Skiing the Laurels - 2020/2021
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snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 1, 2020
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts

I have been watching Seven Springs, Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain getting ready for the 2020/2021 ski season. However, no COVID type policy has been issued by Seven Springs. Typical Eric Mauch management style...wait until the last minute. I have not tracked the Laurels other 2 resorts, Wisp and Blue Knob to see what's up. I am sure they are all  itching to get some revenue. I also have not heard anything about new improvements. Given how miserable 2020 has been with the pandemic riots, the election, Trump, fires, hurricanes, etc, I SO look forward to skiing. A bad ski weather season would be the nail in the coffin. For all you Laurels skiers, what are your thoughts about the upcoming ski season?

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
October 1, 2020
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

This year I downgraded to a Laurel only season pass because I had been getting the PASA Dedicated Skier Pass and planned to use that to ski 7S and other PA resorts. Well the PASA pass was discontinued for good. Anyways, those were my plans before the pandemic. Now I'll wait and see how covid runs its course before I make any plans. I've already accepted that we might not ski at all this winter due to our vulnerability to covid because of underlying medical conditions.

Needles to say, I am not organizing any volunteer trail and glade cleaning days at Laurel this Fall. Also not putting together a Gathering GTG either. I'm not going to be a volunteer for the herd immunity army and I will not ask anybody else to do so either.

making up for lost time
October 2, 2020
Member since 09/20/2016 🔗
24 posts

I've been up to 7Springs a number of times this summer/fall, since we have a condo there. I find 7Springs management to be mediocre. If the North family had Nutting's money and owned 7S, it would be top shelf. That said, it looked like the resort did solid business this summer.

Complaints aside, 7S is a "steady eddie". It will never be spectacular with the current management, but it will never go broke either. They will make modest investments here and there, like repaving all of the roads in the resort, creating paved footpaths up by the condos, renovation of various spaces, upgrading snowmaking nozzels, etc.

This summer, all around the base and top of the Avalanche lift was dug up. I got excited, thinking "they're finally going to replace this dog". In the end, it looks like it was just repair work. I saw crew replacing some snowmaking sticks on the mountain. Management just seems content with the status quo. I wish they'd upgrade a lift or cut a new run once every 10 years.

We have season passes and are thrilled that 7S doesn't join the passes IKON, etc. Crowds have been much better than other places I've skied in the mid-Atlantic on weekends. That's it for the 7S update.

Leo
October 2, 2020
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
279 posts

Nutting is dumping all of the money back into the Pirates and we will just have to be satisfied with having a top shelf baseball team even if it means medicore management of the ski areas.

In all seriousness though, I spent more time than usual around 7S and HV this summer.  They were very busy with people because of the popularity of outdoor activities and the crush of out of towners, but a lot of the revenue sources were not there or reduced.  So I am quite sure they didn't have the best summer and they really can't be faulted for taking a wait and see approach heading into this ski season.

I had to talk to someone at the pass office this week and they acted like it's business as usual with regard to skiing, but who knows. 

DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
Laurel Highlands
October 2, 2020
Member since 10/29/2013 🔗
27 posts

Got an email from Hidden Valley last week stating the following;  "We hope to have details about winter operations completed in the next few weeks. Rest assured, we will be skiing and snowboarding this year and will be doing it in a safe, yet fun manner."  Expect that they are waiting to see covid status by opening time and are working through possible options based on that. Can't blame them with so many variables at play

Having 2 AirBnB properties in the area, what I can say is this has been the busiest fall ever, booked solid every day.    Since school and work is still virtual for lots of people, that has opened up midweek travel and everone is looking to get away in a distanced way.  Would expect some of that to continue into the ski season, and this could be a great season for the resorts with  higher midweek visitors IF they can adapt to the situation.   For example, would expect that people may not want to congregate in the lodges, but outdoor food and bar could do great. Similarly distanced vacation homes may be preferred over hotels like 7S and local B&B's. Could also benefit from fewer people looking to get on airplanes to head west, and instead opting for drivable options such as the Laurels.

RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter
October 2, 2020
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
194 posts

Owners of Blue Knob are still sputtering along... did they make any off season improvements?  Like, any?  Their facebook page does a fantastic job of pushing the Clubhouse Surf and Turf specials...

camp
October 4, 2020
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

RodneyBD wrote:

Their facebook page does a fantastic job of pushing the Clubhouse Surf and Turf specials...

No kidding. Could they put that kind of marketing energy into their daily snow reports, or snowmaking??

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 4, 2020
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts

I believe the group that purchased Blue Knob several years ago have some of the same members that tried to buy Hidden Valley from the Bunchers. They could not come up with the money to close the deal and thus the reason why HV is now owned by 7S. You would need deep pockets to provide the investment needed at BK. I don't think they have that kind of capital. 

RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter
October 8, 2020
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
194 posts

Right, they don't and they won't.  Unless they bring in a partner (doubtful but could happen) or they pursue some more debt (not gonna happen).  Also uhelpful that the group is all Pittsburgh based.  No owner onsite on a daily basis.  So like many partnerships that start off with such great promise, they will all start looking at each other sideways over next few years wondering - after they bought a resort with a lot of deferred maintenance, and in three years managed to add one pump and fix two broken snow making pipes - why haven't thousands of more lift tickets been sold?

Meanwhile 7S is a mob scene every Sat and Sun December through March.  Sigh.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 8, 2020
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts

Note that HV and LM recently re-advertised their early season , season pass deal. I am wondering if they have a reduced number of season pass renewals because of COVID. Perhaps many people were wondering if they would even be open? And thus delayed their decision on getting a season pass.

LHC- how about getting a mid-week pass for LM? Low crowds=low risk?

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
October 9, 2020
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

Season pass prices for 7S and the Highlands Pass (good at all 3) were also reduced to pre-season levels. For example, the Highlands Pass has been reduced to $630. I believe that is $100 less than a few weeks ago. The 7S only pass is $613. Click here for details. The Hidden Valley only Season Pass is $483 as is the Laurel Mountain only Season Pass. There are discounted prices for seniors, juniors, and children, midweek, etc. Also a discount for paying with cash or check. 

Snowsmith, I already have a full Laurel only season pass. I purchased it just a week before the lockdown. We will wait and see how Laurel's season unfolds and if there is an uptick in visitors hoping to avoid crowds. If we do go our car will be our base lodge. 

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 14, 2020 (edited October 14, 2020)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts

Perhaps most don't know your 7S, HV or LM season pass and the combined Highland Pass include a resort swap and ski lift ticket discounts at the 'Mountains of Distinction':

- if you have a HV, LM or 7S pass, you get a free day(Sunday -Friday) at all three resorts and also a free day at Wisp Resort and Wintergreen. After using your free day you get 50% off for each visit there after. Of  course if you have a Highland pass you can ski at all three  -HV, LM & 7S anytime.

- the 'Mountains of Distinction' include: Massachusetts: Jiminy Peak, Wachusetts;  NH: Cranmore;  NY: Bristol Mtn, Holiday Valley, Ski Windam;  Vt: Bromley. For all of these resorts, you get $15 off lift tickets on Sat., Sun., and Holidays. Mid-week you get 50% off lift tickets.

- Ski Cooper, CO: you can get 3 free lift tickets for this ski resort, any day, no black out dates.

Ski Cooper is not far from Breckinridge and historic Leadville. If we're able to make it to CO this year, it may be worth spending a day or 2 skiing at Cooper.

Bristol Mtn NY has a 1,200 foot vertical and is about 2 hours from Holiday Valley. It's also in Finger Lakes wine country.

Has anyone from DCski ever skied Bristol Mtn?

 

 

 

RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter
October 15, 2020
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
194 posts

I went to college in Rochester and spent quite a few Wednesdays at Bristol (college discount day, whoo hoo!).  It is eerily similar to Whitetail but just a hair bigger.  6 or 7 trails down the fall line, meandering green trails off to skiers right, and they have a few black trails about the same as pitch as Exhibition and Bold Decision (and they used to let one trail bump up, just like Whitetail lays off Bold Decision).  So nothing terribly unique but a great mountain for getting some runs in.  Almost forgot - right in lake effect snow country, so they can have great conditions when just a few hours south there is no snow in sight.   

fosphenytoin - DCSki Supporter
October 25, 2020
Member since 12/20/2017 🔗
150 posts

I've heard of Bristol mtn.  

My first job out of college was in Rochester, NY, lived there for 5 years until 2005.  Regrettably, I never visited Bristol, had not started skiing then (picked up skiing in 2010).  I remembered the lake effect snow very well, it was the reason I decided to leave, winter was like 5-6 months ordeal, it was too long.  

I still have friends in Rochester and I do like to go back in winter some day , visiting friends and checking out Bristol.  

Vermont
October 25, 2020 (edited October 25, 2020)
Member since 12/26/2019 🔗
174 posts

I taught/coached at Bristol back before jumping was allowed and one guy was skiing in a “here I am “ yellow rain coat 🧥 hitting some jumps, I saw him couple runs later he didn’t have the yellow jacket on he said he skied directly to his car to ditch the yellow jacket after he was spotted and chased bye patrol, 

 Steve Howie was an awesome director and Mike ran the race program 

it did get nice lake effect snow, the people working there were super cool and nice,  they kept a trail bumps like bold decision at White Tail, but it had a more feel of being in the mountains and having a green from the top is something White tail sorely lacks especially from an instructors point of view 

Kyle Hopkins was their strongest skier, instructor , coach, I was new to the area and he showed me the ropes, great guy all around passed away years ago unfortunately, his brother Keith is a fixture teaching at Killington I highly recommend lining him up for a lesson/ tour, he isn’t the monster on skis that Kyle was but is very knowledgeable of the area and teaching

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
11 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
7S and HV real estate has been selling like hot cakes. In the HV community the resale inventory was over 100 properties for many years. The resale inventory at HV is now 16. I think because of COVID, city dwellers were looking for a safe place to get away. A place where they could enjoy outdoor recreation. Thus they bought a vacation home in the mountains where they can safely recreate. I assume this may also be happening in the Wisp and Canaan areas?
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago (edited 10 months ago)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts

I was looking forward to skiing this year more so than other years. However, looking at the lift lines at 7S and HV, and Snowshoe, is it really worth the effort? Someone said the lift line at a particular lift at Snowshoe was 35 minutes.... THIRTY FIVE FREAKIN’ MINUTES. Why bother?  I hope weekdays are better. 

