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Snowshoe vs. PA Resorts
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Updated 11 days ago
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15 days ago

Folks,

I’ve skied a dozen or so days at Snowshoe, so I think I have a pretty good handle on what it’s all about, but I’ve never skied at any PA resorts.  Are any markedly better than ‘Shoe?  I’ve driven by a couple because they’re on my route to visit my in-laws in Canada (Montage and Elk Mountain) but have always skied New York or Ontario  resorts when we’ve gone that far north.

I’m curious how people here would compare Snowshoe to PA resorts (and if you have opinions on Wisp I’d be happy to hear those too).

 

Cheers,

km

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
15 days ago

The PA ski areas/resorts I’ve checked out in recent years include Blue Knob, Whitetail, Roundtop, Montage, and Elk.  Mostly in early season meeting up with friends who can only ski on weekends.  All of the runs are short compared to Snowshoe Main Basin and Western Territories.  More comparable to Silver Creek.  From a skiing standpoint, I’d keep driving at least to the Catskills or Plattekill if the ultimate destination was north of Albany.  On a weekend, Plattekill is a better idea than Belleayre, Hunter, or Windham.

Montage has a few interesting short, steep slopes that are not really visible from the highway.  The base is at mid-mountain and the black terrain is below the base.  It’s a quick detour to drive up to the parking lot and take a look.  The steepest trail is groomed with a winch cat initially.  Then bumps are allowed to form.

14 days ago

If you don’t mind the brutal drive to Snoshoe and the crowds (that I experienced) on weekends, the 2 runs with 1500 feet of vertical are the reason to ski there. The front side vertical I understand is 850 feet. Elk, Whitetail and Blue Knob all have more vertical. Actually, I enjoyed skiing Silvercreek since there were no crowds and I skied Cupp Run and Shays Revenge so many times that I needed some variety. For me, Snoshoe is a 5.5 hour drive and I can’t imagine driving 5.5 hours every other Friday night to get to my ski house. Thus I bought a place in the Laurels which involves 3.1 hours of mostly interstate driving. Within a short driving distance I can ski 7S, Laurel, HV, Wisp and Blue Knob. Driving to the Catskills is a good option. I have only skied at Windham which I liked and has 1600 feet of vertical. it’s fun visiting Snoshoe but add another hour of driving and I can be in Vermont.

14 days ago

I’m not really concerned about driving distance.  I’m more interetsed in features vs. features or terrain vs. terrain.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
14 days ago

Keith_Moon wrote:

I’m not really concerned about driving distance.  I’m more interetsed in features vs. features or terrain vs. terrain.

Have you seen this First-Hand Report about the Catskills from 2009?  Hunter added a lift and terrain on the backside for last season.  Plattekill keeps gaining gladed areas with the help of a volunteer work day in the fall.  Looking down a full 1000 ft vertical full of bumps at Plattekill makes it seem like a much bigger mountain.  Note that its’ only open Fri-Sun.  Belleayre had a gondola from the lower base now.

http://www.dcski.com/articles/1184

Here’s a recent long interview with the owners of Plattekill.

https://skiing.substack.com/p/podcast-2-danielle-and-laszlo-vajtay

I ski mostly at 7springs, but I mix in Snowshoe a couple of weekends a year. I love the western territory and it’s one of the biggest attractions for me, but it gets old. The crowds at Snowshoe due to whatever pass they have affiliated themselve with are a huge turnoff. 7Springs, Laurel Mountain and Hidden Valley have been very reasonable with crowds lately.

 

If both places are uncrowded, ie a weekday, then I give the edge to Snowshoe over 7Springs, but I’d strongly encourage you to stop by 7Springs, Laurel Mountain, and perhaps even the very relaxed Hidden Valley.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
14 days ago

making up for lost time wrote:

If both places are uncrowded, ie a weekday, then I give the edge to Snowshoe over 7Springs, but I’d strongly encourage you to stop by 7Springs, Laurel Mountain, and perhaps even the very relaxed Hidden Valley.

