Of mice and moguls.
Home
New to DC Ski
27 posts from 11 users
Updated 2 months ago
8,824 views
Jump to Newest Post
3 months ago

Hi all,

Just wanted to introduce myself.. I just joined DC Ski and SCWDC.

My name is Jeff and I moved here (College Park) in Jan 2016.  I moved here from Hawaii, but I have spent many winter seasons snowboarding in Telluride CO and enjoy all-mountain riding (but not the terrain park). I’m an adult, married, but my wife doesn’t ski or appreciate the snow!

I thought the local mountains would be really poor, but this March - after the 12” or so we got..I drove to Whitetail and was pleasantly suprised. This coming season I hope to do trips to the rockies, the northeast, as well as locally.

I’m hoping to find some people to meetup and carpool with on weekdays, especially right after or during any new snow !

If you would rather not drive alone and instead share the driving / expenses / etc..for local trips, or Snowshoe, or ???  then I am hoping you’ll  email me and we can talk more about it.

Have a great day..

Jeff 

 

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

hawaiiSnowboarderInDC wrote:

Hi all,

Just wanted to introduce myself.. I just joined DC Ski and SCWDC.

My name is Jeff and I moved here (College Park) in Jan 2016.  I moved here from Hawaii, but I have spent many winter seasons snowboarding in Telluride CO and enjoy all-mountain riding (but not the terrain park). I’m an adult, married, but my wife doesn’t ski or appreciate the snow!

I thought the local mountains would be really poor, but this March - after the 12” or so we got..I drove to Whitetail and was pleasantly suprised. This coming season I hope to do trips to the rockies, the northeast, as well as locally.

I’m hoping to find some people to meetup and carpool with on weekdays, especially right after or during any new snow !

If you would rather not drive alone and instead share the driving / expenses / etc..for local trips, or Snowshoe, or ???  then I am hoping you’ll  email me and we can talk more about it.

Have a great day..

Jeff 

 

 

Welcome to the Mid-Atlantic!  I have friends who have enjoyed SCWDC ski trips.  They are pretty organized.

Got to check out Telluride for the first time this season.  A great place for cruising for sure.

Are you going to get a local season pass?  Or one of the multi-resort passes like the MCP or Ikon?

3 months ago

marzNC wrote:

hawaiiSnowboarderInDC wrote:

Hi all,

Just wanted to introduce myself.. I just joined DC Ski and SCWDC.

My name is Jeff and I moved here (College Park) in Jan 2016.  I moved here from Hawaii, but I have spent many winter seasons snowboarding in Telluride CO and enjoy all-mountain riding (but not the terrain park). I’m an adult, married, but my wife doesn’t ski or appreciate the snow!

I thought the local mountains would be really poor, but this March - after the 12” or so we got..I drove to Whitetail and was pleasantly suprised. This coming season I hope to do trips to the rockies, the northeast, as well as locally.

I’m hoping to find some people to meetup and carpool with on weekdays, especially right after or during any new snow !

If you would rather not drive alone and instead share the driving / expenses / etc..for local trips, or Snowshoe, or ???  then I am hoping you’ll  email me and we can talk more about it.

Have a great day..

Jeff 

 

 

Welcome to the Mid-Atlantic!  I have friends who have enjoyed SCWDC ski trips.  They are pretty organized.

Got to check out Telluride for the first time this season.  A great place for cruising for sure.

Are you going to get a local season pass?  Or one of the multi-resort passes like the MCP or Ikon?

Thanks !  I’m still deciding about a pass / which pass. I think the local mountains will be good for staying in shape and being prepared for the bigger mountains and longer trips.  Yes, I did see the SCWDC Trips and will probably do one …
 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

hawaiiSnowboarderInDC wrote:

Thanks !  I’m still deciding about a pass / which pass. I think the local mountains will be good for staying in shape and being prepared for the bigger mountains and longer trips.  Yes, I did see the SCWDC Trips and will probably do one …
 

If you are willing to make the drive, Snowshoe is on the Ikon.  Most of my friends who live in DC get a Snowtime pass because they can do night skiing at Liberty and head out to Whitetail or Roundtop on weekend mornings.  Season pass holders get early access on weekends.  One friend used to ski at Whitetail 8:30-11:30 before moving to Philly a few years ago.

Of course, if you want to head back to Telluride that means getting an Epic pass.

As you’ll discover, my home mountain is Massanutten.  One reason is that I never wait in line on Lift 6 to the summit even on holiday weekends.  Can’t say that about many other places in the Mid-Atlantic.  Mnut is small but has 825 vertical off Lift 6 alone.  Good fun when the connector trail between Lift 5 and 6 is open.

I went with the MCP again.  I go to Alta during late season to meet up with friends.  Also planning to return to Taos and Big Sky next season.

