What’s New for 2003: Timberline Resort 18
Author thumbnail By John Sherwood, DCSki Columnist

Timberline will be increasing its uphill capacity by replacing the double chairs on the Silver Queen lift with triple chairs. It also will be adding a new digital drive for the Thunder Draft triple. This type of drive will improve reliability by giving lift operators better control over the lift’s motor.

Expert skiers have much to look forward to at Timberline next year. Timberline’s most difficult double black diamond trail, Off the Wall, will be fully equipped for snowmaking. Timberline also plans to open new gladed terrain.

After experiencing the steeps of Off the Wall or the unique wooded areas of Herz Mountain, skiers will have a new place to refuel: the Timber’s Slopeside Grill. This grill will be constructed adjacent to the current Timbers Pub, thereby increasing food service capacity in the lodge. Timberline also plans to replace much of the carpeting in the lodge, and purchase more equipment for its rental fleet of snowboards and skis.

Those interested in slopeside real estate may wish to check out the new Winter Haven subdivision. This subdivision will start above Winterset and provide excellent ski-in, ski-out lots, slope access lots, and some of the best views in the area.

View what’s new for 2003 at other Mid-Atlantic resorts
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About John Sherwood

John Sherwood is a columnist for DCSki. When he's not hiking, biking, or skiing, he works as an author of books on military history.

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Reader Comments

August 31, 2003
Oh man, I'm gonna miss those. Sure they were shoddy, had no shields, and were graffitied to the point of no return, but nothing compared in comfort at any Mid-Atlantic ski resort that on the Silver Queen Double. Now they can't just change the name either. Slive Queen Triple? That just sounds funky. Better snag one before they're gone...

I like the fact that they're equipping Off-The-Wall for snowmaking, should've been done years ago. And hmm, what's this "new" gladed terrain you say? Could it be the infamous Cherry Bowl Glades? I hope... I guess we'll just wait and see. Darren, want to confirm my thoughts on this matter?
September 1, 2003
T-Line has added the snowmaking on Off-The-Wall and Canaan has added three new lakes! You can't beat it. Think snow!

PS...Great article John
September 3, 2003
It is my understanding that the new gladed terrain can be found below the pumphouse
and between Upper Lightning and Lower Thunderdraft. There was talk about clearing that last season anyway.
I think it will be a long time till we see Cherry Bowl open again. The logging activities in there really left it a mess.
The snowmaking on OTW will be cool. I was up there last week and saw the pipe waiting to be installed. Its great
that Timberline is making improvements that people can see.
John Sherwood
September 3, 2003
I road the Thunderdraft chair over the Labor Day weekend and saw evidence of new glades (burned underbrush, cleared trees, etc) near the pump house between Thunderstruck and White Lightning.
Terrain like this, as well as the new snowmaking on OTW should make Timberline very attractive for advanced skiers next season.
September 3, 2003
Anyone who is a dcski member and is interested in Cannan Valley lodging, can stay atour unit at Black Bear Resort 35 a large pedestal home for $100 off the published rates. Contact me myrtoz@cox.net. This is limited as we use it as often as possible and are only willing to extend this offer to those we know. Therefore if you have no history of postings here and I don't know you I probably would not make it available. This is not meant to be exclusionary just an offer to people I trust that have a great appreciation of Canaan Valley.
September 4, 2003
Hmm... is that so... strange how I rode through those woods last year (thank the snow god Ullr for that nice coverage) around there... despite it being off-limits. There's also nice gladed terrain inbetween Upper Thuderstruck and Upper Almost Heaven.

I'm not sure what you speak of Darren, last year I may have ridden Cherry Bowl and may have found it pretty rideable. The only problem are those small sapling things sticking out of the snow down where that logging road went through, but hey, now there's a cliff there (and I may just happen to have pictures of people gapping it). You just have to make sure you enter where it says not to, stay to the right, drop the chute between the pine trees, drop the cliff, veer right to avoid the snarled mess in the lower part of the bowl, then back left or just out to Sally.

Don't ask how I know this, but I do... story time: After President's Day weekend I might have been riding it, and might have passed 2 Ski Patrollers who might have been having all sorts of trouble making their way through there, and might have passed them while possibly putting them to shame. The same season I might have drafted a snowmobile coming out of the glades, and might of ridden Off-The-Wall in 2.5 foot deep powder.
September 5, 2003
September 5, 2003

I'm speaking to the fact that Cherry Bowl would probably be difficult to open to the general skiing public without a lot of work. Go up there in there in the summer sometime. There are several large piles of tree tops, lots of stumps, and lots of down trees. Also the cliff you mention is probably just the logging road that was cut in there years ago. Without significant snow cover and skills it could be pretty dangerous in there. There also aren't too many "easy" ways out for someone who gets over their head. As you know inexperienced skiiers occasionally proclaim themselves "experts" and head for terrain like OTW. If they got into Cherry Bowl in its current state it could ge ugly. I think all of these things play into the decision T-line made to close it and remove it from the trail map. Just my thoughts.
Speaking of other gladed terrain... T-line really does have some terrain that would be a lot of fun if it was gladed out. The trees are spaced well on most of the mountain. Theres a lot of underbrush that gets in the way unless we have a lot of snow though. I heard they may try to finish glading out Pearly Glades for this year too. Thats just a rumor, not an uncommon thing in Canaan.
John Sherwood
September 5, 2003
I want to second Darren's plea for people not to ski out of bounds at Timberline. First, if you get injured, you will have to pay for a rescue if you get rescued at all (lone skiers always take that risk). Second, you risk getting your ticket clipped or if you are like me and own a season pass, your season pass. That would HURT, and has always kept me on the marked terrain.

