Timberline Mountain Comparison
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jpetraiuolo
2 months ago
Member since 02/11/2020
24 posts

Hi All,

I've mentioned in a few other threads that I went all in on a TM pass this year. I have never skied there before though so I'm trying to figure out what to expect. I'm trying to understand how similar it is to other local places (whitetail, poconos, Seven Springs). How does the rigor of the terrain, size of skiable, snow levels compare to other mountains? Thanks slit everyone!

JimK - DCSki Columnist
one month ago
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts

jpetraiuolo wrote:

Hi All,

I've mentioned in a few other threads that I went all in on a TM pass this year. I have never skied there before though so I'm trying to figure out what to expect. I'm trying to understand how similar it is to other local places (whitetail, poconos, Seven Springs). How does the rigor of the terrain, size of skiable, snow levels compare to other mountains? Thanks slit everyone!

It's somewhat like Blue Knob in the fact that when there is natural snow they have quite a bit of gladed terrain that is open and skiable.  It has similar vertical drop (1000') and trail count as Whitetail.  Perhaps Timberline's most exceptional attribute is a base elevation of 3200'.  It typically receives more natural snow than most other ski areas in the mid-Atlantic, many of which don't have summits that high.  Having two other ski areas within about five miles (Canaan Valley - alpine and Whitegrass - nordic) is also pretty special, affording visitors to the area some nice alternatives and terrain variety.

rbrtlav
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 12/2/2008
481 posts

Well the comparison of the old lifts and horrible status of the lodge are no longer valid. It might be hard to tell, as it seemed to me their snowmaking system was showing its weaknesses during the last few winters.

What we do know. If you are looking for long green and blue trails, salamander and twister are probably some of the best in the region. There can be some nice off trail skiing in places if the weather cooperates. Tucker county and snowshoe both have the ability to get snow that may not be in the forecast, or way more than forecasted depending on your luck. 
 

As far as general snow quality though, some of the others on the forums may be able to tell you about improvements under new ownership. I suspect the snowmaking system now is MUCH improved over what they have ever had before, but will take some time for their mountain ops to get used to. It's been quite a few years since I've been to timberline, but I do plan on giving it a try this year now that it is the "new timberline"

wgo
one month ago
Member since 02/10/2004
1,261 posts

It's the gladed terrain that sets Timberline apart from other Mid-Atlantic ski areas. When the glades are open TLM will ski much bigger than most of the other local resorts. You'll also have a better chance of a powder day than at, say, Whitetail (although this is the Mid-Atlantic, so it is very much a "ski it when you can get it" situation).

 

jpetraiuolo
one month ago
Member since 02/11/2020
24 posts

Thank you all for your expertise. For those who have skied there, how are their expert trails? When I went to Whitetail last year I felt like their expert trails and blue trails were essentially the same. Any difference at TM? Thank you! 

wgo
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 02/10/2004
1,261 posts

The black runs at timberline each have their own unique feel. Thunderstruck and White Lightening are each more upper intermediate type trails - Thunderstruck has some nice twists and turns and WL is a straight shot down the mountain and is great for opening up with some GS turns. To skier's right of WL is Silver Streak, which used to be a separate run (separated from WL by trees) but which is now connected to WL - there is a very small drop in and you can then either stay on the run or hop back in and out of WL as you see fit. I wonder if when the new trail map is released if it will still be counted as a separate run. The Drop and Off the Wall are both steeper than these, OTW more so than the drop. My favorite black run is Thunderdraft, a natural snow run which ran under the old Orange lift (the one replaced by the six pack). Narrow, lift poles to avoid, spectators in the chairs above - what's not to love? I assume that this run will still be in existence for the upcoming season, looking forward to seeing a new trail map to know for sure. 

This doesn't cover the glades - there are various options of varying difficulty. Again, I am curious to see what will be listed on the trail map.

One link you may want to check out is the unofficial guide from sadly defunct epicski site. This was partially written by JohnL and rescued from the internet memory hole by JimK:

https://web.archive.org/web/20170427131410/http://www.epicski.com/a/timberline-four-seasons-resort-west-virginia-unofficial-guide

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 12/10/2008
2,226 posts

jpetraiuolo wrote:

Thank you all for your expertise. For those who have skied there, how are their expert trails? When I went to Whitetail last year I felt like their expert trails and blue trails were essentially the same. Any difference at TM? Thank you! 

I've only skied at Tline once, as part of a trip to introduce a friend to skiing outside VA when she was gaining confidence as an advanced intermediate taking lessons at Massanutten.  We got lucky.  After skiing Snowshoe (very slick conditions), we stayed overnight at the CV Lodge.  By morning there was 5+ inches of fresh powder.  Not much was groomed at Tline.  It was quite an introduction to the difference between groomed and ungroomed trails for my friend.

Compared to Whitetail, Tline was far more interesting.  Made it worth the long ride to the top.  With a high speed 6-pack detachable, I would certainly be driving to Tline if I lived in DC/NoVA as often as possible.

The day I checked out Tline, only one of the expert double-black trails was open.  Can't remember which one.  It was all snow whales because there were PSIA clinics happening that week and the instructors wanted to have some challenging terrain.  Took a while to work my way down it paid to be careful since the back of the whales were frozen and slick.  It was a narrow enough trail that there is really no comparison to the black trails at Whitetail.  Definitely different from the blue trails at Tline.

