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Snowshoe, WV- how will the new trails be?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've never been to Snowshoe, but its not too far a drive. Problem is, a lot of people seem not to like it.. Crowds and price are sited often, and from the trail map, it seems like it would ski small, with only the Western territory to provide suitable terrain challenge. I generally enjoy skiing all kinds of trails at a mountain/hill regardless of difficulty, but enjoy some challenge and some vertical.
Will these new Snowshoe trails be enough to give it a big advantage over somewhere like Canaan Valley / Timberline or even a Holiday Valley?
post #2 of 9
A Michigander in search of vertical - that's a tall order :-)
How far a drive is Snowshoe from your home, and how far is Mont Tremblant or Gore Mtn, NY?
If the latter two aren't too much further I'd think about them.
Snowshoe is an extraordinary place for its southern location. Amazing quantity of "resort" development/amenities atop a 5000' mtn, but yes it is pricey and sometimes busy. I believe it is safe to say Snowshoe/Silver Creek has more runs than CV and Timberline combined or Holiday Valley alone. And the three new advanced runs on the basin side will be a nice addition, but those new runs and almost everything else at Snowshoe are still shorter and with less vertical then all the top-to-bottom runs at Timberline. That leaves Cup and Shays Revenge as the well known big differentiators between Snowshoe and everywhere else south of New England/NY. Those two are fine 1500' vert runs and if you're curious early March is a great time to visit Snowshoe for good snow, smaller crowds and occasional bargain lodging. But if you don't mind a little extra driving Tremblant or Gore are going to pay off with much bigger bunch of 2000' vert runs at either. Intrawest will love you either way at Snowshoe or Tremblant :-)
post #3 of 9

Snowshoe Info

Snowshoe is actually split up into 3 different "ski hills". As JamesJ mentioned, Cupp and Shays Revenge are on one side of the main hill and are 1500 vertical. The other side has about 35 trails, about 800 ft vertical, crowded, and they interesect alot.

A totally separate hill about 2 miles away (SilverCreek) has about 15 trails, but they rarely intersect and you can get about 700-800 vertical top to bottom runs and are much less crowded. They also have night skiing at SilverCreek. Mainly blues and blacks (easy blacks).

A lift pass works everywhere.

I'm not sure where the new black trails are.

Accomodations at the resort are mainly outdated (there are a few newer places) and pricey.

We go every year with our Church youth group and stay at the Snowshoe Inn at the bottom of the mountain (motel room). They have good mid-week specials that include lift tickets. I personally ski the Cupp and Shay's revenge, and then Silvercreek. The main part of Snowshoe is just too crowded for me. Its a great little ski mountain for its location when you can get the right conditions and if you go mid-week.
post #4 of 9
Here are a couple threads that may help. The new trails....

Trail map....

Coming from Michigan, probably Hidden Valley, NY, or 7-Springs, PA are closer, quality of skiing is comparible.

Canaan Valley is pretty weak in my opinion. Timberline can be fun if the conditions are good. There are some runs they leave ungroomed.

I ski at Snowshoe more than other places these days. Intrawest has made it a burden these days. In my opinion they have made it difficult for locals/day skiers to park. They seem to cater to those staying on the mountain. The "base" is at the top of the mountain. The lodge at snowshoe is at the geographic base. So, you have to drive or take a shuttle to the top. Silver Creek is right next door. There is a shuttle that runs in between Silver Creek and Snowshoe.

Cupp run and Shay's revenge are the most challege on any given day. Lower Shays revenge is often left ungroomed. There are a couple terrain parks at Snowshoe and Silver Creek. See Map.

Cupp run was designed by Jean Claude Killy. Most of the races at Snowshoe are held here.

If you can, avoid holidays, and weekends. The middle week is the best time and best deals. Some participating Exxon stations offer a deal on (free) lift tickets. If you get 5 fill ups of 10 gallons or more, between certain dates, and the free coupons from the station.

hope this helps, If you need a 'guide' I might be able to accomodate.

Oh and almost everything is new there now. They tore down Spruce Lodge. Sniff.
post #5 of 9
I hate to pile on when it comes to Snowshoe ... but the resort just begs the grief it gets. The one great thing about Snowhoe is the grooming ... they do a really nice job of it, and it's nice to see more terrain open up there. As to an opinion, it is larger than Canaan and Timberline and also waaay more pricey. The suggestion above to ski mid-week is a good one, as the weekends are really crowded and the trails later in the day can get really icey.

The one real issue there is the terrain ... the degree of difficulty is not significant enough between green-blue and blue-black to keep rank, very first time skiers off the more "difficult" runs. From a safety standpoint you really have to be on guard there.

One suggestion on lodging is to go the http://www.vrbo.com route. You get better deals from individual owners, than going through the Snowshoe rental.
post #6 of 9
I ski Snowshoe a few times a year. With the drive taking me about 4 1/2 hours, I usually wait for a dump, then try to head up there last minute, as just like everything else on the East Coast, the experience varies with the conditions. My best experiences have pretty much always come in early-mid March, when crowds aren't bad, and they get the occasional 33 inches in three days-type storm. I've never stayed on-mountain, and usually stay at small places 20 minutes away.

Parking has never been a problem, as I always park at Top-of-the-World. The pizza place is fantastic, and I've found the rest of the food to be above-par as well. It has a pool/hot tub complex that visitors can pay a small fee ($4?) to use for the day.

The biggest downside logistics-wise would be the crappy changing area at TotW, and the bus rides to and from the main village/Silver Creek/TotW. Getting back to the parking lot at 4pm usually involves some hefty lift lines as the herds start making their way in the same direction.

Western Territory rocks, with a high-speed quad and plenty of vert. There's never really any lines or big problems with crowds on that side of the mountain. The down side would be that there's really no off-piste on that side, and the same two runs over and over again starts to get REALLY boring after awhile. Great to practice technique on, but that's about it.

The main side of Snowshoe has more diversity, but you give up half the vertical. We'll see how the new runs add to Widowmaker (the existing run for that lift and that edge of the mountain).

I mainly use Snowshoe as a fun primer for trips out West, as well as an outlet for the urge when I see a storm dumping on the MA. Lately, that hasn't been too often...
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice on Snowshoe. Sounds like it might be fun to try for a spontaneous weekend trip. For any trip in the midwest, its not the drive distance, because that is a given. Rather, the question is, is a resort better than Nub's, Crystal, Caberfae or Boyne? If so, its probably worth any drive I can do in under 10 hours. I'll keep Snowshoe in mind this winter, when I just can't bear not skiing any longer and have to go somewhere.
post #8 of 9
I live in Pittsburgh about 4 hrs away and haven't been there in years. Would like to make an occassional day trip there during the week when conditions would be good, but don't do it because of the lift ticket prices. I think its close to $65 midweek. That's about 20% of the cost of my pass at Seven Springs, so I have said the hell with it. But the new expansion and high speed lift make it even more intriguing to go there. Cupp is a nice run for sure, but I never felt in skied like it was 1500 verts.

I need to go down there this year and ski there a day and forget the expense.
post #9 of 9
argh I hate snowshoe!!!

7springs, Blue Knob, and timbeline IMO are all better choices in that area.
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