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Mid-winter, mid-western driveable getaway. Snowshoe the best?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I live in the Indianapolis, IN area and am looking to organize a group get away for a 4 day weekend at some point this winter (late January). We are willing to drive to anything that would be worth it. Even with $2/gal gas it's just not worth the 18 hour drive to get to CO for a 4 day weekend.

I was under the impression that there were nice places in MI, but after some googling nothing with a 1000'+ vertical is within 10 hours. The 8 hours for Snowshoe, WV looks tempting.

Any thoughts? 10 hours would be just about the outer limits.
The idea would be something we could drive to Wed after work, ski Thurs-Sun and then limp home for work on Monday.
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyG View Post
I live in the Indianapolis, IN area and am looking to organize a group get away for a 4 day weekend at some point this winter (late January). We are willing to drive to anything that would be worth it. Even with $2/gal gas it's just not worth the 18 hour drive to get to CO for a 4 day weekend.

I was under the impression that there were nice places in MI, but after some googling nothing with a 1000'+ vertical is within 10 hours. The 8 hours for Snowshoe, WV looks tempting.

Any thoughts? 10 hours would be just about the outer limits.
The idea would be something we could drive to Wed after work, ski Thurs-Sun and then limp home for work on Monday.
no snowshoe SUCKS overpriced, crowded, crap terrain.
why is 10 hours the limit?

If you going to drive get to northern vermont or colorado. and if 10 hours is truly your limit go to western pa and ski seven spring and/or blue knob.

Mount bohemian in the up should be much better than snowshoe as well.
post #3 of 11
I know a few folks from Indiana who always head either to PA or NY for a weekend away.

What does 1000 feet of vertical give you that, say, 750 doesn't other than a longer lift ride?

Driving to Bohemia from Indianapolis would take longer than 10 hours, I'd think. Unless you really like tree skiing and/or unless they get a big dump the day you're driving, Bohemia is likely to disappoint.
post #4 of 11
KennyG,

Bushwacker is dead on center with his comments on Snowshoe. Plus you never know on the snow quality there. I would only venture that during the week in hopes of missing some of the crowds.

If you can do 700' - 1000', go to PA or NY. I plan on a trip to Blue Knob this year. Some of the Bears turned me on to a thread here about it and it looks great if we can catch the snow right. Search to see the thread - I dont know it off hand. Usually cant go wrong w/ Seven Springs either. In NY, we had a great trip to Holimont and Holiday Valley last season. Holimont is private but they allow the public during the week. We did Holimont mid week and H Valley over the weekend. Holimont is old school and very friendly, H Valley is speedy quads and resortish. Ellicotville is an affordable town and both hills are within 5 min. of each other. Great trip.

KennyZ
post #5 of 11
I'll confuse the issue somemore regarding SnowShoe , and I haven't skied there now probably in 6-7 years, but my impressions were Cup Run 1500 verts to me semed to ski less than that. They did add Shea's Revenge to the Cup side of the mountain so there are now 2 runs on that side and there is a high speed lift servicing those runs. I've been told they have a tough time with maintaining decent "cover" on Shea's. Snowshoe has excellent snow making and grooming and gets as much or more snow than any area anywhere adjacent to it. The other side of the mountain for the most part is pretty flat with ery little sustained fall line. The bump run on the far side being the exception. Its a pretty pricey place as well.

All things considered for 4 days, Snowshoe probably not a bad bet vs. Michigan or Mid Atlantic resorts.

I've been tempted to take a day and go down and ski it, but always talk myself out of it becasue I don't want to spend the $75 or what ever for a ticket, which is about 25% of the cost of my pass at Seven Springs or the Colorado Card. Another suggestion might be Ellicottville, New York . Great town and you could ski both Holiday Valley and Holimont I believe open to the public on Friday. APPROX 10 hrs I believe.
post #6 of 11
If you hit Snowshoe at the right time, it can be awesome (that generally means midweek on a powder day). At the wrong time, say with lousy weather/snow and on a weekend) it can totally suck. I can say that second sentence about almost every ski area in the mid-Atlantic though. I can only say the first sentence about a third of them.

That said, it all depends on your cup of tea. I am speaking as a former New Englander and someone who generally counts on local powder days or trips to Vermont / Western US for real skiing. However, many people from the mid-west, mid-atlantic, and southeast flock to Snowshoe and have a blast regardless of the crowds, weather, or conditions. Seriously, they are not wanting for business, and whenever I am there the overwhelming majority of customers love it. I don't always understand it, but it's true.

Some side notes:

Yes, Cupp/Shay's has a decent vertical, and those two trails can be very good at times, sometimes really, really good. But they are often crowded with blue skiers in sections, and under less than ideal weather can have some challenging snow conditions (the extra vertical means the lower part of the trails dip below the freeze thaw line more often). Shay's can develop huge icy moguls that boggle the mind. It's not challenging in a good way.

The basin side has a vertical of only 600-800 feet, and it's generally a quick drop and then a long runout. There are some exceptions to this, and there are a few routes down that can be quite good.

The Silver Creek area has less crowds, beautiful scenery, and some very nice trails. Their two black trails can be spectacular on a powder day. Even on a typical day, this is often a better place to ski than the main mountain area.

Overall, I'd say the viability of Snowshoe depends on the background and level of the skiers. And then see how much it costs and make a decision. Overall, I feel it's too expensive when I weigh the other options, but it obviously makes sense for many groups and families. I will only go there on weekdays when there is powder -- it's the only time it makes sense for me.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I hate living in Indiana. There is nothing within a ridiculous driving range. It's not the driving cost as much as the time. With $2 gas we can do the drive for $100 or so... but it just sucks to pile in a car and drive for a full day+ for a 4 day weekend. The longer the drive the less skiing that can be done on thurs/sunday. A giant drive would turn it into a weekend ski trip.

I will check out western PA. I suck at east coast geography.
post #8 of 11
On your way out, stop and make some turns on our 300' of verticle at Mad River Mountain (we use the mountain part of the name loosely) - It's on the way and if I'm off duty, I'll buy you a beer...
post #9 of 11
Go to Holliday Valley, in SW NY state. It is sorta like 7springs but 50% more acreage and 50% more as much natural snow.
post #10 of 11
Even though it's a little longer drive, Colorado is your best bet.
post #11 of 11
Ditto what Skier219 said about Snowshoe. And I definitely agree that Silver Creek area is much better to ski (less crowds, more consistent fall line, hardly any intersections). We go there every year in Feb. for 2 days during the week. If conditions are good, fun can be had.
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