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camp
10 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

snowsmith wrote:

I was looking forward to skiing this year more so than other years. However, looking at the lift lines at 7S and HV, and Snowshoe, is it really worth the effort

I've been out 4 days, two of which were nordic on state forest ski trails. Blue Mountain was uncrowded and spaced. Camelback on their opening day was more madhouse and long lines for the one lift that went to the top. Longest lines I've waited in in many years. Blue apparently got overrun after the storm and quickly said the full weekend was sold out. 

I'll be in HV next weekend, and hoping another storm allows xc skiing in North Woods. I've never seen horrible lines at HV, but who knows now.

 

Reisen
10 months ago
Member since 01/25/2005 🔗
364 posts
Lift lines can be a problem with skiing any year, especially in the MA. I’ve waited through insane lift lines in Whistler, Utah, Colorado, Vermont, and Europe. 

Skiing at Snowshoe last weekend, they were about typical for a Saturday in season. I suspect that COVID is creating two offsetting factors. Some people are staying home, but for the people that are going, reduced capacity due to social distancing makes the lines as long as if more people were there. 

I’d be curious how the lines on Western Territory were yesterday. 
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
What’s going on with Laurel Mountain? They made a lot of snow, they received 12+ inches of natural, they partially groomed it out and then nothing happened. Did the groomer break down?  There doesn’t seem like there is a shortage of skiers. In fact, I have never seen crowds of skiers like this, this early in the season. Get er’ open! 
Leo
10 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
279 posts


 Hidden Valley was reasonable Fri (opening day) but Saturday and Sunday were very busy by late morning and through evening.  Just being there and observing I suspected as much, but in talking with a nice and knowledgeable employee, they are definitely having trouble hiring enough employees.

So my hunch would be that the pecking order for hired employees is 7S > HV > LM.

By Sunday Hidden Valley did a better job of managing the crowd (they opened the second triple and had employees directing lift lines) but it was still long waits.  In addition, very little terrain was opened -- basically Riviera, Continental, Imperial and Angel's Elbow.  There was plenty of snow so I am guessing that they can't get people to run the groomers either, let alone the lifts.

Normally the just before holiday period is quiet because people have other stuff to do, so I am thinking it might get worse before it gets better as far as crowds and lift lines are concerned.

snowsmith wrote:

What’s going on with Laurel Mountain? They made a lot of snow, they received 12+ inches of natural, they partially groomed it out and then nothing happened. Did the groomer break down?  There doesn’t seem like there is a shortage of skiers. In fact, I have never seen crowds of skiers like this, this early in the season. Get er’ open! 
msprings
10 months ago
Member since 07/4/2014 🔗
133 posts
How was Blue Knob? Debating a trip over there, but unsure how much was open, how crowded it was, and how Covid is being handled there.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
I always thought it was rather stupid that they waited until late November to hold their job fairs. I'll bet there is some legal or bean counting reason that Eric Mauch holds these job fairs so late. And I'll also bet that that is why Laurel Mtn is not open.
camp
10 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

msprings wrote:

How was Blue Knob? 

A true old school Blue Knob silent management mess. They have their beginner trails at the top open. 

DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
making up for lost time
10 months ago
Member since 09/20/2016 🔗
24 posts

I spent all of Monday and Tuesday morning at 7Springs with two of my boys. It was a very nice experience,

but they need to open more terrain. Crowds were reasonable and well-managed.

Avalanche was the only black diamond open, but it skied very well, as did little stashes in the trees to the

sides of it. Off the left and right sides of Wagner, my son and I skied powder all morning and now we're

sitting here with tired legs and full stomachs. Good experience, I am much more confident about this

ski season! Happy Holidays All!

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
219 posts

camp wrote:

msprings wrote:

How was Blue Knob? 

A true old school Blue Knob silent management mess. They have their beginner trails at the top open. 

 Sigh. If Timberline can get a miracle, maybe Blue Knob can too. Is it just too isolated to get gobbled up?

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Hooorrraaaayyy! Laurel Mtn will open on Saturday! 
camp
10 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Hooorrraaaayyy! Laurel Mtn will open on Saturday! 

 ....after I bought my family tickets to HV for sat-sun. One of the many new risks of reservation systems

needawax
10 months ago
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
14 posts
I don't really do the forums a whole lot, but I thought I'd give you my impressions of HV over the past weekend.  I skied HV Sat 12/19 and Sun 12/20. I was able to renew all the passes right at the booth outside in about 5 minutes.  Conditions Sat were really good and plenty of powder on the sides of riviera and other stashes if you know the place.  Frontside and north summit both open, but they're still working on opening new terrain.  They're handling the covid situation rather nicely, and they have people at the lift lines reminding people that masks are required.  Lift lines were long, but this was opening weekend, and it looks like they're sorting it.   Plan on hitting it again Christmas Eve and hopefully they'll have things like cobra and maybe thunderbird open by then....
Scott - DCSki Editor
10 months ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,143 posts
Thanks for the report, needawax, and congratulations on your first post.  :)  
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago (edited 10 months ago)
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

Needawax, Stick around. We could use a few more steady reports from the Laurels. Have you been to Seven Springs and have you ever been to Laurel Mountain? I would love to hear your experience with their covid protocol but also your overall impressions of the terrain and the lodge. Let us know how skiing on Christmas Eve goes.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts


 

making up for lost time wrote:

I spent all of Monday and Tuesday morning at 7Springs with two of my boys. It was a very nice experience,

but they need to open more terrain. Crowds were reasonable and well-managed.

Avalanche was the only black diamond open, but it skied very well, as did little stashes in the trees to the

sides of it. Off the left and right sides of Wagner, my son and I skied powder all morning and now we're

sitting here with tired legs and full stomachs. Good experience, I am much more confident about this

ski season! Happy Holidays All!

It's nice to hear that crowds are well managed and you feel good about the season. This weekend will really be a challenge in that regard. They should be able to get more terrain open. It looks like the left alley of the North Face was opened today. That is the best way to spread out the crowds. It all will depend on today's rain.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Speaking of today's rain, it was a miserable drive from Balto to HV. I hydroplaned several times it was raining so hard. I was surprised to see how much snow remains on the mountain. I wish I could have been here yesterday. This type of storm is the bane of Mid-Atlantic skiing. Storms that move west of the mountains puts us on the warm side of the storm. This mess is supposed to change to snow this evening and the forecasted amount has now been reduced to 2" - 4". This storm is huge and very powerfull. Hopefully we'll get more.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts


 

snowsmith wrote:

Speaking of today's rain, it was a miserable drive from Balto to HV. I hydroplaned several times it was raining so hard. I was surprised to see how much snow remains on the mountain. I wish I could have been here yesterday. This type of storm is the bane of Mid-Atlantic skiing. Storms that move west of the mountains puts us on the warm side of the storm. This mess is supposed to change to snow this evening and the forecasted amount has now been reduced to 2" - 4". This storm is huge and very powerfull. Hopefully we'll get more.

How has the skiing been over the Holiday weekend? Did the snow on the backside of the storm drop more than 4"? HV and Laurel reports 6" 7S reports 4.

camp
10 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

How has the skiing been over the Holiday weekend? Did the snow on the backside of the storm drop more than 4"? HV and Laurel reports 6" 7S reports 4.

 Excellent snow today at HV. Uncrowded  too

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Christmas day was an uncrowded powder day. Today, the day after Christmas, I am sure it was very good this morning, since it snowed all night, however, at 7 degrees and windy, I decided to wait until after lunch. Not many trails open and snow guns blowing on closed trails. I assume the trail count will go up tomorrow. Crowds were light. I am hoping to go to 7S and LM next week. There is alot of snow on unopen trails. Why not open them up. Another storm head our way for New Years. Hopefully the rain will be minimal. 
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
10 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts


 

camp wrote:

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

How has the skiing been over the Holiday weekend? Did the snow on the backside of the storm drop more than 4"? HV and Laurel reports 6" 7S reports 4.

 Excellent snow today at HV. Uncrowded  too 

snowsmith wrote:

Christmas day was an uncrowded powder day. Today, the day after Christmas, I am sure it was very good this morning, since it snowed all night, however, at 7 degrees and windy, I decided to wait until after lunch. Not many trails open and snow guns blowing on closed trails. I assume the trail count will go up tomorrow. Crowds were light. I am hoping to go to 7S and LM next week. There is alot of snow on unopen trails. Why not open them up. Another storm head our way for New Years. Hopefully the rain will be minimal. 

Did Hidden Valley sell out of day tickets today? 7S says the sold out. LM has Broadway only top to bottom, EZ stuff up top and Deer Path across the. bottom.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Hidden Valley, Seven Springs and Laurel Mountain were all sold out. There is an amazing interest in skiing local this year. Not many people want to get in the hermetically sealed metal tube to travel west. The weather today was perfect, the snow was near perfect and the lift lines were long. Some inconsiderate people in the lift lines were not wearing masks, despite repeated announcements from the proactive liftees. I skied for 1.5 hours and then called it a day.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Hidden Valley, Seven Springs and Laurel Mountain were all sold out. There is an amazing interest in skiing local this year. Not many people want to get in the hermetically sealed metal tube to travel west. The weather today was perfect, the snow was near perfect and the lift lines were long. Some inconsiderate people in the lift lines were not wearing masks, despite repeated announcements from the proactive liftees. I skied for 1.5 hours and then called it a day.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
9 months ago
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts
Snowsmith, thanks for the quick updates.  These mini trip reports on DCSki about recent ski days are more important than ever this year to help gauge the situation at local areas.
camp
9 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Hidden Valley, Seven Springs and Laurel Mountain were     I skied for 1.5 hours and then called it a day.

