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Snowshoe W. Virginia...

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Just a few questions about Snowshoe...

1) How does it stack up against New England?
2) How are conditions in late March / Early April
3) How is the Village / Lodging?

Plus any other thoughts, experiences, stories would be great.

post #2 of 42
Not to take away from a possible discussion on Epic about this topic, but just in case you weren't aware, the forums at www.dcski.com have a *LOT* of info about Snowshoe. A search over there for threads with the word "Snowshoe" in the title turned up more than 200 hits in the past 3 years.

If you browse their "Local Resorts" forum ( http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads22/po...t=0&Board=UBB5 ), you will find lots of interesting reading. In just the first page of entries, there are long threads on the angle of Snowshoe's steepest slope, real estate, expansion plans, a trip report, late season conditions, etc.)


Tom / PM
post #3 of 42
It has been twenty years since I was there and they have cut a few more trails, but it's lacking in challenge. I was not amused by Cupp Run. I was expecting more having read that Jean Claude Killy called it one of his ten favorite runs. He was in business with Snowshoe, he designed the run. I think it was a favorite of his because of the money it put in his pocket. I would be suprised if he ever skied it. It varies in pitch between solid blue to blue-green. I've never been to Val d'Isere (L'Espace Killy), but I would guess they have dozens of runs more interesting than Cupp Run.

West Virginia areas (I've been to three) generally are not challenging but they get a lot of snow for how far south they are. I enjoyed Timberline and Canaan and made return visits to both. I have no interest in returning to Snowshoe. I had fun there but it's not worth the drive. You would be nuts to drive from Pa. that far to ski that hill. Many ski areas in New England have more terrain, longer runs, steeper runs.
post #4 of 42
Snowshoe has a 1500ft vertical, but only on two runs -- Cupp Run and Shay's Revenge. Cupp Run is debatable on it's status as a black diamond, but Shay's Revenge, on an icy, ungroomed day (most days) is pretty solidly a double diamond.

My main problem with Snowshoe is the prices and the crowds. They're both ridiculous. (Snowshoe on a Saturday... *cringes*)

Q1) How does it stack up against New England?
A1) Not as much vertical, not as long of runs. Not as tall of a mountain. 1500ft vert.
Q2) How are conditions in late March / Early April
A2) Slushy, but the Western Territory (Cupp Run and Shay's Revenge) stays open all the way through.
Q3) How is the Village / Lodging?
A3) VERY expensive. Snowcrest and Top of the World are the cheapest, but they are very run down and crappy. You'd want to stay somewhere off the mountain, such as the http://www.brazenheadinn.com

Seeing as you live in PA, its probably not worth the drive for -- it would depend on what part of PA you live in. Western, yeah probably worth it, eastern, no.

It's without a doubt some of the best skiing in the Mid-Atlantic, but if it's the same distance as upstate New York for you, it's just not worth it.
post #5 of 42
Wanted to echo some of the above comments ... Snowshoe's crowds, lift ticket and lodging prices are outrageous. We go there only because we're from Raleigh, NC, and the slopes there are the best in the region. It's about a 6-hour drive for us so we usually go there 2-3 times a year for a long weekend trip. We'd love there to be more competition, mainly for the crowding, but prices too. From the family aspect, the Silver Creek slopes are short, easier, and a pretty good place to start if you have beginners in the bunch.

One big Snowshoe irritation is the terrain. The levels of slope difficulty between greens, blues, and blacks are not significant enough to steer the differing levels of skiers toward an applicable slope for their skill level. Thus a result of this is the "black" slopes are full of rank beginners. The greens are almost flat, the blues are greens, and most of the blacks don't make a dotted blue on Western resorts.

If you stay in the "Inn" at the bottom of the mountain, do not expect anything in the way of quality service, rooms or ammenities. The food is pretty good in the restaurant, but again the prices are too high. The staff there does the best job they can to be warm, and friendly, but because of the poor condition, and quality of the place are continuously bombarded with complaints. Even the best of staffs can only take so much abuse, and towards the mid-end of the season get very terse with guests over simple questions, requests, etc.

To sum up my opinion: Snowshoe has become a resort whose focus is purely making money and not customer service. The feeling I come away with after going to Snowshoe is, "give me your money, shut up and don't bother me, ... if you don't like what you get here, go somewhere else".

So PA Racer ... my advice is head north. If Hunter Mtn, Okemo, or others are even a couple of hours further away, it's worth the drive.
post #6 of 42

Snowshoe doesn't stack up

to most of the NE mountains, and the ratings on individual runs are generally overstated although Shay's revenge was pretty challenging. Everything else was groomed to the point of excess.

