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Snowshoe WV Feb 15-18th - long post

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Arrived home last night from a 4 night, 3 day trip to Snowshoe WV. Here is my trip report. Mountain was completely open except for Lower Shay’s revenge and Sawmill glades and some features in the terrain parks.

Arrived Thursday night to the Powderridge condo we (group of 8) had rented. Got unpacked and slept.

Friday morning: Hit the trails at 9 when they opened. Powderridge is supposed to be Ski in and out but due to the lack of snow and unseasonably warm temps there was a 30 yard walk of mud with straw till I hit the trail. Ski’d on different trails exploring the main face. Went over to the lift that goes up Widowmaker and got to watch some pretty impressive yardsale crashes from people who didn’t belong on that run, good entertainment but I felt bad because it looked like it hurt. At the top of Widowmaker they had a chalk sign stating “expert terrain, ungroomed, ice and bumps”. Guess some people either can’t read or choose not to. Sawmill and Camp 99 were also very bumped up with nothing but ice between the bumps on the steepest sections. Fun runs though. Made our way to the western territory where Shay’s Revenge and Cupp run are. Had fun on both of those, but Lower Cupp was very icy. Spent the rest of the day just enjoying skiing and having fun. Lift lines were minimal, 3-5 chair wait at most.

Friday night: went to Foxfire grill. Good food but the portions were a little less then spectacular considering the price. Good times had by my group.

Saturday morning; Hit the trail below the condo as soon as they dropped the ropes and ski’d fast all the way to the powder monkey lift. Got on it and went over to the western territory and was crossing the road as they dropped the ropes. Got some great runs in on Upper Shays (very nice groomed packed powder with some snowmaking powder piles around the guns) but lower Cupp was not much fun. It was groomed but felt hard as a rock, and wasn’t fun to carve on. So we left and went to explore the rest of the mountain. Green runs were a crowded mess on the runs that traverse across the mountain and the others weren’t much better. Hit the western territory up later and it was great once the sun hit and softened Lower cupp up a bit. Lines were pretty crazy and the lift attendants didn’t seem to care about the Cluster %$#& that was occurring. Thankfully a Ski-patroller stepped up and started running things, lines moved much smoother after that. So after lunch the wife and I went to Silver Creek to get in some hopefully less crowded runs. The two black runs at silver creek were great fun, just nice long cruisers where you could go as fast or as slow as you wanted. After 4:30 those two runs and all the runs on the main face are closed and you’re stuck with the blues, terrain park and the greens at silver creek for night skiing. The blues were fun cruisers where you could get a lot of speed if you wanted, and had some icy spots but great snow was on the 10-20 feet on either side of the trail.

Sunday: Woke up to windy conditions and warm temps. Same plan as Saturday, and got to Cupp as they dropped the ropes. Upper Shays, Upper Cupp, and Lower Cupp were all groomed and were good conditions with soft snow that progressively got softer and wetter as the day went on. Some rain fell and the wind was fierce at times. Eventually got tired of those trails and went to explore the other side of the mountain. Trails were soft with wet snow. Around noon fog began to roll in from the top of the mountain down. Made our way over to Widowmaker and hit up the new trails again. This time they were just soft snow, slowly being made into piles. By the time we made our way back to our condo around 2ish visbility was maybe 40 feet at most. Lift lines on Sunday were never very bad as I think the weather had a lot of people off the slopes.
Sunday dinner was Cheat Mountain pizza: pretty good pizza but was disappointed they didn’t have any beer on tap just bottled.

Overall Impressions: Was an enjoyable trip, more by skiing with friends then by the terrain. I wouldn’t want to ski there more then 3 days though as I’d get tired of the terrain. Prices are high but I knew that going in, used liftopia for discounted lift tickets, and we brought snacks and stuff to make breakfasts, lunches and one dinner to save on money. I was disappointed in the fact that I had to walk across muddy straw to get to the snow. I was also disappointed in the lack of order in the lift lines. Also had a few unprofessional comments made by a Ski patroller to one of the members of our group. Was confused by the trail marked "Knot bumper glades", it had a fun and challenging entrance but then only saw 4-6 trees you could ski through or around, not my normal definition of a glade trail.

Would I go back….with this group of friends for a trip of this length or less then yes I would. For anything else, probably not as I would prefer to go to go somewhere else.
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
This was my groups 3rd trip to Snowshoe. The group consists of a few very good skiers, 3 very strong intermediates and the rest are weaker intermediates. We were all able to ski all the terrain there without any major difficulties and in control. Yes there were groups of skiers and boarders sitting and standing in dumb spots on some of the trails but only on the greens, never had that problem on the blues or blacks.

I live in Columbus Ohio, so the drive there was approx 5.5 hours.
post #3 of 8
Good report. Your crowd avoidance techniques are sound. You survived a volatile Prez Weekend at Snowshoe and came out of it with good attitude intact. That's diehard in my book.
post #4 of 8
Good report, it pretty much mirrors what my family has experienced over the years. We always plan our trips to include Monday, since the weekend crowds disappear by Sunday afternoon. Silver Creek is a good place to avoid crowds on Saturday afternoons, and I like that you get some leeway to ski past 4:30 there.

By the way, if you stay in PowderRidge units 1-10 (which you can request) you are close to the top of that lift and can walk right to the trail regardless of the natural snow situation. If you can get them, the PowderMonkey condos are the best on the mountain in terms of location (top of that lift, across the street from Cupp/Shays, and a couple minutes walk to the village). They are also reasonable cost for larger groups. Unfortunately, they are booked months in advance.

There are always a ton of bad skiers on Widowmaker, and now Sawmill and Camp 99 too. Actually, I see bad skiers on Cupp and Shays too, but the south mountain trails are the worst for some reason. I don't think people even look at the ski patrol signs there. They could say "man-eating abominable snow-monster" and people would still head down them in a hyper snowplow.
post #5 of 8
You should have gone to Timberline. I won't be back to Snowshoe.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Definitely something I'll keep in mind for the next time I plan a trip to WV. But my group loves snowshoe and we had a great deal on our lodging, so it was still fun but I'm up for new experiences.
post #7 of 8
I'm a little surprised that conditions were that sketchy. But pretty much for this year the season has been about recovering from rain and warm temps. Apparently Snowshoe hasn't been able to accumulate much snow.
post #8 of 8
Timberline has its pluses and minuses; personally I would not go there unless they got a lot of natural snow, and I would never go there on a weekend during peak season. In my opinion, the aging infrastructure and slow limited lifts really holds the place back. In addition, they have been lagging far behind Snowshoe in snowmaking and opening terrain this season, especially earlier in the season. At one point SS had 40+ trails open to TL's 7. I like TL for what it is, and it holds a particular place in my palette of ski resort choices in the mid-A, but it's definitely not in the league of Snowshoe (for better or for worse).
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