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Ohio Bears: Mad River Mountain, OH VS Snow Trails, OH

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

So it turns out that I am moving to Columbus, OH this spring/summer and will be there at least the next ski season. I'm not too crazy about it, but anything has to be better than Birmingham, AL. I know the skiing around the immediate Columbus area can't be great, but where do you guys go for a quick fix? I already have my eyes on weekend trips to places like Holiday Valley, NY or, Cannan/Timberline in WV when I am not getting out west. FYI I'll ski anything inbounds out west except for say Corbett's in JH, but I have still managed to have fun at SE resorts like Ober Gatlinburg TN, Cataloochee NC, and Beech NC. I also have no kids in tow with me so a good place for kids does not matter.  

 

I know that Snow Trails and Mad River are not awesome and have the same measly 300 ft vertical, but which of the two do you Ohio guys ski when you need to just get out for a few hours and come home the same day?

 

Why do you prefer one over the other?  

post #2 of 19

Sorry about your luck in moving to Columbus, Ohio.  We are not exactly a mecca for skiing.  smile.gif

 

I keep dreaming about moving to a ski mountain somewhere, someday ...

 

Anyway, for for Mad River (OH) vs. Snowtrails -- I do like the terrain better at Mad River.  For me, it rolls and flows better, and seems to be a little longer 300 vertical than Snowtrails. That said, I have been to Snowtrails quite a bit this year because I had B1G1 coupons for there.   From where I live on the NE side of Columbus, both of them are about an hour drive.  You are right about the 300 vertical, but, you make the best of it.  At best, you are doing short, blue runs, so you just have to get in lots of laps.

 

NY - Holimont and Holiday Valley are about 5 hours drive.  PA -  Hidden Valley and Seven Springs are about 4.5 hours.  I have never been to WISP (MD), but it is about 5 hours.  Snowshoe, WV is maybe 6 hours.  Timberline/Canaan, WV are about 5 hours.  All have their pros and cons, but the 600 to 1100 vertical helps.  Maybe next year, we'll get some snow, too. 

 

I have been up to northern Michigan too -- Boyne, Nubs Nob, and Shanty Creek are about an 7 to 8 hour drive.

 

Welcome to Ohio.

post #3 of 19

I can't really offer any insight on either hill.  The drive to Mad River and Perfect North in Indiana is about the same so since I learned to ski at PNS and all my skiing friends are there I make the drive to Indiana.  If things work out the way I think they might I might visit Mad River in the next couple of weeks so I might have more insight then.

 

BTW, my condolences on your move to Ohio.  I wouldn't wish that upon anyone else, especially another skier. However, it should allow a lot more skiing opportunities than Birmingham.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys. At least Columbus will be a little better for skiing and certainly more livable than Birmingham. Birmingham really is as bad as you can imagine and I'm glad to leave. I'm glad to see the airport is bigger than bhm too.

 

 I see that the local hills have the best prices right now for next seasons passes, but I'm not going to bother with them as I feel like they are rather overpriced for what they are. One of them needs to step up and have a night only

pass non-holiday pass for like $129. 

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cstreu1026 View Post

I can't really offer any insight on either hill.  The drive to Mad River and Perfect North in Indiana is about the same so since I learned to ski at PNS and all my skiing friends are there I make the drive to Indiana.  If things work out the way I think they might I might visit Mad River in the next couple of weeks so I might have more insight then.

 

BTW, my condolences on your move to Ohio.  I wouldn't wish that upon anyone else, especially another skier. However, it should allow a lot more skiing opportunities than Birmingham.



Gonna second the call for PNS (but can't speak to Mad River either). PNS is a decent place as long as you stay away from there on weekends. Far too packed (what hill isn't in the midwest?). On weeknights it's maybe a ski club and a bunch of locals. Good place to keep skills sharp before heading out west or to New England. They tend to let stuff bump up here and there, have a few tree runs, have varying degrees of steepness, but in the end you are looking at 500ft of vertical so it's over pretty quick. :)

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bnferguson View Post



Gonna second the call for PNS (but can't speak to Mad River either). PNS is a decent place as long as you stay away from there on weekends. Far too packed (what hill isn't in the midwest?). On weeknights it's maybe a ski club and a bunch of locals. Good place to keep skills sharp before heading out west or to New England. They tend to let stuff bump up here and there, have a few tree runs, have varying degrees of steepness, but in the end you are looking at 500ft of vertical so it's over pretty quick. :)


Mehhhh Perfect North is over 2 hours away from Columbus. It certainly does look better than the other places close to Columbus in terms of size/vertical but driving that far very often doesn't appeal to me. Perhaps I'll check it out a time or two. Most likely I'll go to these local places every now and then and continue to spend a disproportionate amount of my income and vacation time getting out west. Hopefully Timberline/Cannan Valley in WV can have a 225+ inch year next season. 

