski half a day on Friday.  You can also get flights direct to Denver out of Dayton early to ski half a day in Colorado but the resorts are further from the airport and more expensive.

 

post #13 of 29

Jimmy's right, summit of Seven Springs is only 2994ft.  I'm a season pass holder at Seven Springs and it's a good mountain and will likely be a big step up from where you regularly ski, but Timberline conditions may be better and it's closer to you.  I've also skied at Holiday Valley and found it to be very similar to Seven Springs as far as terrain goes, but with better snow since they get regular lake effect snow off of Erie.  Holiday Valley has received 3-4 times the natural snow so far this year as Seven Springs has, and roughly the same amount as Timberline.

 

Mike
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post

Hey unc you didn't say when you are planning to take this trip. Here http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads33/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=62410#Post62410  are some pictures of what's up in West Virginia right now, yesterday actually. 146" to date. No way to compare the snow in western pa to WV, the base at Timberline is 3200', might be a bit higher than the summit at 7 Springs.

post #14 of 29

What dates are you looking at?  There can be some good bargains at Timberline/Canaan Valley in March, including at Canaan Valley Resort/Motel.  If you go to those two, be sure to do at least one day at Timberline, the bigger of the two.  Liftopia.com sells discount lift tickets to Canaan Valley ski area, which is rarely crowded even on weekends.

 

If you have buddies that contribute to lodging costs then Snowshoe is a pretty good choice from your location too, but it's more pricey all around and can be very crowded on prime weekends.

 

Bristol's an interesting suggestion, never been there.

post #15 of 29

Seven Springs is my home mountain, and while I certainly like it for what it is, that's really the key point. You'll have a straight shot through to it on the highway, but since you're coming up for a weekend, expect significant crowds.

 

Timberline should be a similar distance for you, and depending on conditions, is probably the better choice.

post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 

thanks for all your help guys.  timberline is sounding like the choice...  it looks like ill be going sometime in march... when would you suggest?  just asap?  does timberline ever run late season deals?

post #17 of 29

Come for Snowy Luau, March 18-20. Trip report with pictures is from two years ago. While we had spring conditions

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/82802/timberline-wv-snowy-luau-weekend-3-21-22-2009 we

 

there is just as good a chance of full on winter. Last year we got NO snow in March,

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/93446/timberline-wv-21mar10 

 

still skied glades on closing day. 

post #18 of 29


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeC View Post

  Holiday Valley has received 3-4 times the natural snow so far this year as Seven Springs has, and roughly the same amount as Timberline.

 

Mike
 


So you're saying HV has gotten 300 to 400 inches of snow this year?  Because 7 Springs has over 100 so far.  Last year we got 230 inches.  I know HV wasn't too far ahead of that.

 

 

From Cinci I'd go to Timberline.  Decent terrain, 1000 feet of vert, good snow.  Slow lifts though.

 

7 Springs gets you 750 vertical feet, more acreage, better snow than people here give it credit for, interesting terrain, faster lifts.  Major crowds on a weekend that can wreak havoc on the snow surface as well as intimidate beginners.  You get tons of lodging options and other stuff to do if that is what you're looking for. 

 

Blue Knob is a great mountain with the best terrain in the mid Atlantic.  Natural snow isn't quite as plentiful as 7 Springs and snowmaking flat out sucks.  1000+ feet of vert.  Slow lifts.  No crowds.  Small enough that would probably get boring if you're skiing more than one day and are limited to begginer terrain.  The blacks here aren't the blacks in Indiana.

 

Holiday Valley gets you similiar vert to 7 Springs.  Somewhat better snow, sometimes.  I find the mountain is a little boring.  Ellicotville is a kick ass little town though, the Ellicotville Brewery is great.  I haven't skied Holimont, hear it's pretty cool.

 

Snowshoe sucks IMO.  The two runs on the backside are fun, steep, and long, but they are crowded and aren't worth the drive.  The rest of the mountain is just meh.  Silver Creek is a decent little area.

