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Mid-Atlantic Gathering 2016-17 Discussion  

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchener View Post
 

Hello all -

 

Hopefully we'll have a snowy winter in the Mid-Atlantic this coming season (we're due!). 

 

I'm looking forward to another mid-A Gathering that I'm hopefully healthy for this season! We still haven't skied together...

 

Mod note: moved from PA/DE/SoNJ thread

post #2 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

I'm looking forward to another mid-A Gathering that I'm hopefully healthy for this season! We still haven't skied together...

 

That's right!  I remember well the IV drip and the colposcopy bag, ha ha ha.  I'm sure we will this year. 

 

Speaking of which, everyone feel free to chime in -- any early thoughts on a mid-A Gathering location?  We're about Blue Knob'd out, I'm sure. 

post #3 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchener View Post

 

That's right!  I remember well the IV drip and the colposcopy bag, ha ha ha.  I'm sure we will this year. 

 

I wish I'd had an IV drip!  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchener View Post
 

Speaking of which, everyone feel free to chime in -- any early thoughts on a mid-A Gathering location?  We're about Blue Knob'd out, I'm sure. 

 

Well I still haven't been to Timberline, and would like to get back to Canaan... so some combo of those have my vote.

 

UNLESS... we want to check out Laurel Hill... then Seven Springs/Hidden Valley/Laurel Hill are in the mix. 

post #4 of 61

I was checking local accommodations for a trip to that area, found this:  http://www.logcabinmotel.com/rooms.asp   

 

They have a couple of multi-bedroom suites, one with 5 bedrooms, and even a small house!  No exactly slopeside but its a short drive to those 3 ski areas.

post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchener View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

I'm looking forward to another mid-A Gathering that I'm hopefully healthy for this season! We still haven't skied together...

 

That's right!  I remember well the IV drip and the colposcopy bag, ha ha ha.  I'm sure we will this year. 

 

Speaking of which, everyone feel free to chime in -- any early thoughts on a mid-A Gathering location?  We're about Blue Knob'd out, I'm sure. 


Should we just discuss here or have a separate thread?  Works either way although the folks in western PA and Ohio might notice a separate thread more.

 

My calendar is pretty full already.  Been noticing a lot of info coming out of Canaan Valley about more snowmaking.  They expect to open Dec. 10.  Have only been to Timberline in early Jan.  Was quite fun.  But also very curious about Laurel Mountain.  Not quite as convenient skiing two places on the same weekend but the kids aren't little kids any more.

post #6 of 61

Probably best to open its own thread for the very reason you mention (Ohio, other outlying areas).

 

But, in the meantime, as I'm not familiar with any of these areas, are there any, like Blue Knob, that offer housing close to the slopes?  It's definitely a great thing to throw a lunch, that sort of thing...

post #7 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchener View Post
 

Probably best to open its own thread for the very reason you mention (Ohio, other outlying areas).

 

But, in the meantime, as I'm not familiar with any of these areas, are there any, like Blue Knob, that offer housing close to the slopes?  It's definitely a great thing to throw a lunch, that sort of thing...

 

Hidden Valley has a bunch of slope side condos, but is pretty tiny and you'd wind up wanting to spend more time at Seven Springs. 

 

Seven Springs has a big hotel right at the base, but will undoubtedly be more expensive than past Gatherings. They also have a bunch of vacation homes/condos/townhouses along the top of the mountain, but I don't know anything about being able to rent them. Time for some research!

 

EDIT : Some quick research...

 

  • A very quick look on HomeAway shows 3 bedroom condos and townhomes at the top of the mountain for something like $450-$750 per night in early February weekends. 
  • The hotel rates start at just under $300/night when taxes are added
  • There are house/chalet rentals (3 bedrooms/2 baths) as well, for ~$2200 for 3 nights

 

I don't think we'll find anything as affordable as the house at Blue Knob. I suppose that's one reason why Timberline and BK have been the primary choices (plus terrain and lack of crowds).

post #8 of 61

It's a shame Elk doesn't have slopeside accommodations (or even anything nearby).  Great mountain, and being 45 minutes further north than the other Poconos hills, it'd have been perfect, otherwise.  Maybe we can borrow a tent from Barnum Bailey's, and keep a bonfire lit in the center. 

post #9 of 61
Levy 1 in for a weekend
post #10 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchener View Post
 

But, in the meantime, as I'm not familiar with any of these areas, are there any, like Blue Knob, that offer housing close to the slopes?  It's definitely a great thing to throw a lunch, that sort of thing...