 

post #7 of 19

I drive about 80 minutes to get to PNS but if were much further I probably wouldn't make the trip very often...especially with rising gas prices.  Its definitely worth a trip but depending on where in the Columbus area you live Mad River would definitely be the preferred destination.

post #8 of 19

I have been to all of the resorts in the surrounding area or worked at them.  I am currently at Snow Trails. Boston Mills is closer to me but Snow Trails has the others beat hands down, not for terrain but customer satisfaction and service.    Arguing whether resorts in Ohio have better terrain selection is like asking if a tire for your car that is a quarter inch taller will save you significantly on gas mileage.   The numbers are not there to justify the statement. None of them have any terrain so what else is offered?

 

Mad River and Boston Mills are owned by Peak Resorts.  Peak Resorts tends to operate by numbers.  There are lots of skiers and lots of never ever skiers. its a numbers game and they are cheap when I comes to seasons passes.  The food is expensive and not so good and the bars about the same.  Snow making is adequate but they tend to cut the guns off sooner than they should and not start them back up often.  Snow quality suffers.  The have moved equipment from their Ohio resorts to some of their other resorts as they tend to have a captive audience here.

 

Snow Trails is family own and the owners do things that other resorts would much more highly restrict.  As a result there is a lot more fun going on at Snow Trails.  There are fun type events happening on more than 50% of the weekends and that seems to be increasing.  This was a bad winter and Snow Trails opened earlier and will close latter (after the big St Patty's day ski hill party).   They had the best snow conditions within 300 miles all winter.   The food is reasonably priced and decent and so is the bar.  The facilities are much nicer overall.  Many people from Columbus come to this resort.

 

I hear that Boston Mills will make some changes for next winter but I do not know what differences that will make. 

 

Snow Trails season passes are more expensive but less crowded on weekends and the guests much friendlier. Passes are cheapest until March 31 everywhere.  I am at Snow Trails  on weekends and at least one weekday.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

^^^^^^^^^That is great information and the kind of insight I was looking for. What you said makes total sense. Thanks Pierre!

post #10 of 19

Another good one is Bristol NY - more vertical than HV and HM but also farther too.  Its about 4 to 4.5 hours from Cleveland vs 3 hrs to HV/HM - not sure how you go from Columbus but suspect added time would be approx same.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

^^^^^^I had not really heard about Bristol. It looks decent, but google maps has it 7.5 hours away from Columbus :(. I have my eye on weekend trips to the Canaan Valley areas of West Virginia consisting of Timberline/Canaan and maybe Whitegrass. They are  5 hours away, get 150 inches of natural, 850-1000 feet of vert, are pretty cheap, have decent terrain, and have occasional tree skiing after dumps.

 

 

With Columbus I'm definitely taking a glass half-full approach compared to the skiing options near Birmingham.

 

This is where I have been skiing when I can't take it anymore and have to get some turns in between real trips:

 

 http://www.cloudmont.com/

 

150 feet of vert, 12 inches of natural snow, 1 rope tow, 2 runs with both open only on rare occasions. I have made it there 3-4 times each winter. Its better than nothing, kind of.  

 

The local Ohio areas are looking pretty fun compared to Cloudmont. The WV areas are looking like the offer considerably better skiing at 5 hours away from Columbus than the NC resorts that are 6-7 hours from Birmingham.

 

Plus the Columbus airport is twice the size of Birmingham's so flying to ski will be easier :).

post #12 of 19

I know of bunch of the guys I socialize with at Perfect North love Timberline.  I wanted to get there this year with the group of mid-Atlantic bears but it just didn't work out.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Bump since I'm pretty sure I'm going with a $150 once-a-week pass to Snow Trails over the $200 once a week pass to Mad River for the wife and I.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

So my first season is coming to a close in Columbus. The local skiing is much better than it Alabama where I had unfortunately been living for 6 ski seasons. I went to all of the ski areas within 2 hours of Columbus except Boston Mills-Brandywine. The places I went to were Mad River Mountain, Clear Fork, Snow Trails, and Perfect North. I had a once-a-week pass for $150 to Snow Trails. I did not go to Boston Mills-Brandywine since they are likely not worth the drive at 2 hours away. I'm pretty easy to entertain since I like to ski so much but I found myself hopelessly searching for a fall line at everyplace near Columbus except Perfect North. If I had young kids or a significant other Snow Trails would be a great option. They have short lines, good grooming, and make much more snow than either Mad River or Clear Fork.    

