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.