I feel our best bet for a new mountain is Tory in Harmon, WV. Tory offers 1100 feet of north facing vertical. Its NE slope sprts some cool natural bowls. The mountain also sports a very steep headwall at the top similar to Sugar's in North Carolina. The rest of Tory's main face, however, is much more consistantly steep than Sugar. Side slopes offer a more gradual route down the mountain for less confident skiers.
Rumor has it that the Tory investors are going to start working on the mountain again this Spring. This is only a rumor.
One other positive about Tory is that with the new Corridor H, it will eventually be only about a 3 hour drive from DC.
My big concern right now is water. The state of WV only allows ski resorts to take water from streams when they are above a certain level. The Dry Fork, as its name suggests, is not much of a stream. Spruce Island lake is not far from Tory but I have no idea how much it would cost to run an aquaduct from that body of water to Tory. There may also be some underground water.
> This range does extend into Southern PA
> southwest of Harrisburg, however as the
> mountains get into PA they turn more into
> a smattering of arches and peaks, there
> are no long even ridge lines. ...
Sorry, but I certainly wouldn't describe the mtns of PA this way. I would say that the parallel ridges remain well defined for almost all of their way through PA.
If you look at a topo of the whole state, or fly over it on a clear day at high altitude, you can not fail to be impressed by the parallel, extremely well defined ridges that come up from VA, WVA and MD in a NNE direction, and make a large radius gradual turn to the NE or even ENE just to the north of Harrisburg.
The Susquehanna has cut its way through these ridges, but they continue on the E side of the river and head off to the NE in an extremely well defined parallel pattern. This large region between the Susquehanna and I-81 is one of the most picturesque areas of the state because of the parallel ridges, farms dotting the straight line roads that run the valleys between the ridges, etc.
I will grant you that after they finally cross the N-S stretch of I-81 in eastern PA (ie, between Indiantown gap and Scranton), there is some partial merger of the ridges into high platteaus (like the Poconos).
Finally, in NJ and lower NYS (where they cross the Hudson around Cold Spring / Bear Mtn), they do indeed become less well defined (as perfectly parallel ridges), but, they are still decent sized mountains and obviously part of the same general chain. The "Beacon ridge" peaks out at around 1600 ft and goes right down into the Hudson at Cold Spring, NY.
Tom / PM
Your comments re-kindled my interest in the topography (and geographic names) of this region, so I pulled out the readily accessible DeLorme "Atlas and Gazetteer" map books of VA, MD/DEL and PA to figure out just what mountain is in what range. BTW, my copies are all several years old, so when I give a map number, I hope it remains the same in the editions other people own.
1) For starters, you stated, "Massanutten is in the Blue Ridge range, I believe". While its close ... no cigar.
As can be seen on maps 73 & 74 of the VA book, Massanutten most certainly is NOT part of the Blue Ridge: It is a separate, relatively short topographic structure (multiple parallel, closely spaced ridge lines) that is located between the Blue Ridge and North Mtn.
2) Next, you commented that, "This range (ie, the Blue Ridge) does extend into southern PA, SW of Harrisburg...". Unfortunately, again, no cigar.
If you follow the Blue Ridge in its NNE direction onto VA map #79, and thence (with considerable overlap) onto MD/DEL map #54, and finally, onto MD/DEL map #71, you will see that the Blue Ridge clearly peters out into nothingness near Mt. Briar, about 4 mi SE of Antietam battlefield (coordinates 5.5 x D), well south of the PA line.
3) You stated, "I was instead referring to the Blue Ridge mountains which just poke into Southern Pennsylvania and are where Ski Liberty and Roundtop are located."
Actually, these two areas are located in the Catoctin / South Mtns, which are definitely not part of (or any reasonable extension of) the Blue Ridge.
If you go due east 3 miles from the "Blue Ridge" label on the previous map (MD/DEL #71), you run into another parallel ridge called "South Mtn". If you follow this south, back onto MD/DEL map #54, you will see that South Mtn is an entirely distinct ridge from "Blue Ridge".
In the other direction, if you follow South Mtn north onto MD/DEL map #72 (or PA maps #90 & 91), you will find yet another well defined ridge, "Catoctin Mtn" east of South Mtn. Ski Liberty is located at the northern end of this ridge. Thus, contrary to what you stated, Ski Liberty is certainly not located on anything that could be remotely claimed as an extension of "Blue Ridge".
If you continue NE and locate Ski Roundtop on PA map # 78, you will see that it is a few miles from any ridge system. The nearest such feature is the very north end of the Micheau State Forest, which is essentially a merger of the South and Catoctin ridges, again, definitely not on a continuation of the Blue Ridge.
#4) Referring to the system in which Liberty and Roundtop are located, you stated, "...These ridges flatten out but to (sic) remain in some shape or form all the way to just south of Allentown."
You are correct in this observation. The continuation of the merger of the South and Catoctin ridges does remain discernable as a distinct topographic entity exactly as you described. However, as I pointed out above, this structure has nothing to do with Blue Ridge.
#5) One final tidbit: Contrary to what many people believe, "Blue Mtn" (in PA)is not a continuation of "Blue Ridge" (in VA).
As JimK pointed out, Blue Mtn ski area is just north of Allentown PA, and this ridge extends all the way to the west of Harrisburg (PA #76, coordinates 2-D), where it heads off to the SW and onto PA map #90 (coord 2-A) where it changes names to Broad Mtn, then Cove Mtn, then Tuscarora Mtn (PA#89, 7-B). Its extension south of the Potomac is pretty clearly "Sleepy Creek Mtn" and "Third Hill Mtn", both of which are to the west of North Mtn, and hence, obviously not related to "Blue Ridge" either. The overall conclusion of this is that "Blue Mtn" (in PA) clearly is not an extension of "Blue Ridge" (in VA). Blue Mtn is clearly one of the main Appalachian ridges, not one of the parallel ridges to the east (like Blue Ridge) that we've been discussing.
Hope this clarified things a bit,
Tom / PM
PS - I didn't look this up and could be mistaken, but I thought that ranges like the Blue Ridge, South Mtn, the Catoctins and the small ridges heading over towards Allentown were actually older than the main part of the Appalachians, not younger. After all, these eastern neighbors are rounder, more erroded, etc...
[This message has been edited by PhysicsMan (edited 04-24-2002).]
While we're on the subject of defunct ski areas, Ski Cherokee operated near Linden, VA in 1990-92 with a 1000' vert on a few trails. (Still visible from I-66) Bad weather and bad management apparently doomed that venture. Too bad, as it was less than 1 hr from the Beltway.
Also, there was College Mountain, which was proposed, but never built, at Emmitsburg, MD. Trails were cleared in the 80's under a "logging " permit in hopes of getting the resort approved, but that was not to be.
College Mountain was part of the Liberty, Roundtop, and now Whitetail family. It experience a great deal of opposition of the people in the area (including a great deal from Mt. St. Mary's College) and was never allowed the permits to truly begin. It has since become a nature preservation area of some sort.
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