Have you ever skied at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, NY?  I gather folks who drive from Ohio head there more often than Snowshoe.  Driving from NC to Ontario, stopping there could be an option.  Same vertical as PA mountains, almost 300 acres and lights on about 200 acres.  Pretty much the same stats as 7Springs.  Holiday Valley average snowfall is 185” compared to 135” for 7S.

13 days ago

marzNC wrote:

making up for lost time wrote:

If both places are uncrowded, ie a weekday, then I give the edge to Snowshoe over 7Springs, but I’d strongly encourage you to stop by 7Springs, Laurel Mountain, and perhaps even the very relaxed Hidden Valley.

Have you ever skied at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, NY?  I gather folks who drive from Ohio head there more often than Snowshoe.  Driving from NC to Ontario, stopping there could be an option.  Same vertical as PA mountains, almost 300 acres and lights on about 200 acres.  Pretty much the same stats as 7Springs.  Holiday Valley average snowfall is 185” compared to 135” for 7S.

 

No - the way we go up to Canada is up I-81 to the eastern side of Lake Ontario, so Holiday Valley is pretty far out of our way.   We’ve been top Greek Peak, Gore, and a place near Ottawa called Calabogie Peaks.  The places in PA have alwys intrigued me but around Christmas we’ve always figured the conditions would be a lot better further north so we’ve just stuck to NY and ON.  From what’s been written here it seems like most PA resorts are roughly comparable to SIlvercreek, in which case I would have to say Greek Peak is probably better (at least much bigger), and certainly Gore is.  Again, this is not taking into account driving distance, which often trumps most other considerations.

Denis - DCSki Supporter
13 days ago

Keith_Moon wrote:

No - the way we go up to Canada is up I-81 to the eastern side of Lake Ontario, so Holiday Valley is pretty far out of our way.   We’ve been top Greek Peak, Gore, and a place near Ottawa called Calabogie Peaks.  The places in PA have alwys intrigued me but around Christmas we’ve always figured the conditions would be a lot better further north so we’ve just stuck to NY and ON.  From what’s been written here it seems like most PA resorts are roughly comparable to SIlvercreek, in which case I would have to say Greek Peak is probably better (at least much bigger), and certainly Gore is.  Again, this is not taking into account driving distance, which often trumps most other considerations.

Here’s a hidden gem for you,  https://snowridge.com/ 

it’s on the Tug HillPlateau just east of Lake Ontario and get light dry lake effect powder.  Only 500 vertical but good pitch and excellent near out of bounds side country.  It’s never crowded, virtually unknown except by locals and not far off I-81.

13 days ago

Denis wrote:

Keith_Moon wrote:

No - the way we go up to Canada is up I-81 to the eastern side of Lake Ontario, so Holiday Valley is pretty far out of our way.   We’ve been top Greek Peak, Gore, and a place near Ottawa called Calabogie Peaks.  The places in PA have alwys intrigued me but around Christmas we’ve always figured the conditions would be a lot better further north so we’ve just stuck to NY and ON.  From what’s been written here it seems like most PA resorts are roughly comparable to SIlvercreek, in which case I would have to say Greek Peak is probably better (at least much bigger), and certainly Gore is.  Again, this is not taking into account driving distance, which often trumps most other considerations.

Here’s a hidden gem for you,  https://snowridge.com/ 

it’s on the Tug HillPlateau just east of Lake Ontario and get light dry lake effect powder.  Only 500 vertical but good pitch and excellent near out of bounds side country.  It’s never crowded, virtually unknown except by locals and not far off I-81.

Yeah, I’ve heard of that place - gets dumped on by the lake effect.  I think the moedown music festival is there.  Been meaning to try it actually.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
13 days ago

Keith_Moon wrote:

No - the way we go up to Canada is up I-81 to the eastern side of Lake Ontario, so Holiday Valley is pretty far out of our way.   We’ve been top Greek Peak, Gore, and a place near Ottawa called Calabogie Peaks.  The places in PA have alwys intrigued me but around Christmas we’ve always figured the conditions would be a lot better further north so we’ve just stuck to NY and ON.  From what’s been written here it seems like most PA resorts are roughly comparable to SIlvercreek, in which case I would have to say Greek Peak is probably better (at least much bigger), and certainly Gore is.  Again, this is not taking into account driving distance, which often trumps most other considerations.

