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Snowquester and Aftermath in West Virginia, 3/6-3/10

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

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.

 

Tuesday PM:

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.)

 

Wednesday:

It was way too nice on the mountain (Timberline, WV) to stop to take pictures. I have my priorities. biggrin.gif (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.

 

Thursday:

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:

 

Friday:

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.

 

Saturday:

A classic Colorado day (when Colorado has good snow biggrin.gif) 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:

 

Sunday:

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):

 

 

post #2 of 22

I knew it would be epic in WV but PA was no slouch either. Sure wish we had the deep when we skied the week before all the powder started to fall. BK was as good as it gets on Saturday. Skied 7 Springs with DSloan on Thursday but everything was skied off by then, still very good. D made it up on Wednesday to fresh heavy but I spent the day in doctors and radiology offices. Kathy tweak her knee the day we met you at T-line and again the following Sunday. No major damage but some hinky cartilage and fluid under her knee cap. We will see orthopod today about treatment. He told her no skiing at Tahoe next week....yeah, right. wink.gif 

 

Have fun at the Snowy Luau. You can show Marcus all your secret tree shots because he is older than me and much more forgetful. biggrin.gif I'm still looking for that tree run I found and then lost at 7 Springs back in December. Thursday I thought I found it but I'm not sure, didn't look or ski as I remembered redface.gif

 

Getting laid off from your job in winter is a pretty good thing. Here's to the sequester.beercheer.gif All you lazy government workers can now make better use of your time and save us retirees some tax money.biggrin.gif

post #3 of 22

Nice TR!  

And to think.......DSloan is coming to Tahoe to ski when she could have gone with you to West Virginia!th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #4 of 22
Looks good! Hope it holds for Snowy Luau.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel Hill Crazie View Post

I knew it would be epic in WV but PA was no slouch either. Sure wish we had the deep when we skied the week before all the powder started to fall. BK was as good as it gets on Saturday. Skied 7 Springs with DSloan on Thursday but everything was skied off by then, still very good. D made it up on Wednesday to fresh heavy but I spent the day in doctors and radiology offices. Kathy tweak her knee the day we met you at T-line and again the following Sunday. No major damage but some hinky cartilage and fluid under her knee cap. We will see orthopod today about treatment. He told her no skiing at Tahoe next week....yeah, right. wink.gif 

 

Have fun at the Snowy Luau. You can show Marcus all your secret tree shots because he is older than me and much more forgetful. biggrin.gif I'm still looking for that tree run I found and then lost at 7 Springs back in December. Thursday I thought I found it but I'm not sure, didn't look or ski as I remembered redface.gif

 

Getting laid off from your job in winter is a pretty good thing. Here's to the sequester.beercheer.gif All you lazy government workers can now make better use of your time and save us retirees some tax money.biggrin.gif

 

Hope Kathy bounces back quickly.

 

Actually, I was on planned vacation time last week (shifted by one day to hit the storm.) I had a trip to Utah booked (airfare at least), but West Virgina was looking too sweet to pass up, especially with lodging and lift tickets already paid for.

 

Still TDB what affect the sequester will have, if any.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

A couple of more comments about skiing in West Virginia this past week.

 

Surprisingly, Timberline was pretty empty during the storm and this past weekend. No complaints from me. cool.gif (I heard that Snowshoe was packed this past weekend; I'm sure the $199 Season Pass and good conditions had something to do with that. I'd also imagine that conditions were so good everywhere this past weekend that skier visits got divided.) But Timberline was surprisingly busy last weekend and will be this upcoming weekend for Snowy Luau.

 

Canaan Valley Resort is always a great place to avoid the crowds. It can also be a cheap place to ski. Lift tickets were going for $17 on Liftopia, including for this past weekend. (Last minute, they bounced up to $24.)