 Good running into you today. We skied off and  on until about two or 230. The lines kept fluctuating but definitely longer than usual, but a lot more spacing within the lines. Late in the day there were ski patrollers out there handing out masks and reminding people in the line. Then a second patroller came to help. The snow stayed really good all day

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts

Skied Laurel Mountain today. There was a message sign as you drove in saying that the lift tickets were sold out. I was expecting a large crowd. Actually, the number of skiers I observed was the most I have ever seen at Laurel. Yet there was never more than 3 or 4 persons in the lift line in front of me. There was limited terrain open - Upper and Lower Broadway and Upper and Lower Wildcat, Deer Path and Last Chance Trail, which I used to cut over to Lower Broadway when I did not feel like going down icy Lower Wildcat. I was amazed at the number of beginners. It would have helped to distribute some of these folks on the green Innsbrook trail. However, it looked like the weren't able to make enough snow on Innsbrook to open it although it looked like they made good progress. There was plenty of snow on Wildcat and it skied well except some icy patches. Most folks were wearing masks with exception of your typical stupid Macho males (why does our gender do stupid stuff like this?). The weather was great and the scenery beautiful as usual. Hopefully we'll get enough snow to open natural snow trails like Dream Highway and Laurel Run....so much fun. 

Look forward to seeing DCSKIers at Laurel this winter!

Vermont
9 months ago
Member since 12/26/2019 🔗
174 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Skied Laurel Mountain today. There was a message sign as you drove in saying that the lift tickets were sold out. I was expecting a large crowd. Actually, the number of skiers I observed was the most I have ever seen at Laurel. Yet there was never more than 3 or 4 persons in the lift line in front of me. There was limited terrain open - Upper and Lower Broadway and Upper and Lower Wildcat, Deer Path and Last Chance Trail, which I used to cut over to Lower Broadway when I did not feel like going down icy Lower Wildcat. I was amazed at the number of beginners. It would have helped to distribute some of these folks on the green Innsbrook trail. However, it looked like the weren't able to make enough snow on Innsbrook to open it although it looked like they made good progress. There was plenty of snow on Wildcat and it skied well except some icy patches. Most folks were wearing masks with exception of your typical stupid Macho males (why does our gender do stupid stuff like this?). The weather was great and the scenery beautiful as usual. Hopefully we'll get enough snow to open natural snow trails like Dream Highway and Laurel Run....so much fun. 

Look forward to seeing DCSKIers at Laurel this winter!

 Stupidity isn’t a gender thing at all look at the other gender flying to ski in a pandemic?? Really they give skiers bad reputation, just drive , do not take public transportation period and perhaps we won’t lose our season 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago (edited 9 months ago)
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

I just got back from Laurel, arrived there about 9:30. It was empty. It was our first day out this season. This was also the first day that allowed 50% occupancy. We booted up inside. We skied to around 2. Mask compliance was good inside and on lifts but there were a few with masks down. Resort personnel asked them to mask up and all did. People were spread apart on mostly empty trails. EZ to physical distance. Broadway top to bottom mile-long groomer cruiser and Upper and Lower Wildcat both in excellent form. The groomed snow was grippy and fast. Wife was killing it on Lower just ahead of me. I was looking for soft stuff on the steep and I saw her down and sliding headfirst off the trail. Yikes! She came to a rest in Barb's boulders, a little sore scapula but mostly adrenal amped. Too bad too. She had just nailed it on the run before. We were going to hit it hard for the rest of the day but the cat hit first. After a break, wife just cruised Broadway. I got back to the cat for a few more runs and I dropped my glove. It is still there, black gauntlet, palm up as if to wave goodbye, just before the tall grass. A good beginning for the first day but Lower let us know even when you think you're doing ok... Broadway proved the playful ending. We'll be back soon.

There's a thin hard base on the natural terrain. I would have hit Laurel Run if I had a partner. Son, I miss you. If we get another nice dump like 10+, all the natural should be skiable. I hope the base stays. Sunshine this weekend. Sunshine daydream.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
9 months ago
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts
LHC, glad you made it to the slopes and wifey did not get too banged up!  Good snowmaking weather this week!
RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
194 posts
LHC thank you for the always informative report.  What do you think odds are they get Lincoln Highway open by next holiday weekend?  Also, do they ever blow on Laurel run?  Thanks
fosphenytoin - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago (edited 9 months ago)
Member since 12/20/2017 🔗
150 posts

From FB today (just now):

Laurel has one lift only, if I remember correctly. 

1610064179_bcqwcekbmvxx.jpg

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts


 

RodneyBD wrote:

LHC thank you for the always informative report.  What do you think odds are they get Lincoln Highway open by next holiday weekend?  Also, do they ever blow on Laurel run?  Thanks

Lincoln Highway just like Laurel Run relies on mother nature to open.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts


 

fosphenytoin wrote:

From FB today (just now):

Laurel has one lift only, if I remember correctly. 

1610064179_bcqwcekbmvxx.jpg

Yes, one chair and a beginners handle tow.

fosphenytoin - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 12/20/2017 🔗
150 posts

Laurel will remain close this weekend.

From FB page:

1610144653_hfcsgjccxxvr.jpg

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago (edited 9 months ago)
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

It looks like the lift at Laurel will be down for a while. They hope to have it running by Friday. From their Facebook page:

Hello Laurel Mountain Family!
Our TEAM is working hard to get our lift back up and running this week and we will update you as we have information.
We have good news and bad news for you, Laurel Mountain family.
The good news is that our replacement chairlift part came in on time and was successfully installed. The bad news is that as we were working to get everything back up and running, we ran into an issue with the hydraulic pump. ☹ Unfortunately, this leaves us with no choice but to remain close until we get this fixed. Parts are on order and Laurel Mountain will reopen as soon as possible. Our current target is Friday, January 15, 2021 but please check our website and other communication tools for updates.
In the meantime, if you have purchased tickets to visit us, please hold onto your voucher to exchange on a future date.
Laurel Mountain season passholders: Your pass is valid at both Seven Springs and Hidden Valley. We hope that you’ll pay us a visit while we resolve things at Laurel Mountain. We sure would love to welcome you at our other Mountains!
Thank you for your patience and understanding. We miss you and can't wait to welcome you back!
Cheers! - Sarah and Chris
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
If Eric Mauch would not have let that old quad lift sit there and rot for 7 years, they could have invested a little money and had a back up lift. Not good that this Skytrac lift seems to be failing after only 4 years.
Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,475 posts
Total bummer about the lift.  I had some time off this week and thought about a day trip to LM. 

It's been cold every night in WPA.  Hopefully, they continue to make snow and build those bases.  We all know it will be 60* one day in Feb.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts
This from Laurel's website:
UPDATE!!! Laurel Mountain Re-Opens Friday!

We have good news for you today, Laurel Mountain family.


The replacement chairlift parts came in and are being installed. While we remain closed today we will reopen on Friday, January 15 at 9 a.m. and ski until 4 p.m. We will continue to operate from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. through the holiday weekend.


In the meantime, if you have purchased tickets to visit us today, please hold onto your voucher to exchange on a future date. Laurel Mountain season passholders: Your pass is valid at both Seven Springs and Hidden Valley today. We hope that you’ll pay them a visit while we resolve things over here. They sure would love to see you!


Thank you for your patience and understanding.

RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
194 posts
If this Fri/Sat storm manages to lay down 6” at Laurel, will they be able to open any natural snow trails? Thanks for any educated guesses. 
imp
9 months ago
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
239 posts
there still is some snow in the woods making a partial base but lower dream is bare. 6 in won't do it
RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
194 posts
Does the run underneath the lift have an unofficial name?  That and Laurel Run was open two years ago the weekend of the Laurel gathering, was lots of fun.  The totals from this system coming through keep ticking up, maybe we get lucky with an overperform event. 
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

The run under the lift from the top down to The Slot is known as Snow Bowl by the geezers. The lines that run between Snow Bowl and Laurel Run are the Kitty Cats. The lift line from The Slot to Lower Wildcat has never been named. Perhaps imp can say if that lower lift line has ever been named. The original double chair had a mid-mointain load station at The Slot. That lower lift line was blocked by the mid-mountain lift corral.

Lower Liftline below The Slot

1610729439_mjaxrpoycgou.jpg

JimK - DCSki Columnist
9 months ago (edited 9 months ago)
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts

I think they should call it "No Friends on a Powder Day" or "No Friends" for short :-)

Except that we know there were friends on that day ;-o

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts
^^^We brushed back that line since you snapped that picture. We haven't had enough snow on it to ski since then. That was a really fun weekend.
imp
9 months ago
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
239 posts
who you calling a geezer.  never named as the lift corral at the old midstation blocked it, you had to climb over the railing to get the pole you may have dropped. snowing hard up there, but I doubt we get enought to open, too many rocks showing
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Great day of skiing today at Laurel. Conditions were excellent and were enhanced by heavy snow squalls. Some so heavy that it was almost white out conditions. The quad lift is obviously still having problems. It worked fine but they were running the lift using emergency generator power and they connected the hydraulic lines from the groomer to the lift? Very unusual but it worked. They replaced a circuit board and a hydraulic pump. Neither remedy fixed the problem. I’ll give them a lot of credit for the unique solution they came up with.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
I arrived at the HV North Summit parking lot at 9:15 am Sunday morning. The lot was already full. The lift lines were the longest I have ever seen at HV. After 2 runs, I packed it in and drove to Laurel Mountain. The lift lines at LM we’re long by LM standards, but I never waited more than a few minutes to get on a chair. Of course it is MLK weekend and it has snowed almost continuously since Friday night providing excellent conditions for the masses that are showing up to ski and escape the pandemic. It’s now late Sunday night and it is still snowing. I am hoping to get some runs in on Monday morning on some fresh snow.
Leo
9 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
279 posts


 Sunday was insane, and goes to show a handful of things. 

