I took my family for a day of skiing at Seven Springs Resort in western Pennsylvania on Monday, December 31, 2001. Virtually all slopes were open and snow conditions were very good, especially considering the resort was just 8 or 9 days removed from opening day.
The temperature was around 20 degrees on Monday under partly cloudy skies. About 6 inches of natural snow covered the surrounding area. I spent most of the day skiing a variety of trails on the front face of the ski area, but I also visited the north face via the new six passenger express chairlift at Seven Springs.
The highlight of my ski day was the opportunity to try a free demo pair of Dynastar parabolic skis. One of these days I’ll have to give up my old-tech straight planks and enter the 21st century; shaped skis are a lot of fun on steeper slopes.
Everything ran smoothly at Seven Springs on Monday and lift lines ranged from nil to minimal. The resort had done an incredible job of blowing a good cover of manmade snow everywhere. With the cold temperatures, I found the snow to be semi-powdery on the edge of several trails and reasonably pliable everywhere else. Later in the day, the hard spots typical of midwinter manmade conditions surfaced on busy trails. Seven Springs made snow all day long in the area of the Alpine Meadows/Pass trail.
I had not been to Seven Springs in 8 or 9 years. I arrived at about 10:30 a.m. and as I checked in at the lift window at the entrance of the parking lot, I was pleasantly surprised to find that tickets were good from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. I paid a holiday/weekend rate: $42 adults, $33 for children 11 and under. The extra few hours of twilight ski time made me feel better about my late arrival.
The Howe family, close friends up from Norfolk, Virginia, joined my group of day skiers on the slopes. The Howe’s were staying at the main lodge for a long weekend ski trip. In view of the recent marginal weather conditions in our region, their choice for a holiday vacation at Seven Springs was a good one. We all enjoyed the surprisingly wide variety of open ski terrain. Seven Springs was a fun place to be for New Year’s Eve. Lots of parties, dances, and dining opportunities were scheduled at the resort complex.
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.