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Massanutten, 1/9/2015

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

As I've been able to get out skiing more this year (I've been 4 times so far, and this season will be the most I've ever skied in a single season), I've also been trying to try out some new places. Earlier this season, I went to Hidden Valley, PA, and on Friday I made it to Massanutten, VA.

 

Though I was new to the place, I was able to meet up with @marznc (Thanks!), who, true to her title here, was a great ambassador for the slopes. I got the grand tour, and we hit every slope including the terrain parks. (Massanutten, though very nice, is not very big. :))

 

There was a good variety of slopes, and conditions were great after the cold weather all week, with all slopes open. There was a bit of ice in places, but also very soft in some places with easy turning. Massanutten is set in a compact valley, with the slopes getting bigger and harder as you move up the valley. The biggest runs are the two long black diamonds at the highest end. They aren't particularly steep, but had a really nice variety of terrain - rolls and dips and some sidehill, etc. There is a particularly steep drop (by my intermediate standards) on "Diamond Jim" that Marznc just skied down easily but I avoided until the end of the day... at which point I decided I should give it a shot, and the snow on it was great - so I did it again. 

 

Here's the view from the top where the trail splits into the two black runs (the exit of the valley is right in the middle of the photo) :

 

 

There was really no crowd to speak of on a Friday... I believe the longest we ever waited was for maybe 3 chairs, and usually skied right onto the lift. Most of the time was spent on the blacks and blues, and I got in a good amount of skiing. I was running Ski Tracks, as I have been all season, and got in 20 runs in 5 hours (12400 vertical feet) including the tour and lunch.

 

One of the interesting slopes there is Upper Mak Attack, which is a blue, but they never groom. [EDIT : Correction. Upper Mak Attack is marked black diamond on the trail map.] For this early season with the snow-making, they just left big "snow whales" all down the slope. It actually made for a lot of fun, though I was pretty careful picking my way around the mounds rather than charging over them. And even though it's a blue, there was this sign at the top :

 

 

I thought it was kind of funny... but I guess for a place that probably gets lots of beginners going onto blues for the first time, it's a good warning to them.

 

All in all, a great trip, and I'll likely return at some point. I was also personally pretty happy with how well I was skiing after a recent lesson, and even took a little time to do some drills. The only real trouble I had was taking 2 falls and 3 tries to get on the J bar back up out of the terrain park! A bit embarrassing, but I haven't done one of those in over 20 years. :o 

post #2 of 8

Nice photos.  Massanutten is a beautiful spot and MarzNC is great.  I think the steep drop on Mak Attack just beyond your second photo, when bumped up, is the most challenging little piece of inbounds ski terrain of the four ski areas in the state of Virginia.

post #3 of 8

Nice TR!  Glad you had a good day.  Always fun to meet up for a few runs.

 

One correction.  Upper MAKAttack is black while Lower MAKAttack (under the lift) is blue.  When it's icy, Upper MAKAttack is the hardest trail at Massanutten.  The flatter top section of MAKAttack does get groomed.  The snow whale section is left alone most of the time.

 

The Mnut ski teams spent a lot of time on MAKAttack this weekend.  Ski patrol trainees were over there too learning how to deal with a sled on the narrow edges.  Was fun to test out demo skis over there.

 

Massanutten Trail Map 2012.jpg

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

One correction.  Upper MAKAttack is black while Lower MAKAttack (under the lift) is blue. 

 

Ah... thanks for that. I got it in my head that the whole middle section on the map was blue. 

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

One correction.  Upper MAKAttack is black while Lower MAKAttack (under the lift) is blue. 

 

Ah... thanks for that. I got it in my head that the whole middle section on the map was blue. 


Essentially anything lower than Lift 5 Mid-station is blue.  Don't know if you noticed the cut-through from Upper Showtime to/from Upper MAKAttack.  That allows people to bail from the black or to go in and do the lower section of "bumps" only.  Sometimes it's much more fun to ski Upper Showtime in the morning and the "humps" on lower Upper MAKAttack only.  Obviously for someone learning to deal with the humps, it's nice to have an option of where to start.  Especially if the sides of Upper MAKAttack are on the icy side.

 

By the way, even on Sat the line on Lift 5 was never more than 5 min.  On Sun morning aside from the Mnut ski teams and the special Women's Clinic (4 of my SkiDiva friends with one of the Level 3 instructors), there were probably less than a dozen other people until 11am or so.  Made it easy to check out demo skis on the humps.

post #6 of 8

Glad you had fun. I've skied Massanutten a fair amount and always have had a good time there. Upper Mak Attack really does present a good challenge when it is bumped up on the steep part. Some years ski ops lets skier's left of Paradice bump up as well (I guess they actually seed the moguls, right, Marz?).

 

I have also met up to ski a couple times with Marz - we met up once last season for a late March powder day.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by wgo2 View Post
 

Glad you had fun. I've skied Massanutten a fair amount and always have had a good time there. Upper Mak Attack really does present a good challenge when it is bumped up on the steep part. Some years ski ops lets skier's left of Paradice bump up as well (I guess they actually seed the moguls, right, Marz?).

 

I have also met up to ski a couple times with Marz - we met up once last season for a late March powder day.

 

Letting the side of Paradice bump up naturally is pretty standard practice.  At least from what I've seen I started skiing Mnut in 2004-2005.  The seeded bumps on the lower part were something new last season.  I think the additional snowmaking added in the last few years made a difference in how soon there were deep enough snow and how long the coverage lasted later in the season.  Mnut hosts PSIA clinics in late Feb.  Needless to say, the seeded bumps were used by the trainers in several clinics last season.

 

The ski team coaches were taking their kids down MAKAttack a lot last weekend.  Especially Sunday when conditions were a little softer.

post #8 of 8

A pic of the lower half of Upper MAKAttack, taken from Lift 5.  By Sunday, the slightly warmer temps meant that small bumps were forming in and around the snow whale humps.

 

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