1. They need to expand the terrain there with the slopes that are already (and have been) cut.  Put in a lift.

2. They are selling too many tickets, they sold too many season passes, or both.  And honestly, while this past Sunday was really bad, the prior Sunday was hardly better and when one of the two triples broke down the line for the remaining triple may have been longer than anything yesterday.  So it's not like being oversold was exclusive to this past weekend.

I don't want to complain, I'm happy we're even getting to ski.  But I have a feeling Nutting is making more money than ever and essentially we're getting an inferior product.  Long lines, less terrain open, amenities spotty at best.  If you can't hire people (the excuse I keep hearing) then pay a higher wage.  At this point it certainly looks like the revenue is there to support it.  

snowsmith wrote:

I arrived at the HV North Summit parking lot at 9:15 am Sunday morning. The lot was already full. The lift lines were the longest I have ever seen at HV. After 2 runs, I packed it in and drove to Laurel Mountain. The lift lines at LM we’re long by LM standards, but I never waited more than a few minutes to get on a chair. Of course it is MLK weekend and it has snowed almost continuously since Friday night providing excellent conditions for the masses that are showing up to ski and escape the pandemic. It’s now late Sunday night and it is still snowing. I am hoping to get some runs in on Monday morning on some fresh snow.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

Leo wrote:


 Sunday was insane, and goes to show a handful of things. 

1. They need to expand the terrain there with the slopes that are already (and have been) cut.  Put in a lift.

2. They are selling too many tickets, they sold too many season passes, or both.  And honestly, while this past Sunday was really bad, the prior Sunday was hardly better and when one of the two triples broke down the line for the remaining triple may have been longer than anything yesterday.  So it's not like being oversold was exclusive to this past weekend.

I don't want to complain, I'm happy we're even getting to ski.  But I have a feeling Nutting is making more money than ever and essentially we're getting an inferior product.  Long lines, less terrain open, amenities spotty at best.  If you can't hire people (the excuse I keep hearing) then pay a higher wage.  At this point it certainly looks like the revenue is there to support it.  

 If what Bob said in another thread is true for Vail is probably true for 7S et. al. https://www.dcski.com/forum/101495#101495. As for not having enough employees Chris Plummer, GM, said that they have enough employees in reply to such speculation in the Support Laurel Mountain Facebook Group. I'd share that link but it is a private group. Support Laurel Mountain Facebook Group I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with what you said, just voicing my opinion.

I'm not sure what terrain expansion is possible at HV but I would agree that it would be great if Laurel was able to make snow on more of their terrain but that would require a load of money that, I'm afraid to say, Laurel's skier visit would not justify the investment by private capital.  That is my opinion based on the lack of crowds at Laurel. 

From what I gather from ski industry trade magazines and other business sources I've read is ski industry growth is flat or slightly declining but on good snow years, there is an increase of skier visits over the previous years. Perhaps increased competition from a revitalized Timberline and big boys Epic and Ikon offering cheap season passes not to mention Indy Pass inroads into the market might spur some investment just to hold market share. We can only hope.

Cycleski
9 months ago (edited 9 months ago)
Member since 01/10/2021 🔗
11 posts

Hi all, this is my first post and wanted to provide a quick note on Seven Spring.  My family and I came up Sunday night and skied all day today. There was a fresh roughly 4 in of snow fall last night and the snow machines were running a bit this morning.  Overall, the slopes were in really good shape and the lines were 5-10 min max on Gunnar, Polar Express, and North Face.  The smaller lift lines were shorter.  While there were quite a few out today, I did not feel like it was over crowded.  

I did not see anyone without some of mask and I found the overall experience way better than I expected.  Will get another day in tomorrow before heading back to Northern VA.

Happy skiing

John S.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts


 I just want to note a few observations and comment on the recent posts:

- Eric Mauch is the CEO of the ski operations. He has a bean counter mentality thus you will not see any terrain expansions at any of the three resorts nor will you see any major investments in lifts, snow making, etc. I think he is a balance sheet kind of guy.

- Dealing with the Covid economy is new to the ski industry. They did not know what to expect. From what I understand there was a significant increase in season pass sales. Skiing offers a Covid weary public a chance to recreate during the winter months when there are few opportunities for the kiddies to do much of anything. Thus huge crowds are showing up to ski. 

- I skied at LM on both Saturday and Sunday. They had good crowds, far larger than any crowd I've seen in years past. I think LM has been discovered. Despite the problem with the quad lift, they got folks up the mountain. The LM ski patrol is outstanding. Their commitment to customer service needs to be recognized by 7s. My only complaint was waiting in line for 15+ minutes in the Laurel House Cafe to get a bowl of chicken noodle soup. 

--I think the State of PA would have to pony up money to expand snow making for Dream Highway. No way Beancounter Mauch would spend that kind of money. I would say that there are double the number of skiers at LM as compared to year's past. Thus I think LM is financially viable. Most of the skier I saw this weekend had lift tickets and they outnumbered the season pass holders. I think LM has been discovered and this should help them expand their skier visits.

- I will say that 7S produces a good ski product at all three resorts. They do make alot of snow. Of course Mother Nature sure helped this weekend. I experienced some excellent ski conditions at LM and HV this extended weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun and Mon).

Leo wrote:


 Sunday was insane, and goes to show a handful of things. 

1. They need to expand the terrain there with the slopes that are already (and have been) cut.  Put in a lift.

2. They are selling too many tickets, they sold too many season passes, or both.  And honestly, while this past Sunday was really bad, the prior Sunday was hardly better and when one of the two triples broke down the line for the remaining triple may have been longer than anything yesterday.  So it's not like being oversold was exclusive to this past weekend.

I don't want to complain, I'm happy we're even getting to ski.  But I have a feeling Nutting is making more money than ever and essentially we're getting an inferior product.  Long lines, less terrain open, amenities spotty at best.  If you can't hire people (the excuse I keep hearing) then pay a higher wage.  At this point it certainly looks like the revenue is there to support it.  

snowsmith wrote:

I arrived at the HV North Summit parking lot at 9:15 am Sunday morning. The lot was already full. The lift lines were the longest I have ever seen at HV. After 2 runs, I packed it in and drove to Laurel Mountain. The lift lines at LM we’re long by LM standards, but I never waited more than a few minutes to get on a chair. Of course it is MLK weekend and it has snowed almost continuously since Friday night providing excellent conditions for the masses that are showing up to ski and escape the pandemic. It’s now late Sunday night and it is still snowing. I am hoping to get some runs in on Monday morning on some fresh snow.
camp
9 months ago (edited 9 months ago)
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

Considering Blue Knob part of the Laurels for this thread.

Skied there yesterday with my wife, first use of my Indy Pass. Was a little crowded by BK standards since they were only running the Expressway triple. My former threshold for wanting to ski BK was Edgeset and Ditch Glade, essentially 100% open. My threshold now is Jack Rabbit and the Expressways (< 50% open). Snow fell throughout the day Sunday and the snow was pretty good, even though scraped on the natural snow only runs open. Yes, they opened natural trails before Laurel did. Even the upper glades were open.

Planned to go solo to Roundtop or another local Epic today (also have a pass there), but given that none have made snow in about 10 days(?), and reading the complaints on Roundtop's Facebook, I decided to go back to BK. A bit more snow fell overnight, and they removed the "Thin Cover" signs, though closed all the glades that were open the day before (I'll never understand BK's mgmt).  Much less crowded today, often ski right on the lift. Scratchy as the new snow was so light. Ropes dropped on most of the glades around noon. Didn't see a single patroller all morning, so maybe volunteer staffing is tough too, and they have to be the ones to drop the ropes. But, why put a rope across what was open the day before when it snowed overnight?

Mask usage was about what you'd expect in this part of PA. Though even lifties, instructors, patrollers, and bartenders were often not masked up. Customers were even worse about it and other than a sign, no enforcement (unlike what I saw at HV over the previous holiday).

I sincerely hope Blue Knob can save itself and last another 60 years.

138984604_3620581241356437_618930614117961982_o.jpg?_nc_cat=106&ccb=2&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=C78JInA94HMAX8he6I4&_nc_ht=scontent.fagc1-2.fna&oh=ac4eefc13e77ffba95d04a46196d516e&oe=6029DBFD

139801339_3622900814457813_1167483891129418121_o.jpg?_nc_cat=105&ccb=2&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=b7nxJL6gB4wAX-Vs5Vs&_nc_ht=scontent.fagc1-2.fna&oh=ebfaf8140875b6451dd0c7d3222d9ee8&oe=602C8FD6

139790278_3620629724684922_4517702284043079300_n.jpg?_nc_cat=101&ccb=2&_nc_sid=b9115d&_nc_ohc=SJuCkmtQcKgAX_WOzf6&_nc_ht=scontent.fagc1-2.fna&oh=1e60051d49e01821d1d69ffc05fab60a&oe=602B8A63

Leo
9 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
279 posts

When it was still under Buncher ownership they cut a new slope or two above and beyond the North Summit.  My understanding at the time was the plan would be to put in a new lift up to the top of that area that would service those slopes as well as give more direct and logical access to slopes like Charger, which is hardly ever open and when it is feels like lots of traversing at the top and bottom for one decent headwall.

I could be wrong.  And since years have passed I am sure the "slopes" would need cleaned up but all of the large, mature growth was cleared at the time. 

