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Snowshoe WV question

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I decided to give Snowshoe Mountain a try this weekend since they have had a great snow year so far.  I think they have had more total snowfall than Steamboat.  Anyway, forecast is predicting windy conditions.  Ant suggestions on how to stay out of the windiest conditions and how to avoid the crowds?  Where on the mountain are conditions likely to be the best?  Thanks
post #2 of 18
 Western Territory is likely to be the worst part of the mountain if it's windy, but it really depends on which way the wind is blowing.  Looks like a pretty consistent NW wind most of the weekend, so that will indeed be howling directly upslope on the Western Territory trails.  The basin side tends to be the most sheltered (it's in the lee of the NW wind for the most part).

Friday will be windy, but I don't see anything real bad in the forecast by Sat/Sun -- the winds will be in the 12-16mph range with gusts up to 24mph.  Shouldn't be too bad on the basin side except maybe at the very top.

Best place to escape crowds is at Silver Creek.  A good strategy is to get out on the Snowshoe side early in the morning to beat crowds, then head to Silver Creek in the afternoon when the Snowshoe area becomes a zoo.  Silver Creek has some wonderful black trails all the way over on skier's left.

Good luck!
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I appreciate your input!
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimM View Post

I decided to give Snowshoe Mountain a try this weekend since they have had a great snow year so far.  I think they have had more total snowfall than Steamboat. 

 

Just a thought or question on your comment ... you're surely not thinking that Snowshoe actually compares to Steamboat are you, because there is NO comparison? 

That stated, there's little you can do to avoid the crowds at Snowshoe, other than just not go.  Even the outrageously priced $77 lift ticket doesn't keep the crowds away.  Don't know where in Ohio you're from, but have you considered Seven Springs in Pa, or Holiday Valley in NY?  Lift tickets are in the $40 to $55 range depending on weekday or weekend.
post #5 of 18
snowshoe is the most ridiculously priced resort in the country.  They trap you in the little bitty coal mountain town where the only services offered are offered by the owners of the resort.  The price gouging doesn't stop at the lift tickets or the accomodations, they get you for food, beer, and anything else you might want to enjoy on your vacation.  All of this so that you can ski on a pretty flat and short mountain that is extremely cold/windy and gets east coast style snow.  Don't even get me started on their lift lines or lack of any high speed lifts.  I was given lift tickets to Snowshoe and didn't go because it was still cheaper to fly to CO and go skiing at a good resort.  I'll never go back unless someone actually pays me to go.   
post #6 of 18
teddibiase ... my thoughts exactly and i didn't even have to type :)
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorm57 View Post

Just a thought or question on your comment ... you're surely not thinking that Snowshoe actually compares to Steamboat are you, because there is NO comparison? 

That stated, there's little you can do to avoid the crowds at Snowshoe, other than just not go.  Even the outrageously priced $77 lift ticket doesn't keep the crowds away.  Don't know where in Ohio you're from, but have you considered Seven Springs in Pa, or Holiday Valley in NY?  Lift tickets are in the $40 to $55 range depending on weekday or weekend.
 


Quote:
Originally Posted by teddibiase View Post

snowshoe is the most ridiculously priced resort in the country.  They trap you in the little bitty coal mountain town where the only services offered are offered by the owners of the resort.  The price gouging doesn't stop at the lift tickets or the accomodations, they get you for food, beer, and anything else you might want to enjoy on your vacation.  All of this so that you can ski on a pretty flat and short mountain that is extremely cold/windy and gets east coast style snow.  Don't even get me started on their lift lines or lack of any high speed lifts.  I was given lift tickets to Snowshoe and didn't go because it was still cheaper to fly to CO and go skiing at a good resort.  I'll never go back unless someone actually pays me to go.   


I think both of these posts show a little ignorance.  I skied 3 weeks out west last season, two at Alta and one at Jackson Hole.  Had 10-11 powder days out of those trips, but it turns out that the most memorable powder days of my whole season last year were at Snowshoe in early February.  The place can be awesome on a powder day mid-week.  Personally, I would never go there on a weekend, and I would not pay full price or buy food/lodging on the mountain.  But if you are smart about it, and know what you're doing and where to ski on the mountain, it can be awesome.

They have three high speed detachables that I am aware of.  Not sure how that constitutes a "lack".