When I was driving up to Lake Placid during the winter, going via I-81/I-88 was my usual route.  Only went west via Pittsburgh during a “green season” drive to visit friends on the way.  Been curious about 7S/HV/Laurel but haven’t made it yet.

During early season, meaning before mid-Jan, not much point to stop to ski in PA when driving farther north.  While the PA ski areas are open by late Dec, quite likely not 100% open yet.  Greek has 1000 ft vert and about 200 acres, but being farther north can start snowmaking sooner.  I haven’t skied Greek but stopped by to look at the base one fall.

Elk is comparable in size to Greek.  Probably about the same in terms of holiday crowds too.  But if I were in that area Fri-Sun, I would drive a little longer and go to Plattekill.

The place that surprised me when I started driving to Boston during the winter was Jiminy Peak.  It’s a little ski resort with ski in/out lodging.  Slightly smaller than Greek, but the detachable 6-pack to the summit means being able to get in a lot of runs either midweek or during a Twilight session, which starts at 3:00.  The main lift serves 80% of the trails.  The black terrain includes sections that aren’t groomed much.  JP has very good snowmaking and grooming.

13 days ago

I don’t have any advice for you about whether it’s a good use of time to stop at the Pa resorts on your drive to Canada. But I can comment on Snowshoe v. Pa resorts, which is a question I have to ask myself (and answer) quite frequently. For me, it’s roughly an additional hour each way to Snowshoe compared to 7S and other Pa resorts. I almost always choose Snowshoe, and the reason is almost exclusively the Western Territory. There are good runs at the Snowshoe Basin and Silver Creek that I like and ride every year, but they are not meaningfully better than what you’d find at 7S (though Snowshoe’s snowmaking operation IS meaningfully better, which does matter). But Cupp Run and Shay’s are simply unlike anything I’ve ridden in Pa, so I’m willing to travel a bit extra to ride them. Snowshoe’s crowds on weekends are definitely a deterrent, but the crowds aren’t as bad on the Western Territory (I’ve never had to wait in a very long lift line over there, whereas Balhooter and Powder Monkey on the Basin side are 20+ minute waits all weekend long). Because I go to Snowshoe almost entirely to ride the Western Territory, the crowds don’t bother me so much, and if I get tired of the Western and want to avoid crowds, I can go to Silver Creek. Anyway, my two cents.

dwm8a wrote:

I don’t have any advice for you about whether it’s a good use of time to stop at the Pa resorts on your drive to Canada. But I can comment on Snowshoe v. Pa resorts, which is a question I have to ask myself (and answer) quite frequently. For me, it’s roughly an additional hour each way to Snowshoe compared to 7S and other Pa resorts. I almost always choose Snowshoe, and the reason is almost exclusively the Western Territory. There are good runs at the Snowshoe Basin and Silver Creek that I like and ride every year, but they are not meaningfully better than what you’d find at 7S (though Snowshoe’s snowmaking operation IS meaningfully better, which does matter). But Cupp Run and Shay’s are simply unlike anything I’ve ridden in Pa, so I’m willing to travel a bit extra to ride them. Snowshoe’s crowds on weekends are definitely a deterrent, but the crowds aren’t as bad on the Western Territory (I’ve never had to wait in a very long lift line over there, whereas Balhooter and Powder Monkey on the Basin side are 20+ minute waits all weekend long). Because I go to Snowshoe almost entirely to ride the Western Territory, the crowds don’t bother me so much, and if I get tired of the Western and want to avoid crowds, I can go to Silver Creek. Anyway, my two cents.

Agreed. I haven’t tried Silver Creek yet, after Western Territory, because I thought that it would be a let down. Now that you mention it, I’ll give it a try this January!

