Spot Report: Timberline Four Seasons Resort, January 21, 2007 8
Author thumbnail By John Sherwood, DCSki Columnist

Winter has finally arrived in the region, and Canaan Valley is completely white and covered with snow. Let’s hope it stays that way until May! It snowed most of the day at resort, making for excellent skiing top to bottom on three major thoroughfares: White Lightning, The Drop, and Salamander.

Photo provided by John Sherwood.

The 2.5-mile Salamander trail, the longest beginner trail in the region, offered beginners, intermediates, and even a few tired experts a relatively benign way down Herz Mountain, which by the end of the day was getting bumpy from the combined effects of snowmaking and new natural snow. I skied Sally twice to rest my legs and enjoyed every minute of it. It was fairly well-groomed with very small speed bump-size mounds of snow to add some challenge.

The Drop, however, was a different story. The resort recently blew big mounds of snow on the trail but did not groom, so skiers must negotiate Volkswagen sized “whales” to get down the trail. The good news is that the whales now make the trail a true double black. The bad news is that I saw at least two people walking down the trail. This is not a trail for intermediates, but experts will love it, especially with soft snow on the top to carve up. Experts, especially telemark skiers, also are beginning to sample some of Timberline’s epic off-piste. For now, it’s mostly in the woods near the main trails, but if the resort gets any more natural snow later in the week, the situation could improve rapidly.

Photo provided by John Sherwood.

White Lightning also earned its expert rating today. By the end of the day, boulder-sized moguls had formed on the slope from manmade and natural snow. I suspect Timberline will groom the trail as soon as weather permits, but don’t count on The Drop being “paved” anytime soon. As for future, the snowmaking team is still blowing snow on White Lightning, Lower Heaven (closed this weekend), and Salamander to shore up the base. It has also begun blowing on Twister and Wintersett. I predict more trail openings by next weekend. Crowds are minimal here at Timberline so I encourage people to come up while the conditions are good and the weather, cold.

Authors’s Addendum: I skied Timberline on 22 January on an almost empty mountain. Salamander was well-groomed. White Lightning opened at 10:00 and was also groomed. Conditions consisted of wet, machined groomed snow on-piste and wet snow off-piste (side of trail).

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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

DCSki Reader
January 23, 2007
John, how much natural fell on Timberline on Sunday Jan 21?
John Sherwood
January 23, 2007
Based on what I scraped off my car--maybe 3 inches, but snowmaker snow may be throwing things off.

Whitegrass is the best source of post-snow storm numbers. Chip's report says 3-4, and I'll go with that number:

"New Snow: 1" last eve and this morn so far and yesterday with 3"- 4" sunday and 5"- 6" friday
January 30, 2007
A friend of mine returned from his annual Jan. 26-28 trip to Timberline. He said he was disappointed in the number of open slopes and was surprised because Cannan Valley had much more open terrain and appeared to have done a better job recovering from the warm January. This was surprising because he is usually very complementary of the Timberline conditions
DCSki Reader
January 30, 2007
Canaan was more or less 100% open. They opened all of their terrain with natural snowfall. It was deep and great skiing.
Laura Reed Canaan Realty
January 31, 2007
We received more snow this week. The schools were closed Monday and today because there is so much snow. Timberline is making snow on the western side of the mountain. Canaan can open with natural because of the way the snow drifts on the face in comparison with Timberline. The good news is there are two mountains to ski in one place. Today is blue skies and fresh powder. Wish you were here.
John Sherwood
February 1, 2007
New Snow: 1" last night 4" yesterday... Love that Greenland Block

Snow so far this season: 64"

17" of natural at the 4,000 stake.
formerly canaanman
February 2, 2007
Define deep.

In my dictionary it is chest-deep powder the day after Thanksgiving. (Which becomes up to your neck when you bomb-hole into it by not leaning back far enough while landing a cliff)
February 3, 2007
Dave Lesher up at Canaan HTS posted a 5.3" total for yesterday...that adds up to 79 for the season. With a few more Inches this aft & nite the 4000' stake should be over 20 inches. Canaan..the comeback Valley!

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

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