3 months ago

As you probably noticed, if new snow is not confined to the nearby mtns, but also hits the metro area, then it can be real challenging just to get out of your neighborhood.  Once you make it to the interstates you are often ok, esp if you have a good snow car.   Besides Whitetail, from College Park you are about equal distance to Liberty Mtn (~90 mins) if you wanted something similar, but a little different.  Those closer mtns don’t get many deep snows and some groom out new snow as quick as it hits, so chasing powder can highly elusive in the mid-Atlantic:-)  For rides or ski/boarder buddies, best to check back here next winter a few days to a week before you are thinking of going out.  DCSkiers meet up on an ad-hoc basis during the season at local mtns and usually do a weekend “gathering” once a winter locally that would be discussed on here well before the event.  Also stay tuned on here in the late summer and early fall for sometimes useful chatter on airfare sales to CO, UT, etc.  Driving with a friend or two to New England can be fun and possibly affordable if you pick up some tips on cutting costs, but if getting in an airplane I’d go west for more reliable conditions.  Also, believe Univ of MD has an active ski club (TerpSki) that might be a resource to you for friends and rides.

3 months ago

JimK wrote:

As you probably noticed, if new snow is not confined to the nearby mtns, but also hits the metro area, then it can be real challenging just to get out of your neighborhood.  Once you make it to the interstates you are often ok, esp if you have a good snow car.   Besides Whitetail, from College Park you are about equal distance to Liberty Mtn (~90 mins) if you wanted something similar, but a little different.  Those closer mtns don’t get many deep snows and some groom out new snow as quick as it hits, so chasing powder can highly elusive in the mid-Atlantic:-)  For rides or ski/boarder buddies, best to check back here next winter a few days to a week before you are thinking of going out.  DCSkiers meet up on an ad-hoc basis during the season at local mtns and usually do a weekend “gathering” once a winter locally that would be discussed on here well before the event.  Also stay tuned on here in the late summer and early fall for sometimes useful chatter on airfare sales to CO, UT, etc.  Driving with a friend or two to New England can be fun and possibly affordable if you pick up some tips on cutting costs, but if getting in an airplane I’d go west for more reliable conditions.  Also, believe Univ of MD has an active ski club (TerpSki) that might be a resource to you for friends and rides.


Hey - thanks for the advice.!

I am hoping to try NH/VT - Killington / Sugarbush / Stowe (during some weekdays - I can’t handle weekend crowds).
I will have a Ford Escape AWD soon / snow tires / chains (?) and would like to try to drive up there, maybe making the drive at night, just before a big snow is forecast.
I hope to do that 2 or 3 times if it’s not too bad, and find people to go with… I have a friend that lives in Bow, NH.
If I decide to fly, then like you say - I may be better of in the Rockies esp if the fares are similar.
Out west, I would like to spend an entire week once or twice, at one of the bigger - but not as popular - resorts, during the least crowded weeks..

I was very spoiled before, since I spent several seasons living 8-10 weeks right at the base of Telluride’s Gondola, and even at mountain village 1/2 way up the mountain, and not having to work. First tracks every snow, and I put in 6 hours/day, every day. It’s hard to forget that, and I miss it. So my ‘total solution’ is to find work and move to Denver/Boulder.
 

 

 

 

3 months ago

JimK wrote:

As you probably noticed, if new snow is not confined to the nearby mtns, but also hits the metro area, then it can be real challenging just to get out of your neighborhood.  Once you make it to the interstates you are often ok, esp if you have a good snow car.   Besides Whitetail, from College Park you are about equal distance to Liberty Mtn (~90 mins) if you wanted something similar, but a little different.  Those closer mtns don’t get many deep snows and some groom out new snow as quick as it hits, so chasing powder can highly elusive in the mid-Atlantic:-)  For rides or ski/boarder buddies, best to check back here next winter a few days to a week before you are thinking of going out.  DCSkiers meet up on an ad-hoc basis during the season at local mtns and usually do a weekend “gathering” once a winter locally that would be discussed on here well before the event.  Also stay tuned on here in the late summer and early fall for sometimes useful chatter on airfare sales to CO, UT, etc.  Driving with a friend or two to New England can be fun and possibly affordable if you pick up some tips on cutting costs, but if getting in an airplane I’d go west for more reliable conditions.  Also, believe Univ of MD has an active ski club (TerpSki) that might be a resource to you for friends and rides.

Thanks for all that useful info ! I believe I am too old to hang out with UMD students, (or vice versa), but thanks !
Please see my next post, I responded to some of your suggestions over there..
 

3 months ago

I wasn’t sure if your initial reference to Telluride meant that you went there for only one week once a year from HI, or something longer term.  Knowing that you spent two-three months there for several seasons casts a different light on your background.

Weekdays in New England are almost always empty except for Xmas and Prez weeks.  From Bow you could day trip in under 90 mins to places like Cannon, Loon, Waterville, Gunstock.  Cannon has the best terrain and is my fav among those four.