 

post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post



 

A couple points about "powder":
 

1) There's very little "powder" anywhere east of the rockies.  Sometimes you get fresh reasonably light snow, but most of what falls in the great lakes basin is too heavy to be called powder.

 

 

Not true.

 

That said, he's right that there really isn't any powder in the East.  It's all groomed and/or skied off in a half hour based on the low acres per person.  The only place for consistent powder is in the trees.

 


 

post #20 of 29

Springs hasn't gotten anywhere near 100" of snow this year, more like 60-70".  Holiday Valley is now pushing 200".  You can't talk about last year as anywhere near typical for Western PA because of the two big storms which dumped nearly half of the total snowfall for the winter.

 

Mike
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaSucks View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeC View Post

  Holiday Valley has received 3-4 times the natural snow so far this year as Seven Springs has, and roughly the same amount as Timberline.

 

Mike
 


So you're saying HV has gotten 300 to 400 inches of snow this year?  Because 7 Springs has over 100 so far.  Last year we got 230 inches.  I know HV wasn't too far ahead of that.

 

post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 

how hard are the black in blue knob exactly and what makes them so hard?  its moguls i struggle with the most id say

post #22 of 29

BK_web_trailmap.jpg

The black diamonds tend to get mogulled, and are often icy. They are narrow except for Stembogen. Today they are reporting groomed conditions on all open trails and I think you can assume some advanced terrain will be groomed when you visit. Deer Run (rated blue) is pretty steep, and very wide. The left half is groomed regularly while moguls are allowed to form on the right side.

 

I would guess a first year skier would struggle with anything from midstation, except possibly Deer Run and Stembogen. It sounds like you have progressed rapidly and maybe would enjoy all the terrain served by the triple including glades (if open) and Stembogen. Lower High Hopes if recently groomed. The blue glades are fun, not too difficult but unfortunately all closed currently.

 

Timberline has longer runs and usually better snow than Blue Knob. Blue Knob has a similar vertical drop, but not much top to bottom skiing for an intermediate or advanced intermediate skier. You'd probably enjoy BK but my guess is TL would suit you better. I've never skied Holiday Valley. I've skied with an awesome bump skier from there, so I assume they have good mogul skiing, but I'm sure they have groomed runs for intermediates and advanced skiers too.

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 

okay i think TL is the option.  anybody know any cheap places to stay around there?  I think the trip might just be me and my girfriend now so any cheap single rooms for just 2 people would be great.  any ideas?

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucunc156 View Post

thanks guys!  the problem with going out west is the fact that me and a guy im going with cant take any days off.  we were planning on leaving friday and just staying overnight and skiing all day saturday and sunday.  or leaving really early saturday morning (around 3) and getting there to ski saving a nights worth of lodging.

 

anything decent in michigan with a lot of powder?  also what about blue knob in PA.  ive read all good things except they suck at making powder and are sometimes really icy.  any verification?


You didnt say when your birthday was but.... we are having a small eastern gathering at Blue knob. Look at the dates and see if it fits. JamesJ still has room in the house and we have alot of fun ( did last year for sure)
 

post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 

birthday is in mid feb but i wouldnt be going till the last weekend of feb or early march.  just looking for the cheapest way.  ill check in on the bk trip.

post #26 of 29

Last weekend of February.

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/97981/mid-atlantic-gtg-blue-knob-pa-feb-26-27-2011

 

I'm on the fence about attending due to injury. If I do go it will be nice to have some 'less than experts' to ski with because I'll need to take it easy, I can't risk falling.

post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 

Well unfortunately the price of the BK trip wont work for me.  lodging is reasonable but i cant afford the lift tickets.  Timberline has 18$ lift tickets for students though so im going to do that.  so any cheap places to stay around timberline?

post #28 of 29

I've slept in my car in the Timberline parking lot and no one bothered me. It snowed about eight inches over night and I got first tracks in the morning! icon14.gif

post #29 of 29

I'd check here for affordable lodging, short drive to Timberline.

 

http://canaanresort.com/winter/accomodations/lodging-specials 

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