I went skiing with several members of my family on Monday, February 18th, 2002 at Bryce Resort in Virginia. I chose Bryce on President’s Day with a clear intention of getting in a little skiing while avoiding large Holiday crowds, which I thought might be likely at other ski resorts in the DC-Baltimore area.
I was not disappointed. I never saw a lift line of more than 20 people and the snow conditions were surprisingly good on a sunny, windless, 45-50 degree day.
I only ski Bryce about once a year, but over the last half dozen years or more, I’ve never seen a big crowd. If you can accept the 500’ vertical, this is the place to go to beat the crowds, even on what might normally be one of the busiest days of the season.
On Monday I got the distinct impression that as a day-skier I was in the minority in a country club type atmosphere. All the boarders and skiers I talked to were either overnight guests or people who owned vacation homes nearby. One homeowner (and season pass holder) expressed concern about the disturbingly small number of skiers/boarders at Bryce all season. The mild weather could be a contributing factor. I certainly wouldn’t blame it on mismanagement. I think the two Locher brothers, immigrants from Europe who run the place, have done a great job of maximizing the potential of this modest ski mountain for many years.
All eight trails at Bryce were open for my visit and while there wasn’t a trace of natural snow, the Bryce snowmakers had clearly blown copious amounts over the ski area on Sunday night. In this crazy season when spring alternates with winter about every 24 hours, I arrived at Bryce to find all trails covered with a thick, soft layer of new snow that, for the most part, held up very well throughout the day.
There was a rather active racing program during the afternoon on “Bootlegger,” a trail that closely follows the fall line at Bryce. Now I know what the better skiers do at Bryce once they’ve mastered the local ski terrain.
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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