If you have AWD with snow tires, you are better equipped than most around here.  Snowtires are rare here and chains almost unheard of.  The inner Wash DC suburbs can go entire winters with no individual snowfalls more than six inches.  Although, I’ve seen two inch snowfalls gridlock the city:-)  4WD/snow tires/chains are no good to you if all the residential streets are clogged with out of control or abandoned vehicles.

A good website for snowrider info and chat on a nationwide basis is PugSki.com.  PugSki is having a weeklong gathering at Big Sky at the end of Feb 2019 that might appeal to you.  Good times with a large group of people with DIY travel arrangements.

I concur that the SCWDC is a good resource if you want traditional group trips.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

hawaiiSnowboarderInDC wrote:
Hey - thanks for the advice.!

I am hoping to try NH/VT - Killington / Sugarbush / Stowe (during some weekdays - I can’t handle weekend crowds).
I will have a Ford Escape AWD soon / snow tires / chains (?) and would like to try to drive up there, maybe making the drive at night, just before a big snow is forecast.
I hope to do that 2 or 3 times if it’s not too bad, and find people to go with… I have a friend that lives in Bow, NH.
If I decide to fly, then like you say - I may be better of in the Rockies esp if the fares are similar.
Out west, I would like to spend an entire week once or twice, at one of the bigger - but not as popular - resorts, during the least crowded weeks..

I was very spoiled before, since I spent several seasons living 8-10 weeks right at the base of Telluride’s Gondola, and even at mountain village 1/2 way up the mountain, and not having to work. First tracks every snow, and I put in 6 hours/day, every day. It’s hard to forget that, and I miss it. So my ‘total solution’ is to find work and move to Denver/Boulder.
 

Having just checked out Telluride for the first time over Pres. Day weekend, I can understand how spoiled you are when it comes to being on the slopes without worrying about a crowd.

Have you been on snow in the northeast before?  If so, where?

Flying from DC to the northeast is rarely going to be worth the money.  Unless you are going to spend time with friends and get free lodging to boot.  I tend to fly to SLC (from RDU) and start trips out west from there because I’m retired and take the extra time to drive to JH/GT or Big Sky/Bridger or Aspen.  Usually get in a few days at Alta together with wherever else I go.  Another reason the MCP works well for me.

For a slightly shorter drive, might be worth checking out Blue Knob in PA or Plattekill on the west side of the Catskills.  They are small but good fun with less grooming than most places in the mid-Atlantic.

3 months ago

marzNC wrote:

hawaiiSnowboarderInDC wrote:
Hey - thanks for the advice.!

I am hoping to try NH/VT - Killington / Sugarbush / Stowe (during some weekdays - I can’t handle weekend crowds).
I will have a Ford Escape AWD soon / snow tires / chains (?) and would like to try to drive up there, maybe making the drive at night, just before a big snow is forecast.
I hope to do that 2 or 3 times if it’s not too bad, and find people to go with… I have a friend that lives in Bow, NH.
If I decide to fly, then like you say - I may be better of in the Rockies esp if the fares are similar.
Out west, I would like to spend an entire week once or twice, at one of the bigger - but not as popular - resorts, during the least crowded weeks..

I was very spoiled before, since I spent several seasons living 8-10 weeks right at the base of Telluride’s Gondola, and even at mountain village 1/2 way up the mountain, and not having to work. First tracks every snow, and I put in 6 hours/day, every day. It’s hard to forget that, and I miss it. So my ‘total solution’ is to find work and move to Denver/Boulder.
 

Having just checked out Telluride for the first time over Pres. Day weekend, I can understand how spoiled you are when it comes to being on the slopes without worrying about a crowd.

Have you been on snow in the northeast before?  If so, where?

Flying from DC to the northeast is rarely going to be worth the money.  Unless you are going to spend time with friends and get free lodging to boot.  I tend to fly to SLC (from RDU) and start trips out west from there because I’m retired and take the extra time to drive to JH/GT or Big Sky/Bridger or Aspen.  Usually get in a few days at Alta together with wherever else I go.  Another reason the MCP works well for me.

For a slightly shorter drive, might be worth checking out Blue Knob in PA or Plattekill on the west side of the Catskills.  They are small but good fun with less grooming than most places in the mid-Atlantic.

Thanks - I would like to check out Blue Knob and other spots locally..hoping to find other people to carpool / ski / board with…
If there’s no fresh powder, I am content on bombing/carving down groomers at full speed for the entire day (if no crowds).
Around here - I think that’s the plan. 
Have not been to the notheast, yet. I have been to Tahoe and Whistler, when I was still learning.
Looks like with MCP you can only get 2 days per resort? I would prefer going to one mountain for 4-5 (on a trip) and getting familiar with the whole mountain (if it’s big enough, and good enough).
Part of my Telluride experience was knowing the entire mountain: how to connect from the very top all the way to the bottom, Knowing what every run/pitch was like and not having to hold back, knowing where to go depending on the time of day, what kind of runs I wanted to do, and where to go if conditions where not good on one aspect..

But if you like going to a lot of different spots, then that’s fine too (especially if you know them well already) !

