I went skiing at Seven Springs on Saturday, January 15, 2011 and saw the resort in its full people-moving majesty. I arrived around 10:15 am and a very hefty MLK Day Weekend crowd was already in attendance, yet I was still able to efficiently get with the program and have a very satisfying ski day. I had to park in a satellite parking lot, but was able to quickly jump aboard a free shuttle bus to the slopes. I was able to find table space when needed for a couple meal breaks because the base lodge is so humongous. And best of all, I was able to hook up with some fast moving Seven Springs regulars from the Pittsburgh area who shared their secrets for finding good snow and small lift lines on a busy holiday weekend.
My local’s connection was DCSki forum member MikeC. Mike’s from Pittsburgh and is a season passholder at Seven Springs. For 2-3 hours Mike and three friends led me on a bunch of fast and fun runs on the “backside” of the Seven Springs ski terrain known as the North Face. The two Seven Springs six passenger express chairs had pretty big lift lines, but you could virtually ski-on many of the less glamorous fixed-grip triple and quad chairs.
Seven Springs had very good ski conditions on Saturday. The mountain has recovered nicely from the warm and wet period the region experienced around the New Year’s timeframe. There was a lot of loose and packed manmade snow across the expansive North Face with just a few scratchy or icy patches. The front face of the mountain had several short, but very bumped-up mogul runs including Goosebumps and trails around the Tyrol lift. Most of the glades scattered around the Seven Springs layout were very skiable as well. On my drive from the Washington, DC area it appeared that the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania had approximately 18” of natural snow cover.
Seven Springs draws a lot of folks from Pittsburgh and Saturday was a big day for their pro football team. Lots of Steelers fans dressed in home colors for a festive atmosphere on the slopes. Football spectating and snow riding go surprisingly well together at Seven Springs. A lively crowd, including MikeC and friends, watched the Steelers playoff game (they won) in the resort’s famous Foggy Goggle lounge when the game came on TV around 4 pm. Since my Redskins weren’t part of the proceedings I kept on with more great skiing as the slopes emptied.
By the way, I used a 2-for-1 discount lift ticket voucher that I pre-purchased online from a “groupon” type offering by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette back in December. I heard about the deal on DCSki.com. With a little help from friends, savvy snowriders can ski prime holidays and still have great fun and save coin.
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.