13 days ago

making up for lost time wrote:

dwm8a wrote:

I don’t have any advice for you about whether it’s a good use of time to stop at the Pa resorts on your drive to Canada. But I can comment on Snowshoe v. Pa resorts, which is a question I have to ask myself (and answer) quite frequently. For me, it’s roughly an additional hour each way to Snowshoe compared to 7S and other Pa resorts. I almost always choose Snowshoe, and the reason is almost exclusively the Western Territory. There are good runs at the Snowshoe Basin and Silver Creek that I like and ride every year, but they are not meaningfully better than what you’d find at 7S (though Snowshoe’s snowmaking operation IS meaningfully better, which does matter). But Cupp Run and Shay’s are simply unlike anything I’ve ridden in Pa, so I’m willing to travel a bit extra to ride them. Snowshoe’s crowds on weekends are definitely a deterrent, but the crowds aren’t as bad on the Western Territory (I’ve never had to wait in a very long lift line over there, whereas Balhooter and Powder Monkey on the Basin side are 20+ minute waits all weekend long). Because I go to Snowshoe almost entirely to ride the Western Territory, the crowds don’t bother me so much, and if I get tired of the Western and want to avoid crowds, I can go to Silver Creek. Anyway, my two cents.

Agreed. I haven’t tried Silver Creek yet, after Western Territory, because I thought that it would be a let down. Now that you mention it, I’ll give it a try this January!

 

Last year over Presidents’ Day weekend we were at Snowshoe and when the main lifts there got ridiculous (45 minute wait times) we went to Silver Creek and lapped every run we wanted for the rest of the day from about 11:00 onwards.  And they have night skiing there too.  I’ve only ever found it crowded right at the entrance/bunny slope area.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
13 days ago

making up for lost time wrote:

Agreed. I haven’t tried Silver Creek yet, after Western Territory, because I thought that it would be a let down. Now that you mention it, I’ll give it a try this January!

Silver Creek after a snowstorm, or during one, can be great fun.  Especially the black trails because very few people ski those during the day.  When Shay’s and Cupp are skied off in the afternoons, I prefer Silver Creek to finish off the day.

13 days ago

marzNC wrote:

making up for lost time wrote:

Agreed. I haven’t tried Silver Creek yet, after Western Territory, because I thought that it would be a let down. Now that you mention it, I’ll give it a try this January!

Silver Creek after a snowstorm, or during one, can be great fun.  Especially the black trails because very few people ski those during the day.  When Shay’s and Cupp are skied off in the afternoons, I prefer Silver Creek to finish off the day.

Oh snap, letting out all the good secrets. Only a let-down if you don’t enjoy having trails to yourself.  Even when there’s no fresh pow, the SC groomers hold up so much longer.  Some slow chars yes, but that beats standing in a line.

Going to interesting to see how the Old Spruce Brewery will factor into shuttle traffic to & from Silvercreek this season.  It’s located near the intersection of Silvercreek parkway and main road with a shuttle stop close by.

13 days ago

Bonzski wrote:

marzNC wrote:

making up for lost time wrote:

Agreed. I haven’t tried Silver Creek yet, after Western Territory, because I thought that it would be a let down. Now that you mention it, I’ll give it a try this January!

Silver Creek after a snowstorm, or during one, can be great fun.  Especially the black trails because very few people ski those during the day.  When Shay’s and Cupp are skied off in the afternoons, I prefer Silver Creek to finish off the day.

Oh snap, letting out all the good secrets. Only a let-down if you don’t enjoy having trails to yourself.  Even when there’s no fresh pow, the SC groomers hold up so much longer.  Some slow chars yes, but that beats standing in a line.

Going to interesting to see how the Old Spruce Brewery will factor into shuttle traffic to & from Silvercreek this season.  It’s located near the intersection of Silvercreek parkway and main road with a shuttle stop close by.

If it’s any good I would think it would get a lot of traffic from people staying at SC, since the restaurant there is OK at best.

13 days ago

marzNC wrote:

…Been curious about 7S/HV/Laurel but haven’t made it yet.

