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Snowshoe WV questions

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I usually pop over to Holiday Valley a couple of times a year. Some of the skiers we have met there spoke highly of Snowshoe WV and that looks like a similar or actually shorter drive for me from the Indianapolis area.

Any feedback? Any recommendations?

Full snowmaking, more vertical, night skiing: looks like a tempting variety to Holiday Valley.
post #2 of 15
Make sure your fog lights work on the drive over.
post #3 of 15
Use the site search function. This topic has been beaten to death. I have linked two of the many discussions regarding this place. IMHO it is not worth the trip there from anywhere.


post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for those links

I can see it's not looked at very highly. I'm not really comparing it to the big eastern resorts but more to what I can drive to from Indiana in 9 hours. Thus I'm more interested in comparisons to Holiday Valley.

But I can see from the comments I may be best to stick with HV.
post #5 of 15
How close are you to places like Boyne?
post #6 of 15
The 1500' vert that they brag about is really only on a couple trails and completely separated from the rest of the ski area, which is probably around 500-600'. It is extremely crowded with skiers of limited ability and experience and is extremely expensive. The "village" is accessed by driving from your condo; there are no sidewalks, so walking is a nasty stroll along an access road. The restaurants I ate at were no good, expensive and staffed with unfriendly people. Some people will agree with the above and nevertheless point out how great it is with a fresh dump, but what ski area isn't??

I have never been to Holiday, but I can't imagine that it could be worse than Snowshoe. Fortunately there are MUCH better alternatives further north in WV called Timberline & Canaan Valley.

Sorry to be such a downer, but you asked.

(BTW, I lived in Indiana until 1979; my dad went to Purdue and mom to Ball State.)
post #7 of 15
Growing up and living in the southeast all of my life I have skied snowshoe many times. Having said that I totally agree with TERPSKI in that it is often crowded, is over priced and depending on your level and terrain preference the runs can get very boring after a day (it will not take that long if you are used to skiing the northeast/out west terrain).

John....you have probably considered this but for what it would cost you to drive 9 hours to snowshoe or some east coast resort (with the ever increasing gas prices) you could fly to a number of different colorado/utah resorts and find lodging and lift tickets for the same price you would pay at snowshoe.

Obviously, if you are doing a family trip travel will be more expensive but think about the skiing you are getting for your $ at a place like snowshoe vs. spending a little more money for colorado/wyoming/utah skiing.

Just a thought
post #8 of 15
I agree with TerpSKI, go to Timberline when they have a good base and 100% open. Let me know if you go and I'll meet you there. I'll not waste the drive from Pittsburgh to go to Snowshoe.
post #9 of 15

Another opinion

Plenty has already been written about SnowShoe and I know you have made lots of trips West, so I'll skip all of that and add some different information. If you're going to Snowshoe, coming from your direction is the easiest of all. One of the hard parts of getting there from the Washington, DC area and many areas east and south is the lack of good roads. Most roads are two lanes and traverse numerous ridge lines (with lots of fog). From NW through Morgantown and Elkins you have pretty reasonable roads (only the section from Elkins is a 2-lane road) and you don't have to fight the ups and downs as much.

About the same distance from Elkins (continuing east) are Canaan Valley and Timberline ski resorts side by side. Individually smaller, and less resort amenities but comparable skiing. (I tend to go there for day trips because of the lesser driving distance for me.) If you were to continue east on I-70 (PA Turnpike) you can get to Seven Springs, PA in about the same driving time (maybe less) than Snowshoe. Not as much listed vertical, but a pretty reasonable destination from what I hear.

I don't know how these compare to Holiday Valley, but I accept your reasons behind your original question of alternatives to Holiday Valley and not Snowshoe vs. Colorado. Also, because of extra altitude, Snowshoe will have an earlier opening/later closing and more consistent coverage than most mid-Atlantic resorts.

However, another thing you really need to consider is that they don't allow PMTS in West (by gosh) Virginia
post #10 of 15
Originally Posted by gandalf
About the same distance from Elkins (continuing east) are Canaan Valley and Timberline ski resorts side by side. Individually smaller, and less resort amenities but comparable skiing[???].
Gandalf- I have to respectfully disagree with you on that one. IMO CV & Timberline offer much superior skiing to Snowshoe. Timberline has a true 1000' vert (which skis bigger), there are some nice glades and interesting terrain. The only problem is that they tend to open there advanced terrain later than other ski areas in the mid-atlantic. Not sure why.
post #11 of 15
Holiday Valley and SNowshoe are two completely different types of ski resorts. I've been to both, so I'll share some thoughts even though both have been commented on before.

Snowshoe has the best snow in the mid-Atlantic, hands down(190"/year). T-Line and some of the other places do ski truer to 1000' vert, but they don't quite get the snow snowshoe gets. That being said, Snowshoe also gets rutted out fast because it is so crowded. Holiday Valley gets about the same ammount of snow as snowshoe, but is generally has better coverage due to fewer rocks and the type of snow that falls - lake effect.

