Firsthand Report: Super Tuesday at Blue Knob 3
Author thumbnail By Jim Kenney, DCSki Columnist

On the morning of January 20, 2009 the eyes of America were focused on Washington, DC and the Inauguration Day festivities for President Barack Obama. With all due respect, me and my ski posse of three teenage boys had other ideas for our unusual January vacation day from school and work. Going against the flow, we headed to Blue Knob, PA for a ski offer too good to refuse. Calling them Super Tuesdays, Blue Knob is promoting $20 lift tickets on non-holiday Tuesdays for the rest of the ski season.

Good snow on Upper High Hopes. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.

When we left Northern Virginia at 6 a.m. we passed Metrorail trains along Interstate 66 that were loaded to “crush” levels with folks going into the National Mall. God bless them and our new president. When we arrived at Blue Knob ski area at 9 a.m. the temperature was in the teens, flurries were still flying after two inches of new overnight snow and there were six cars parked in front of the summit lodge. Welcome to lonely Planet Blue Knob.

We had a great day. This mountain kicks butt. After a week of nearly nonstop snow showers and intensely cold weather almost everything is open including some of Blue Knob’s gladed terrain. The boyz and I tackled a big ration of Blue Knob’s advanced runs, all with excellent midwinter snow coverage, including Extrovert, High Hopes, Expressway, Deer Run, Jack Rabbit and Stembogen. The day wore on, the snow wore off and I wore out, so later we gyrated towards plenty of crowd-free cruising on easy intermediate runs like two-mile long Mambo Alley.

Blue Knob is Steelers Country. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.

Stembogen trail was a highlight and skiing crazier than ever. This legendary twisty, curvy, advanced ski trail with the funky fall lines had seen an insane amount of snowmaking in recent days and was littered with bizarre features resulting from all the manmade snow including whales, drops, tables, knobs, slick spots, and good old moguls. We also skied nearby Ditch Glades, gingerly. On the upper mountain we skied Triple Glades off Jack Rabbit trail. Many other gladed areas around the Blue Knob layout had ski tracks through them too, but to be honest, another 6-12 inches of snow is needed before you can comfortably bring your A-Game skis into most of the woods here.

The crowds were super light all day requiring the operation of only one chair, but the Blue Knob management was kind enough to turn on the triple chair in the afternoon anyway. By 5 p.m. the posse was bushed. When we headed back to Washington on Interstate 70 it was busy with Westbound tourist buses leaving DC. It was a great day to be in America, coming or going.

Stembogen Bowl. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.
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About Jim Kenney

Husband, father and retired civilian employee of the Department of Navy, Jim Kenney is a D.C. area native and has been skiing recreationally since 1967. Jim's ski reporting garnered the 2009 West Virginia Division of Tourism's Stars of the Industry Award for Best Web/Internet/E-Magazine Article.

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Reader Comments

January 22, 2009
I was and there the day before and the Saturday before that. I was truly surprised by the lack of crowds. I don't think I waited more than 5 minutes. Good for the skier but it can't be great for the resort, such as it is. I hope a few more accomplished skiers venture to tame the harsher edge's of Blue Knob skiing. This one is a little mountain that rocks and it needs you core players to succeed.

Come on out and ski with the Author and other DCSkiers the weekend of Feb 21-22 '09 (cut and paste to your browser):
January 22, 2009
January 22, 2009
I agree with this report & skied 11:30 to 5:30
this day. Extrovert, open for 4 days, had most of
it's snow made since last rainstorm-thus no ice.
Extrovert was in best shape I've seen in years.

Triple glades was very good, Ditch glades fair. Most other glades need more snow.
East Wall Glades (best one) is now totally overgrown in briars/brush
& couldn't be opened under any conditions.

A bit cold 12-20deg all day with light flurries much of the day.

I picked a good time to stop in bar for 45 min -saw both Biden & Obama being sworn in. And all
of the acceptance speech.

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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