Discussion Series: Your Season So Far
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Scott - DCSki Editor
2 months ago
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts

For the third topic in the DCSki Discussion Series, I invite you to describe your ski season so far.  Have you made it to the slopes?  If so, how many times, and where?  What was it like?  How has COVID-19 impacted your skiing this winter?  What are your plans for the rest of the season?

For me, I had to take a breather this season.  So no downhill skiing for me, unfortunately.  But I did pull out the cross country skis and snowshoes to trek around my mountain property last weekend.  I realized that cross country boots are sooo much more comfortable than downhill boots.

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oddballstocks
2 months ago
Member since 02/11/2017 🔗
75 posts
It's been a great season so far.

We've been out every weekend since Mid-December plus a few week days in between.  Planning on keeping it up into March and then hitting up the Utah resorts for a week.

Much better than last year's truncated season.  I'll be sad when this year is over, so much terrain is open that's been closed for a few years.
Leo
2 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts

I've skied most weekends this season at Hidden Valley, and one Tuesday at 7 Springs.  The main impacts from COVID (that I've whined plenty about elsewhere) are that it has been very busy and particularly early in the season it seemed HV was not prepared or well staffed.  To Nutting's credit, the staffing and management have improved as the season has gone on, though the crowds really have not. 

This summer and fall mountain biking my formerly "hidden gem" trail system that is now consistently packed with hikers and bikers prepared me for this inevitability for ski season, but it's still somewhat annoying to wait in 20+ minute lift lines for 30 second runs, that's my main gripe.

I got in two days in early Feb at Whitefish Mountain and they were both incredible powder days, with multiple locals telling me they were the best two days of the winter to date.

So all in all, I will try to see mostly the positive.  We're skiing, mother nature has been good to us, other people who apparently came out of nowhere are now enjoying a sport I've always loved.  Etc.

camp
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
596 posts

Mine has been very very good, especially since I broke a femur in August and worried about skiing at all this season. Been skiing 38 times so far, with a handful of those local XC. I've improved my short radius turns and ski slower now. Very privilegedAll of my days so far have been in home state of PA.

Covid impacts have been manageable, though the reservations certainly affect the friends I normally ski with. They all have passes, but don't always make a rez in time, or we change plans and they are stuck. Covid lines and staffing issues have been very noticeable. 

Rest of the season looks the same; a local weeknight or two, local-ish weekends, 7 days at Whitefish planned next month with a day of cat-skiing and another day of backcountry skinning planned. 1/3 of my family is fully vaccinated, another 1/3 will be second dose by then, and I'm hoping to squeeze in somehow also. If not, I'll just keep trying to be as cautious as I can. If I get double dosed, I'd like to get to Vermont at the end of the season since they just lifted restrictions for fully vaccinated. 

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wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
206 posts
Well, I have read a lot of things in the dcski forum...

I'm taking the season off, but think I'll get skis/boots in the spring. I'll be asking for advice on shopping for these later on.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,359 posts
My season has been mixed. I do not feel comfortable taking a western trip since it requires air travel. I have split my skiing between HV, 7S and LM. The conditions have far exceeded my expectations. We have received over 70” of  snow opening up the natural snow terrain at LM. When I am skiing at LM, I feel like I’ve traveled to Vermont. I alternate working at HV and locally, at my home near Balto. Squeezing in several hours of skiing Each day during the work week. Saturdays, I go to LM to avoid the crowds at HV and 7S. I am contemplating a trip to VT, or maybe Holiday Valley and Bristol MTN. I may also do a day trip to Liberty or Whitetail. It’s all about skiing local this year to avoid COVID exposure. So far, it has been great.
tskski
2 months ago
Member since 03/13/2003 🔗
117 posts
I retired last summer and was looking forward to this winter. I had planned to get the Ikon pass and do some rode trips but because of the COVID I decided to wait till next year. I've been reading posts here and following several pages on Facebook. I've been following the Indy pass on the Facebook page and I'm thinking about getting it next year and do some rode trips using it. I think it would be interesting skiing and checking out the smaller ski areas through the country.
needawax
2 months ago
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
14 posts

I'm enjoying the positive. 

Mother Nature has been good to us.