Holiday Valley is a truely unique ski experience for where it is located. You actually get a sense that you can move around the mountain and ski different styles of runs, an experience that you do not get at most eastern ski areas. They also allow you to ski in the trees, where Snowshoe does not(legally). Snowshoe does have two runs in the Western Territory that are 1500' vert, and are uncrowded compared to the main area. If you manage to avoid getting caught and ahve good snow, there are some good tree rusn between the two. Snowshoe also has a second area called SilverCreek that is by far less crowded, and offers a tubing area. All the lifts there are slow,a nd it has much less vert than the Snowshoe area.

I remember paying something like $29 for an all day lift at Holiday Valley (9am-9pm). Snowshoe will likely be double that this year just for day skiing. Finding cheap lodging is also now an issue, but it can be done. You can stay in Marlinton(sp?), or a the Brazenhead Inn - http://www.brazenheadinn.com/

Apre Ski and Amenities
Snowshoe has a lot more to offer, hands down. Ellicotville is a quaint town, but it simply does not stack up to what Snowshoe has to offer. Snowshoe also has some pretty good resturants.

In all, they are two completely different areas. I am generally the first person to slam Snowshoe, however if you ahve never been there and are willing to pay the extra $$$, it is worth a visit to see if you like it.
post #12 of 15
Yep Snowshoe is pricey and not worth it IMHO. I vote for 7Springs, Timberline and Canaan (pronounced here as Can-AIN).

Snowshoe is expensive(Sunday ticket in $60-70 range) crowded and not easy to get around once you park the car.
post #13 of 15
I have never been to any of the other areas discussed in this thread, but I like Snowshoe given where I live. I get a military deal that amounts to 50% off on some good quality village/slopeside lodging. Please keep in mind that we always arrive on Sunday and ski midweek. If not for the military deal I would not do it as it's stupid expensive and as others have mentioned you can just go out west or somewhere in New England. The village in Snowshoe while certainly a contrived Intrawest bit (see Squaw) is not bad and the atmosphere at the restaraunts/bars etc... is lively but the food SUCKS and is expensive. All in all for a nine hour drive some of the other areas listed here might be better.
post #14 of 15
I've skied both Snowshoe & Holiday Valley, so I'll chime in.

I went to Snowshoe to ski exactly ONCE. All the slopes were open, the snow conditions were fine - but it is just one boring, groomed run next to another. I know there are no glades, and I recall barely anything in the way of moguls. Very crowded, very high percentage of very poor skiers and people who had no clue about lift line etiquette (as opposed to the crowds at HV, by comparison). And, to think I paid more and drove further to get there - ick!

Holiday Valley - as I'm sure you know - for the amount of vertical it has, has a very interesting, spread-out layout, and a variety of terrain, including glades and moguls - including an intermediate pitched mogul run great for learning. People tend to be better skiers in general here than at Snowshoe, and even though it is busy here on weekends, it's NOTHING like Snowshoe.

If you want a different experience - make a long weekend of it, take a weekday off, hit Holimont one day (it's private, so you can only hit it on a weekday), then hit Holiday Valley on the weekend. Heck, even do 3 days of skiing and head up to Kissing Bridge by Buffalo (and, yes, I think even Kissing Bridge is more interesting than Snowshoe.)

I do disagree with the person thinking Apres Ski is better at Snowshoe. At Snowshoe, you are stuck with the bars/restaurants/activities the resort offers, and paying their prices. I think you get more diversity of options in Ellicottville and the surrounding area, plus now there's even the Indian casino in Salamanca. (one disclaimer: Red Fox at Snowshoe IS an awesome restaurant; but that's ALL I like about winter at Snowshoe.)

And, if you're dying to try someplace other than Holiday Valley, try Seven Springs. I like Holiday Valley better than Seven Springs myself, but Seven Springs does have its merits and fans, and I wouldn't discourage that trip, if you are looking for variety. It is also much better than Snowshoe, in my opinion.

Now, if you want to take a nice summer of fall mountain bike trip or relaxing trip to the mountains right now - go to Snowshoe, rent one of the newer condos. It's AWESOME for that, and even reasonably priced.

Kris in Anchorage, AK
(after 40 years stuck in Northeast Ohio)
post #15 of 15
I just recently moved to South Western Ohio. I really like the area, but I am sure I will be making a lot of trips to WV (my hometown) to go skiing. The terrain here is much different from mountanious WV, where I came from. Despite what some of the others say, Snowshoe is my favorite ski resort in WV. I had so much fun skiing Cupp run last year. It is a 1.5 mile run. It is a big moutain, fun, worth checking out. Of course for me it was only a 3-4 hr trip. It is my favorite, because it is the biggest ski resort with the longest runs that I have found in WV.
However, the other resorts that were mentioned were also good.
My rankings:
1. Snowshoe--WV (biggest, most fun).
2. Wisp--MD (only 45 mins from my hometown in WV, so I am biased. It is a fun little place).
3. Timberline--WV (Pretty cool trails).
4. Seven Springs--PA (Nice resort, fun trails, lots of blue trails. Only went once to night ski).
5. Canaan Valley--WV (It was okay, but not a lot opened when I was there.)

My first ski trip was to Canaan/Timberline. I was there to ski for 2 days. Canaan + Timberline are only 5 mins apart, so I skied both for variety. Timberline is the best of the two, in my opinion. There was more opened at the time when I was there, more night skiing, seemed a bit bigger maybe? I still have to rank Snowshoe as # 1. I have some good memories there.
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