Timberline Mountain ski area in Canaan Valley, WV opened for a preview weekend on November 27 and 28, 2021. As part of the preview weekend, season passholders were invited to bring a friend to join them for a free ski day. My buddy John Lewandoski is a passholder and he hooked me up for a free day on Sunday, November 28th. Thanks John! It was my first time skiing Timberline Mountain since the new owners took over the ski area in 2019. I had a really great time.
This is old news for those who skied Timberline last year, but I found the new lifts and enhanced snowmaking capabilities to be a huge game changer. Friends tell me the new high speed six passenger chair cuts the trip to the summit from approximately 13 minutes to 4.5 minutes. Compared to the old lifts the amount of skiing/vertical you can now log during a visit is like night and day. Timberline Mountain has always had great terrain, but it wasn’t the best place for maximizing your on-slope mileage. On Sunday I’m pretty sure I bagged a record for the most vertical I’ve skied on a personal first-day-of-the-season.
Since the Perfect family purchased Timberline Mountain in 2019, they have continually worked on improving the snowmaking infrastructure, and it looks like that foresight is really going to pay off for the 2021-22 season! In roughly three days this past week they went from dirt to 40% of the ski area open, including four nice top-to-bottom trails for the preview weekend. The snow quality on those trails (Salamander, White Lightening, Thunder Struck, and Dew Drop) was good and held up nicely throughout the day on Sunday. Given that rate of progress, the entire trail network should be open within a week or two with just a little cooperation from Mother Nature.
The six pack can gobble up a crowd, but it wasn’t really tested by the light crowd on Sunday. Both the six pack and the quad chair feature a sharp paint scheme that mirrors the gold and blue colors of West Virginia University. Both chairs were sourced from Doppelmayr, one of Europe’s premier ski lift construction companies.
The locals and season passholders came out for the preview weekend. Who doesn’t love a chance to ski in November? White Lightning was the steepest open trail on Sunday. I expect The Drop and Off the Wall black diamond trails to open soon.
Instructors with the Timberline Mountain Ski School took advantage of the preview weekend to do some practice clinics. I skied from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and they were out there almost the whole time. I don’t think temperatures ever reached 40 degrees, but in the afternoon the sun came out. The Dew Drop trail was the place to be for some sweet late day turns in friendly manmade snow.
In addition to the lift and snowmaking improvements at Timberline Mountain, the base lodge has been totally remodeled and updated, including a significant expansion in square footage. An exterior paint job has the building looking better and brighter than it has in decades. There was even two or three inches of natural snowfall over the weekend to whiten-up The Valley. Timberline Mountain is ready for the Holidays!
If the preview weekend is any indication, this should be a great season to visit West Virginia’s Timberline Mountain. The mountain will have its official opening on December 3rd, 2021. Better get those skis and boards tuned-up!
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.
Great update and photos, Jim!
Your report on the results of a few days' worth of snowmaking are a far cry from the not-so-old days at Timberline. Glad that the Perfect North group had the financial means to make these infrastructure upgrades and the managerial chutzpah to use them to open for this preview over Thanksgiving Weekend. Looks like a good turnout by DCSkiers, too.
Here's to a great season across the Mid-Atlantic Region. You have me psyched! ⛷