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Seven Springs

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Born and raised in Northeast PA now living in VA and I have never been to Seven Springs. Going to give it a shot this year. What are the best condo's, and what is the resort like? Will be there with family wife and two kids ages 5 & 4) and they will be learning to ski.


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post #2 of 9
Well, Seven Springs is large enough that you do get some varied terrain and opportunity to explore. They have extensive snowmaking, so they do manage to get & keep a lot of trails open. I believe there is night skiing also.

I remember going there once as a beginner and having a wonderful time just doing the Village Trail over & over again, so there is stuff for beginners to enjoy...this was mid-March, so the crowds were not bad.

However, on prime season weekends, this place can get horribly, frighteningly crowded and scary. I think maybe because it is so close to Pittsburgh, it's very easy for a lot of people to descend on it for the weekend. I don't think they limit ticket sales, and they keep building more & more lodging, so that seems to contribute. I moved onto my first 'black diamonds' (at least as labeled at Seven Springs) because I was terrified by the crowds on the intermediate trails.

There always seem to be a lot of very fast, out of control skiers & boarders. I almost got wiped out on a trail a few years later, some lunatic skied behind me at warp speed and wiped out, thankfully avoiding me - the guy was going so fast, he tumbled several hundred yards and had a major yard sale. (I was not invisible, I had the nerve to be moving slowly in the middle of a wide open groomer.) Very frightening, and then on the lift this guy happened to tell me how some 'idiot' had turned in front of him 'causing' him to wipe out. I said nothing, but he had to know it was me as I was wearing a distinctive colored jacket that day.

I would think if you are going mid-week, the crowds would not be as much of an issue. Lately, I've been going to Holiday Valley (better terrain, not QUITE as bad on crowds & rude skiers, although some) or Peek'N Peak (NEVER crowded, almost NEVER icey - this would be a GREAT place to learn, although the terrain is not very varied) - but those probably aren't in your geograhic range.

I've never stayed in any of the condos at Seven Springs, so can't comment on that.
post #3 of 9
Yep, it can be crowded on the weekends you just have to know where not to be. During the weekdays it's basically empty, picks up again at night with school bus groups. Definitely shoot for a midweek trip if possible.

If you want the most convenient, ski in/out look at condos in the Village at the top of the mountain, green trail right out your back door.

A little less pricey would be condos in Swiss Mountain or at the golf course. Both have regular shuttle service door to door. There are also many houses available for rent in the area via realtors but honestly, the village condos would be far more convenient with a family (no driving, parking dragging gear from the parking lot which is not the most conveniently located). Come during winterfest in February and there are tons of daily activities going on.

As for the resort: Lots for families. Extensive game rooms, indoor swimming pool, shopping, restaruants, indoor mini golf, bowling alley, skating rink, snow tubing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, snow cat rides, horseback riding, snowshoing, xc skiing, hot tubs the list goes on. 7S is literally a town with everything you need self contained.

In case you haven't been here: www.7springs.com

Give a shout when you're here, it's my home hill I'm almost always there.

If you do need to be here over a weekend and it's busy you can always drive 15 minutes away to Hidden Valley. A smaller, far less known ski area. It's not as big, not as steep but it's nearly empty even on weekends. The front face can get a bit crowded, nowhere near what 7S can be like though. The North Summit is literally empty. Another plus to this place is they only groom the greens and one blue after a big dumping. So, when pow actually does hit here, you can ski it at HV. 7S will groom every run, every night, regardless of how much falls. They only leave Alpine Meadows untouched. Just a thought for avoiding crowds, but if you ski the Shoe, you probably deal with the same crowds as 7S on the weekends.

[ October 30, 2003, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: Taylormatt ]
post #4 of 9
Checking out the seven springs website is a good tip. Most people I know who spend the night usually stay in the very large main lodge, it provides immediate, covered access to almost all the aforementioned ammenities. If you're not already familiar with www.dcski.com , it has a lot of info on this and other ski areas in the mid-Atlantic region. For example, see:


Seven Springs is big and can be crowded, but not on weekdays. Along with Snowshoe, it is one of the few areas that can pass for a "destination" ski resort at or below the Mason-Dixon Line. It has more variety than the basin side of Snowshoe, but not the vertical of the Western Territory. For newbies like your kids Bryce Mtn is a great little uncrowded ski area in VA that you might visit for a day or two of stress-free training/practice before a longer trip to Seven Springs.
post #5 of 9

I like 7S. They do a nice job with snowmaking/grooming and the conditions are usually great. Definitely stay on the mountain (its really important to get out early and beat the throng). I haven't stayed at any condos, but there are a lot of them. I have stayed at the lodge, which is old but nice and architecturally interesting. There is a lot for kids to do at the lodge and the restaurants are pretty good. How long will you be staying though? 7S is not cheap, and if you're staying for more than 3-4 days and for the same money, (albeit a longer drive), you can hit NY or VT for much better skiing. Definitely worth the drive for a week.

