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Mid-Atlantic New Skier in Warm Weather Advice?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I'm a very inexperienced, lapsed skier and could really use some advice about getting back into it and including my two boys (9 and 16).  I live in the Baltimore, MD area and just for reference have only ever skied at Wisp and Seven Springs, primarily on the green trails, but with a few blue thrown in as well (~25 years ago).

 

So, I was really hoping to head to one of the somewhat local ski spots this season and was going to choose between Timberline, WV, and Whitetail, PA.  Timberline seems to have a much better mountain and better prices, but is ~4 hours away, versus Whitetail, which is more expensive with a weaker set of trails but is quite a bit closer (about 2 hours).  Oh, and Timberline just had a lift failure.  We'd go on a weekday for lighter crowds and better pricing.

 

When I was planning this trip a week or so ago, I focused on going to Timberline on Monday, 3/7, because that's the start of their late season pricing and the weather was forecast to be just in the mid to high 40s.  Now, with that date approaching, the forecast is for the low 60s.

 

My main question is: Am I crazy to even consider attempting to ski on Monday (either at Timberline or Whitetail[also in the 60s])?  I have seen that some people love skiing in warmer weather, but I wonder if that's really only for experienced skiers and also perhaps for the steeper blue and black trails.  I'm worried that our group (one very inexperienced skier and two complete newbies) will not have much fun with possibly sticky snow on the shallower, green trails.

 

Any advice for me?  Have I just waited too long to ski this year and been hampered by the weather?  Or is it possible/likely we'll still have a good time and fun skiing in spring-like weather?  I also considered going to other nearby resorts, but of course anything close is expecting pretty much the same weather.  One other possibility (for skiing this season anyway) is to make a bigger road trip out of it and go north, where I assume the ski season lasts a bit longer (New York or Vermont, for example).  However, even for them, the forecast over the next 10 or 15 days is pretty warm (Smuggler's Notch, for example: highs in the 40s and 50s with some rain and only a couple freezing lows).

 

Anyway, any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks!
Justin

post #2 of 8

Welcome to EpicSki!  Sorry, but I think you waited too long.  I'm at Massanutten in northern VA this weekend.  They have taken up all the snowmaking equipment because of the forecast for warm weather next week.

 

This winter was . . . not good . . . in the northeast.  Not really worth the drive IMHO.

 

In general, spring skiing is fun for any ability level.  But that's when temps are in the high 30s or low 40s.

 

The only sensible way to get into some fun spring skiing would be to fly out west in April to take advantage of late season deals.  I took my daughter to Alta in April for the first time when she was 7.  She started skiing with the help of ski school at age 4 at Massanutten.  She had a ball.  Of course, that meant she was totally spoiled.  We used to stay at Massanutten the week before Christmas, plus the holiday weekends in Jan and Feb.  She was skiing southeast blacks at age 6.  Kids learn very fast with the help of good instructors.

post #3 of 8

You might take a look at the ongoing regional thread to get an idea of how the season went.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/142548/2015-16-southeast-mid-atlantic-meetups-weather-nc-va-wv-west-pa-plus-sc-ga-tn-al-fl

post #4 of 8

Agreed with Marznc.  I think you waited too long, this is not a good year for mid-atlantic region.  As for your question about going up north, I am not sure if it will be worthwhile to go this late also.  I am an intermediate skier and I went to VT in late Jan. this year, the condition in VT was so icy and it really put a dent on my confidence level.  If you really want to ski this year, the more feasible option will be to go to the west coast.  March is a great time for skiing in the west coast.  Also USD is very strong against Canadian $ now, you may consider Whistler and Banff.  Both places are great, March is their best time for skiing.

 

As for next year, I suggest looking into the Adult Dev Development program at Ski Liberty, it is a 4-wk program (every sat.) from 9 am to 3 pm.  I just completed the program this year and I highly recommended it (my ski friend did 2 years of adult dev w/ them and she recommended it to me).  The program really pushes you to advance.  By the end of 4th week, you can handle black trials (at Liberty).  I know at Whitetail and Roundtop, they also have a multi wk program, but it is only 2 hours each Sat.  The Ski Liberty one offers a much better deal.  
Also, lots of parents sign up the adult dev program and put their kids to the Children program at Liberty.  It is like a family event at ski liberty each Sat.  I really enjoyed it and plan to sign up again next year.  

post #5 of 8

One more thing, many of the students in the adult dev class are in a similar situation as you.  i.e. skied long time ago and now want to pick up the sport again.  3 other students in my group, 1 skied 30 yrs ago and  2 skied 20 yrs ago.  Now all 3 can do blacks at Liberty and plan to do this program next year.  

post #6 of 8

I realize it's Monday night, but I say go.  Skiing is fantastic at warm temperatures, as long as there is coverage on the slopes (which there still is).  Get out there to Whitetail, and enjoy yourself.  

 

I skied Whitetail last Sunday, in mid 60's weather, and had a blast.  Sure, the snow was a little slow in places, but that's fine.

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

I realize it's Monday night, but I say go.  Skiing is fantastic at warm temperatures, as long as there is coverage on the slopes (which there still is).  Get out there to Whitetail, and enjoy yourself.  

 

I skied Whitetail last Sunday, in mid 60's weather, and had a blast.  Sure, the snow was a little slow in places, but that's fine.


If the OP were going by himself, might be worthwhile.  However, he wants to take his sons skiing for the first time.  First impressions matter.  I've taken several friends and their kids to Massanutten for their first ski experience.  Sometimes it was warm and spring conditions, sometimes it was cold and winter conditions.  I started my daughter at age 4 in early season so I know that you don't need much snow for beginners to have fun.  However, I would not take friends next weekend.

 

Note that I had a good time last weekend at Massanutten.  But I ski well enough to stay on the upper mountain in the afternoon when the lower mountain trails were getting sticky.  For me, the fact that it was in the 40s was good because the bumps were soft in the afternoon.

post #8 of 8

Wisp gets very sticky, very bogged down, both on the top at the front, and on the backside green/blues.    There is very little pitch to the greens, not enough to make any sort of decent forward progress in slush.    Between the two, go to Whitetail.


As far as driving north is concerned - don't look for winterlike temperatures.   You won't find them south of Maine. 

 

Look for the resort with the biggest base that you can also drive to.    That way, since you're getting spring skiing anyway, you'll at least have fewest brown spots. 

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