 

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

I'm not sure what terrain expansion is possible at HV 

imp
9 months ago
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
239 posts
what buncher cut had a very steep section, steeper than anything else around but short and with a road that cut across it. a nightmare for snowmaking and grooming as the road went thru the steepest part.  chair line was staked out and top unload mound partialy done. faces 31 past tubing disaster area
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts


 I hiked these trails several times soon after they were cut. There were I believe 4 trails. One was to be gladed. There was bench, but not a road that cut thru perpendicular to the trails. They were steep and had close to 500 feet of vertical. These trails would have been part of a new village adjacent to the North Summit condos and golf course entrance. The year construction was to begin, 2009, was also the year of the economic collapse. Soon after, Buncher abandoned plans for the real estate development of the new North Summit village and the development of "Paradise Springs" on the adjacent 822 acre parcel. The design of the new slopes, new developments, including Paradise Springs was done by the John Johnson Company of Park City, Utah. The reportedly $1.0 billion dollar resort development collapsed with the great recession and the John Johnson Company, who specialized in ski resort design, went bankrupt. 

I once asked Beancounter Mauch if he planned to proceed with the development of these trails and he provided an incredulous, one word answer, "No!".  You'll never see these trails as long as the Beancounter is in charge.  They maintain HV resort very well, but there is little to no investment into improvements at HV. If something breaks they fix it or replace it with something usually better. And that's about it. I believe the Beancounter thinks HV and LM are competition to his proud offspring, 7S. The step children will not compete with his favorite son.

imp wrote:

what buncher cut had a very steep section, steeper than anything else around but short and with a road that cut across it. a nightmare for snowmaking and grooming as the road went thru the steepest part.  chair line was staked out and top unload mound partialy done. faces 31 past tubing disaster area
RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago (edited 9 months ago)
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
194 posts

Thanks for the update and I'll add my two cents.  Arrived at BK yesterday Monday at 2pm for an afternoon of skiing (indy pass use #4).  My love/hate relationship with BK continues.  The good: Sunday night snow was fantastic, still plenty of untracked; the upper mountains glades were all open and skiable; I parked right next to the lodge; the lift line was never more than 2 minutes; and the sunset views were a bonus.

The bad: Snowmaking has always been lacking and seems to be getting worse (lower mountain terrain open: 0%); the glades are such a great selling point, how about a little more offseason maintenance;  BK ownership is absent/offsite and you can always count on some sort of daily mis-management - I went inside to grab a Gatorade, so few masks, felt like I needed hazmat suit.

Almost forgot, for the first time took the back way in yesterday from exit 7 off 99, much faster than going up through Claysburg!    

camp wrote:

Considering Blue Knob part of the Laurels for this thread.

Skied there yesterday with my wife, first use of my Indy Pass. Was a little crowded by BK standards since they were only running the Expressway triple. My former threshold for wanting to ski BK was Edgeset and Ditch Glade, essentially 100% open. My threshold now is Jack Rabbit and the Expressways (< 50% open). Snow fell throughout the day Sunday and the snow was pretty good, even though scraped on the natural snow only runs open. Yes, they opened natural trails before Laurel did. Even the upper glades were open.

Planned to go solo to Roundtop or another local Epic today (also have a pass there), but given that none have made snow in about 10 days(?), and reading the complaints on Roundtop's Facebook, I decided to go back to BK. A bit more snow fell overnight, and they removed the "Thin Cover" signs, though closed all the glades that were open the day before (I'll never understand BK's mgmt).  Much less crowded today, often ski right on the lift. Scratchy as the new snow was so light. Ropes dropped on most of the glades around noon. Didn't see a single patroller all morning, so maybe volunteer staffing is tough too, and they have to be the ones to drop the ropes. But, why put a rope across what was open the day before when it snowed overnight?

Mask usage was about what you'd expect in this part of PA. Though even lifties, instructors, patrollers, and bartenders were often not masked up. Customers were even worse about it and other than a sign, no enforcement (unlike what I saw at HV over the previous holiday).

I sincerely hope Blue Knob can save itself and last another 60 years.

camp
9 months ago (edited 9 months ago)
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

RodneyBD wrote:

Almost forgot, for the first time took the back way in yesterday from exit 7 off 99, much faster than going up through Claysburg!    


I always go in through Osterburg > Pavia > State Park. I like the drive through the park, I've heard it's less steep than the other route and much better plowed since it's state park. I guess it's shorter too?

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
219 posts
Do they have any signage directing you in and out of Blue Knob? I went about 9 years ago and we got lost leaving in dark flurries. Somehow we made it back to i-99.,

I can see the love-hate relationship, if we had not had an inch or two of snow the day we skied it, I probably would have felt a lot differently about BK. Like Timberline, it's a great spot that needs good management.

Is the rasta hut still there?
camp
9 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

wfyurasko wrote:

Do they have any signage directing you in and out of Blue Knob? I went about 9 years ago and we got lost leaving in dark flurries. Somehow we made it back to i-99.,

Is the rasta hut still there?

 There are signs for the State Park, which is where I go. There may be signs for the ski resort further up 99, but I get off too soon to see them.

The hut has been renamed and apparently rebuilt after some storm damage.

msprings
9 months ago
Member since 07/4/2014 🔗
133 posts

At 7 Springs, the last new restaurant was Foggy Brews in 2014, the last new lift was Gunnar in 2008, last new slope was Yodeler in 2010ish, no new condos, or much else that was brand new or an outright addition.

Continual investments have been made in upgrading the lodge, hotel rooms, redone parking lot, new HVAC units, etc... 

Plenty of upgrades and improvements made, just more of an evolution than anything.

I can't help but feel that covid has presented them with a unique opportunity. Lift ticket sales are limited based on terrain, no time could be greater to add more slopes and lifts. At most ski areas, train expansion is usually fueled by real estate development. Due to the pandemic, residential vacation real estate has never been in greater demand. Maybe we'll get lucky, and these two factors will push for upgrades at the resort.

 I believe the Beancounter thinks HV and LM are competition to his proud offspring, 7S. The step children will not compete with his favorite son.

HVdad
9 months ago (edited 9 months ago)
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
50 posts
As a Hidden Valley homeowner I would like nothing more than to see expanded terrain down to Route 31, but agree it is very unlikely to happen. Though not an expert in the ski biz, it seems to me that ski slopes alone are a zero-sum game if you cannot figure out how to generate revenue from ancillary services beyond selling a buyer access to a chairlift for a portion of a day. Furthermore, the costs associated with building/running that new, fancy chairlift and putting snow on the ground with the latest colorful technology are simply staggering. You bet that if I owned a relatively small operation, which HV and 7S are (at least compared to the big boys), I would definitely hire a bean counter to mind the shop (and debits and credits).  Of course, if you'd like to invest in the ski biz, $270 will get you 1 share of MTN (Vail Resorts), which has had a terrific run since last April. :-)
Leo
9 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
279 posts


 The primary question is whether or not the COVID bounce is sustained in any way.  Other outdoor industries are going through the same issue (i.e. mountain biking)  Do you ramp up supply to meet the new level of demand or is the new level of demand temporary and your increased supply will arrive right as demand is falling.

I might be alone in this thought, but I won't stand in 30 minute lift lines to ski 30 second runs at Hidden Valley.  I would also pay more for access to more terrain and snow making.  Lastly, they aren't even doing a good job capitalizing on the ancillary services they have.  Two Sundays ago it was still very busy at 5PM on Sunday and a group of us decided to stop at Glaciers for a beer.  We were met by an employee telling us it had just closed for the day.  

Again, I am trying to be measured in my complaints, so I apologize if it comes off differently.  It just feels like their bean counter may be missing the forest for the trees. 

HVdad wrote:

As a Hidden Valley homeowner I would like nothing more than to see expanded terrain down to Route 31, but agree it is very unlikely to happen. Though not an expert in the ski biz, it seems to me that ski slopes alone are a zero-sum game if you cannot figure out how to generate revenue from ancillary services beyond selling a buyer access to a chairlift for a portion of a day. Furthermore, the costs associated with building/running that new, fancy chairlift and putting snow on the ground with the latest colorful technology are simply staggering. You bet that if I owned a relatively small operation, which HV and 7S are (at least compared to the big boys), I would definitely hire a bean counter to mind the shop (and debits and credits).  Of course, if you'd like to invest in the ski biz, $270 will get you 1 share of MTN (Vail Resorts), which has had a terrific run since last April. :-)
Leo
9 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
279 posts

I hate to be accurate in my grumpiness, but another weekend of terrible execution by Hidden Valley.  Most of the entire weekend without your most important lift functioning.  Horrible lines for the triples, shuttle bus options to the North Summit.  Poor grooming.

I know lifts can break down, but they still had 400 unsold lift tickets for Sunday at some point on Saturday, and knowing their main lift would not be open they sold Sunday out anyways.  Unfortunately snowsmith is correct, the focus is solely on getting revenue up with costs down at the expense of the product.  Which I guess is a good short term strategy for the owner. 

needawax
9 months ago
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
14 posts

On Sunday I drove by HV and saw all lifts in operation, so they must have fixed it some time between sat eve, sun morning.  Hopefully those skiers who paid for sunday's advance tix were able to enjoy more of the mountain & smaller lift lines.  I didn't ski this weekend, but I must say that what they have been able to open there has skied well on the early side of the season.  There's just not enough staff and what help they do have is spread too thin.  I'm sure management decisions factor in, but also certainly partly a symptom of the restrictions presented this season, and also peoples' personal preferences about working in these times.  

And of course the gameplan for the last 5-6 years of operation (and even into the Buncher era) was to keep costs very low and sell as much as possible. 

Finally, those long lift lines also reflect a pent-up desire to get outdoors and enjoy skiing after months of being indoors and staying safe.  As I stood in some of those lines on MLK weekend, I tried to remind myself of that fact.

Leo
9 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
279 posts


 Again reiterating that I hate being negative and do appreciate getting to ski, the quad broke down Fri night and didn't open till somewhat later Sunday afternoon.  I'm not sure when you drove past, but through most of the day Sunday the lines for the triples were very long and the quad definitely was not running.  If the idea of "selling out" is to reduce capacity (even though the resort is clearly busier than it ever was before in history) then reduced lift capacity should mean reduced ticket sales.  Not selling out a day when you know you don't have your feature lift running. 