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to defend Snowshoe, since my money goes to Alta whenever possible, but I don't buy it when people complain about Snowshoe.  If you want to go there on a packed weekend, ski greens/blues, and pay full price, that's just asking for trouble.  Be smart about it.  I don't like Alta on the weekend either.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post







I think both of these posts show a little ignorance.  I skied 3 weeks out west last season, two at Alta and one at Jackson Hole.  Had 10-11 powder days out of those trips, but it turns out that the most memorable powder days of my whole season last year were at Snowshoe in early February.  The place can be awesome on a powder day mid-week.  Personally, I would never go there on a weekend, and I would not pay full price or buy food/lodging on the mountain.  But if you are smart about it, and know what you're doing and where to ski on the mountain, it can be awesome.

They have three high speed detachables that I am aware of.  Not sure how that constitutes a "lack".

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to defend Snowshoe, since my money goes to Alta whenever possible, but I don't buy it when people complain about Snowshoe.  If you want to go there on a packed weekend, ski greens/blues, and pay full price, that's just asking for trouble.  Be smart about it.  I don't like Alta on the weekend either.

Wowwww ... 3 WHOLE weeks out west ehh. 

I've been making trips to the Rockies for 10 years and it's clear to me who's showing the "ignorance" here.  Trying to compare Snowshoe to resorts out west is simply indefensible and just plain rude.  Runs that are so short that I barely get up a full head of steam before it's time to stand 20 minutes in a lift line, not to mention the stop you have to make before the Ballhooter - Western Territory lift to let someone scan your lift pass; i.e. the lift line before the lift line.  And the mid-week shutting down of the Grabhammer lift, effectively cutting the lift service by 25%, so that you have the same lift lines mid-week as on the weekend. 

And as for being smart ... well let's see - lift ticket prices are such that you can pay $77 midweek or $77 on the weekend - the choice is yours. 

I've had good days of skiing at Snowshoe, but my best there was only one day back when it snowed all day, ticket prices were 'reasonable', lift lines were not ridiculous, and there was a modicum of service there.  As compared to western resorts - this was an average, mediocre day of out west skiing.

As for "powder" - I've never skied powder at Snowshoe that even comes close to that of the west.  My best day ever was starting out at Powder Mtn, Utah with the overnight snow already between the instep and boot cuff depth and knee deep by the end of the day.

Nope ... I don't buy your argument ... you keep Snowshoe and I'll take Alta over it any day.
post #9 of 18
Seriously, when I have an over the top powder day, none of the little details matter.  It's a priceless experience.  I don't care if it's 4 hours from my house or all the way across the country.  It's the same damn magic.  If you need a specific location to make it work, then fine.  I don't.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
It's Jim M again.  I thought this thread was dead!  Going to Snowshoe on a weekend was great for me...because, I will not do it ever again..  I never thought Snowshoe could compare to Steamboat...but I'm stuck here in Ohio and I thought a 5 hour drive to the middle of WV would be worth the time and $$$ since SS had had so much snow this year.  I figured the crowds would be bad on Sat, a little better on Sunday and absent on Monday.  Well, the crowds on Sat were awful.  30-35 minute lift lines at the Ballhooter lift!.  Sunday was alot better.  Rarely waited in line at all.  But Sunday brought a forecast for one-half inch of rain on Monday so we returned to Ohio Sun night.
     I will say that I appreciate Steamboat so much more than I did before venturing to WV.  And the Boat is probably my favorite place on earth!  Snowshoe (on Saturday) was truly dangerous. Out of control skiers and boarders all over the place.  My daughter-in-law was hit twice by people going way too fast for their abilities.  When I told the second idiot to slow down and board in control he flipped me off.  I have NEVER seen a ski area with so many folks going too fast on slopes that were too steep for their ability.  And Snowshoe does not have what I would consider steep slopes.
     So...even a negative experience can be valuable.  Never againn on a weekend.  But for a ski fix when I am craving snow, a weekday at Snowshoe might do.
    
post #11 of 18
 JimM, try western PA for more challenging terrain. Seven Springs always has moguls, nice parks, fun glades. Short vertical but fun. Blue Knob has longer vertical and some steeper runs. I think you would like either better than Snowshoe. The resorts near Davis WV., Canaan Valley and Timberline, may be closer to you than Snowshoe and are less crowded, I'm told. Wisp just north of there in Maryland is a fun hill too. The only time I skied Snowshoe was in the early eighties.
post #12 of 18
 Except in a few cases, none of the mid-A resorts are worth skiing on weekends.  I don't consider it "skiing" due to the massive crowds and lousy skiers/boarders on the slopes.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post

Seriously, when I have an over the top powder day, none of the little details matter.  It's a priceless experience.  I don't care if it's 4 hours from my house or all the way across the country.  It's the same damn magic.  If you need a specific location to make it work, then fine.  I don't.