HVdad
2 months ago
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
50 posts
Homeowner in the Laurel Highlands. The 20/21 season has produced the most snow and sustained cold temperatures in 10 years. Highlands Pass has been wonderful with all three mountains offering terrific skiing on nearly 100% of terrain. 
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,855 posts

It's been a great snow year but due to covid concerns, we have been getting out only once a week, down from our usual 2 to 3 days per. All skiing has been done at Laurel save for 1 day at Seven Springs when Laurel's lift was down. I've been skiing spots at Laurel that I haven't hit in 20 years. Laurel was closed in 2010. They actually groomed Dream Highway about a week ago. I think the last time Dream was groomed was 2003. I skied it yesterday after the ice storms closed the ski area for 2 days. Laurel received another 4 inches of snow since then. Oh, there was real ice lurking beneath the natural snow trails but snow coverage was good and the ice is a better base than dirt and rocks. Dream Highway maybe a bit much for intermediates who can't make short turns to stay out of the center of the trail but if you can keep to the sides and look ahead for good spots to turn Dream is a blast of a trail. Lower Wildcat was in fun shape. Ice moguls were groomed down and new fresh bumps were starting to form, pliable and forgiving in their proto stage. I peeked into Doc's but found pure rippled ice at the entrance and a lot of branches so I bailed on that. Friday's crowds were spare, maybe a wait for for a chair. Most were waiting to catch a breath as empty chairs whizzed by. Today is an example of the kind of day we would normally be out catching freshies, a surprise 6 inches overnight but on a Saturday, prime crowd day.

So it's been a great snow year tempered by my decision to reduce exposure risk. So better skiing but fewer days out to enjoy. I got my first vaccine this past week but although my wife is eligible per state guidelines the hospital systems are only hitting 65+ and not those with immune issues and lung damage. So we chase vaccine sites that do include all of the 1A categories.  If we can both get vaccinated before the season is over we will do a last-minute spring trip hopefully to Maine to visit and si with friends and family living there. 

itdoesntmatter
2 months ago
Member since 01/17/2007 🔗
127 posts
Canceled my out west trip, didn't feel right taking the chance.  Deferred my IKON pass until next year.   Took two trips to Wisp, had a great time both times.  Rented townhomes both times that were either ski in/out or walkable to the slopes so I could avoid the lodge.  Outstanding snow conditions this year.  
JimK - DCSki Columnist
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,720 posts

As LHC said, it's been tricky for us older DCSkiers because of the special health concerns this winter.  My wife has grown increasingly concerned over time and we came to the conclusion that I wouldn't ski at all this winter until she or preferably both of us got the vaccine.  I really felt some fear of missing out pains about no skiing.  There was no telling how long it was going to take to get the vaccine even in our age 65+ bracket.  After much soul searching we decided I would visit my son in Utah and ski there for several weeks while she remained in VA.

On 2/18, the day after I arrived in Utah, we got an email from our home county inviting us to make a vaccine appointment.  GRRRR.  If I'd known that was coming I would have delayed my travel.  I am going to remain in Utah for a few weeks now.  On the plus side, my wife got her first vaccination shot today, so her caution is paying off.  I am looking into the possibility of getting the vaccine for myself in Utah, otherwise I will surely return to VA around the time my wife gets her second dose and try to get my first dose.

I skied Snowbird with my son on Feb 19 and 20.

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Keith_Moon
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 02/19/2019 🔗
156 posts
Bought Ikon Passes last year with the intent to use them last June in California, and then this past Christmas at Tremblant, and maybe Thanksgiving and/or some other time at Snowshoe.  COVID put the stops on all three of those so we decided to stay more or less local and try new places or revisit places we hadn't been in a while.  So we actually did make it to old stalwart Sugar right after Thanksgiving, which was slushy and rocky but also uncrowded, which was great.  Over Christmas we planned to try Catalochee and Wolf Ridge also here in NC.  We made it to Cat and it was fine, but Wolf only had about 4 runs open so we bailed.  The highlight for us so far this season was Wintergreen.  In the past Wintergreen has always been very crowded and icy, but this time they had great coverage with minimal ice, reasonable crowds, and we were able to ski the Highlands for the first time.  Going forward, since my kids are in remote school and the wife and I can also work remotely we decided to go ahead and use the Ikons Passes at Snowshoe from March 6-13.  Although we will lose a bit on our Ikon Passes I can chalk the loss up to COVID and we still might be able to travel out West and do some June Ikon skiing if we can get vaccinated before then.  (We have pre-COVID purchased airline tickets we have to use.)  Even if we can't go out West, as long as the Snowshoe week pans out I can still consider this a good season, especially since with COVID it could have been an absolute disaster.
wgo
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,359 posts
My typical ski day count is somewhere in the upper teens. Before the season started I thought I would be doing well to hit double digits. I am currently sitting at 8 days - 6 at Massanutten and 2 at Timberline. With the great conditions I wish I could be getting out more, but we are not doing any long weekends this season where I can get in 2 or 3 days at a time. The days that I have had (especially the ones at TL) have been really good.
bryantfsu93
2 months ago
Member since 01/29/2021 🔗
4 posts

The wife and I are usually ski one week a year out west.  We have never skied locally before this year but with Covid and our kids both away at school we decided to dive in.