Just my two cents.  I get it that Nutting is laughing all the way to the bank, most people would do the same.

needawax wrote:

On Sunday I drove by HV and saw all lifts in operation, so they must have fixed it some time between sat eve, sun morning.  Hopefully those skiers who paid for sunday's advance tix were able to enjoy more of the mountain & smaller lift lines.  I didn't ski this weekend, but I must say that what they have been able to open there has skied well on the early side of the season.  There's just not enough staff and what help they do have is spread too thin.  I'm sure management decisions factor in, but also certainly partly a symptom of the restrictions presented this season, and also peoples' personal preferences about working in these times.  

And of course the gameplan for the last 5-6 years of operation (and even into the Buncher era) was to keep costs very low and sell as much as possible. 

Finally, those long lift lines also reflect a pent-up desire to get outdoors and enjoy skiing after months of being indoors and staying safe.  As I stood in some of those lines on MLK weekend, I tried to remind myself of that fact.

needawax
9 months ago
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
14 posts

3:30 in the afternoon maybe?

As an owner I would try to make as much as possible given the current setup, so agreed.

Just my two cents.  I get it that Nutting is laughing all the way to the bank, most people would do the same.

needawax wrote:

On Sunday I drove by HV and saw all lifts in operation, so they must have fixed it some time between sat eve, sun morning.  Hopefully those skiers who paid for sunday's advance tix were able to enjoy more of the mountain & smaller lift lines.  I didn't ski this weekend, but I must say that what they have been able to open there has skied well on the early side of the season.  There's just not enough staff and what help they do have is spread too thin.  I'm sure management decisions factor in, but also certainly partly a symptom of the restrictions presented this season, and also peoples' personal preferences about working in these times.  

And of course the gameplan for the last 5-6 years of operation (and even into the Buncher era) was to keep costs very low and sell as much as possible. 

Finally, those long lift lines also reflect a pent-up desire to get outdoors and enjoy skiing after months of being indoors and staying safe.  As I stood in some of those lines on MLK weekend, I tried to remind myself of that fact.

 

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
I want to remind everyone that Eric Mauch is the CEO of the ski operations. 
needawax
9 months ago
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
14 posts

snowsmith wrote:

I want to remind everyone that Eric Mauch is the CEO of the ski operations. 

 No doubt!

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,475 posts

I hate to see that HV seems to be following the Bob Nutting Pittsburgh Pirates plan.  For you nonbaseball peeps, the Pirates were the worst team in baseball this past summer. 

HV has always been a family favorite and was the nearest to my home.  We shifted to Peek n Peak in Western NY for day trips.  Similar vertical, more snow, about the same drive and lower-cost lift tix. 


imp
8 months ago
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
239 posts

l.facebook.com

click a couple times to get article

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

In all my research on Laurel's history, I never read that there was a plan to install a chairlift as early as 1947. I didn't get to researching the Ligioner Echo before I burned out on the topic. It wasn't until 1955 that a new top to bottom lift was installed, a Constam T-bar with a least one chair hung on the haul cable to evacuate injured skiers.

1611788274_ikekebihwkzs.jpg

 

imp wrote:

l.facebook.com

click a couple times to get article

needawax
8 months ago
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
14 posts

Went over to Laurel on Sat 1/30 and I must say I had forgotten how unique that ski area is.  I hadn't been over there since like 2015/16? and at that time only a few runs were open.  Yesterday a good chunk of the terrain was open and we all had a blast.  Its fun to be able to hop from HV over there and get a completely different vibe and experience.  Lift line was super short and, while I didn't make it down to see HV's base area yesterday I'd imagine lines were long again. 

It's sunday and a good storm is brewing across the ridges, the preamble being light thin snow.  Here's hoping we get a good one!

HVdad
8 months ago
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
50 posts

Considering the entire dcski viewing area, the best snow this winter has been available in the Laurel Highlands. Go 7S, HV and LM!!! Nutting rules!!!

needawax
8 months ago
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
14 posts

Lest we forget, Mother Nature rules!  Now how do I get to my grill...

1612138610_arwfoeukuftl.jpg

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago (edited 8 months ago)
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts


 

needawax wrote:

Went over to Laurel on Sat 1/30 and I must say I had forgotten how unique that ski area is.  I hadn't been over there since like 2015/16? and at that time only a few runs were open.  Yesterday a good chunk of the terrain was open and we all had a blast.  Its fun to be able to hop from HV over there and get a completely different vibe and experience.  Lift line was super short and, while I didn't make it down to see HV's base area yesterday I'd imagine lines were long again. 

It's sunday and a good storm is brewing across the ridges, the preamble being light thin snow.  Here's hoping we get a good one!

Laurel stole my heart many years ago and for local skiing, it has held me fast despite the 2 decades it was closed during the prime of my ski life. I first skied there in the late 1970s until it closed in 1989. My heart raced when it opened in 1999 with improved snowmaking and a new (to Laurel) quad chair to supplement the aging double then sank again in 2005 when it was shuttered. When Laurel was opened once again for the 2016-17 winter my hopes were fulfilled. This week should be epic if the storm totals predicted comes to be.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
I skied Laurel on Saturday, the conditions were excellent and there was a good crowd, with minimal lift lines. Some of the natural snow terrain was open, although not mentioned on the trail report. I would imagine some time this week they should be 100% open. Wish I could be there. I look forward to skiing there next weekend. I do miss going to the Wildcat Lounge. Covid is keeping me out of bars. 
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts


 

snowsmith wrote:

I skied Laurel on Saturday, the conditions were excellent and there was a good crowd, with minimal lift lines. Some of the natural snow terrain was open, although not mentioned on the trail report. I would imagine some time this week they should be 100% open. Wish I could be there. I look forward to skiing there next weekend. I do miss going to the Wildcat Lounge. Covid is keeping me out of bars. 

Sorry, we didn't make it out on Saturday to meet you. Covid is keeping us home on the weekends. 

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Laurel Mountain is 100% open and that includes Dream Highway. Wish I could be there.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts


 

snowsmith wrote:

Laurel Mountain is 100% open and that includes Dream Highway. Wish I could be there.

Yes it is and yes I am. Near closing time Dream is now icy down the middle with soft bumps on the edges. Lower Wildcat is fluff bumps and ice troughs. I didn't get here early enough for freshies. Even Lower Liftline is seeing a lot of action despite the rope. Laurel Run, the Kitty Cats, Snow Bowl all open but one can still find fresh on the edges. Yinz shoulda been here n at.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Dan here in Balmer doin’ wurk,hon. Maybeez get toos Lorl nex Satrdaiz, hon.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts
Pretty good Pittsburgese, snowsmith.
camp
8 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

At the other Highlands hill, Blue Knob was pretty good today. Finally got my son there on a soft fully open (nearly) day.

145757914_3662662307148330_454227910868336077_o.jpg?_nc_cat=101&ccb=2&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=GDjloD1kyoIAX_6zlAi&_nc_ht=scontent.fagc1-2.fna&oh=997746faaa63ad38ec54e75e1c6cee5d&oe=603E28E0

144375365_3662662310481663_7915581746476207145_n.jpg?_nc_cat=106&ccb=2&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=LqOvUVSqcFoAX90R67A&_nc_ht=scontent.fagc1-2.fna&oh=3f6936d080d79b26731ba6efba43947d&oe=60406F8E

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts

t

 That is Baltimorese, similar to Pittsburgese, but with a mixture of cockney and southern drawal.

Camp - is that you vaulting the rock? Looks like some nice conditions at BK.

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Pretty good Pittsburgese, snowsmith.
camp
8 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Camp - is that you vaulting the rock? Looks like some nice conditions at BK.


No, that's my son. With my recent broken leg, I'm trying to stay on the ground this season.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

Laurel and private sources on the ground report another 5-inches of snow overnight bringing snowfall totals to 16 inches over the last 5 days. These are the best conditions since Laurel re-opened. For all of those who have been waiting for Laurel to be 100% now is the time. I doubt natural snow area will be groomed. In past years only a few of us had the natural areas to ourselves but you had to not care too much about your bases. Yesterday most of the minimal crowd was skiing the natural. on one hand, I'm happy to see so many more people enjoying all the mountain has to offer. On the other hand, I'm not too happy that so many people are skiing all the powder.

Snowsmith, I was about to correct your Pittsburghese. Baltimorese is very similar. In the Burgh, we pronounce down as dahn but Baltimore is Balmer and "hon" is often used to close a sentence. Balmer, dat's da city dahn air by Warshington, hon.

Leo
8 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
279 posts

I will add, what fell yesterday evening/early night is especially dry and light for Western PA.  This morning should be great there. 

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Laurel and private sources on the ground report another 5-inches of snow overnight bringing snowfall totals to 16 inches over the last 5 days. 

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
The Laurel Mountain ski report for today says that Dream Highway is groomed! Does anyone know how much snowfall we received this year? To be able to groom a natural snow trail around here is pretty amazing!
needawax
8 months ago
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
14 posts

snowsmith wrote:

The Laurel Mountain ski report for today says that Dream Highway is groomed! Does anyone know how much snowfall we received this year? To be able to groom a natural snow trail around here is pretty amazing!

 I'd like to see a tally of snowfall so far in the laurels.  It's up there; it's been really steady this season.  No massive dumps but a good number of 2-5" hits. 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

According to Laurel's web site, they have had a total of 66 inches of snow. That sounds about right.

Yes, Dream was groomed. Usually, I'm not a fan of grooming but when I skied Laurel on Tuesday Dream was icy down the middle with elongated bumps on the edges, and rocks were beginning to sprout on the last run out. The grooming was necessary and it made a huge difference. There were a few spots that had tiller dirt but they were small and managable. The erosion/water bars were hardly noticeable. Dream was indeed a dream come true for groomer cruisers. Laurel Run was also groomed and nice cruising. The Slot was groomed from Lower Wildcat to where it meets Dream. Easy Way was also groomed making a very gentle green run to the bottom via The Slot and Dream. Having The Slot and the last section of Dream open enabled one to ski the skier's right side of the mountain without having to do Lower. That's a nice option for old, tired legs, haha. Hegan's Cut and even a section of old Innsbruck were groomed.