That said, at 7S while the wife & kids are in their ski classes, head to the back side of the mountain, much less crowded and better terrain. Have fun!
post #6 of 9
7S has the best off-slope scene in the Mid-Atlantic, and is a great place for the young and single. The Foggy Goggle pub is finest apres ski pub in the Mid-Atlantic: people start dancing at 3 pm and don't stop until the place closes. It reminds me a bit of Krazy Kangaru at St. Anton in Austria. The food also rocks at 7S: everything is decent, whether it be the moon pies at the cafeteria, the peel and eat shrimp at Foggy Goggle, the all you can eat buffet in the main lodge, or Helen's for fancy feasts (reservations required).

Ok, but you are going with a family and may not be interested in all the apres ski.

Well, there are some other advantages to the place:

a) Lots of lifts
b) Many trails
d) The best shuttle bus system in the region
e) An efficient ski rental operation
f) Excellent grooming and snowmaking
g) It is West of the Allegheny Front and therefore has much better conditions on average than Liberty, Whitetail, the Nut, etc.
h) Friendly staff. After a few trips, I was on a first name basis with some of the lifties on the North Face.
I) Convenient to DC: 3 hours, mainly on highway.

But there are also disadvantages:

A) Smallish vertical: 750 feet on the North Face and less on the Wagner side.
B) Can be crowded.
C) Expensive lodging
D) All but one lift are slow.

To save bucks, my wife and I always crash at Days Inn in Somerset, PA. Our strategy is to leave DC late in the morning on a Saturday, ski the Twilight Session (afternoon and evening), eat dinner at the Lodge, crash, and then ski Sunday until 9 pm and leave.

My wife loves 7 Springs (the vertical doesn't bother her). She likes the unpretentious atmosphere of the place. At 7 Springs, many people ski in Steeler's jackets, and talk about the game; at Snowshoe, by comparison, they wear Arcteryx and boast about their latest trip to Deer Valley or Trois Vallees. She also enjoys the blacks on North Face. They aren't that challenging. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

If you are an expert, I would suggest that you shoot for Snowshoe or Timberline because both those places offer much better double black terrain. Snowshoe has two 1,500 foot vertical trails on the Western Territory that blow everything else in the region away, but since we are only talking about two trails, they get crowded. Also, the lower section of both often get slushy. Amongst locals, Lower Cupp is known as "mush meadows."

Timberline has better snow and most of its trails cover 1,000 feet of vertical. It also has two decent double blacks by regional standars: Off the Wall and The Drop. Amongst the readers of DCSki, Timberline is a favorite because of its decent vertical, excellent snow, reasonable lodging, and fun double blacks, including Cherry Glades (an off piste favorite of locals).

The problem with Timberline is its aging infrastucture: slow chairs that often break down. Wasting 12-15 minutes on each lift ride blows. The resort is losing skiers every year to Snowshoe, which has two high-speeds, including one on the Western Territory. Timberline is also a bare bones, New England style mountain. There's a small lodge at the base and that's it. You have to drive to get to restaurants, most of which are on Rt. 32 in the Canaan Valley or in Davis, 12 miles away.

Another excellent mountain is Whitetail. It's only 1.5 hours from DC, so it gets horribly crowded on weekends, but it is wonderful midweek or at night, especially when the local weather is cold. Whitetail has a high-speed, detachable, and a faily fast fixed grip quad on the Far Side.

There's plenty of info on all these places in DCSki

Just do some searches using the resort name as a key word.

[ November 01, 2003, 09:23 AM: Message edited by: West Virginia Skier ]
post #7 of 9
Psssssssst WVSkier...it's the "Foggy GOGGLE " :
post #8 of 9
Originally posted by Taylormatt:
Psssssssst WVSkier...it's the "Foggy GOGGLE " :
How stupid of me. : I used to live in Foggy Bottom--hence the confusion. I probably need to go have a few at the Foggy Goggle.... [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #9 of 9
Don't worry...I've called it all sorts of different things after 2 AM myself. :

Many, many memories in that bar from ski school days long gone.
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