 

Timberline has a bunch of houses along one of the green runs headed back to base. They're a bit more than Blue Knob, but not much. 

 

(And as for attendance, I'll be there if I'm not traveling. Who knows if the teenage daughter will come? Though if there are boys again... :duck:)

post #11 of 61

FYI, we've had a couple gatherings at Timberline, most recently 2014:  here's report thread from that fun event: http://www.epicski.com/t/126236/mid-atlantic-gathering-2014-timberline-wv

 

As implied by Dbos, we found T-Line to be almost as affordable as BK and it has fine terrain too, with usually a little better natural conditions.  We rented a house called L'Hermitage at least twice.  It's quite a bit nicer than headquarters at BK 2016 Gathering, and just a bit more costly.  Has hot tub and is about 100 yard walk from slopes. Here is link to that house: 

http://www.mountaintoprentals.net/vacation-rental-home.asp?PageDataID=18949

As DDanks said, there are more homes nearby and directly on Salamander trail, but you'll pay a bit more.  I encourage you guys to check out T-Line rental possibilities through some of the local realty outfits like Mountaintop.  As you may know, there are a lot of T-Line regulars who participate on DCSki, EpicSki, PugSki, etc. who'd be likely to join in on Gathering events if it's held there.  

 

I will try to participate, but not as an organizer.  So obviously I defer to all of you for your choice of venue, accoms, dates, etc.  You guys did a great job last year and were very nice to those of us who squatted in your place for lunch and apres ski gatherings.  

I'm still working out my western ski plans and probably won't know about availability for mid-A gathering until early Jan 2017.  One way or another I'm going to try to get to Laurel Mtn for a day or two even if it's separate from the Gathering Weekend.  

post #12 of 61

@kitchener : are you thinking about the weekend after Pres. Day, or another weekend?  Feb. 24-26, Fri-Sun, would be the traditional late Feb dates.  That would actually work for me.

post #13 of 61

The weekend after Presidents has been traditional. That will enable ski instructors/patrollers from other areas to possibly take a day off from their home mountains. When we first started the Mid-A gathering in 2005 or so we had many of those types attending.

 

As for a Gathering based around the Laurel Highland's trio Laurel, 7 Springs and HV, I could look into lodging options. Seven Springs and Hidden Valley will have the slopeside condos, LM none, no hotel slopeside either. There are private houses less than a mile from Laurel and many motels in Ligonier or Jennerstown. Seven Springs is about 20 miles away. Ligonier is a nice town with a few good restaurants and bars. A reconstructed French and Indian War fort, boutique shops of various sorts. Jennerstown has nice amenities too not as picturesque. It is on the eastern side of the mountain and would be closer to Hidden Valley then to Seven Springs, very close to Laurel. There is no shuttle to tie the resorts.

 

Seven Springs has a 750 vt ft drop on the backside and around 500 ft, on the front. 250+ acres of snowmaking on mostly blue terrain. Some steeper pitches but not real steep for very long. 14 lifts 2 high speed 6 packs a couple of fixed quads a gaggle of triples.

 

Hidden Valley has about 470 vt. ft. and 11 lifts and 110 acres most low blue and green terrain, very good snowmaking.

 

Laurel has 800 to 900 vt ft (depending who you talk too) 1 fixed grip  quad (brand spanking new, reported about a 5 minute ride to the top) 75 acres of cut trails about 40+ covered with snowmaking, but that includes Lower Wildcat (comparable to Extrovert but groomed, at least half of its width) and blue cruisers about a mile in length. It has the best terrain for advanced skiers but not the most terrain.

post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddanks View Post

 

(And as for attendance, I'll be there if I'm not traveling. Who knows if the teenage daughter will come? Though if there are boys again... :duck:)

 

Well, that's a given!  In fact, she and Joshua might have to be ski buddies this year because I'm not sure Jarrett, Wayne's son, will be coming.  He's got girlfriend on the brain (but that might change tomorrow, lol -- you know how that goes!  "I luv-uh you with all-a my heart, if I don't-a see you soon, I'm-a gonna dieeeee")

 

PS.  New Mexico?


Edited by kitchener - 9/25/16 at 7:17am
post #15 of 61

My early thoughts on the above -- the date after President's Weekend sounds like a winner.  Wayne and I will likely make our annual pilgrimage West the first week of March.  