Snow Bowl, the Kitty Cats, and Lincoln Highway were not groomed, mostly tracked powder or proto-bumps but one could still find a few patches of untracked. Doc's Forest was mostly untracked but wind packed, very heavy. I was skiing Doc's solo and my confidence was not up to the snow conditions so I only did one run there. The trees are fairly tight compared to the glades at 7S.

Finally, a nice swath of Lower Wildcat was left to bump up (skiers right) so you had an option of expert cruising or bumps. There was untracked on skiers far right of Lower Wildcat where the snowmaking doesn't reach and the transition between natural and machine-made was relatively easy.

It was a beautiful sunny day that started out with temps in the upper teens but warmed to the mid-30s before we called it around 2 o'clock. I meant to stop to take some pictures but well, you know. 

Josh P.
8 months ago
Member since 01/30/2018 🔗
8 posts

It was amazing last Thursday!!

We will definitely head up again soon!

Laurel mountain is the best hidden gem in PA!

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

Laurel Mountain is closed today due to the recent ice storm. Laurel Summit Rd. is still closed. Yesterday both Hidden Valley and Laurel were closed with a power outage. Hidden Valley is open today 2/17. On a positive note for Laurel Mountain, over the last weekend, the patrol dropped the rope on the lower liftline. The lower liftline is not marked or listed as a trail so no telling if it survived the ice. I've not been there to ski it this year but I have when it was unofficially open a few years back. If you go for it keep to skiers' left. In addition to the scrub brush, there are huge boulders under the snow, the tops were exposed last week but they look like tempting jumps but these rocks are a few feet tall and flat-sided. Here's a photo from a few years back courtesy of JimK:

1613567484_enfpanqzifbw.jpg

Cycleski
8 months ago
Member since 01/10/2021 🔗
11 posts
Went to LM for the first time on Monday.  I loved it!  Hidden gem indeed.  I just wish I could be there this weekend given the snow they will get over the next few days.  John
camp
8 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

Cycleski wrote:

Went to LM for the first time on Monday.  

I was there Monday also with a couple teen boys. Good stuff

safe_image.php?d=AQHsnn_jrMTzXnmZ&w=476&h=476&url=https%3A%2F%2Fscontent.cdninstagram.com%2Fv%2Ft51.29350-15%2F149522242_267233404779484_3801941483347154810_n.jpg%3F_nc_cat%3D105%26ccb%3D3%26_nc_sid%3D8ae9d6%26_nc_ohc%3DzwJaDORLC_oAX_yjtF-%26_nc_ht%3Dscontent.cdninstagram.com%26oh%3D9e55cb2c93d513912136fd253e811b95%26oe%3D6053DEBC&cfs=1&_nc_cb=1&_nc_hash=AQECoQUPQrxRhOhm

 

snapdragon
8 months ago
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
164 posts
Nice huck off the rock...fresh lines for Valentine's...yew!
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts

LHC -

I would like to suggest for next year's trail cleanup events, that there needs to be a brush mover to mow trails that have creeping brush sprouting on and encroaching onto trails. Maybe a pass holder or LM fan has one or perhaps DCNR can provide one. Or I would be happy to contribute $$ to rent one. It would be preferable to do this in early fall. Otherwise, the trail under the lift will soon be too brushy to ski.

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Laurel Mountain is closed today due to the recent ice storm. Laurel Summit Rd. is still closed. Yesterday both Hidden Valley and Laurel were closed with a power outage. Hidden Valley is open today 2/17. On a positive note for Laurel Mountain, over the last weekend, the patrol dropped the rope on the lower liftline. The lower liftline is not marked or listed as a trail so no telling if it survived the ice. I've not been there to ski it this year but I have when it was unofficially open a few years back. If you go for it keep to skiers' left. In addition to the scrub brush, there are huge boulders under the snow, the tops were exposed last week but they look like tempting jumps but these rocks are a few feet tall and flat-sided. Here's a photo from a few years back courtesy of JimK:

1613567484_enfpanqzifbw.jpg

Cycleski
8 months ago
Member since 01/10/2021 🔗
11 posts

camp wrote:

Cycleski wrote:

Went to LM for the first time on Monday.  

I was there Monday also with a couple teen boys. Good stuff

safe_image.php?d=AQHsnn_jrMTzXnmZ&w=476&h=476&url=https%3A%2F%2Fscontent.cdninstagram.com%2Fv%2Ft51.29350-15%2F149522242_267233404779484_3801941483347154810_n.jpg%3F_nc_cat%3D105%26ccb%3D3%26_nc_sid%3D8ae9d6%26_nc_ohc%3DzwJaDORLC_oAX_yjtF-%26_nc_ht%3Dscontent.cdninstagram.com%26oh%3D9e55cb2c93d513912136fd253e811b95%26oe%3D6053DEBC&cfs=1&_nc_cb=1&_nc_hash=AQECoQUPQrxRhOhm

 Camp, I saw you a few times flying past me. Looked like you were having a blast.

 

camp
8 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

Cycleski wrote:

 Camp, I saw you a few times flying past me. Looked like you were having a blast.

That was probably the boys in red/orange. I was the slower one in green. I needed to stay ground-based until after my final X-ray at Hopkins yesterday (fully healed!).

Please introduce yourself if any of you see me. I'd love to meet some my best internet ski friends in person on the hills we love.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago (edited 8 months ago)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Final exrays? What did you break? Looks like the Boys are a chip off the old block. Wave and say hi the next time you see me at HV.
camp
8 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Final exrays? What did you break? Looks like the Boys are a chip off the old block. Wave and say hi the next time you see me at HV.

 Broke my femur in August.

Only one of those boyz can I claim. The other is a family friend who only skis with us at Xmas and Presidents holidays at HV (we stay at his family's house). He is a remarkably good skier with those limited opportunities.

I always look for you and even asked a guy if he was you. I barely remember what you look like

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

I thought I'd share this shot of my son from a few years back. Like imp once said, all of Laurel is a natural terrain park.

1613591728_overyexkyxzf.jpg  

camp
8 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

I thought I'd share this shot of my son from a few years back. Like imp once said, all of Laurel is a natural terrain park.

Such a cool photo. Snow grows on the north sides of trees, lol.

Just need a lot more snow each year to keep pace with the briars and brush. So many promising tree zones

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts



Our trail and glade parties are organized under the auspices of the state park's DCNR conservation volunteer program and stipulates that all powered equipment must be operated only by those qualified by taking a course in operation and safety.  If I organize any more such clean-ups I'll check with the park manager about setting up some classes or maybe completing the program on the day of. I don't think the use of standard weed whackers requires special training but your garden variety string trimmers will hardly touch that scrub. We need a brush hog. A chipper would be helpful too. It takes a bit of time to get an event together. Too often only a handful of people show up and if the weather bad on that day... and really, how many decent winters will we get in the next few years to reward the effort? No doubt that the last few years' efforts were worth it even if Doc's has been underused.

In the past, I suspect there have been clandestine pruning parties but I would think only hand tools and deadfall removal was the modus operandi.  

snowsmith wrote:

LHC -

I would like to suggest for next year's trail cleanup events, that there needs to be a brush mover to mow trails that have creeping brush sprouting on and encroaching onto trails. Maybe a pass holder or LM fan has one or perhaps DCNR can provide one. Or I would be happy to contribute $$ to rent one. It would be preferable to do this in early fall. Otherwise, the trail under the lift will soon be too brushy to ski.

GGNagy
8 months ago
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
452 posts


 I would guess that they probably also need to be insured/bonded for something like a brush hog. Outside of the DR walk-behind, brush hogs tend to be either self powered pull behind affairs requiring atv/gator/whathaveyou or a tractor PTO setup. Clearing areas on the slopes is a totally different animal than flat/gently sloping areas. 

     For brush under 1-2" in diameter, I have a blade for my gas powered trimmer that looks like a cross between a circular saw blade and a chainsaw chain. Still need a chipper to make mulch of brush taken down. 

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:



Our trail and glade parties are organized under the auspices of the state park's DCNR conservation volunteer program and stipulates that all powered equipment must be operated only by those qualified by taking a course in operation and safety.  If I organize any more such clean-ups I'll check with the park manager about setting up some classes or maybe completing the program on the day of. I don't think the use of standard weed whackers requires special training but your garden variety string trimmers will hardly touch that scrub. We need a brush hog. A chipper would be helpful too. It takes a bit of time to get an event together. Too often only a handful of people show up and if the weather bad on that day... and really, how many decent winters will we get in the next few years to reward the effort? No doubt that the last few years' efforts were worth it even if Doc's has been underused.

In the past, I suspect there have been clandestine pruning parties but I would think only hand tools and deadfall removal was the modus operandi.  

snowsmith wrote:

LHC -

I would like to suggest for next year's trail cleanup events, that there needs to be a brush mover to mow trails that have creeping brush sprouting on and encroaching onto trails. Maybe a pass holder or LM fan has one or perhaps DCNR can provide one. Or I would be happy to contribute $$ to rent one. It would be preferable to do this in early fall. Otherwise, the trail under the lift will soon be too brushy to ski.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts


One must sign up as a DCNR Conservation Volunteer to work in our clean-up groups. This will presumably release Seven Springs from general liability. The state park requires individuals to take an operation and safety course for power equipment but that usually is chain saws. I'm not sure how volunteers with their own brush hogs, tractors, atvs, or mowers are covered.

GGNagy wrote:


 I would guess that they probably also need to be insured/bonded for something like a brush hog. Outside of the DR walk-behind, brush hogs tend to be either self powered pull behind affairs requiring atv/gator/whathaveyou or a tractor PTO setup. Clearing areas on the slopes is a totally different animal than flat/gently sloping areas. 