5 days at snowshoe we timed our visits really well and had great conditions both visits (3 days and 2 days), Silver Creek is a nice little bonus.

3 days at Timberline 2 days with really great snow and one day (last Friday) with OK conditions. I really like the skiing here.

1 day at Whitetail -- We went on a Tuesday, no crowd, and this place is fun. I like the separate lifts/terrain.  We went after about 8 inches of fresh snow.  The lift lines on the weekends have looked crazy and I don't know how often we will make it back, I don't like skiing in crowds.

We got the IndyPass and it has been great.

2 days at CVR, this place has interesting slopes and character but I think the only way to really have a good day here is to visit after you have lots of fresh snow, the grooming is....

 2 days at Winterplace (we ski and visit son at VT)  --- I really like this  place, if you can catch it without any lines and some fresh snow it is a blast

1 day at Mass -- I like the vibe on this mountain, really looking forward to being able to chill slope side next year.  I plan on going one more time, just hope the weather holds

1 day at Bryce --- we went here early season, they had about 5 inches of fresh powder and it was fun, not much to ski but it was our first time out this year and we had fun.  

wgo
2 months ago
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,359 posts
@bryantfsu93 that is a solid list of local resorts. +1 on your CVR observations, great place after a powder dump. +1 on the vibe at MNut - I hope they keep up the expanded offerings at the Mid-Mountain grill next season. My wife and I were tempted to stop for a beer at the grill before heading home but decided on getting in a couple more runs instead.
marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,463 posts

wgo wrote:

@bryantfsu93 that is a solid list of local resorts. +1 on your CVR observations, great place after a powder dump. +1 on the vibe at MNut - I hope they keep up the expanded offerings at the Mid-Mountain grill next season. My wife and I were tempted to stop for a beer at the grill before heading home but decided on getting in a couple more runs instead.

 My impression is that the Massanutten Mid-Mountain Grill is a work in progress.  Have heard the plan is to add indoor plumbing for restrooms in the building.  Presumably that will help with food prep as well.  With all the mountain bike trails and people who ride up the lifts for "scenic rides" I expect the Grill to be open during the summer too.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,463 posts

bryantfsu93 wrote:

The wife and I are usually ski one week a year out west.  We have never skied locally before this year but with Covid and our kids both away at school we decided to dive in.

5 days at snowshoe we timed our visits really well and had great conditions both visits (3 days and 2 days), Silver Creek is a nice little bonus.

3 days at Timberline 2 days with really great snow and one day (last Friday) with OK conditions. I really like the skiing here.

1 day at Whitetail -- We went on a Tuesday, no crowd, and this place is fun. I like the separate lifts/terrain.  We went after about 8 inches of fresh snow.  The lift lines on the weekends have looked crazy and I don't know how often we will make it back, I don't like skiing in crowds.

We got the IndyPass and it has been great.

2 days at CVR, this place has interesting slopes and character but I think the only way to really have a good day here is to visit after you have lots of fresh snow, the grooming is....

 2 days at Winterplace (we ski and visit son at VT)  --- I really like this  place, if you can catch it without any lines and some fresh snow it is a blast

1 day at Mass -- I like the vibe on this mountain, really looking forward to being able to chill slope side next year.  I plan on going one more time, just hope the weather holds

1 day at Bryce --- we went here early season, they had about 5 inches of fresh powder and it was fun, not much to ski but it was our first time out this year and we had fun.  

 Good use of the Indy Pass!  Haven't been to Winterplace in a long time but it really is fun midweek without crowds.  From Raleigh it's an easy drive that's essentially all Interstate highway.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
2 months ago
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,720 posts

wgo wrote:

@bryantfsu93 that is a solid list of local resorts. +1 on your CVR observations, great place after a powder dump. +1 on the vibe at MNut - I hope they keep up the expanded offerings at the Mid-Mountain grill next season. My wife and I were tempted to stop for a beer at the grill before heading home but decided on getting in a couple more runs instead.

 I agree, for someone who did not previously ski mid-A that's a fine sampling.  The other good one missed is Blue Knob, but that could be tricky being under PA travel restrictions.

I'm 65+ and today I'm taking a rest day after three days of skiing at Snowbird.  Crazy enough, this morning I was able to schedule a moderna vaccine shot at a pharmacy here in UT for Feb 27.  grüß Gott

bryantfsu93
2 months ago
Member since 01/29/2021 🔗
4 posts

We really want to try Blue Knob, but the PA restrictions are an issue.  IndyPass gives us 2 days so I'm hoping we can still work it out, get a test then head up after some fresh snow, but the test makes the timing tough.

