Tips for Avoiding Crowds on Weekends 6
Author thumbnail By Matthew Graham, DCSki Columnist

Want to minimize crowds at Mid-Altlantic ski areas on weekends? Try some of the following tips.

1. Ski Superbowl Sunday at Whitetail or Massanutten. Go for the afternoon session. By 2 p.m. the slopes are empty.

2. Get up super early and ski half days (8-noon) on Saturdays and Sundays — Sunday mornings are usually less crowded than Saturday. The big ski groups and people renting skis usually don’t get onto the slopes until 10:30 a.m. Also, arrive at the ski resort 45 minutes before the slopes open to give yourself time to gear up and buy your lift ticket so you can be on the lift right when it opens.

3. Go night skiing at Liberty on Sunday — it’s only an hour drive from DC — ski 5-10 p.m.and be home by 11 p.m. Sharpen your edges! Liberty turns into an ice field about an hour after sunset.

4. Go to Sno Mountain - it’s never crowded on weekends.

5. Ski the Silver Creek area of Snowshoe on Saturdays — much less crowded than the main area. On Sunday, ski the Western Territory — again ski early.

6. At Wisp, the new North Camp area is much less crowded than the main face on weekends.

7. It’s always crowded at Camelback on weekends. You can, however, avoid the long lift line for the high speed quad by using the Cleopatra triple lift. It’s to the right of the quad lift when looking at the lodge and down a hidden right curve.

8. Wait until March for your ski trip. Crowds drop off after President’s Day weekend and continue to lessen until the end of the season. Most resorts also drop prices dramatically after the second weekend in March. And we usually get a big snow storm in March!

9. If you have to rent skis or a snowboard for aweekend trip, rent the equipment from a local place like Ski Chalet prior to leaving town. It’s usually cheaper and then you can hit the slopes first thing in the morning instead of wasting an hour of your lift ticket waiting in lne for rentals.

10. Turn left at the top of the hig speed quad at Whitetail. People instinctively turn right to go down Angel Drop to leave the slopes Fanciful and Snowdancer on the left far less crowded.

Do you have your own tips for avoiding weekend crowds? Add them to the comments section below!

About Matthew Graham

Matthew Graham is a skier as well as a hang glider and paraglider pilot, SCUBA diver, cavern diver, equestrian, polo player, sailor, hiker, biker, rock climber, paddler, and skater. He's also yoga teacher and certified personal trainer and has dabbled in just about every other sport, even stunt car driving and bull riding! He has written for the Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, USA Weekend Magazine, Hooked on the Outdoors, Richmond Magazine, Chesapeake Life Magazine, Metro Sports, American Fitness, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Recreation News and numerous other outdoor and travel publications.

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Reader Comments

M.Ethan Ross
February 18, 2008

I agree with your suggestions, and like Liberty at night for a close trip. The crowds certainly dissipate during the evening hours, which makes it acceptable for a weekend.

Sundays at Bryce are relatively quiet, and while they don't have the greatest slopes, it beats skiing without the excessive wait times at the lift. Great article,

DCSki Reader
February 18, 2008
If you want to avoid the lines and ski great terrain ski Timberline or Canaan Valley during the middle of the week. You'll have the place to yourself.
February 20, 2008
The real locals know that the secret, if you are up to the task, is to stick to the Expert quad. You can pre-buy lift tickets a ski shop, park on the far left, upmost lot, and walk to the quad and ski with minimal waits.
David Berk
February 21, 2008
David - did you mean the far right lot when facing the slopes? And how far is it to walk to the Expert lift?
David Berk
February 21, 2008
David - did you mean the far right lot when facing the slopes? And how far is it to walk to the Expert lift?
February 22, 2008
oops you are exactly right about the right - I was thinking from the top of the hill. Sorry. The walk is very short from the lot to the slopes, but I should clarify that you will need to go up the main lift at least once to get to the expert quad.

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