 

It does sound like the fatal flaw with the Seven Springs/Laurel Hill/Hidden Valley triad is just that -- no single mountain to concentrate us, though lodging (aka Gathering headquarters) might help do that.  I like the sound of 250 acres at Seven Springs.  How does it compare with Timberline (cost and skiing)?

 

Jamesj, thanks for the nice comments about last year.  I haven't checked it out yet but the house and Timberline do sound tempting, too.  It sounds a lot like the Blue Knob advantage -- the road less traveled and thus a little less expensive (than, say, a typical Pocono ski hill).

post #16 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

@kitchener
 : are you thinking about the weekend after Pres. Day, or another weekend?  Feb. 24-26, Fri-Sun, would be the traditional late Feb dates.  That would actually work for me.

Works for me too. I already have that Friday off!
post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchener View Post
 

My early thoughts on the above -- the date after President's Weekend sounds like a winner.  Wayne and I will likely make our annual pilgrimage West the first week of March.  

 

It does sound like the fatal flaw with the Seven Springs/Laurel Hill/Hidden Valley triad is just that -- no single mountain to concentrate us, though lodging (aka Gathering headquarters) might help do that.  I like the sound of 250 acres at Seven Springs.  How does it compare with Timberline (cost and skiing)?

 

Jamesj, thanks for the nice comments about last year.  I haven't checked it out yet but the house and Timberline do sound tempting, too.  It sounds a lot like the Blue Knob advantage -- the road less traveled and thus a little less expensive (than, say, a typical Pocono ski hill).


7Springs may have a bit more acreage, but I doubt we want to ski it on the weekend.

 

I haven't ski Tline with full snow cover, but am also curious about Laurel.  Would be happy either way on Feb. 24-26.  That's at the end of a Mnut week I find for Pres. Day with friends so I could start from there on Fri morning.

post #18 of 61

I'm all for less crowds.

post #19 of 61
Thread Starter 

Yes, Seven Springs can get very crowded on a Saturday. But it is weekend/conditions dependent, and lift dependent. Last time I was there was a Saturday. It was a few years ago, and I stayed mostly on the easier (i.e. more crowded) runs. Even then, when we left in the late afternoon the wait on the most crowded lifts was maybe 5-10 minutes. It kind of painful for short runs, but doesn't ruin your day or anything. And as LHC pointed out, apparently the backside with more black runs tends to be less crowded. 

 

I think though, if we were voting, I'd go Timberline with a possible day at Canaan coming or going.

post #20 of 61
I believe for at least two of our Gatherings at T-Line on the Monday afterwards Canaan Valley Ski Area had a "Food Bank Monday" special deal going on. You bring a can or box of food to the ticket window and get a full day ticket for something like $20. This and fact that our house rented for three nights minimum (Fri-Sun) made it perfect for bonus ski day because we usually had lots of leftovers from the weekend. Not sure about 2016-17, but the Food Bank Mondays in past are offered throughout much of the ski season.
post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

Yes, Seven Springs can get very crowded on a Saturday. But it is weekend/conditions dependent, and lift dependent. Last time I was there was a Saturday. It was a few years ago, and I stayed mostly on the easier (i.e. more crowded) runs. Even then, when we left in the late afternoon the wait on the most crowded lifts was maybe 5-10 minutes. It kind of painful for short runs, but doesn't ruin your day or anything. And as LHC pointed out, apparently the backside with more black runs tends to be less crowded. 

 

I think though, if we were voting, I'd go Timberline with a possible day at Canaan coming or going.

Here's how to avoid the crowds. The front has a high speed 6 and the back has a high speed six. Guess where all the people go? On The backside, the Giant Steps triple will give you almost all of the terrain the high speed gives you and there is usually no wait, same can be said of the frontside. Stay away from the Avalanche triple on race day. That's front side lookers far left. The fixed quad on the front will give you Lower Fawn  and Wagner Slope and Stowe Trail over to Stowe Slope.

post #22 of 61
I should be in for a trip this season. I am not sure that 7 springs interests me. We skied there for a day two years ago and there is really nothing exciting to hit. If we are thinking of spending top dollar on lodging why not hit snowshoe which skis much bigger than 7 springs and has three areas that are in same base with busses to transport across mountain.

