Updated 3 months ago
Defying Gravity at Canaan Valley Resort, WV
by Jim Kenney
I spent Friday and Saturday, January 6 and 7, 2017 skiing Canaan Valley Resort (CVR) in West Virginia. It barely broke ten degrees both days. The skiing was good and cold. This winter has been very erratic. For weeks now it seems like every time the mid-Atlantic gets a stretch of cool or snowy weather it’s followed by warm temps and/or rain. These are times when all good snowmakers take advantage of any cold snap. Canaan Mountain Manager Mike Chaney and his crew did just that this past weekend giving visitors to the ski area a very impressive demonstration of CVR’s newly improved snowmaking infrastructure.
Running the guns on Valley Vista trail, photo by Jim Kenney
I enjoyed two full days of skiing at CVR last Friday and Saturday. It snowed about five or six inches last Thursday night and Friday morning was a nice little powder day with terrific conditions over all 850 vertical feet of the mountain. A total of about a dozen trails were open including about a half dozen different ones from the summit of the mountain (elevation 4280’) served by the Weiss Quad fixed grip chair. The beginner triple chairlift and new skier carpet lift were also open and serving CVR’s excellent beginner terrain.
The call to action this year at CVR is Defy Gravity, as in ski black diamond Gravity trail if you dare. It’s actually a very manageable run by most advanced skiers if not moguled-up. Gravity was a blast when a bunch of friends and I hit it on Friday morning with six inches of new snow. Later that same day we toasted our defiance at an après ski gathering in the slopeside Quencher’s Pub. Located close to the base of the Weiss Quad Chair, it serves good bar food and offers some great microbrews.
Great snow coverage on Gravity trail, photo by Jim Kenney
The really cool thing about the Defy Gravity catch phrase is that management backed it up by aggressively blowing man-made snow and opening Gravity as early as possible, approximately three weeks ago. Beg, borrow, or finagle; CVR has really upped their snowmaking game this season. They added something like 12 new T40 snow cannons, six pole mounted stick snowguns, more power generators, and improved water reservoirs to maximize that new capacity. A lot of the arsenal was firing this weekend while I skied fun trails off the summit like Valley Vista, Gravity, and Timber, all with a mix of natural and high quality man-made snow. (I believe they opened additional runs in the direction of Weiss Meadow since my visit.)
Bring on the smiles, photos by Jim Kenney
Lower Gravity trail:
In the act of Defying Gravity
I stayed three nights in the CVR Lodge this trip and enjoyed a number of meals in the lodge’s dining room. If you haven’t been to CVR in recent years you are in for a treat. Built in 2013, the new 160 room lodge is not your father’s West Virginia State Park lodge. The rooms have very up-to-date furnishing and come in numerous floor plans including suites with bars and fireplaces. I have stayed in the new lodge several times since it was built and have noticed the dining room food gets better with each visit. I also greatly enjoyed the pool, hot tub, and sauna facilities during this frigid visit.
Canaan Valley Resort Lodge, photo by Jim Kenney
While at CVR this weekend I got a chance to speak to both Steve Drumheller (Resort General Manager since 2015) and Mike Chaney (ski area Mountain Manager for 15 years). There is a perceivable synergy between these two men for problem solving and I predict great things for this resort over the next few years. The whole CVR experience is a marked improvement over the lodging, dining, and skiing facilities of the distant past. And yet, a ski weekend at CVR is one of the best bargains and best crowd beaters in the mid-Atlantic. A recent survey by Liftopia.com gave a bunch of “best in the southeast” awards to CVR for things like beginner friendly, family friendly, least crowded, best value. My point made! If those things appeal to you and you live in the Baltimore-Washington area, check out Canaan Valley Resort, seriously.
Canaan Valley Resort website: http://canaanresort.com/winter/
I thought I saw you on Saturday, but didn’t fully recongnize you since you had your fancy new green jacket on. Skiing was great, but the temps dropped quickly once the sun went down. CVR is doing a great job getting terrain open this year.
SCWVA, this is the fouth season for that jacket and it’s getting kind of ratty. We need to get together more often. Great to hear from you. Jim.
Nice story Jim. Sorry we missed you at Timberline. We were there Saturday-Monday. Snow was nice. Monday was the best day tof the season thus far. Skied CVR on the 25th and your comments about gravity are spot on.
JimK left one thing out in his awesome article about Canaan Valley skiing, the fantastic deals offered to senior citizens- both skiing and lodging!!! The newly rebuilt wonderful CV Lodge in the State Park offers a low “Savy Senior” nightly rate of $65 a room for sliders 60 years young and older, Sun-Thurs nights. Complementing this is FREE skiing at the CV Ski Area for those age 70 and beyond; and there is a discounted rate for skiers in their 60s, both discounted slope use rates apply all days the slopes are open! Nearby Timberline Ski Area offers similar slope use rates!
So, if you are a geezer like me, take advantage of this great deal and stay/Ski in Canaan Valley WV, a short easy drive now that WV48 (Corridor H) is open all the way to Davis…just don’t speed through Wardensville and Hardy County!!!
aka The Colonel