Just finished skiing five days of pow, followed by wind-refreshed and cut-up pow, followed by tasty spring snow at Timberline and Canaan Valley Resorts in West Virginia. The much-hyped "Snowquester" storm (as it was dubbed in the DC area), fizzled in the DC metro region to I guess the embarrassment of the Weather Channel, really hit western Virginia hard (Massanutten and Wintergreen), and threw some more magic at West Virginia.
Conservative Canaan Valley West Virginia storm total was 14 inches at mid-mountain elevation (seemed a lot higher to me.) But, the previous week had an additional 20 inches of snowfall, which brought the mid-mountain snowpack to 29 inches, which is very nice for the Mid Atlantic.
Drove up to West Virginia from DC area (after just a two day work week and having driven back Sunday PM.) White knuckle drive the last hour once I hit the top of the Allegheny Ridge (EC Continental Divide.)
It was way too nice on the mountain (Timberline, WV) to stop to take pictures. I have my priorities. (May eventually be able to upload some Go Pro vids from my skiing buddy.) Snow was not blower (temps were in the upper 20's), but fortunately not wind-affected. (And fortunately no power outages.) Knee deep snow everywhere. Blues were pretty much unskiable (only skied one blue - first run); knee-deep snow pushed up to mid thigh on the low angle stuff all day.
Got several face shots on The Drop (steepish trail for this area) on the second run. After that, the trees. Cut trail into several areas, got first tracks all day straight down the main tree lines. Even crappy lines ski great in knee deep. Nice lines ski even better. Much better.
By three or so, legs were shot and didn't want to be introduced to Mr. Maple and Mrs. Spruce, so finished up with several cut-up lines on White Lightning and Silver Streak.
Our group decided to opt for fresh tracks over steeper terrain, so we hit nearby Canaan Valley Resort - CVR (5 minute drive down the road.) Canaan Valley gets a lot less traffic than Timberline (but T-Line was surprisingly empty this past week) so it is a great place to get first tracks. The downside is that most of the terrain is low angle (even by Mid A standards.) Fortunately, the snow from the previous day consolidated a bit overnight and got a bit wind affected; this made the lower-angle lines much more skiable and enjoyable.
Open low-angle Meadows II and III:
WV Skier at the top a drop in the trees:
WVSkier skiing down:
Slow camera, fast skier:
Decided to try a side country run from the top of CVR to the higher top of Bald Knob. Bit of Three Stooge misadventure, since I didn't have skins due to technical difficulties, WVSkier's gear was not optimized for downhill, and our fearless guide hadn't done the route in six years or so. Despite our ineptitude, fresh track were had, sweat was lost, got a great preview of the tubing hill for WVSkier's family, and we ended up back at CVR and not a mile down the road at Whitegrass. Finished up the AM with several more fresh tracks at CVR lift-served (refreshed by a few more inches and some more wind affected.)
Bashed some more trees at Timberline in the PM. Was amazed at how much deep snow was still in the main tree lines. Did some very sweet side-country runs for the first time (normally not enough snow.) Found some weird tracks in the snow; think they were from a Grousse or some other large bird that we eventually stumbled across. Finished the day with a last run series of linked tree shots straight down the gut of Timberline; nearly 900 feet of untouched two days after the main event. Again, not bad for these parts.
A classic Colorado day (when Colorado has good snow ) Started out cold in the AM, groomed runs had perfect corduroy, some decent snow was still to be had in the trees, and the sun came out and the temps warmed to soften the snow to even more silky perfection. I hit the wall around 2:30 or so, and then hit the sun-soaked patio at Timbers Pub for a couple of hours. Before that,
WVSkier heading down Off The Wall:
View of the bottom of Off The Wall:
Slopes froze up overnight, but were soft when I hit them by 9:15 or so. Temps eventually hit nearly 60 degrees, so the flatter sections were extremely sticky from 11 AM or so. But on the steeper sections, it was a hero bump-
bashing extravaganza on Off The Wall, The Drop, Upper Thunderdraft and even Almost Heaven. Some skiers on The Drop (bad camera angle since I was blinded by the sun):