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Skinning Wintergreen, Liberty, Wisp etc....
17 posts from 13 users
Updated 7 months ago
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8 months ago

Hi Everyone,

Does anyone know if the hills closest to DC allow people to skin up for free before they open for the day? I have done this out west but when I called wintergreen and snowshoe, they could not grasp what i was talking about. Just looking for the exercise and a few turns. Thanks so much. 

Nick 

8 months ago

Hi Nick - I know Snowshoe would be a no.  

They don’t want peeps out there while groomers are running and prior to ski patrol doing their slope / safety assessment. 

Plus they want your $$ for a lift ticket / season pass. LOL

8 months ago

Denali wrote:

Hi Everyone,

Does anyone know if the hills closest to DC allow people to skin up for free before they open for the day? I have done this out west but when I called wintergreen and snowshoe, they could not grasp what i was talking about. Just looking for the exercise and a few turns. Thanks so much. 

Nick 

You might ask Massanutten.  But since places near DC get very little natural snow and depend on 100% snowmaking, plus have night skiing, the groomers and snowmaking team don’t have that much time to operate when the lifts are closed.  But then again they don’t have that many acres to cover either.

If you were willing to drive to Snowshoe, what about White Grass in WV?

8 months ago

Denali wrote:

, they could not grasp what i was talking about.

Bwahahahahaahahahaha the funniest thing I have read all day.   Pretty much says all you need to know.

Like Marz, I think the CV is your only chance, that or some fire road high up in the alleghanies.  I have seen reports of skinning up AFTER the season is over, in that magic week in April when there is still some snow on closed slopes, but i would never bet on it.  

 

8 months ago

Last year a user by the name of camp skinned Liberty after the season ended.  Also if memory serves me right I rember some ppl doing it at whitetail….

8 months ago

Antoine wrote:

Last year a user by the name of camp skinned Liberty after the season ended.  Also if memory serves me right I rember some ppl doing it at whitetail….

Yes, that magic week after Liberty stopped running lifts. There were a few groups out doing the same. Some were just hiking and shouldering their skis. I used my White Grass waxless skis so climbing was a lot more zig-zaggy than skinning would be. I’ve never heard of anyone doing it pre-season or in-season at Snowtime areas. 

I did see several people skinning up Timberline all day last season on a crowded day. From what I could tell, it took them about the same time to skin up as it took my group to do 2 runs and 2 lift rides.

8 months ago

Mr Camp…I rode by “The Log” yesterday on the W@W course…I still have that killer pass etched in my mind…you are a legend!!!

8 months ago

My guess is they would very deeply frown upon uphillers, at least in-season, for a few reasons-

- the hills are so small & very crowded, with an average low-ish skill level, so no way during daylight. 

- Its DC… talk about supertight.  The buttoned-up nature of the region doesn’t support such radical counterculture ideas as going against gravity-  WHY would one do such a thing? :)  

- they open pretty early for 1st tracks (7:30), which is at or even before sunrise for at least part of the season.  Not enough daylight before then for uphillers, barely enough for patrol to do their checks.

- night skiing prevents evening hikes.

Having said that… one could always ask permission/beg forgiveness.  They may have this covered somewhere already in the liability release or something?

8 months ago

Note that both SS and WH are upside-down ski areas.  So one skinning up would first have to duck the closed ropes, a “no no” for sure!

MorganB

aka The Colonel

8 months ago
Ahh, unless one is staying in one of the places on the backside, and hikes over to start at the bottom of Shays/Cupp 😂
8 months ago

I know it is not in the immediate DC area, but Seven Springs actually sells an uphill season pass — $50, or $20 for ‘regular’ pass holders.  7am-9am, front face (Avalanche area) only.  Is Seven Springs the only mid-atlantic resort that does this?  (Whitegrass excluded, of course.)

8 months ago

I bet within a season or two, all of the local hills will have some sort of explicit uphill policy published if it’s not already in the fine print somehwere- even if it is simply “NO.” They’ve got to be getting asked on some recurring basis by now where they need to formalize things.

8 months ago

Perhaps this thread could have a productive discussion on the right way to do this.

Like snowboarders, parks, racers, etc., Skinavy is right that this is something that should be addressed.

