South for some Skiing
By Matt Lees, Guest Author
Author Matt Lees enjoys sun streaming in the windows of a Wabasso condo at Snowshoe.
Hanging out. Author Matt Lees enjoys sun streaming in the windows of a Wabasso condo at Snowshoe. Photo by M. Scott Smith.
The last weekend in January, I made a trip to West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort with DCSki editor and good ‘ol college buddy Scott Smith. I had some doubts about travelling out to West Virginia for skiing, having experienced some of the larger resorts in Vermont and Colorado. We arrived on Friday afternoon and settled in at a condo in Wabasso at the top of the mountain. Down the road from Snowshoe we went night skiing at Silver Creek. Conditions were very good and the trails were brightly lit. The clouds above created a neat glowing effect, bathing the area in indirect lighting. We started out with some easy runs down Cubb Run. I was renting skis and took a run or two to get accustomed to them (I managed to break my old Rossignols last year). We spotted the terrain park from the lift and knew we had to try it! On the way down the Moutaineer Terrain Park the jumps and ridges looked a bit more intimidating than the view from the lift. We got some late night fast food of pizza and cheesesteaks at the Bear’s Den before calling it a night. Saturday morning I crawled out of bed looking out the window to see plenty of fresh snow. It was still snowing and I could barely make out the mountains in the distance, we had an awesome view from our condo. Definitely a day for goggles. I checked the ski report on the Snowshoe channel, which confirmed the 4” of white stuff already on the ground. The ski report was pretty conservative, the accumulation during the day was more like 10”. We got out all our gear and headed for the trails.
One of Snowshoe's newest restaurants, the Junction offers great food with a locomotive motif.
The Junction. One of Snowshoe’s newest restaurants, the Junction offers great food with a locomotive motif. Photo by M. Scott Smith.
After taking the lift at Ball Hooter with the rest of the morning crowd, we headed over to the newer Western Territory trails. Along the way we passed some ill-prepared fellows (without hats or goggles) who warned it was “too windy” on the western side. The falling snow urged us on to explore the new trails. At the top of Cupp Run there was a continuous uphill blast of snow and wind, time to separate the men from the boys! The wind actually made it easier by keeping our speed in check and by blowing most of the people over to the Eastern side. At the bottom we cruised right on through the lift gates onto the high-speed quad. We spent most of the day on Shay’s Revenge and Cupp Run, the conditions were great and we had most of the trails to ourselves. We took a few runs down the double-diamond bottom section of Shay’s Revenge, managing to stay on our feet. By about 3 p.m. we headed back to the Northern Tract and made our way to the Widowmaker lift. The narrower trails of Upper and Lower Hootenanny were fun to cruise along the way. After a few runs we called it quits and started back to Wabasso. We went to The Junction for dinner in the Snowshoe Village area. The Junction has an old-west atmosphere with railroad memorabilia and live entertainment. The rotisserie chicken is excellent, that night they were serving it with a honey-key-lime glaze. The service was also exceptional. Snowmobiling at night is an adventurous way to spend your evening at Snowshoe. After a quick safety briefing we were on our way. The snowmobiling is guided with a group of about ten in single file. There were plently of opportunities to open it up climbing some of the same trails we skied by day. The tour is about an hour and covers a variety of terrain. Watch out for the bumps! On one particular trail I was caught by surprise and bounced over the wavy terrain. A visit to Stellar Coffee in the village was a good way to end the evening. They also had live entertainment in a relaxing setting.
A freshly-plowed road marks the beginning of a long trip home.
The long road home. A freshly-plowed road marks the beginning of a long trip home. Photo by M. Scott Smith.

That night I appreciated the rustic comfort of our Wabasso condo with its wood panelling, loft, and fireplace (you can smell the scent of wood in the air). Snowshoe is a pleasant alternative to Northeast skiing with the amenities of the big NE resorts without as much hassle.

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About the Author

When he isn't skiing, Matt Lees is an engineer residing north of Philadelphia, PA.

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