If there are any suggestions otherwise I would be open as well.
post #23 of 61

Timberline is fine. I'll help out for a Laurel/Ligonier based Laurel Highlands Trio Gathering. It will mean commuting about a half hour to Seven Springs or Hidden Valley but less than 10 from Ligonier to Laurel. Not interested in Snowshoe.

post #24 of 61

That's a good point, no reason there can't be a Mid-A Gathering with a group house for CV/Tline in late Feb and also have a designated weekend meetup for Laurel/Hidden Valley/7Springs.

post #25 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioskier View Post

If we are thinking of spending top dollar on lodging...

 

I don't think we generally are, but for the fact that there's a new place to ski in western PA. 

 

Taking a quick look on Homeaway for Timberline, and it looks like about half the cost of Seven Springs. (Or twice the house, depending on how you look at it.) 

 

Here's an example... 

 

https://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p848383vb

 

Literally step off the deck onto the slopes, 5 bedrooms (2 bunk rooms), three baths... totals out to ~$2400 for three nights including taxes and fees. That could probably be split 8 ways if folks are OK bunking like last year.

post #26 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

That's a good point, no reason there can't be a Mid-A Gathering with a group house for CV/Tline in late Feb and also have a designated weekend meetup for Laurel/Hidden Valley/7Springs.

 

That would work for me, and what I was planning on anyway. My folks are about an hour from any of the three resorts. So I'd probably ski one on Friday on the way to my folks, then another on Saturday on the way back to DC, or maybe stay Saturday night and ski Sunday too. 

 

Really, we keep mentioning Hidden Valley, but it could be skipped unless someone was keen to check it out. 

post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

That's a good point, no reason there can't be a Mid-A Gathering with a group house for CV/Tline in late Feb and also have a designated weekend meetup for Laurel/Hidden Valley/7Springs.

 

That would work for me, and what I was planning on anyway. My folks are about an hour from any of the three resorts. So I'd probably ski one on Friday on the way to my folks, then another on Saturday on the way back to DC, or maybe stay Saturday night and ski Sunday too. 

 

Really, we keep mentioning Hidden Valley, but it could be skipped unless someone was keen to check it out. 


I think those of us who have never skied in western PA are intrigued by the Highlands pass on weekends that covers all three places.  It's more about checking out someplace new with friends than looking for prime skiing.  Same reason I met up with friends at Roundtop a few years ago.

post #28 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


I think those of us who have never skied in western PA are intrigued by the Highlands pass on weekends that covers all three places.  It's more about checking out someplace new with friends than looking for prime skiing.  Same reason I met up with friends at Roundtop a few years ago.

 

I'm with you on checking out new places. I've always enjoyed that and don't mind if things are easy or small. (I had a really good time for a few hours at Hidden Valley.) 

 

But I think there's quite a bit more to ski, and more difficult to ski, at Roundtop than at Hidden Valley, just to give an example. So I'm just trying to set expectations for that for anyone thinking about it.

post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

I'm with you on checking out new places. I've always enjoyed that and don't mind if things are easy or small. (I had a really good time for a few hours at Hidden Valley.) 

 

But I think there's quite a bit more to ski, and more difficult to ski, at Roundtop than at Hidden Valley, just to give an example. So I'm just trying to set expectations for that for anyone thinking about it.


I have to agree about Hidden Valley: there's not much there, though with one big exception -- if there is enough snow to go into the trees, then it can actually be a really fun place to ski. None of the tree runs are particularly hard, but there are lots of places to play. More importantly, most people who go to HV aren't tree skiers, so those areas take a while to get skied out. Of course, that all depends on having enough snow...

post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchener View Post
 

 

Well, that's a given!  In fact, she and Joshua might have to be ski buddies this year because I'm not sure Jarrett, Wayne's son, will be coming.  He's got girlfriend on the brain (but that might change tomorrow, lol -- you know how that goes!  "I luv-uh you with all-a my heart, if I don't-a see you soon, I'm-a gonna dieeeee")

 

PS.  New Mexico?


Yeah, watching my daughter is triggering lots of flashbacks to my own teenage crushes! I'm sure Kiera would be happy to buddy with Joshua, assuming he wants to go fast.

 

P.S.-My wife's whole family is from/in NM, so we spend a lot of time out there, and Kiera & I try to ski as much as possible (75% Santa Fe, 25% Taos). It's all about the skiing...really, I promise...nothing to do with getting away from in-laws... ;) 

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