It’s been a while but I barely remember any lift lines at Telluride (for black & double black runs) except maybe mid-day on a holiday weekend..I’m not exaggerating. It’s isolated, difficult to get there, and way less popular than Vail, Apsen, etc..
Yeah, it was great. One time I rented an employee housing studio apt for $600/month, 50ft from the mid-mountain lifts !
I need a time machine to go back to that…

I heard you can take a train (but it only runs in the daytime) right up into vermont for about $100 and rent a car.. I Might try that…

Maybe Snowshoe will work out okay for me, but I’m sure VT is going to be much better. I’d really like help w/driving. It’s really boring and requires so much attention/focus..
 

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

hawaiiSnowboarderInDC wrote:

Have not been to the notheast, yet. I have been to Tahoe and Whistler, when I was still learning.
Looks like with MCP you can only get 2 days per resort? I would prefer going to one mountain for 4-5 (on a trip) and getting familiar with the whole mountain (if it’s big enough, and good enough).
Part of my Telluride experience was knowing the entire mountain: how to connect from the very top all the way to the bottom, Knowing what every run/pitch was like and not having to hold back, knowing where to go depending on the time of day, what kind of runs I wanted to do, and where to go if conditions where not good on one aspect..

But if you like going to a lot of different spots, then that’s fine too (especially if you know them well already) !

I heard you can take a train (but it only runs in the daytime) right up into vermont for about $100 and rent a car.. I Might try that…

Maybe Snowshoe will work out okay for me, but I’m sure VT is going to be much better. I’d really like help w/driving. It’s really boring and requires so much attention/focus..

While some people only use the MCP for the included 2 days, it makes far more sense for a trip out west to ski 4-5 days.  At 50% off for the additional days, it’s a bargain for those destination resorts.  In most cases, the only other way to get discounted lift tickets is to stay in resort lodging.

At Tahoe, did you ski Squaw and Heavenly, or Homewood and Kirkwood?  For the most part, the ski resorts in the northeast are small compared to Telluride and other destination resorts in the Rockies.  For instance, Killington has 1500 acres but that’s spread across multiple mountains.  So each area is fairly separate and getting between different areas takes a while.  Just as getting from one side to the other takes 25 minutes when Gold Hill is closed due to wind at Telluride.  It’s also a lot colder in the northeast because it’s a lot damper.  20 degrees in northern VT feels more like 10 degrees in Colorado.

I’ve learned to get around Alta in the last ten years based on annual spring break trips of 1-2 weeks.  I know what you mean about the advantages of knowing a mountain well.  Especially during a snowstorm. :-)

What I’ve done in recent years a few times is to spend 3 days at a new destination resort on the MCP, with the idea that if I liked it a lot then my friends and I would go back in the future.  Did that with Aspen/Snowmass, JH, and Telluride.  Also 2 days at Sun Valley. Each of those trips were part of a longer trip where I skied elsewhere as well.  All the MCP locations have more than enough terrain to keep an advanced/expert skier happy for a week.

One reason I didn’t get the Ikon was that knowing I would get in enough ski days at Ikon resorts to justify the initial price of $599 was difficult to say.  The price went up on May 1 to $699 for the Ikon Base.  With the MCP, even one trip to SLC that includes 2 days at Alta and 2 days at Snowbird is more or less breakeven or a little better.  If willing to drive up to Snowbasin, then that one trip makes the MCP a good deal.  Note that the bonus third day at one pre-defined resort for the MCP will go away soon.  The price will also go up as time goes on.

Finding people to carpool with midweek may be difficult.  My sense is that the people who are willing to do a lot of driving are working and are weekend warriors for the most part.  But never hurts to ask.

lbotta - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

Hi Jeff, welcome to DCski, it’s a genuinely good bunch of folks and the Administrator and founder, Scott, is an awesome guy.  I lived in DC from 1989 to 2011 with short assignments to South America with DOD and then federal disasters primarily in the Mid Atlantic, had a condo at Snowshoe that I spent about three months a year, once I met who is now my spouse and I decided to retire, we subsequently made a quality of life decision and moved to the Lake Sunapee area in NH, ten minutes away from Mount Sunapee, a mid size ski area that is sister to Okemo and Crested Butte.  

The Mid A has a lot to offer and a few areas such as Blue Knob are indeed challenging.  New England does offer a wide variety as the other folks have written.  From our home in New Hampshire, we counted 48 ski areas within a 2.5 hour drive, that makes us very happy.

If you are a Veteran or are connected to the military, there are several ski areas that offer military/veteran deals, such as Cannon.  