I have never seen a true “earn your turns” skier at any of the locals except at TL and CV, and I suspect even they were heading out to the pipleine or forest roads or the sods.  I have seen snowshoers at Wisp, and XC skaters at Liberty (on the beginner slope).  The top of Wisp, becuase it is flat, is a great place to traditional XC in lean snow years.

Early morning rule seems reasonable.  Most of the resorts have first tracks oppurtunities that could be afforded to uphillers.  At least at the Snotime resorts, school staff clinic are out during this time anyway, and race groups are frequently out and about.  7:30 to 9 should be enough time to give one a little cardio.

Limited slopes seems reasonable and easier on mountain ops.  Similar to how they deal with the racers.

Defined rules of the road-skier’s right side only, all other skiers have right of way, etc. 

Blackout holiday weekends. 

Free for season pass holders :)

Any other thoughts?

8 months ago

Thinking aloud here, the three resorts proximate to DC - Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail - are on private property, so they can set absolute rules about land use, 24/7. For all three of these resorts, access to the slopes after hours during their operating season is a no-go.

Additionally, these three resorts are basically running around the clock in the weeks leading up to opening day. There will be equipment running on the hill, including trucks, bulldozers, snowcats, and snowmobiles, as well as personnel and other equipment on the slopes. To say they would likely frown upon folks skinning up the slopes is putting it extremely mildly. Each of the Snow Time resorts have risk managers who try to reduce liability and any and every turn, and folks skinning up private land where heavy machinery may be running at all hours of the day and night is not likely to be something these resorts will support.

As to KeithT’s suggestion of early morning access, that’s not likely to fly, either. At the Snow Time resorts, there is a lot of activity on the hill at any time of day or night. In the hours leading to first chair, there is a lot snowcat and snowmobile movement, as well as quite a bit of snowmaking when temperatures permit. Given that the three Snow Time resorts have a fairly narrow window where there aren’t skiers on the hill (read: they have night ski ops that run late pretty much every day of the week while they are open for ski business), they like to have the trails clear of anybody who isn’t supposed to be there. As I mentioned, these resorts are on private land, so anybody mucking about on the trails during off hours is technically trespassing. And during business hours, there are usually some very tight restrictions on what can be done (e.g. snowshoeing vs. hiking for your turns).

My guess is that they will issue an official policy shortly, as skinavy suggests, and that the answer will basically be NO.

As for resorts that operate on state forest or USFS land (e.g. Snowshoe), or that are in State Parks (e.g. Blue Knob), the access rights issue for uphill travel is a bit more murky. It’s something that resorts in the west and in New England have had to grapple with over the past decade.

Just my $0.02 - YMMV.

7 months ago

Songfta. a great reply, and well worth $0.02.  I would expect a no from the local resorts, BUT, as they are private, they also are interested in profit.

Case in point.  My first ski trip was a 1976 trip to Snowshoe.  On that trip, one thing I remember was that whenever a “jump” (now a feature) would emerge on a trail, ski patrol would quickly remove it with shovels, etc.

I left the sport for a time and coming back in the early 2000s, I was amazed at the rails, boxes, steps, pipes, and huge piles of snow in the parks.  This is something I could not have conceived a ski resort allowing for the egeneral public in the 1970s.  So never say never.  If there is enough demand, they will allow it—-risk management aside.  

In outdoor activities, there are four responses to an actual risk:

1.  Avoid

2.  Mitigate

3.  Retain

4. Transfer 

In the case of terrain parks, I suspect the industry has employed all four of these approaches (no inverted rules, size of features, good lobbying on assumption of risk laws, insurance, etc.) 

But again, a no will not suprise me, because you just can’t compare the demand for “uphill” skiers versus the terrain park crowd when snowboards hit the industry.  

 

7 months ago

songfta wrote:

As for resorts that operate on state forest or USFS land (e.g. Snowshoe), or that are in State Parks (e.g. Blue Knob), the access rights issue for uphill travel is a bit more murky. It’s something that resorts in the west and in New England have had to grapple with over the past decade.

Just a clarification…Snowshoe is not on USFS land, it owns all it’s property.  I’m pretty certain the inbound skiing areas don’t border with USFS so there’s not even easy/legal option to leave in-bound resort property for back-country.  Unfortunate.

7 months ago

snapdragon wrote:

Mr Camp…I rode by “The Log” yesterday on the W@W course…I still have that killer pass etched in my mind…you are a legend!!!

Was fun catching up w/ ya. Hope you caught some surf days too.

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