 

Perfect North is the only place it will go back to even though it is ~50 minutes farther from where I live. This place is pretty awesome for what it is. They have 400 feet of vertical and several steep runs where you really don't want to just point your skis and straight line it because of bumps, trees, or both. The day I went there I actually felt like I had gone skiing afterwards. That just didn't happen at any of the other local options. For me it is good enough that I'm actually going to buy a once-a-week pass there for my wife and I next year. I need something to get me by when I am not heading to WNY/WPA/WV.

 

Columbus isn't a great place to live for a skier. For me getting a once-a-week pass to Perfect North, chasing good snow to Holiday Valley NY, Blue Knob PA, and the Timberline/Canaan Valley areas in WV along with 2 (maybe 3) trips out west will get me by during my time here in Columbus.       

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfelot View Post

 

Perfect North is the only place it will go back to even though it is ~50 minutes farther from where I live. This place is pretty awesome for what it is. They have 400 feet of vertical and several steep runs where you really don't want to just point your skis and straight line it because of bumps, trees, or both. The day I went there I actually felt like I had gone skiing afterwards. That just didn't happen at any of the other local options. For me it is good enough that I'm actually going to buy a once-a-week pass there for my wife and I next year. I need something to get me by when I am not heading to WNY/WPA/WV.

 

Columbus isn't a great place to live for a skier. For me getting a once-a-week pass to Perfect North, chasing good snow to Holiday Valley NY, Blue Knob PA, and the Timberline/Canaan Valley areas in WV along with 2 (maybe 3) trips out west will get me by during my time here in Columbus.       

 

That bolded part made me smile, good for you. Let us know if you decide to come to Snowy Luau, you'll fit right in.

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidding View Post
 

Sorry about your luck in moving to Columbus, Ohio.  We are not exactly a mecca for skiing.  smile.gif

 

I keep dreaming about moving to a ski mountain somewhere, someday ...

 

Anyway, for for Mad River (OH) vs. Snowtrails -- I do like the terrain better at Mad River.  For me, it rolls and flows better, and seems to be a little longer 300 vertical than Snowtrails. That said, I have been to Snowtrails quite a bit this year because I had B1G1 coupons for there.   From where I live on the NE side of Columbus, both of them are about an hour drive.  You are right about the 300 vertical, but, you make the best of it.  At best, you are doing short, blue runs, so you just have to get in lots of laps.

 

NY - Holimont and Holiday Valley are about 5 hours drive.  PA -  Hidden Valley and Seven Springs are about 4.5 hours.  I have never been to WISP (MD), but it is about 5 hours.  Snowshoe, WV is maybe 6 hours.  Timberline/Canaan, WV are about 5 hours.  All have their pros and cons, but the 600 to 1100 vertical helps.  Maybe next year, we'll get some snow, too. 

 

I have been up to northern Michigan too -- Boyne, Nubs Nob, and Shanty Creek are about an 7 to 8 hour drive.

 

Welcome to Ohio.

Ditto for everything you said!

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
I did one whole night session at Mad River this year. MRM and ST are just too flat, short, and boring. I had a once a week pass to Perfect North this year and found that place to be fun over my 5 sessions there. I did a weekend at Holiday Valley and another at Blue Knob where I pulled the trigger when they had good conditions. Between that local skiing and three western trips where 103 total inches fell across 15 days it made for a pretty decent season for someone based in Columbus.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfelot View Post

I did one whole night session at Mad River this year. MRM and ST are just too flat, short, and boring. I had a once a week pass to Perfect North this year and found that place to be fun over my 5 sessions there. I did a weekend at Holiday Valley and another at Blue Knob where I pulled the trigger when they had good conditions. Between that local skiing and three western trips where 103 total inches fell across 15 days it made for a pretty decent season for someone based in Columbus.

 

Good for you !! I live closer to squaw than you do to mad river and i'm betting that you got in better skiing this year than i did.

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfelot View Post
 

 

Perfect North is the only place it will go back to even though it is ~50 minutes farther from where I live. This place is pretty awesome for what it is. They have 400 feet of vertical and several steep runs where you really don't want to just point your skis and straight line it because of bumps, trees, or both. The day I went there I actually felt like I had gone skiing afterwards. That just didn't happen at any of the other local options. For me it is good enough that I'm actually going to buy a once-a-week pass there for my wife and I next year. I need something to get me by when I am not heading to WNY/WPA/WV.

 

Columbus isn't a great place to live for a skier. For me getting a once-a-week pass to Perfect North, chasing good snow to Holiday Valley NY, Blue Knob PA, and the Timberline/Canaan Valley areas in WV along with 2 (maybe 3) trips out west will get me by during my time here in Columbus.       

 

That bolded part made me smile, good for you. Let us know if you decide to come to Snowy Luau, you'll fit right in.

I spend a lot of time at Mad River. I might try it in between runs to Holiday Valley.

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