I read the questions about transportation.  We get numerous guests in ski season.  My advise to them is to take Amtrak to White River Junction - no train changes, just an engine change from electric to diesel in New Haven.  We pick them up at WRJ or if they choose to rent a car, Enterprise has a car rental very close to the WRJ train station.  It leaves DC’s Union Station around 7:30 or 8:00 AM depending on the day and arrives at White River Junction after 6 PM.  From White River Junction, you’re less than an hour to Killington, Sunapee, Dartmouth Skiway and Okemo.  Just over an hour from Sugarbush, Stowe, Bolton Valley, Magic Mountain, Bromley, Mt Snow and Burke.  And two hours or less from Jay Peak, Bretton Woods, Attitash, Cranmore and Cannon.   Just over two hours from Mt Sutton, Canada, and three hours from Whiteface.

Since you have a friend in Bow, just outside Concord, Bow and White River Junction are about party central for ski accessibility.  JimK already stated the areas within easy reach from Bow.  Add to that Sunapee, Ragged Mountain, and Pat’s Peak.  And if you’re talking Sugarloaf and Sunday River, now you’re talking flying to Quebec City…..  

Both Bow and White River Junction have numerous inexpensive lodging locations.

I agree wholeheartedly with MarzNC that it’s not worth flying to New England.  The only airports of any size are Manchester (MHT) or Burlington (BTV) and Winter weather in New England is schizophrenically unpredictable.  Consider that just until a few years ago, the worst winds on the planet were atop Mt Washington.  This past season, we could be forecasted six inches and we’d get a foot.  The snow on my driveway melted only two weeks ago in the beginning of May.  

If you’re into hiking, both the Mid Atlantic and New England rock.  The Appalachian Trail is amazing, and once you get to New Engand, there are other major trails in addition to the App.  

Enjoy the Mid A.  It has a lot to offer ski wise, cultural wise and everything else.

3 months ago

lbotta wrote:

Hi Jeff, welcome to DCski, it’s a genuinely good bunch of folks and the Administrator and founder, Scott, is an awesome guy.  I lived in DC from 1989 to 2011 with short assignments to South America with DOD and then federal disasters primarily in the Mid Atlantic, had a condo at Snowshoe that I spent about three months a year, once I met who is now my spouse and I decided to retire, we subsequently made a quality of life decision and moved to the Lake Sunapee area in NH, ten minutes away from Mount Sunapee, a mid size ski area that is sister to Okemo and Crested Butte.  

The Mid A has a lot to offer and a few areas such as Blue Knob are indeed challenging.  New England does offer a wide variety as the other folks have written.  From our home in New Hampshire, we counted 48 ski areas within a 2.5 hour drive, that makes us very happy.

If you are a Veteran or are connected to the military, there are several ski areas that offer military/veteran deals, such as Cannon.  

I read the questions about transportation.  We get numerous guests in ski season.  My advise to them is to take Amtrak to White River Junction - no train changes, just an engine change from electric to diesel in New Haven.  We pick them up at WRJ or if they choose to rent a car, Enterprise has a car rental very close to the WRJ train station.  It leaves DC’s Union Station around 7:30 or 8:00 AM depending on the day and arrives at White River Junction after 6 PM.  From White River Junction, you’re less than an hour to Killington, Sunapee, Dartmouth Skiway and Okemo.  Just over an hour from Sugarbush, Stowe, Bolton Valley, Magic Mountain, Bromley, Mt Snow and Burke.  And two hours or less from Jay Peak, Bretton Woods, Attitash, Cranmore and Cannon.   Just over two hours from Mt Sutton, Canada, and three hours from Whiteface.

Since you have a friend in Bow, just outside Concord, Bow and White River Junction are about party central for ski accessibility.  JimK already stated the areas within easy reach from Bow.  Add to that Sunapee, Ragged Mountain, and Pat’s Peak.  And if you’re talking Sugarloaf and Sunday River, now you’re talking flying to Quebec City…..  

Both Bow and White River Junction have numerous inexpensive lodging locations.

I agree wholeheartedly with MarzNC that it’s not worth flying to New England.  The only airports of any size are Manchester (MHT) or Burlington (BTV) and Winter weather in New England is schizophrenically unpredictable.  Consider that just until a few years ago, the worst winds on the planet were atop Mt Washington.  This past season, we could be forecasted six inches and we’d get a foot.  The snow on my driveway melted only two weeks ago in the beginning of May.  

If you’re into hiking, both the Mid Atlantic and New England rock.  The Appalachian Trail is amazing, and once you get to New Engand, there are other major trails in addition to the App.  

Enjoy the Mid A.  It has a lot to offer ski wise, cultural wise and everything else.

wow - thanks for all the info! 10 hr train ride, plus Metro to Union Station <-> college park that’s almost 2 full days of travel for both ways… I guess driving would be at least 10 hours, only I could do it at night and not miss 2 days of skiing.
The price is good, though. About $90 + car rental (assumg I need a 4WD)
From the Amtrack website it says no checked baggage (but I will call to comfirm). I wish they had a night departure.
I’ll probably try it at least once.

You say you still have snow, but I heard the snow at killington was ‘poor’ as early as March, sticky, slushy, and with brown spots…

I work at NOAA as a contractor, so no discounts..I am looking for work in VT / NH / CO

Thanks again.