I think we're stating the same thing here in that given great snow conditions, one can pretty much tolerate anything ...  $$$, crowds, etc. 

My angle is that given the limited time I have to spend on the slopes, the law of averages favors the resorts out west for better snow conditions and at the same time you seldom have to deal with the $$$, crowds, surly employee stuff - as with Snowshoe all of the time.
post #14 of 18
Comparing Snowshoe to resorts out west is a waste of time. Comparing it with ski places in PA and VA is more meaningful. It's better than most of those, possibly all of them. It does get crowded at times, and the crowds on average do not have extremely high ski IQ, so that can be annoying. But go on a weekday and you avoid that ... go on a weekend and you're part of the reason for it.

Who cares if the lift ticket is $77 instead of whatever you think it should cost, like say $57? The lift ticket is a small fraction of your total trip cost, and that $20 will buy you a beer and a hot dog.

Snowshoe has average but narrow terrain and runs that are longer than most in VA/PA but shorter than those out west. It gets decent snow. Out of my ten best ski days, I've probably had two at Snowshoe.

I think some people who live nearby put it down because they've been out west and want to make sure everyone knows they've been out west. I've skied at Jackson Hole, Heavenly, Breckenridge, Keystone, Sun Valley etc but that doesn't mean I want to get on an airplane every time I feel like skiing.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post

 Except in a few cases, none of the mid-A resorts are worth skiing on weekends.  I don't consider it "skiing" due to the massive crowds and lousy skiers/boarders on the slopes.

Craig, You are transferring the Snowshoe/Intrawest experience to all mid-atlantic resorts? Snowshoe's hallmark iMHO is boring (except in a few cases) terrain, massive crowds and lousy skiers. Sorry you missed me  when you were at Timberline this season, every weekend i've been there has been worth it.

JimM sorry, i thought you'd taken Dorm57 advice to go to seven springs, or I'd have mentioned the other WV ski areas.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post




Craig, You are transferring the Snowshoe/Intrawest experience to all mid-atlantic resorts? Snowshoe's hallmark iMHO is boring (except in a few cases) terrain, massive crowds and lousy skiers. Sorry you missed me  when you were at Timberline this season, every weekend i've been there has been worth it.

JimM sorry, i thought you'd taken Dorm57 advice to go to seven springs, or I'd have mentioned the other WV ski areas.

I think TL is definitely better than Snowshoe in terms of the vibe and clientele (present company not withstanding ), but I have to subtract points for the slow lifts.  The one time I went there on a weekend, the lift lines were pretty bad and that hampered the skiing a bit.  But both places are better than Wintergreen on a weekend mid-season.  That place is truly nuts, and it's not skiing anymore.  Weekday skiing at all the mid-A resorts is so much better in my experience, it's all I do for the middle part of the season.  I tried it a few times and got hooked.
post #17 of 18
Actually, in a physical/vegetation type sense, the basin side of Snowshoe reminds of lower elevations in Colorado.  Similar sort of sub-alpine evergreen type forests.

Believe I posted it here before, on Feb 14, the Sunday of President's Weekend, I was at Blue Knob and met Philpug and his friends from Philly.  There was about one hour around 2pm when the lift line at the bottom got to be about 5-8 minutes, but they never really got the second main chair turned on before it dissipated.  The rest of the day the lift lines were about 20 people or less.  This during some of the best conditions ever seen there for President's weekend. 
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Actually, in a physical/vegetation type sense, the basin side of Snowshoe reminds of lower elevations in Colorado.  Similar sort of sub-alpine evergreen type forests.

It is somewhat of a unique micro-climate.  Views from Silver Creek are even more scenic, and really remind me of western skiing.  From what I am told, the ecosystem of Snowshoe is a remnant of a recent ice-age glacier period, and is reminiscent of what you'd see in the present-day Canadian Maritimes.  I bet the Snowshoe basin has some interesting geological/ecological history.  Right across the street in the Western territory, it goes back to pure hardwood forests, a marked difference.

Given that the whole area was logged to oblivion, we probably don't know what the real forests looked like at their peak in the 1910s, before the timber boom.  I think I read that less than 2% of WV's current forests are original.  The native red spruce, if left alone, can get quite big, at 120-150 feet high and a 2-4 feet diameter.  Barely any of those big ones remain today.  I don't think I have ever seen one taller than 50 feet myself.

Interestingly, the trees you see at Alta UT are all young, having developed after the 1930s.  All the previous trees were picked clean when it was a mining town, used for shorings and building materials.  History books say the place was much more bare and open when it first started as a ski area.
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