Firsthand Report: Early Season Skiing at Seven Springs, PA
Author thumbnail By Jim Kenney, DCSki Columnist

There’s never a dull moment for mid-Atlantic snowsports enthusiasts. Weather-wise we’re off to another roller coaster ski season, but the folks at Seven Springs, PA are doing their utmost to get in the game. I enjoyed a full day of early season skiing at Seven Springs on Saturday, December 15th. Terrain options were somewhat limited, but for me personally it felt great to be back on snow for the first time this winter. Seven Springs was one of the few open ski areas in our region this past weekend.

Ski School in Session. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.

Seven Springs actually inaugurated their winter ski season a couple of weeks ago, but had to suspend operations due to warm weather shortly thereafter. Management made a concerted snowmaking effort in just a few days last week to reopen several top to bottom front-side trails for what was billed as “Opening Weekend Part II”, December 14-16. I spent much of my time on Wagner Slope which had sprouted bumps for the occasion making it an entertaining intermediate run. Two longer green circle runs were also open from the top, Fawn Lane and Phillip’s Run. The resort even placed four terrain park features along the side of Fawn Lane to serve the aerobatically inclined.

Bumps on Wagner Slope. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.

The crowd on Saturday was very manageable. Lift lines never exceeded a couple of minutes and were often practically ski-on. Seven Springs offered an early season discounted lift ticket for $39. Both the Polar Bear Express Six-Person chair and the Cortina Quad Chair were open and offered approximately 500 feet of vertical. I logged at least 25 runs, more than enough slope time to successfully break-in a new pair of ski boots that were fitted about a month ago by Tim McDonnell at Ski Center of Washington, DC.

I sensed that many folks in the crowd were season pass holders. There were also numerous instructors and patrollers doing training exercises and getting their early season act together. It won’t be long before the whole mountain comes alive, although I suspect snowmaking operations will continue to focus on the regular trails and slopes before Seven Springs turns their big guns on the massive, but still grassy Spot Terrain Park.

Breaking-in New Boots. Photo provided by Rod Smith.

Mid-day temperatures hit about 45 degrees with partial sunshine. The snow conditions were soft for mogul mashing and pretty decent considering the dearth of alternatives elsewhere. Seven Springs is closed this midweek during another brief warming trend, but guests are encouraged to keep checking with the resort for updates on operations next weekend. Snowmaking temperatures will be returning soon.

Video of Rod Smith Telemark Skiing on the Wagner Slope on December 15, 2012.

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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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