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Local DC skiers, help please?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi all.  I am looking for some local experts to give me the ‘heads up’.  I will be in Washington DC visiting family beginning Thursday.  I want to take my 8 & 10 year old for a 2 day ski trip (Tues-Thur 14-16 Dec.).  The following have been recommended to me Wisp, Canaan Valley, Seven springs, Whitetail and Snowshoe (it maybe a bit far 6.5hrs?)  My kids skied all over Big White last Jan so they are proficient on green and blue runs.

We are visiting from Australia so hence my need for local skier advice.

Which one?

post #2 of 15

Wisp has $7 lift tickets on Dec 12 and 13.

 

If you want to stay slopeside one of the best for maximum early season trail count at that time will be Seven Springs.  Wisp is good for that too, but not as many off slope activities as SS.  Canaan probably not so good due to less snowmaking capacity, although they got about a foot of natural the other day. These are all about 3 hours drive from DC.

 

Whitetail has few slopeside lodging options and may not have as much terrain open as SS and Wisp, but is only 75 mins from DC.  Ditto for Liberty Mtn.  This makes both eminently day-tripable.

 

Snowshoe has good snowmaking and a lot of off slope ammenities, but is pricey and about 4.5-5 hrs from DC.

 

A great website to learn more about these ski areas is www.dcski.com

 

We're in the midst of a good string of cold weather which is very useful for early season snowmaking efforts and you actually might see above average early season conditions in our region by your dates.

post #3 of 15

If you want slopeside lodging, Snowshoe, Seven Springs and Liberty are your best choices. If you prefer to save some money, Canaan and Wisp have nearby motels.

 

To my knowledge Whitetail doesn't have slopeside lodging or nearby restaurants, but it's an easy day trip. The blue runs from the high speed quad run 900 vertical feet (tall for our region) but might be a little steep for your boys. They could probably manage the descent but might develop defensive movements if they are a little intimidated.

 

Liberty is a very small mountain (500 vert.) but has nice terrain for low intermediate as well as more advanced skiers. Nothing in this region requires expert skills unless conditions are icy in which case skiing can become difficult anywhere. There is lodging at the resort and some decent dining options in nearby Fairfield and Emmitsburg.

 

Canaan Valley has good skiing for the advanced beginner/intermediate skier (and some advanced terrain) at two lift served resorts  and good restaurants in the Valley and nearby Davis. A day at Canaan's third ski hill, Whitegrass, might be something you would enjoy. They don't have lifts, but you can rent skis there that go uphill as well as down.

 

I have skied at Seven Springs many times, but never stayed there or ate in their restaurants. I think they maybe best in these categories though. The skiing for green/blue level is somewhat limited, but there are several easier trails that wind their way down the hill.

post #4 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Wisp has $7 lift tickets on Dec 12 and 13.

 

If you want to stay slopeside one of the best for maximum early season trail count at that time will be Seven Springs.  Wisp is good for that too, but not as many off slope activities as SS.  Canaan probably not so good due to less snowmaking capacity, although they got about a foot of natural the other day. These are all about 3 hours drive from DC.

 

Whitetail has few slopeside lodging options and may not have as much terrain open as SS and Wisp, but is only 75 mins from DC.  Ditto for Liberty Mtn.  This makes both eminently day-tripable.

 

Snowshoe has good snowmaking and a lot of off slope ammenities, but is pricey and about 4.5-5 hrs from DC.

 

A great website to learn more about these ski areas is www.dcski.com

 

We're in the midst of a good string of cold weather which is very useful for early season snowmaking efforts and you actually might see above average early season conditions in our region by your dates.

Liberty does have a hotel on site (http://www.skiliberty.com/lmr/lodging/lodging.aspx). I have not stayed in the hotel, but it seemed fine from the outside. We skied at Liberty with the children a couple of days last year. Liberty has not yet announced an opening date, but they are making snow.
 

Snowshoe announced they were opening Dec 8.  It is larger than the other areas but notably farther. Also, it is often very windy at the top, where all the lodging and amenities are, which some people find unpleasant (notably my youngest child). Once you get off the top it's not bad. During one of our trips a few years ago the wind was so strong that the entire resort lost power for a day.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies

 

I have used dcski.com and communicated with Scott the site administrator.  He has been great for idea's.  I just though I would cast the net a little further to hear others ideas.