During early season, meaning before mid-Jan, not much point to stop to ski in PA when driving farther north.  While the PA ski areas are open by late Dec, quite likely not 100% open yet…

Let me correct you on that assumption. 7S, Laurel, and HV are very aggressive in their snowmaking. All their snowmaking trails will be open before mid-January. In fact, if it is cold enough for long enough all three resorts will have all of their snowmaking trails opened for Christmas/New Years’ week. All three have both water and compressed air capacity to do this. Do not compare their snowmaking capabilities with Blue Knob. Except for last year, Laurel had all of its snowmaking trails ready on opening day but Laurel only covers about 50% of their trails while 7S and HV have close to 100% coverage. Laurel started last season with one bad air compressor otherwise I have no doubt that all snowmaking would have been ready opening day just as it had been since Laurel reopened. 7S has a few trails, mostly right under lifts, that do not have snowmaking and too often Giant Steps is late to the party usually because 7S turns their snowmaking efforts into getting the Super Pipe and expert level The Spot terrain park covered. I think HV has 4 trails on their North Summit that relies on natural snow. It has been too long since I’ve been to HV to really know their routine but in the past, HV got its main face opened first then the North Summit gets opened latter. Same at 7S, front side first, North Face next then The Spot and pipe last.

I would also dispute dwm8a’s assertion that  Snowshoe’s snowmaking is better than Seven Springs. That is such a subjective call predicated on weather and skier volume that it would be impossible to objectively make that statement. I’ve been to Snowshoe and found conditions both excellent and total crap depending on the aforesaid conditions. If the best snow conditions are what you are looking for then I would say that on average HV and their TechnoAlpin guns make the best snow. What I will agree to is Snowshoe’s Western Territory does indeed have 1500 vertical feet and both Cupp and Shays have a few steeper faces but I think that Laurel’s Lower Wildcat although only about 500 vertical feet (total skiing to do Lower will get you all 760 vertical) is as steep, if not steeper than either of the steep faces on Cupp and Shays. 

This is all I have to say about my very subject opinion of Snowshoe, I have an Ikon pass this season which is virtually an unlimited season pass to Snowshoe and I have 0 days planned for Snowshoe. It is not because I think Snowshoe’s terrain or snowmaking sucks but rather it is too far and cost too much to stay. I’d rather ski 5 days each and spend my lodging dollars at other Ikon resorts in NE or out west.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
13 days ago

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

marzNC wrote:

…Been curious about 7S/HV/Laurel but haven’t made it yet.

During early season, meaning before mid-Jan, not much point to stop to ski in PA when driving farther north.  While the PA ski areas are open by late Dec, quite likely not 100% open yet…

Let me correct you on that assumption. 7S, Laurel, and HV are very aggressive in their snowmaking. All their snowmaking trails will be open before mid-January.  …

My comment was about PA ski areas in general, with a leaning towards those in the eastern half of the state because those are on the way north when driving from NC to Albany.  The comparison was to answer the question of whether skiing in PA or NY or eastern Canada made more sense for a Christmas holiday drive.  Snowshoe was just used as the basis to compare since fewer DCSki folks have skied at Greek or Gore.

A few of my explorations in PA and New England have been done in early season, meaning before Dec. 20. 

13 days ago

marzNC wrote:

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

marzNC wrote:

…Been curious about 7S/HV/Laurel but haven’t made it yet.

During early season, meaning before mid-Jan, not much point to stop to ski in PA when driving farther north.  While the PA ski areas are open by late Dec, quite likely not 100% open yet…

Let me correct you on that assumption. 7S, Laurel, and HV are very aggressive in their snowmaking. All their snowmaking trails will be open before mid-January.  …

My comment was about PA ski areas in general, with a leaning towards those in the eastern half of the state because those are on the way north when driving from NC to Albany.  The comparison was to answer the question of whether skiing in PA or NY or eastern Canada made more sense for a Christmas holiday drive.  Snowshoe was just used as the basis to compare since fewer DCSki folks have skied at Greek or Gore.