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 07/27/2014
158 posts

JimK wrote:

<snip>

It's somewhat like Blue Knob in the fact that when there is natural snow they have quite a bit of gladed terrain that is open and skiable.  It has similar vertical drop (1000') and trail count as Whitetail.  Perhaps Timberline's most exceptional attribute is a base elevation of 3200'.  It typically receives more natural snow than most other ski areas in the mid-Atlantic, many of which don't have summits that high.  Having two other ski areas within about five miles (Canaan Valley - alpine and Whitegrass - nordic) is also pretty special, affording visitors to the area some nice alternatives and terrain variety.

I agree that Blue Knob and T-Line have some similarities, especially 7-8 years ago when I went to them. Interesting terrain, good altitude, but undercapitalized. Blue Knob in 2012 was better run than T-line in 2013. It was snowing a bit both times, so that made a huge difference in my day. 

Of the two, Blue Knob was the one I wanted to go back to more, mostly because of Stembogan Bowl and the smoother operatations. I wonder if how they will get through this upcoming season since they are struggling so much.

I don't daydream about Whitetail, like I do some other places. Since it is only 90 minutes from the Beltway and well run it's been, it's hard to say no when I get precious few ski day(s) a season. 

If Blue Knob and T-line of those were run as well as Whitetail, they'd be destination ski areas. I guess we'll find out about T-line over the next few years. 

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts

If you are familiar with Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts, it is, to quote Jimk, "similar to that mountain but with a bit more gnar." Some other comparisons, perhaps more stretched might include some of the more benign intermediate terrain at PCMR, the Forest Queen part of Crystal Mountain, and some of the easier terrain at Stowe or Waterville Valley.  It is not really an expert's mountain (except for the woods and the double blacks when ungroomed). It's more of a New England style resort with mostly, narrow, tree lined trails. Catching a storm or lake effect is tricky. The best powder will be the day of the storm--storm riding. Black trails become a bit tougher ungroomed and more fun. With all the snowmaking going in, don't rule out manmade powder days from the guns. 
 

PS It take me two hours and 45 minutes to get to Timberline from Arlington, driving the speed limit.

JohnL
one month ago
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts

wgo wrote:

The black runs at timberline each have their own unique feel. Thunderstruck and White Lightening are each more upper intermediate type trails - Thunderstruck has some nice twists and turns and WL is a straight shot down the mountain and is great for opening up with some GS turns. To skier's right of WL is Silver Streak, which used to be a separate run (separated from WL by trees) but which is now connected to WL - there is a very small drop in and you can then either stay on the run or hop back in and out of WL as you see fit. I wonder if when the new trail map is released if it will still be counted as a separate run. The Drop and Off the Wall are both steeper than these, OTW more so than the drop. My favorite black run is Thunderdraft, a natural snow run which ran under the old Orange lift (the one replaced by the six pack). Narrow, lift poles to avoid, spectators in the chairs above - what's not to love? I assume that this run will still be in existence for the upcoming season, looking forward to seeing a new trail map to know for sure. 

This doesn't cover the glades - there are various options of varying difficulty. Again, I am curious to see what will be listed on the trail map.

One link you may want to check out is the unofficial guide from sadly defunct epicski site. This was partially written by JohnL and rescued from the internet memory hole by JimK:

https://web.archive.org/web/20170427131410/http://www.epicski.com/a/timberline-four-seasons-resort-west-virginia-unofficial-guide

Entirely written...

JohnL
one month ago
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts

JohnL wrote:

wgo wrote:

The black runs at timberline each have their own unique feel. Thunderstruck and White Lightening are each more upper intermediate type trails - Thunderstruck has some nice twists and turns and WL is a straight shot down the mountain and is great for opening up with some GS turns. To skier's right of WL is Silver Streak, which used to be a separate run (separated from WL by trees) but which is now connected to WL - there is a very small drop in and you can then either stay on the run or hop back in and out of WL as you see fit. I wonder if when the new trail map is released if it will still be counted as a separate run. The Drop and Off the Wall are both steeper than these, OTW more so than the drop. My favorite black run is Thunderdraft, a natural snow run which ran under the old Orange lift (the one replaced by the six pack). Narrow, lift poles to avoid, spectators in the chairs above - what's not to love? I assume that this run will still be in existence for the upcoming season, looking forward to seeing a new trail map to know for sure. 

This doesn't cover the glades - there are various options of varying difficulty. Again, I am curious to see what will be listed on the trail map.

One link you may want to check out is the unofficial guide from sadly defunct epicski site. This was partially written by JohnL and rescued from the internet memory hole by JimK:

https://web.archive.org/web/20170427131410/http://www.epicski.com/a/timberline-four-seasons-resort-west-virginia-unofficial-guide

Entirely written...

Expect a major update on Pugski in January.

wgo
one month ago
Member since 02/10/2004
1,261 posts

JohnL wrote:

Expect a major update on Pugski in January.

Apologies for the partially incorrect attribution! Looking forward to the update.

JohnL
one month ago
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts

wgo wrote:

JohnL wrote:

Expect a major update on Pugski in January.

Apologies for the partially incorrect attribution! Looking forward to the update.

No worries. Some of that old Epic stuff got funky at times.

Hope to catch some turns with ya this Winter. And maybe with your kids?

wgo
one month ago
Member since 02/10/2004
1,261 posts

JohnL wrote:

Hope to catch some turns with ya this Winter. And maybe with your kids?

Yep, we will be at TLM at least a few times this year - probably just day trips.

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