From my perspective this was a great event. Lift tickets cost only $2 when pre-purchased through Ski Chalet, and ample opportunity was provided for free demos of top-flight ski and snowboard equipment.
There was a pretty good turn-out of skiers, but lift lines never exceeded more than a minute or two (except once when their triple chair lift was down for a short while). Conditions were very good and all of Blue Knob’s regular trails were open with good snow.
By 5 p.m. the center of many trails was scraped off and very hard, but a night of snowmaking and grooming should have Blue Knob ready for excellent conditions this weekend.
I took at least one trip down pretty much everything they’ve got, including Deer Run, Jack Rabbit (formerly know as Bunny Hop), Expressway, Stembogan, Mambo Alley, High Hopes, Edgeset, and Extrovert. Lower 66 and their advanced glades were not open, but they were close to being ready and a few folks were seen making unauthorized runs down East Wall and other glades. There was only about one foot of natural snow cover in the woods off the regular ski trails.
I particularly got a kick out of taking a pair of demo Fischer racing skis down Extrovert. Its center was icy as always, but good snow was found on the edges and the Fischers provided much greater turning capability than my own set of skis.
If you haven’t been to Blue Knob, it’s about 3 hours from D.C. and is a little bit of New England in western Pennsylvania. Blue Knob is a serious mountain with terrain (when conditions cooperate) that can strike fear in the hearts of most all recreational skiers.
Yesterday temperatures never went above the low 20’s and intermittent snow showers brought about 2 inches of the white stuff.
Next week on January 11, Ski Chalet will hold a similar event at Wisp. (Tickets must be purchased in advance at an area Ski Chalet store.)
A good and cheap meal for Interstate 70 travelers can be had at the Park ‘N’ Dine Restaurant in Hancock, Maryland, any time of the day.
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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