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Wintergreen, VA before President's Weekend, 2013

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It's a little late, but I skied Wintergreen, VA on the last Sunday and Monday (2/10&11) before President's Weekend. Believe conditions are still largely unchanged since then, so here's a short report and photos from that visit in case anyone is curious about the status of things at Wintergreen just before the holiday weekend.


We were able to ski every run on the mountain and 100% of Wintergreen’s 25 trails looked to be dressed in a plush, new coat of overnight manmade snow. (They got an amazing automated snowmaking system.)

The Plunge Tubing Park from Eagle’s Swoop Trail.

I like to utilize the lodge at The Plunge Tubing Park. The office that sells tubing tickets also sells lift tickets (on weekends) with smaller lines and nearby parking. This location is in the middle of the ski trail layout with very easy access to the Big Acorn trail pod.


Started our ski day with a ride on the Big Acorn Quad Chair (525’ vertical). It serves a half dozen consistently pitched trails that range from intermediate to easy black diamond in difficulty. We sampled them all, even a gladed area beside the Upper Sunrise trail that was blanketed with manmade snow. Lift lines were very reasonable for the Big Acorn lift.

 Sunrise Glade.

Continuing to the main section of ski trails we saw a fairly hefty weekend crowd in line for the Blue Ridge Express Six Passenger Chairlift (410’ vertical) and skipped past this area and spent the next few hours on the advanced terrain to the skier’s left in the Highlands trail pod.


For stronger snowriders the Highland Express Six Passenger Chair (1,003’ vertical) is the place to be at Wintergreen. Even on prime weekends and holidays the lines on this lift move reasonably well and you can quickly rack up a lot of vertical. It serves about six fun and fairly lengthy black diamond runs. We skied them all. Ski layout lies between ~2500 and 3500', but some of the surrounding mtns are 4000+'.

View from Turkey Chute in The Highlands.

The whole ski area is currently operating entirely on manmade snow and is groomed to a tee. I didn’t see any mogul runs, but with a little help from Mother Nature a few trails in the Highlands section are usually allowed to sprout bumps as an additional challenge for experts, typically Upper Cliff Hanger and Wild Turkey. Saturdays are the busiest days at Wintergreen, but I have experienced Sundays that are not too crazy, especially after noon when weekenders are in full exodus. I threw caution to the wind and skied on a President’s Day Monday a few years ago and was surprised at the moderate crowds that day, again due to early departing weekenders.


Wintergreen is renowned for its marvelous adaptive skiing program . Spent our final runs back in the Big Acorn trail pod and  saw a group of adaptive skiers training underneath the lift.  They were early in the learning process and bravely taking some lumps.

 It was not an easy run for them and they occasionally wiped out. Yet they were having a great time laughing and encouraging each other.  It was a quiet display of courage in the pursuit of the thrills and freedom that we all love about skiing. I was filled with admiration for the group in training and the Wintergreen volunteer instructors and staff that make such worthwhile programs possible.

Monoskiing on Big Acorn.

I went back for some solo skiing on Monday at Wintergreen. A warm, foggy mist had enveloped the mountain on Sunday night making for seemingly dismal ski conditions. But over the years I’ve had many surprisingly good ski days when my expectations were low. On Monday morning I enjoyed a bunch of fast, fun runs again in the Highlands trail pod before heading home. Zero crowds, clearing skies, mild temps, and velvety corduroy made for extremely pleasant spring-like ski conditions. Hopefully, there should be weeks of good skiing left at Wintergreen, see photo belowbiggrin.gif

Groundhog sees shadow on Cliffhanger trail, more winter weather to come!
post #2 of 4
Groundhog sees shadow on Cliffhanger trail, more winter weather to come!


Stuff like this is why I LOVE your trip reports so much Jim.  The particulars are always spot on, but the details and extras are over the top!  Nice write up indeed!icon14.gif

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Thread Starter 

Thanks CG.  Photo taken on Monday, hardly anyone there.  Thing was standing dead center in middle of trail when I came upon it at high speed.  I instinctively hockey stopped for closer look, already thinking "funny picture".  But I accidently sprayed the animal with snow and he started scampering away - although groundhog's scamper is pretty slow.  He was a Big'Un.eek.gif  Meanwhile other skier (named Patrick) showed-up also getting chuckle out of situation and I snapped only this photo before groundhog went into woods.  I never met Patrick before, think he's from Richmond.  Hope he spots this photo at some point.

post #4 of 4

Awesome to see a review on Wintergreen! Glad you had a good time. I'm at the mountain now actually. Unfortunately, it's raining, but we could get an inch or two of snow overnight. Do a cold weather dance to continue the overnight snowmaking!

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