 

Canaan Valley Resort also has a large variety of lift ticket deals via the resort itself: http://www.canaanresort.com/winter/ski-canaan/promotions/

 

If you want variety (at the expense of more money), you can also get a combined ticket good at both Timberline and Canaan Valley: http://skithevalley.com/the-ticket.html

 

(I now have some recent pics and current intel to now start my Insider's Guide to Canaan Valley Resort. Fortunately, Resorts Editor has been too busy himself. wink.gif )

post #7 of 22

Snowshoe was absolutely awesome as well. I hung at Silver Creek the entire time just to avoid the crowds a bit, and was not disappointed at all.

 

Blue skies, 50 degrees by early afternoon, sun shining, snow was perfect.

 

Absolutely awesome weekend in WV! cool.gif

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Nice TR!  

And to think.......DSloan is coming to Tahoe to ski when she could have gone with you to West Virginia!th_dunno-1[1].gif

Yes, but her and CJ will be back in time for the Snowy Luau at Timberline....and you did see that JohnL cancelled his Utah trip to ski in West Virginia last week. As I said in my BK trip report, never leave good snow to find good snow. Fact is the tree skiing is sweet at Timberline (John,where is that Old Dominion Glade again? wink.gif)

post #9 of 22

Sweet!  We carpooled with MarzNC and DaughterMarzNC to Massanutten to ski the leftover corn.  It served up quite nicely as well.  Everyone was commenting on how nice it was to see snow in the trees while skiing on a  warm, near end of season day.  I really was nice indeed!

post #10 of 22

Here's JohnL doing his "thing" on Off the wall on Saturday.

 

post #11 of 22

Looking good John!  Glad to see your are up and at em after missing the Blue Knob gathering,  Sorry I missed this one but I was busy ripping it up at Copper.

 

Hopefully we will get to ski together sometime next season as my ski funds have pretty much dried up after 2 western trips including a Heli day, not that I am complaining.

 

Ski on!

 

Rick G

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Here's JohnL doing his "thing" on Off the wall on Saturday.

 

Meh skiing. Saturday was a dead legged day; too much fun the previous three days. Rebounded nicely Sunday PM. Zip, zip, zipperline. Did you catch any turns on Sunday?

 

So when do you blackmail me with the video climbing up the Pipeline with no skins on? Hope you didn't catch any of the audio...

 

I'll email you some more pix of you later tonight.

post #13 of 22

Thanks for sharing! I'm headed to Timberline/Canaan Valley this weekend for some spring skiing with my wife. It will be my first time to these places and I'm looking forward to it.

 

How late do you think Timberline will stay open this year?  

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfelot View Post

Thanks for sharing! I'm headed to Timberline/Canaan Valley this weekend for some spring skiing with my wife. It will be my first time to these places and I'm looking forward to it.

 

How late do you think Timberline will stay open this year?  

 

This weekend is Snowy Luau, so a bunch of Epic and DCSki posters will be there. Look for a GTG Thread if there isn't one already.

 

T-Line will be open at least until Mar 31. It may be open the first weekend in April. (The may part depends mostly upon whether enough people will show up.)

post #15 of 22

A few more shots from Friday's 'Backcountry Extravaganza'.

 

 

Plenty of snow (About 3.5 feet of base to be exact)

 

 

Nice pipeline tour

 

 

 

JohnL making a wardrobe adjustment

 

 

Coming from there

 

 

A bit worn out

 

 

But happy...

 

 

How could you not be happy???

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnL View Post

I had a trip to Utah booked (airfare at least), but West Virgina was looking too sweet to pass up

I'm not at all suggesting this was the wrong move, but still - it might be the first time in skiing history for such a decision.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I'm not at all suggesting this was the wrong move, but still - it might be the first time in skiing history for such a decision.

 

No, second time. Remember when I was stuck in Utah for nearly a week after the Gathering when not one, but TWO blizzards hit the East Coast? I was not gonna repeat the same mistake twice. (And Utah was getting a bit boney during that second week.)

 

Normally I go for terrain over conditions, but with the snowpack, West Virginia had the terrain this past week. Plus I get to school and be schooled by the likes of WVSkier, Jimmy, etc.

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:

A bit worn out

 

 

Repeat after me. "Next time, use skins."  "Next time, use skins."