We have been very surprised at the quality of skiing in the Mid-A.  I understand this has not been a normal snowfall year but it has really been lots of fun.  

Snowbird seems like a great place, we normally ski Colorado, but UTAH is on the list.  

Also I'm really trying to talk the wife into hitting up the Washington State/Idaho IndyPass spots next winter.  I think spending 2 days at 49Degrees and 2 at Silver Mountain would be a blast.

Keith_Moon
2 months ago
Member since 02/19/2019 🔗
156 posts


 

bryantfsu93 wrote:

 2 days at Winterplace (we ski and visit son at VT)  --- I really like this  place, if you can catch it without any lines and some fresh snow it is a blast

I do too.  It's the easiest ski area to reach from where I live in NC, I've never had to wait more than 10 minutes in a lift line ever, you can park right next to the lodge, and the vibe is very unpretentious.  It's really underappreciated in this region.

Cycleski
2 months ago
Member since 01/10/2021 🔗
11 posts
My family and I have been to 7spings 2 times, whitetail once and weekend before last hit both Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain.  We want to go one more time but looks like the weather is not going to cooperate and may have to look to next season.  This has been a lot of great fun for the few times we went. John
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Way to go Jim!
Argent - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 12/20/2018 🔗
15 posts
I only had 6 days last season and 9 days the year before, so my bar is pretty low. I've had a Drifter Pass the last two years, and I barely got my money's worth (it was more for convenience anyway), so an Epic Northeast pass was out of the question this year. I've been taking this season to explore non-Epic mountains. Which just means two days at Bryce and one at Massanutten so far, with a trip to Timberline this Friday and Wintergreen on Monday. I do miss the larger Northeast mountains, but I'm grateful for the better-than-average conditions down here, and all of these mountains are new to me.
Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,474 posts

This season has been similar but odd at times due to Covid.  I just returned from Colorado today.  Here's my season thru Feb.

Snowshoe - 8 days so far, no issues.  Keep your mask on in the lift line and inside buildings.  IMO, SS is very busy this year.  I would not ski there without an Ikon Pass with the primo add on weekends.  Ski conditions have been excellent. 

Copper Mtn Co - 2 days.  Very strict mask policies.  You must wear it at ALL times unless actively eating or drinking.  Skiing was excellent this week. Crowded on Sunday, wide open on Tuesday.

Beaver Creek CO - 1 day.  See above.  Had the place to ourselves on Monday.  Seriously considering an Epic Pass for next year ..... and I'm a Snowshoe (Ikon Resort) homeowner.

Peak N Peek NY - 1 day.  Great snow in the Lake Erie snow belt.  No lines to speak of on a Sat.  Masks required in line and inside while not eating.

TRAVEL - We flew to DEN last Friday from PIT.  PIT is a ghost town.  I swear 50+% of the gates are closed.  DEN was pretty busy.  6 feet apart is a joke.  There's just no way, too many people in line and on the airport tram.  If you have Covid concerns, DEN may not be for you. 

If Ma Nature allows, I'd like to get 4 - 6 more days at Snowshoe in March to make my Ikon pass worthwhile.

ParkCrewDrew
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 01/24/2014 🔗
125 posts

9 Days so far and several local hike up the hill days.   I opted out of working part time at 7springs this year so I have considerably less riding this year than in previous years...definitely have missed it.   

8 days @ Oglebay, WV   Little local ski hill.  Some days have had a good turnout.   Some are slow. 

1 day @ Wisp, MD.   Busy with list lines most of the day.   

I have 2 more days on my oglebay 10 day pass...and 3 more days at Wisp (gifted a mission FOURdable pass).   Probably won't get to use them all.   It was an awesome stretch of great conditions at home.  I rode and abandoned road known locally as "Suicide Hill" and rode 3 days on a power line cut that was definitely double diamond steepness. 1614476065_tkoypnfskvwl.jpg1614476075_kdngfaybwgrg.jpg

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JimK - DCSki Columnist
2 months ago (edited 2 months ago)
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,720 posts
You get some gnar points for that power line ride Drew!
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,855 posts
It looks like Drew shares Denis' ailment, Lines diseases. He sees a line and has to ski/ride it.  
ParkCrewDrew
2 months ago
Member since 01/24/2014 🔗
125 posts

Definitely worth the hike! 

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

It looks like Drew shares Denis' ailment, Lines diseases. He sees a line and has to ski/ride it.  
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