 

lbotta - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

10 hours on Amtrak is lengthy but you’re in wider than airline seats, you can walk around, take your computer, catch up on your Instagram or work, walk to the Cafe car and get a snack, beer or wine, enjoy the scenery, or sleep.  Consider this also, though.  If you go by car, driving to WRJ Vermont is at least 8 hours via the most direct way.  Which unless you do it at night, you’ll have to brave through rush hour somewhere.  Think about a tank of gas, which could be a $40-45 tab, half the price of the train ticket.  The tolls are roughly $45.00, the other half the price of the Amtrak ticket.  

Add to that the aggravation.  You have to brave rush hour in DC or Baltimore.  If you leave early, you may still get rush hour in New York City for which you may need post-traumatic stress counseling afterwards.  I-95 in Connecticut is a horrow show.  And if you take the Merritt/Wilbur Cross, you’ll have another slowdown in Bridgeport.  Then on I-91, the intersection of I-91 and I-84 in Hartford is an exercise in futility.  Lastly, I-91 in Springfield has been under construction since the day Copernicus said the earth was round.  

There are alternative ways but they add time to the trip.  One way I usually went back when Mom was living in the Danbury/Waterbury CT area (especially during holiday periods) was I-270 to Frederick, Route 15 to Harrisburg, then I-81 to Scranton and I-84 to Danbury.  If driving to Vermont, that makes it almost a 9:30 trip but you avoid most if not all the traffic jams.  

Or up the New York State Thruway to Albany, then up Route 9 through the ridge of the Green Mountains and descend to the Connecticut River and I-91.  Beautiful route but in the middle of the winter, it can be sporty….. And it is still 9:30 in the time.

I know we all like to drive but….  

Here is a list of the tolls on the way….
Baltimore tunnel:  $4.00 ($3.00 with EZPass)
Havre de Grace toll:  $8.00 (northbound only)
Delaware Toll:  $4.00
Delaware Memorial Bridge:  $0.00 northbound, $4.00 southbound
NJ Turnpike:  $13.85 ($10.40 with EZPass)
GW Bridge:  $15.00 (Eastbound only)
And by the way, the CT legislature is debating bringing back tolls to I-95 and the Merritt Parkway.

3 months ago

Southwest flies to Manchester, NH and they often have $99 one way fares. From Manchester you can reach most VT or NH ski areas within 1.5 hours via rental car. From Baltimore,   It is a 7 hour drive to southern VT where you can ski Mount Snow, Stratton and Bromley. 8 hours will get you to Okemo; 8.5 - Killington; 9-9.5 to Stowe and Sugarbush. I personally own a house in the Laurel Mountains where 7Springs, Laurel Mountain, Hidden Valley, Blue Knob and Wisp are all close together. And they are an easy 3 hour drive. Yes, we’re not Colorado, but we do have some skiing. This year January and March were great. To give you a little metric, we received about 140 inches of snow this year in the Laurels. Unfortunately at our relatively low elevations, we get periods of rain also, as you probably have experienced over the last few days….probably the worst stretch of weather any of us has seen around here. I love leaving dreary Baltimore at 4:00 pm on Friday and then 3 hours later I am in the snowy, white Laurel Mountains. It makes for a wonderful winter. One thing we have here that you don’t have out west is History. Enjoy that while you are here as well as when skiing in New England.

3 months ago

I was trying to explain that I don’t like to drive. It’s zero fun. It’s dangerous and aggrivating even in perfect conditions.
My original post was asking for carpool buddies, for even local driving: Whitetail / Liberty /Blue KNob and SHowshoe
What I meant is if I got 3 days off work mid week (luckily, especially if I do it several times) , the metro + train ride + car rental / driving + lodging check-in would eat up 2 of those days. I’d have 1 day on the mountain.

IF I drove, at nights, carefully, I should miss all the traffic and most importantly, I’d have all 3 days to ski ~!

I apprpeciate your help and detaied replies, and I will probably try both methods..

lbotta - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

One more thing - There is indeed NO checked baggage on the Vermonter (White River Junction to St Albans) or the Ethan Allen (Rutland/Killington).  But you can bring two pieces of luggage, there is ample room in several of the cars for bags including ski gear, where they have removed several seats at each end and also have luggage racks.  One or two of the cars is also bike friendly but you need to make reservations for bicycles.  

Skiing at Killington (as well as everywhere in New England) in March was actually quite good - better yet, excellent.  I conjecture you got the info in early March, we had a dry spell with sub-zero temperatures in mid-Feb and it was depressing.  It got down to -20 here in the Sunapee area with the high of zero for almost two straight weeks.  Mt Washington’s -60 made it colder than the North Pole, and windchills atop reached well under -100 for a couple of days.  We had many ski areas closed down due to low temps and dry conditions.  Snowmakers were down because the snow would sublimate before reaching the ground.  Then after the first week of March, we had snow almost every two days with back-to-back storms for three weeks that gave us almost 7 feet of snow in a three-week period.  Almost every area in New England was 100% open including the newly reopened Magic.  I busted my ACL down a double black in Sugarbush that hadn’t been opened in two years but even then, I logged 56 ski days.  I took my family to Killington the second week of April and they had a blast with the resort 100% open.  Then the third week of April, I hosted a bunch of DC friends for some awesomely sunny Spring conditions but it was melting fast.