A few of my explorations in PA and New England have been done in early season, meaning before Dec. 20. 

My bad, I just wanted to be clear about Seven Springs and sister resorts as it has been brought up in this thread. OP was asking about PA alternatives along the I - 81 corridor. I should have put it together.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
13 days ago

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

marzNC wrote:

My comment was about PA ski areas in general, with a leaning towards those in the eastern half of the state because those are on the way north when driving from NC to Albany.  The comparison was to answer the question of whether skiing in PA or NY or eastern Canada made more sense for a Christmas holiday drive.  Snowshoe was just used as the basis to compare since fewer DCSki folks have skied at Greek or Gore.

A few of my explorations in PA and New England have been done in early season, meaning before Dec. 20. 

My bad, I just wanted to be clear about Seven Springs and sister resorts as it has been brought up in this thread. OP was asking about PA alternatives along the I - 81 corridor. I should have put it together.

No problem.  I’m interested in checking out 7S/HV/Laurel at some point.  Been doing longer midseason trips out west as well as driving in New England lately.  Even if I’m starting from Massanutten, getting that far into western PA is beyond day trip range.  I’m curious to compare them now that I’ve experienced skiing in eastern PA, as well as similar sized mountains in New England.

13 days ago

marzNC wrote:

No problem.  I’m interested in checking out 7S/HV/Laurel at some point.  Been doing longer midseason trips out west as well as driving in New England lately.  Even if I’m starting from Massanutten, getting that far into western PA is beyond day trip range.  I’m curious to compare them now that I’ve experienced skiing in eastern PA, as well as similar sized mountains in New England.

I don’t know if this will help but soon I will make a post here on DCSki to announce a Gathering at Laurel/Seven Springs for Feb. 7 to 9. I’m working on getting some discounts for participants. At Laurel last year we got the weekend group rate discount at the ticket window simply for the asking by simply saying he magic words, I support Laurel Mountain. We plan on doing at least 1 day at Seven Springs, maybe 2 depending on conditions. My intent is to promote Laurel. I have been a part of a group that has advocated for Laurel’s reopening for the nearly decade that it was closed. I want folks to give this little gem a try. If mother nature has not been cooperative then we will go to Seven Springs to take advantage of their extensive snowmaking. 

The event will be promoted here, on PugSki.com, and the Support Laurel Mountain Facebook Group. Maybe I’ll post it on SnowJournal.com too since there are many skiing history buffs on that site but I doubt any core members there will give up a weekend in New England to ski in Western PA.

Keith_Moon, Sorry for the thread hijack. By the way, how is Janis, Jim, and Jimmy and the rest of the gang doing there? Man, your safe pair of hands really laid down some stick action.

13 days ago

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

 

Keith_Moon, Sorry for the thread hijack. 

 

No worries.  The I-81 route is our typical way to and from my in-laws but I’m happy to learn about all PA (and NY too for that matter) ski areas.  We have friends in Toronto too so coming back down the western way isn’t totally out of the question at some point in the future.

13 days ago

Kieth - since you seem to like driving long distances, that opens up a world of possibilities. Stowe, Sugarbush and Jay Peake in Vermont; Cannon and Wildcat in New Hampshire; Whiteface in upstate NY; and if you want a ‘short’ drive, Mt. Snow in southern Vermont. 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
13 days ago

Keith_Moon wrote:

No worries.  The I-81 route is our typical way to and from my in-laws but I’m happy to learn about all PA (and NY too for that matter) ski areas.  We have friends in Toronto too so coming back down the western way isn’t totally out of the question at some point in the future.

For insight into a few PA locations, check out what my DC friend had to say when she did a solo ski safari in late Dec 2017.  She was an improving intermediate who had just bought her first pair of well fitted boots.  She skied a day each at Whitetail, Montage, and Elk.  Was considering Camelback during trip planning but was encouraged to skip it by a Diva who lives in Philly.  The comment about not going was ”Because Camelback is one of my least favorite of the Pocono or near-Pocono mountains. It’s spread out horizontally, but it’s short and none of the trails are that steep and they’re all a lot alike. Not a lot of variety. And REALLY crowded with Jersey and NYC folks. I’d take Elk or Montage or Jack Frost any day over Camelback. I’d even take Blue over Camelback b/c if I’m gonna deal with insanity, at least Blue has better terrain.”