 

Seven Springs is looking likely at the moment on lodging options and early snow conditions.  But a lot can happen in a week!

 

Aprreciate the comments thus far plus any futher discussion.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Any more local advice?

post #7 of 15

Reconsidering, since you are from far away and may never ski in the mid-Atlantic again.  If you are going to spend two nights and you're willing to splurge you might check the Snowshoe website for deals and see if they attract you to make the long drive from DC.  They are really the premier ski "resort" IMHO in the region in several important areas - snowmaking, slopeside amenities/restaurants/indoor pools/shops, but scare some of us old hands because of price, crowds and distance from DC (4.5-5 hours of fairly demanding mountain driving).  It is also notable for having all this large complex at the nearly 5000 foot summit of the ski area.  For a weekday in mid Dec they will not be crowded and may offer some good preseason prices on lifts and lodging.  It may be very impressive to someone from far away such as yourself.  Compare to Seven Springs for 3 hour trip via mostly all interstates.  And Whitetail and Liberty which are 80 minute trips from DC.  All will be crowd-free on the weekdays before Christmas.

 

Very old trip report, but might give you a feel:  http://dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=547&mode=headlines

post #8 of 15

Snowshoe in an Interwest resort  and I don't think it will offer anything uniquely mid-atlantic except for some of the employees talking funny. You will be stuck on the mountain top. The resort probably owns all the restaurants so no competition for price or quality. I could be wrong. I'm on a lot of user's ignore list, so don't assume I'm right just because no one corrects me. I only went to Snowshoe once, which is enough for me.

 

Canaan Valley is way better in my opinion. Timberline, Whtegrass, Canaan Valley Resort. Three days, hit each of them once, in that order. Especially Whitegrass. It is the region's unique skiing experience. Kids love it!

 

Don't leave Whitegrass when you're done skiing, delicious natural food and live music at the very casual Whitegrass Cafe. Eat pizza at Sirianni's in Davis. Don't miss the buckwheat pancakes at The Sawmill. I ate a good steak at someplace with white table cloths, but I forgot the name of that place. The funky down home West Virginia high country places and people are what you will remember.

post #9 of 15

Check the snow report first though. I heard a rumor on the street in DC today that they got 20 inches but not sure if they will have enough to get most of their terrain open.

 

Whitegrass has no snowmaking so it might not be good, call first, but if you go to Canaan Valley, check out the Whitegrass Cafe whether or not you ski Whitegrass.

 

For lodging, I think the Canaan Valley Resort hotel is really nice, but I never stayed there. I've stayed in the motel in Davis which was not fancy, but not bad.

post #10 of 15

IMO Snowshoe is overrated. The skiing isn't anything special -- you can find as good at the other places.  I'd stick with something closer.

post #11 of 15

Seven Springs is far and away the best family resort,

Take a look at the website.

You can hang at the foggy goggle (bar) and watch your kids ski.

Their also running some good deals that week.

If the long range forcast goes as predicted you could have great conditions.

If I wasn't going to be in Jackson Hole that week I thing I would be there.

post #12 of 15

I'm not familiar with eastern ski resorts other than 7 Springs and Blue Knob (I live in Pittsburgh, and if I'm going to travel, it's out west), but if you decide on 7 Springs, let me know. I'm up there on a regular basis and always up for a meeting with fellow Bears. smile.gif

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi Team.  Thanks for all the replies.  We fly to Washington tomorrow morning.  Fingers crossed for more snow.  Seven springs is looking the top choice so far.  Now to hire a car!  Any recommendations?

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy10 View Post

Hi Team.  Thanks for all the replies.  We fly to Washington tomorrow morning.  Fingers crossed for more snow.  Seven springs is looking the top choice so far.  Now to hire a car!  Any recommendations?


I often use sites like travelocity and expedia for a range of car hire choices/prices.  If your friends can take you from airport to the actual car rental facility (often within a mile of airport) and you pick up the car there it can sometimes save you about 30% because you won't have "airport taxes"

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Jamesj.  Will do!

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