3 months ago

Welcome!

To answer your quesiton about checked luggage on Amtrak: I’ve taken train (Ethan Allen line) to Rutland (near Killington, VT): my understanding is : “no checked luggage” means you need to carry luggage(s) onto the train yourself.  Even though it is limited to 2 pieces of luggage, I had 3 (ski bag, small suitcase and backpack), it was fine.  Amtrak did not voice any concerns.

I have taken several ski trips to New England and Mt Tremblant by: 1) car, 2) train, 3) plane.  

The drive to VT felt a bit long, planned for one day.  Same for train ride, plan for one day of travel.  

By plane, it saves the time on travel (no brainer).  As for cost, the most economical way would probably be flying Southwest to Manchester, NH.  You can check 2 pieces of luggage for free.   Then pick up rental car and either drive to VT or stay in NH for skiing.  The drive to VT is about 3-4 hours, the drive is very manageable.  

Alternatively, you can fly into Burlington, VT, bit more expensive for airfare.  You can then hit slopes in VT within an hour or so.

For someone w/ limited vacation days (in my case), I probably will opt for flying.  To miniminize my vacation days, I have done evening flights (after 7 pm) out , arrived to Burlington around 10pm, drove to VT slopes the following morning.  Returning, I would take evening flights back to DC.  That way, I could still get a day of skiing on my travel day and managed to be back to DC at a reasonable time for a decent night of sleep before going to work the next day.  

In the past two years, I have not done any New England ski trips, primarily the west coast skiing offers better value for the money:  better snow conditions, longer trails, similar amt. of travel time (compare dirivng time to NE vs flight time to the west), lodging cost is comparable, lift tickets price can be cheaper (if you have multi-resort pass, like MCP or Ikon)

Since last year, for long weekends, I’ve done ski safaris to nearby hills such as, Elk, Montage in northeast PA, Canaan Valley, Timberline & Snowshoe in WV.  The pros about road trip is, you can decide last minute based on snow conditions.  

You mentioned in one of your threads that you are interested for car pool / share driving.  I am a weekend warrior (work full time).  If you are interested in hitting nearby slopes (Liberty / Whitetail / Roundtop) during the weekend, feel free to send me a msg.  Next season, I will be spending my Jan. & Feb. wknds (Sat.) at Ski Liberty for their multi week adult development program.  So I will be driving to Liberity Saturdays for sure. 

3 months ago

Thanks fosphenytoin

I will get in touch with you this winter ! 

Maybe a weekend after a snowfall ? Do you drive to Snowshoe ?

How do I contact you directly ?

Jeff

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
3 months ago

hawaiiSnowboarderInDC wrote:

Thanks fosphenytoin

I will get in touch with you this winter ! 

Maybe a weekend after a snowfall ? Do you drive to Snowshoe ?

How do I contact you directly ?

Jeff

 

To send a Private Message in DCSki, click on your name in the top corner (after Hello).  That will get you to the PM page.

I’ve skied with fosphenytoin.  A very experienced traveler.

3 months ago

hawaiiSnowboarderInDC wrote:

I was trying to explain that I don’t like to drive. It’s zero fun. It’s dangerous and aggrivating even in perfect conditions.
My original post was asking for carpool buddies, for even local driving: Whitetail / Liberty /Blue KNob and SHowshoe
….

Here’s an option:

https://www.sourcedadventures.com/adventures/whitetail-day-trip-from-dc/

I saw discounted rates last season thru Groupon.

Depending on the time of the day, Snowshoe will be a 5-6hr drive from College Park. The Canaan Valley area is alot closer than SS and there are three ski areas.  Unfortunately, come this winter there may only be one ski area that will be lift served.

 

3 months ago

Echoing fosphenytoin, I am also a fly to New England advocate. The AA flights to Burlington from DCA could not be more convenient—a little more than an hour wheels up to wheels down. From there its only an hour to Stowe.  BTV is an awesome little airport. I never saw a line there and the staff are super nice. There’s also a great little local eatery called Skinny Pancake right in the terminal—perfect for dinner after a day on the slopes. Cheap. Definitely not, and the Embraer 175s flown by AA on that route don’t have much overhead space. The flipside of the coin is that these regional jets load and unload in minutes. They are time savers.