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/where-to-go-pa-ski-resorts-12-22-12-25.22183/page-2#post-356960

I’ve stopped by to look at the base of Camelback and Shawnee while staying at a timeshare at Shawnee on Delaware.  Based on my experience in eastern PA, if I were back in the area when mountains were 100% open, the places I’d go back to ski would be Montage and Plattekill.  For a late season ski safari after Pres. Day, I’d be more inclined to ski in the Catskills than the Poconos.  I liked Belleayre.  Hunter has plenty of terrain to stay interesting for a day.  Haven’t skied at Windham yet but have stopped by to look at the base.  It’s very close to Hunter.  A lot of money has been spent at Windham in the last few years to upgrade snowmaking and lifts.

PA skiing beats NC skiing.  Massanutten and Wintergreen are comparable to PA mountains, especially after additions to snowmaking in the last 10 years.  Always find it fun to tell people Massanutten has more vertical than anywhere in PA.  Mid-size ski areas in NY beat anywhere in PA, meaning > 200 acres.  There are still a lot of small ski hills in NY State that serve locals well but aren’t worth skiing as a traveler.  For instance, West Mountain near Albany.  Although West has cheap 4-hour tickets so could be a fun half-day break along the way.  Once West opens for the regular season, there is night skiing until 9pm.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
13 days ago

snowsmith wrote:

Kieth - since you seem to like driving long distances, that opens up a world of possibilities. Stowe, Sugarbush and Jay Peake in Vermont; Cannon and Wildcat in New Hampshire; Whiteface in upstate NY; and if you want a ‘short’ drive, Mt. Snow in southern Vermont. 

While the skiing in NH and VT is good fun, it’s not worth the detour driving from NC up I-87 towards Lake Placid and points north in Canada.  North of I-90, there are no 4-lane west-east highways.  I explored skiing in NH and ME when my daughter was in school near Boston.

When my daughter was in school in Lake Placid, I did a ski safari in northern VT in early March a couple times.  But being retired I could take an extra 4-5 days to make my way to LP to pick her up for spring break.  Lucked out one trip and skied midweek after a powder storm at Pico, Sugarbush, and MRG.  I was driving solo and didn’t have to pick where to stay and ski until a few days before.  That’s harder with family riding along.

Agree that Whiteface is worth a day of skiing.  It’s where I rode my first chairlift long ago.  Quite different from the multiple peaks at Gore.  Most vertical in the north east.  Even fun for a day right after Thanksgiving when only one blue trail down is open from the top of the gondola.  Assuming a clear day, the view and the vertical are a pretty unique combination.  ORDO has a Sampler 4-pack for $269 that’s good any day at any of the ORDA mountains (Whiteface, Gore, Belleayre)

12 days ago

Growing up skiing in SE PA (Chadd’s Peak anyone?), one of the better places to ski on the weekend in PA was Masthope. I think it’s now called Ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain — not to be confused with Big Bear near Jack Frost. 650’ vertical, a few decent runs, and never any crowds. Certainly not the biggest mountain in the world, but you can ski laps all day long on a Saturday without waiting in any lift lines, and that racks up the vertical in a hurry.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
11 days ago

The19thHole wrote:

Growing up skiing in SE PA (Chadd’s Peak anyone?), one of the better places to ski on the weekend in PA was Masthope. I think it’s now called Ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain — not to be confused with Big Bear near Jack Frost. 650’ vertical, a few decent runs, and never any crowds. Certainly not the biggest mountain in the world, but you can ski laps all day long on a Saturday without waiting in any lift lines, and that racks up the vertical in a hurry.

Had not ever heard of Masthope.  Quite neat!  Seems to have elements in common with Wolf in the NC mountains, which is also essentially an amenity for the surrounding development.

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