For out of bounds skiing, I suggest White Grass. White Grass regularly leads expeditions to Porte Crayon and other back country hot spots for experienced Telemark and Randonee skiers.
September 5, 2003
Cherry Bowl Glades is still on the trail map on Timberline's website plus printed brochures I got last year. Mixed message? Don't pad your trail count if you're not going to allow skiing there.

White Grass is not an option for alpine skiers.

Most areas in Vermont allow skiing (at your own risk) anywhere within the ski area boundary. Cherry Bowl Glades is clearly within the boundaries of Timberline.
September 8, 2003
If you check the snow report which lists all trails at Timberline you will notice that Cherry Bowl is no longer listed as a trail.
http://www.timberlineresort.com/snowreport.htm I also believe the main trail map at the lodge does not show Cherry Bowl. Although the trail is within Timberline's boundaries it is clearly marked as a closed area. John S. makes a great suggestion in trying out WG for backcounty/ob skiing. Just have to be willing to do without a lift.
September 8, 2003
One other thing... John S. mentions that you would
have to pay for a rescue at Timberline, assuming you are in the boundaries
of T-line and are rescued by the ski patrol there is no charge for their
services. If you are injured you will obviously have to pay for your
care after you leave the mountain, ambulance/helicopter, hospital stay, etc.
September 8, 2003

What I said (or meant to say) is that the Ski Patrol reserves the right to charge skiers for a rescue that occurs out of bounds. That's standard policy at resorts across the country.

JohnL. Randonnee is one relatively easy way to experience back country skiing in WV. I've personally seen people do it at WG. However, Telemark skiers definitely have a mobility advantage when it comes to going uphill or cross country. Randonnee is much more popular Europe, where people use the freeheel setting mainly to get across flats as opposed to going uphill.
October 1, 2003
I have heard rumors of a second base being developed and more trails cut off of Dew Drop towards Whitegrass. Can anyone verify any of these rumors? Or is the current owner still pretty strapped for cash? It seems as if Doc has found some new piggy banks though with the above mentioned improvements?
Roger Z
October 6, 2003
There are probably some plans somewhere in the closet. Probably rumors about said plans pending cash. Plus it's the only direction they can grow, as the ridges to the northeast have been subdivided. It would be very nice terrain-- more good fall line skiing with a northwest exposure. Despite the back and forth about Cherry Bowl, the last time I dropped in there a few years ago it was obvious the ski area either wasn't maintaining it or didn't know how-- a big oak was laying dead across 3/4 of the run. They ought to reglade it and reopen it. Cherry Bowl is some of the best glade skiing I've seen south of Jay Peak, bar none.

This Ranonnee thing sounds interesting... does WG promote this at all? If there's snow this winter, back country might be nice to try. There are some phenomenal pipeline swaths (read: the Laneville Pipeline) that would be paradise to drop in on. 2000 vert easy in the Laneville Pipe, high intermediate all the way down if the topos are accurate.
October 10, 2003
The biggest problem with cutting more trails on the Dew Drop side is keeping snow on them. If you have skied T-line in the spring you've seen this. Dew Drop has more exposure to the south than the rest of the mountain.
October 13, 2003
You know, there is always constant complaint about the NASTAR course on Lower Thunderstruck. You guys always could just finish the job of clearing Cherry Bowl and put in a race course ;). Of course it'd be way too steep, but would definately make some people happier.

So what's happening with the triple chairs for the Vader? I mean, the doubles are still up there... wouldn't it be easier to put new chairs on in the warm and calm summer, not cold November rain?

Roger Z does have a valid point: Cherry Bowl is sweet. The problem is the only skiable parts aren't in the bowl anymore. I'm not sure you'd really have to completely clear it out to reopen it... but there are a lot of either tree tops or short trees down towards the logging road. If those could be pruned and some of the fallen trees removed that are towards the S-turns on Sally, you might have an option there.

The way I see it, you have to ensure that you do EVERYTHING possible to notify those entering that its EXPERT ONLY and DANGEROUS. If you fenced-off all access points other than the one at Off-The-Wall, then made a snowfence/barricade going all the way across just before it got steep, put another fence in with a gap you've got to force yourself through to get in, tons of signage and reports and such, and then maybe clear out a path back to OTW so those who try the glades at the top can always work their way back out, you could be in business. Then you can claim that the skier is liable for what happens, because they physically had to squeeze themself through the fence to get into the glades. I'll make a message about this on the message board.
October 15, 2003
timberline makes snow and opens trails at the slowest rate possible - adding more trails??? if would take a winter like the last to come close to get them open......even last winter - with great snow and perfect snow making conditions it took them forever to get everything open........

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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