     For brush under 1-2" in diameter, I have a blade for my gas powered trimmer that looks like a cross between a circular saw blade and a chainsaw chain. Still need a chipper to make mulch of brush taken down. 

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:



Our trail and glade parties are organized under the auspices of the state park's DCNR conservation volunteer program and stipulates that all powered equipment must be operated only by those qualified by taking a course in operation and safety.  If I organize any more such clean-ups I'll check with the park manager about setting up some classes or maybe completing the program on the day of. I don't think the use of standard weed whackers requires special training but your garden variety string trimmers will hardly touch that scrub. We need a brush hog. A chipper would be helpful too. It takes a bit of time to get an event together. Too often only a handful of people show up and if the weather bad on that day... and really, how many decent winters will we get in the next few years to reward the effort? No doubt that the last few years' efforts were worth it even if Doc's has been underused.

In the past, I suspect there have been clandestine pruning parties but I would think only hand tools and deadfall removal was the modus operandi.  

snowsmith wrote:

LHC -

I would like to suggest for next year's trail cleanup events, that there needs to be a brush mover to mow trails that have creeping brush sprouting on and encroaching onto trails. Maybe a pass holder or LM fan has one or perhaps DCNR can provide one. Or I would be happy to contribute $$ to rent one. It would be preferable to do this in early fall. Otherwise, the trail under the lift will soon be too brushy to ski.

Cole53
8 months ago
Member since 02/2/2021 🔗
8 posts
Thinking of heading to Laurel on Sunday.How have the crowds been?
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
I ski at Laurel every Saturday and the crowds and lift lines are not an issue. at most you may have 7 or 8 persons in front of you in line. meanwhile 7S and HV have had long lines on Saturdays. With the natural snow terrain open, I thoroughly enjoy skiing at LM. The ski patrol is excellent in managing what I consider small lift lines. You won't be dissapointed.
oddballstocks
8 months ago
Member since 02/11/2017 🔗
75 posts
We ski either Seven Springs or Laurel every Sunday and Laurel has been the best for crowds.

There is a weird pattern, it's empty in the morning until 11:30 or so.  Then starts to fill up until 2pm, and from 2-4pm it's empty again.

When I say "fill up" I mean there are a half dozen people in line at a time.

A few weeks back Hidden Valley had lift issues and Laurel had the longest lines I'd ever seen there.  They were probably 15 people deep but still moved quickly.  A lot of HV skiers came over to Laurel for the afternoon.  

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago (edited 8 months ago)
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

I broke my rule and went to Laurel today, a Sunday. It was packed like I haven't seen it since the early 2000s. I have the luxury of skiing weekdays when it is MT. Today was a shock, the parking lot was full, the lodge was full. It was such a beautiful day we had to go, just like a thousand or so others. Dream was open and weekend carnage ensued. Dream was wearing diamonds today because it is narrow, icy down the middle, moguls on the edges, occasional down tree, multiple downed skiers, and here comes rocky corner! People just skiing all over and half the mountain is just as mother nature and the previous skier left it, pure winter sport.

1613947839_uztgsvmvqsuz.jpg

Looking down the cat.

1613948196_tuzklmgydlqy.jpg

Here's a shot from Snow Bowl today.

1613947462_scuttvglyupo.jpg

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Wow! That is definitely the longest lift line I have ever seen at LM. Still not as bad as 7S and HV. The weather was perfect and there was snow on the ground in Yinzerville. Thus, the mountains were calling, "Hay, uinz, lettuce go to dat Laurl Meowton to skiz."  It is good to see success. LM has been discovered. It may never be the same. I'll be there next Saturday baring bad weather.  Hope to see uinz dare. 
hockeydave
8 months ago (edited 8 months ago)
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts

snowsmith and LHC. My wife and I skied an hour on Sunday from 10 AM - 11 AM. Thrilled to see a packed parking lot. Be careful what you wish for...

LHC: The picture from the lift looking down Lower captures the steepness of the hill like no other picture I've ever seen. EXCELLENT!

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

Last day on Lower Wildcat 3/14. Check out the base depth.

1615847601_wxrnkuolksey.jpg

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
There would be no problem opening again next weekend.
GGNagy
7 months ago
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
452 posts

I had to do a double take as LHCs photo looked familiar... 

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imp
6 months ago
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
239 posts
Dream highway will be open tomorrow, 9-4, donation to ski patrol for a ride back up.
camp
6 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
600 posts

imp wrote:

Dream highway will be open tomorrow, 9-4, donation to ski patrol for a ride back up.

 Aren’t we a day early for April fools? Why Dream, since it was barely open during the season? Has to be even rockier now?

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
No fooling, April 1 at Laurel Mountain. 
And it’s still coming down. See you on Wildcat.
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HVdad
6 months ago
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
50 posts

Plan to ski and then golf 9 holes at 7Springs on Saturday.

HVdad
6 months ago
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
50 posts

Wonderful skiing at Seven Spring this morning!

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Crush
6 months ago (edited 6 months ago)
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
lol sorry that looks like a forced smile on the left then there :-D like "that was sure fun but I be wore'd out and my legs are burnin' - drink time now? "
JimK - DCSki Columnist
6 months ago (edited 6 months ago)
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts

HVdad wrote:

Plan to ski and then golf 9 holes at 7Springs on Saturday.

 Awesome.

Today in SLC it was 78 degs.  It was about 55-60 degs up at Snowbird.  Got in about 3 hours of skiing, but wearing shorts and flip flops before and after.  I gotta learn how to make Margaritas :-o  Real light crowds on the mtn too.

Happy Easter everybody!

Crush
6 months ago
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts

JimK wrote:

HVdad wrote:

Plan to ski and then golf 9 holes at 7Springs on Saturday.

 Awesome.

Today in SLC it was 78 degs.  It was about 55-60 degs up at Snowbird.  Got in about 3 hours of skiing, but wearing shorts and flip flops before and after.  I gotta learn how to make Margaritas :-o  Real light crowds on the mtn too.

Happy Easter everybody!

 Hi Jim - pretty much the same conditions here at Lake Tahoe yesterday; we were so hot we had to stop after two hours to hydrate with Bloody Marys ha ha and then it just degenerated into a frenzy of gourmanding under bluebird skies. Lightly snowing today - Diamond Peak extended the season through the 18th so woo hoo!

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago (edited 6 months ago)
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

I closed Laurel on their last day a few weekends ago then I skied 7S the weekend after that. Yesterday I finished my season at Saddleback. Maine had one of the least snowy March on record so terrain was limited to snowmaking trails and a few low angled natural snow runs and ice bumps. With the exception of last Tuesday, the surface was winter groomed granular and ice. The summit Kennebago lift was running but the only expert run open was the groomed Tight Line which sports a double diamond headwall start then finishes as a single diamond down to the chair. At no point was it as steep as Laurel's Lower Wildcat.

Tight Line is the wide slope from the summit with about a 900 vertical foot drop and 2600 foot length. 

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edit: For the record, I'm fully vaccinated being almost a month out from my second Pfizer shot.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Saddleback is part of the Indy pass. I am considering purchasing the Indy pass for next season. Would you say Saddleback I worth the drive?
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts


 snowsmith wrote:

Saddleback is part of the Indy pass. I am considering purchasing the Indy pass for next season. Would you say Saddleback I worth the drive?

Yes, definitely yes. My son calls Saddleback the Laurel Mountain of Maine. They sport 2000 vertical, a brand new detachable quad to empty the base area with about 1100 vertical of terrain that is mostly rated blue and black with some nice green trails, a good mix of cruise, bumps, trees, and a nice terrain park. Also, a fixed-grip quad to serve the upper mountain Kennebago Steeps pictured above which they claim to be the largest steep skiing area in New England. There is another fixed-grip quad that serves exclusive beginner terrain on the lower mountain below the base lodge with about a 300-foot drop. I only sampled a small percentage of the terrain because most of the natural snow melted away in the heavy rain they received before we arrived. Their snowmaking and lodge were totally renovated for their reopening this past season. It has a laid back friendly vibe. The town of Rangeley is about 10 miles away. There are a few restaurants and shops in town. If you miss the big resort vibe Sugarloaf is a 40-minute drive away.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
6 months ago
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts

Hey Rob, I was wondering if you got up there.  Nice! 

Snowsmith, Saddleback is super scenic with views of numerous beautiful lakes from the summit, like Wisp on steroids.  It's also famous for a ton of glade skiing.  If you don't mind a little bit of driving, you could build a great Indy Pass trip out of a couple days each at Saddleback and Cannon Mtn (they are about 3 hrs from each other), for a full week maybe throw in a day at Waterville on the way home, and/or add some smaller nearby mtns too such as Black NH, or really go road crazy and drive over to Jay Peak, VT.  In good conditions Saddleback, Cannon and Jay are worthy destinations in their own right. 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

Yes, beautiful views of the Rangeley Lake area. You can see Mt. Washington and Sunday River from the summit.

The view from the America trail at the summit: 

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My son with Rangeley Lake in the background:

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snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,369 posts
Thanks guys. I think you just sold me on the Indy pass. I was thinking of starting in NH, at Waterville and Cannon, with Maybe a stop at Wildcat, then head to Black Mtn . From there I either head north to Saddleback, or west to Jay Pk, then south to Bolton Valley. A whirlwind trip, but what the hell!
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,862 posts

My daughter and her friend just completed an Indy Pass spring tour that included Magic, Waterville, Cannon, Saddleback, they added Sugarloaf then hit Jay and Greek Peak on their way back. They drove to Bolton from Magic but they were closed due to high wind. They would have included Swain and Black but both were done for the season.

RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
194 posts

Those are some awesome pics, thanks for uploading.  Was always intrigued by the 'Loaf and now officially adding Maine to the bucket list.

At various points my family made it to Cannon, Jay, Bolton and Magic this past winter.  Lots of ways to get back and forth between those 4 and all offer some serious legit skiing.  Indy is going to be great next year and here's hoping Jay stays on the roster!

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