That being said, they had good midweek stay and play specials and pretty good snow this past year. The lifts were quick when we were there with little or no wait, but many of the slopes were very crowded, largely with rank beginners and very inexperienced skiers/riders.

They claim 1500' of vertical, but I wonder if thas from the top of Silver Creek to the bottom of the resort, with no way to ski the whole drop in 1 run?

One thing to consider, everything is really expensive in the village, and it's not a brown bag friendly kind of resort. I had to eat my brought along lunch in the parking lot.
post #7 of 42
The 1500' is on Cupp Run and Shay's Revenge.
post #8 of 42
I've gone to Snowshoe 5 times in the last 2 years and for the most part I'll echo what others have said. If your from east central or eastern PA then go to NY or southern VT. It may be worth the trip if you live farther west as there's no doubt it's the best area in that part of the country in terms of skiable acres and has half a dozen fun runs and several others that are OK. I've never been there over a weekend, but can imagine it could be ridiculously crowded. We always arrive around lunch time on Sunday and depart Wednesday morning. The lodging in the village center(Rimfire, Highland House, Allegheney Springs etc...) is pretty nice and includes high speed internet. The restaurants with one exception (Red Fox) all suck and are VERY overpriced. The pizza place is decent(cheat mountain) but again overpriced. I get a military deal which saves significantly on lodging and lifts otherwise I would take the extra 2 days off and just go out west (which I do 2 weeks a year anyway). As for conditions that time of year, it's a crap shoot. It's pretty reliable from the end of December till the middle of March, but the good thing is you can book just a few days ahead of time that time of year so you'll already know what it should be like.
post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thank you all. Well with the exception of two runs it seems pretty equivalent to what I normally ski in NE PA. Yes VT is without a doubt closer but after reading a lot of good things about Snowshoe (which is why I came to you guys, to get the real low down) it put it on my list, although at the bottom of the list. I think it's now off it. Just doesn't seem worth the 6-8 hour drive when I could be in Killington or Whiteface in 5 1/2.
post #10 of 42
If VT is closer for you, then Snowshoe is absolutely NOT worth it.
post #11 of 42
PA Racer ... hands down, never look back about choosing to head north. Believe me if I had your situation and choices, I'd never go to Snowshoe again.
post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone again. Dorm57. I think I'll take your advice. Whatever curiosity I had about a trip to S shoe is pretty much gone. I was reading lots of stuff about it that had me interested. But I'll take the advice from you guys any day.
post #13 of 42
Think of it as Big Boulder with Strattons Village at the Top. It is NOT worth the trip!
post #14 of 42
When I hear someone mention Snowshoe, I always have the same thought: Over-priced. Over-crowded, and Over-rated.

That said, it's the best available for those in the south making the drive north to get there.
post #15 of 42
Originally Posted by Mack-2150
The 1500' is on Cupp Run and Shay's Revenge.
It's close to 1500' but is actually 1460' so they are manipulating the stats somehow, most likely from the top of Widowmaker to the base of Cupp/Shays. Not like 40' of vertical matters but the majority of their trails are in the 700' vertical range. Did somebody mention flat?
The shoe is an 8 plus hour drive for me as well. I won't go back. I'd much rather go to NC to ski. Not because NC is better, it's just closer for about the same skiing I'll find in WV.
I'll sum up all of these posts for you: Snowshoe SUCKS!
post #16 of 42
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Ullr
Think of it as Big Boulder with Strattons Village at the Top. It is NOT worth the trip!
'nuff said. I won't be making the trip.
post #17 of 42
Ok, I'll actually chime in with some good stuff along with the bad:

-Best Mid-Atlantic skiing I've had. Cupp and Shay's are both enjoyable runs, not crowded, and serviced by a high speed quad with virtually no lift lines.

-Developed infrastructure with a variety of choices for food, drink, and shopping.

-Large parking lot (Top of the World) where I was able to park quite close to the ticket booth and Widowmaker Run

-I had absolutely FANTASTIC snow conditions when I went in early March. Something like 40 inches of fresh snow in the 3 days before I arrived, with another 9 inches or so overnight right before I arrived at 8am.

Now for the bad:

-The plows were way behind clearing the road up to the resort, and I passed numerous stranded vehicles (fortunately, I had rented an AWD Lincoln Aviator.

-The inverted resort design caused a 50 minute wait at the end of the day for the lift taking me back to my car. I wound up missing the lift I needed and having to wait another 30 minutes for a bus. This sucked.

-Lift tickets were expensive, but then again, they seem to be expensive everywhere nowadays.

-Snowshoe's "runs" are a joke. Small horizontal connectors between true runs are named and counted in their total.