Another option I have used is BOS, which is a liitle more than two hours from some great skiing in NH (Waterville, Gunstock, Sunapee, and Loon) and a bit further to Cannon and Wildcat and Sunday River, ME. BOS, unlike BTV,  is a very affordable place to fly to with tons of flights from all DC area airports. I fly Jetblue to BOS 3-4 times a year. I managed to get my Dakine boot/gear backpack in the overhead of the Embraer 120s used heavily on that route. Jetblue also occasionally flies larger A320s, which have much more space overhead. However, i love the Embraers—fast loading, with no midfle seats. AA, Spirit, United, and Southwest also fly to BOS, so you have many options.

3 months ago

Thanks johnfmh

A quick check shows $255 for AA:  DCA -> BTV
DCA to Denver $377…Hmmm


 

2 months ago

I’d say only if VT is having a stupid great year or you’re meeting long lost friends.  Otherwise, that’s an easy call for Denver.  Nonstop - 2 hour time change you can be in Montezuma basin by noon.  You can even ski Sunday morning at Loveland and be home by midnight if you are maxing it.  

2 months ago

Jeff, good to have another snowboarder on this site.

I’m like you - adult, married, not in to terrain parks. I live in DC and have had a season pass to Snowshoe the past few years (this year I got an IKON pass). My wife skis, and is good for two multi-day trips a year, but she’s not interested in doing day trips to any of the local hills (or even a quick overnighter to Snowshoe). I’ll go for half-day trips to Whitetail or Liberty (I prefer them to Roundtop, though Roundtop sometimes opens earlier in the season) early in the season to get in shape or if there’s an impromptu pow day (I had a great mid-week pow day at Whitetail in March). Unless there’s powder, I find that four hours is about my limit at any of these places. The drives range from about 90 minutes to 2 hours away, longer if it’s snowing.

Here’s how it shakes out (for me) for all of the other local places. They’re all 3 hours or more away from where I live. I recognize that others might take a different view, but for me, the difference in the quality of the terrain at Snowshoe makes up for the extra time (Snowshoe is about 4.5 hours away, though I’ve made it in less time leaving super early in the morning). The big reason for that is the Western Territory: I can do laps on Cupp and Shay’s all day and not get bored. The big problem with Snowshoe is lodging: most places on-mountain have two-night minimums during the winter and there aren’t a lot of off-mountain places to stay. I’ve done day-trips to Snowshoe - leave at 4:30am and drive back at 5:00pm. It’s a long day and not for the faint of heart, but do-able with multiple drivers. Snowshoe does variable pricing with its lift tickets, so a last-minute weekend ticket can run you $100+.  

I have to echo what others have said about Vermont v. out west: if you’re willing to get on a plane, you might as well fly west. I think Stowe is great, and now that Sugarbush is on IKON, I could see myself flying back to Burlington, but 9/10 (or 99/100) I’m going to go west if I’m going to go to the trouble to book airline tickets. Denver typically has the cheapest flights, but Salt Lake City is the easiest trip. Snowbird/Brighton/Solitude are all ~30 minutes from the airport and Park City is close too (but on the other side). The terrain is better than Vermont (the mountains are just so much bigger) and the conditions are just much more reliable.

2 months ago

Welcome from a fellow noob! :)

Blue Knob’s a great mountain as the others have mentioned.  If you’ve skied Homewood at Tahoe, Blue Knob has that same sort of feel to it on a more compact scale.  It’s great when they have the snow.  Problem is they can’t make it like Seven Springs or the others in the area.  Hopefully that will change with the new ownership.  If you like off-the-beaten path, it’s a great hill.

As far as passes go SnowTime and the Seven Springs passes (Highlands Pass in particular) have some reciprocity where you get half off during the week and $10-15 off on weekends at the others’ resorts. 7 Springs also threw in a couple days at Wisp, which the SnowTime passes didn’t have.

 

2 months ago

Thanks for all the replies so far, I hope some meetups or some carpooling will result.

And thanks for all the knowledge, comparisons, and details!

I will PM some of you and share contact info, or feel free to PM me.

As I mentioned, locally, I’d like head out for day or overnight trips especially if it snows hard, and especially on weekdays to avoid crowds. When I am more sure I can stand up to  5 days of leg-burn, I hope to do 2 colorado M-F trips, or a SLC trip too.
One exception is a Mammoth trip, as I have to be in LA in late January anyway…

I definitely want to/will do Snowshoe several times, (have never been) and hopefully I can find someone to share the driving / fuel / maybe even an overnight trip if conditions warrant it.  Early morning drive ? Yes,  I’ll do it.

NH/VT - still up in the air, because of:

  • Similar airfare to the Rockies.
  • Train - seems like a waste of 2 days of daytime travelling - a big reduction in actual time on the slopes.
  • Driving - tedious, dangerous, and expensive (gas, tolls) but maybe at least one road trip just to see a friend, and hit 3 - 4 resorts, after there’s been a lot of snow…

Really, I am still looking to move to CO as a permanent solution, but it may not happen before this winter…

Cheers.

Jeff

Ad: The Highlands Package

Speak truth to powder.
If you'd like to share your own comments, please log in to DCSki.
Don't have a profile? Create one here.
Page load time: 0.23 seconds