 

Slid backwards every frigging step I took. Didn't get the skins prepped in time.

post #19 of 22

John, you and I know that we could ski here and be content to seldom leave the area if our mountains consistently skied the way they have these last few week. There is really steep stuff here but we seldom have the snow to make it skiable The tree line I skied at BK was as steep and tight as anything I care to skied up north or out west. Marc said the Bag Lady Glade was as steep and tight (not nearly as long) at MRG's Paradise but the Lady was maybe 20 yards wide, usually less. Then you were into saplings and scrub and it was way beyond my ability to do anything more than link a few turns, stop and pull myself together then make a few more turns. I'm sure that after I get to know it I can find a line that will allow me to ski it better but I don't think that I will ever ski it fluidly. That's ok because then I can make my way down to East Wall Glade and hopping through the rock band become easier but still all the pucker factor that I need. In short, I do understand the call to stay where the snow is great.

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel Hill Crazie View Post

John, you and I know that we could ski here and be content to seldom leave the area if our mountains consistently skied the way they have these last few week. There is really steep stuff here but we seldom have the snow to make it skiable The tree line I skied at BK was as steep and tight as anything I care to skied up north or out west. Marc said the Bag Lady Glade was as steep and tight (not nearly as long) at MRG's Paradise but the Lady was maybe 20 yards wide, usually less. Then you were into saplings and scrub and it was way beyond my ability to do anything more than link a few turns, stop and pull myself together then make a few more turns. I'm sure that after I get to know it I can find a line that will allow me to ski it better but I don't think that I will ever ski it fluidly. That's ok because then I can make my way down to East Wall Glade and hopping through the rock band become easier but still all the pucker factor that I need. In short, I do understand the call to stay where the snow is great.


PM me about this Bag Lady glade.

 

Since I've discovered a lot of the "hidden treasures", the Mid A has gone from "a gym workout for skiing out West or in New England" to an end unto itself. With a lot of great, great company. Buuuuuuuuuut, with hundreds of days out West and well over a 100 in Utah alone, there is a lot of terrain out there that totally blows away what we have here. I know a lot of tight, technical lines in the West. Plus the conditions out there don't suck too badly.

 

Timberline, Canaan Valley, and Blue Knob are my playgrounds. But The Big Boys are Big. Not to diss Marcus, but I don't agree with his assessment of terrain. And the hard cores consider Paradise the Seven Springs of MRG. If it weren't for the likes of Ski or Skiing Magazines, Paradise wouldn't be all that it is. Something to consider.

post #21 of 22

Oh, don't get me wrong. You are 100% right. The short shots around here cannot at all compare. I'm not that naive or unknowledgeable  I have no doubt that because a tourist like me can hop down Paradise really good skiers go elsewhere on the mountain to much greater challenge. I'm just saying if that if the only choice I had in life was to ski our little hills on a season long 2 to 3 foot pack....OK, 3-4 foot pack I'd be fine with that. I also know that opinion comes with age. We don't get a season long, total mountain,  totally skiable snow pack here. WV has a greater chance but still there are many seasons when the technical lines, such as they are, are not skiable or are too marginal to ski well.

 

If anything I think your choice reflects a preference for sure powder over vast, technical terrain. I'm saying the powder and natural snow filled terrain around here his enough to keep you smiling, engaged and occasionally thrilled. I know were you would be if the Cottonwoods were going off last week. I would choose Alta over Blue Knob in a nano's heart beat even given equal conditions like last Saturday.

post #22 of 22

Oh my I had to come up for air Sunday afternoon; I spent last week taking the long way to Canaan Valley. Skied two days at Holimont in western NY and got into the valley late Thursday, WOW. The Genie is out of the bottle we have received 105" of snow since opening the ULLR on February 1st. As far as cancelling a trip to a "real" mountain I'd be skipping the Gathering in Montana to finish the last two weeks here if I had not spent what amounts to a small fortune (for me) on an airplane ticket. Oh well, if you can make it to WV this month you won't be disappointed.

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