-No off-piste skiing allowed. I had to duck ropes and risk getting my pass clipped in order to enjoy the large amount of fresh powder that tantalized me from every lift.
post #18 of 42
Contrary to some of the above posts, there is nothing inherently evil about Snowshoe. I have been going there off and on 20+ years and had a blast virtually every time. It has its plusses and minuses like all other resorts. If you go there expecting 24 runs with a 1000 foot vertical, you'll be disappointed (and your research was lacking). It offers what it offers and nothing more.

Deciding today whether its worth a trip next year just doesn't make sense. One positive for Snowshoe not mentioned above is that have some ofg the best snowmaking and conditioning around. If there's been a warm spell on the east coast that killing conditions in the mid-atlantic and Vermont, chances are Snowshoe probably has the best conditions at that time. There will be times when a trip to Snowshoe is better than trip to Vermont, other times, Vermont will be the better choice. All things being equal, choose Vermont. However, "things" are rarely equal.

If you know the mountain and the crowd times to avoid, you can have a great time there.
post #19 of 42
There will be times when a trip to Snowshoe is better than trip to Vermont

Rarely. 9 times out of 10 vermont has superior snow amounts and quality. 180 inches a year for snowshoe, and 333 for stowe. almost double the snowfall. If you can go to VT go there. It's a 8 hour drive to the central resorts in vt for me and I will always go there over snowshoe.
post #20 of 42
There is a kernel of truth in skidmo's comments. Only the mountains from Jay Peak south to Killington get much over 200 inches per year. I think it's quite likely that surface conditions at Snowshoe are better than southern New England and as good as New Hampshire/Maine much of the time.

This thread does make it clear that terrain quality is a different matter. When I once asked their marketing director how the tree skiing was after the famous blizzard of 1996 (37 inches overnight), he said, "You don't understand. We have Southern skiers. They would kill themselves if we let them in there."
post #21 of 42
I've been to most ski areas on the east coast, and you cannot compare Snowshoe to anything north on PA. It's apples and tomatos.
post #22 of 42
Mt. Tom
post #23 of 42
The same challenge as Mt. Tom, with the same attitude, and triple the price. It's still a tomato!
post #24 of 42
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Ullr
I've been to most ski areas on the east coast, and you cannot compare Snowshoe to anything north on PA. It's apples and tomatos.
From the way it sounds, there's better ski areas in PA too.
post #25 of 42
There are better in West Virginia.
post #26 of 42
I ski at Snowshoe virtually every non-race weekend. What has been mentioned is certainly true. Not worth a drive from PA. But for the record, I'll mention a few more things.

-majority of skiiers are on rentals (not exactly a hard core area)
-50:1 male/female ratio

-best terrain park in the region hands down
-international staff (Intrawest recruits world-wide which makes things interesting)
-the place is dead mid-week
-southern powder (rare, but it's certainly possible to ski 10" of dry pow south of the Mason-Dixie Line)

post #27 of 42

Sortof off topic, but...

We are a family of five, living in Atlanta. Kids are 9, 6, and 4. We are looking to spend the Christmas break skiing and were considering Snowshoe (largest, closest resort). My wife and I are accomplished skiers, I did most of my skiing in CA, some in CO. My wife cut her teeth in VT, some in CO. But, it's not about us anymore.

We are contemplating between SnowBird or SnowShoe. Clearly, they are two different trips, but it appears that there are more perks/pricing for families at Snowbird and nothing at Snoeshoe. Atlanta has direct flights to SLC and the cost to fly is offset with using frequent flier miles.

The drive to Snowshoe seems so much simpler than the drill of loading up the family for a flight and drive to Snowbird. My concern is spending 6 days at an entry level resort versus a full blown resort like SnowBird. Let's face it, for the Holiday Week, crowds and lodging pricing is a given.

Someone talk some sense into me...
post #28 of 42
How long is the drive to Snowshoe? The drive from airport to Snowbird is less than 30 minutes. Direct flight? Snowbird is much closer to you. You can take the first flight out of ATL and be on the snow by noon. Utah snow!
post #29 of 42

I did a week in VT last year for 1/2 of what I spent in Snowshoe. I used my frequent flyer miles to go to Whister in 2002 and spent far less than I did in Snowshoe in 2000. If you have skied out west or even in VT for that matter, you will be bored with SS after the first day. I will have respectfully disagree with some of the posts above. There is nothing fun about going into Cheat Mtn Pizza on a Weds night and getting a waiter (who I swear to God) didn't know more than ten words in english. Two hours later ( also not an embellishment) finally walking out because I was not even sure that he placed our order. I cannot think of anyone who has been there who has said it was worth it. Fly, fly, fly far away to the great west, and NEVER look back!!!!!!!
post #30 of 42
Did you ever get to Mt. Creek?
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