Jack Frost/BB vs. Wintergreen
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cbyrne0609
8 months ago
Member since 01/8/2019 🔗
15 posts

Hello! Booked a trip to Wintergreen before buying EPIC pass… have since bought EPIC pass that we can use at Jack Frost/Big Boulder and wondering if we should make the switch and go there instead.

Curious how the two resorts compare?

Does one have better food options? A better overall atmosphere (maybe one is more dated?)? Just any pros and cons to one vs. the other? We’ll save some $$ by switching, but if Wintergreen far outweighs Jack Frost/BB, then maybe we just pay the extra. Not sure what to do!

Thank you for any guidance you can share! I’m not familiar with either resort. Traveling with 4 families… 8 adults and 13 kids 5-11 yrs old.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,825 posts

Where will you be driving from?  How many days/nights?  Holiday weekend?

Wintergreen is an upside-down resort.  That means once you are there, it's unlikely you are going to go anywhere else.  Even if you drive off the mountain, there isn't much within a 30 min drive.

Have you looked to see what activities are available besides skiing and snow tubing?  Or is the plan to simply hang out at the condo when not on the slopes.

For Virginia trips with kids, I'm totally biased.  Massanutten beats Wintergreen hands down for many reasons.

As for JF/BB, I've never been.  Vaccination is required at various indoor venues there.  But if you can get ski in/out lodging, that probably won't make much difference for your group.

cbyrne0609
8 months ago
Member since 01/8/2019 🔗
15 posts

Hi! Thanks so much for your reply! I’ll spare the details, but unless Wintergreen is really close to Massanutten - we are stuck going there. So we paid for a house at Wintergreen which we can lose a big chunk of the down payment if we leave…. Which makes it only make sense if we go to an EPIC resort to offset the cost of losing the $$ bc we wouldn’t be paying to ski.

We are going Feb 12 weekend. Just planning to hang out at the house when not at the slopes. One house for 4 families.

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago (edited 8 months ago)
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
287 posts

I haven't been to Wintergreen, but I skied Big Boulder every Tuesday night during my winter semesters at Penn State Hazleton...a while ago.  That's where I more or less learned to ski, for college credit.

BB has since become a snowboard-focused place. It's a good idea as BB only has 475 of vertical. I went once, back in 2007.

Earlier that day, I had been at Jack Frost. It was my only visit. Again, not much vertical. Or scenery. I still had a fun day. I'm a much better skier now than back then.

I recall Café Teria at each place being indistinguishable from any other Pennsylvania ski area dining facility other than maybe Blue Knob.

If it were me, I wouldn't trade Wintergreen for JFBB, though I haven't been there yet. IIRC, WG has twice the vertical drop of those Pocono places.

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cbyrne0609
8 months ago
Member since 01/8/2019 🔗
15 posts
Have you been to Whitetail or Liberty? Would it be comparable to one of those? 
wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
287 posts

I haven't been to Liberty since...well it's not important and it was my first time on skis so, I don't know.

I haven't been to Whitetail since 2019, but I went there more than any where else because of its respectable 900+ vertical and proximity to DC. I always felt like Whitetail punched above its weight. Not sure if that's still the case. It seems there is lots of discontent in these forums over Whitetail's start to the season.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago (edited 8 months ago)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,825 posts

cbyrne0609 wrote:

Hi! Thanks so much for your reply! I’ll spare the details, but unless Wintergreen is really close to Massanutten - we are stuck going there. So we paid for a house at Wintergreen which we can lose a big chunk of the down payment if we leave…. Which makes it only make sense if we go to an EPIC resort to offset the cost of losing the $$ bc we wouldn’t be paying to ski.

We are going Feb 12 weekend. Just planning to hang out at the house when not at the slopes. One house for 4 families.

 Takes about an hour to get to Massanutten from Wintergreen.  For a longer stay, could be worth a day trip to ski using 4-hour tickets and then hit the waterpark.  But not if only staying for a weekend.

What type of trails are the kids likely to ski?  On Saturdays, the lift lines are likely to be long from about 11:00 to 2:30.  The green and blue trails are lit for night skiing.  Highlands is fun for folks up for black trails in the mid-Atlantic but it closes at 4pm.

Wintergreen is laid out very differently than Whitetail.  The beginner terrain is better at Whitetail.  Highlands is more fun for advanced skiers than the black side of Whitetail.  When the lines aren't too long, having high-speed detachable lifts is a plus.  However, the Acorn lift is a fixed-grip lift for skiing the blues.  Those trails are comparable to Whitetail blues from what I remember.  Note that getting from the bottom of the Highland lift over to Acorn could take 30 min if the lines for Highlands and the Blue Ridge Express are long.  That was a big disadvantage for me when my daughter was a tween and skiing with a friend who could only ski blues.  At Massanutten I could let the girls skis on their own on the blues while I skied the blacks at the top.  Especially if the Yee Ha connector trail was open.  All the trails are lit, so we would often ski 9:00-11:30, have a leisurely lunch at the condo, then ski from about 2:30 or 3:00 until dinner time.

abeski
8 months ago (edited 8 months ago)
Member since 12/8/2021 🔗
21 posts

If you're doing an Epic overnight and can drive an extra 2 hours... I would drive right past JFBB up to Hunter Mtn in NY.  JF is about Roundtop sized and BB is probably a bit smaller than Liberty

cbyrne0609
8 months ago
Member since 01/8/2019 🔗
15 posts

Thank you so much for all of these comments! I’ve only been to Whitetail and Snowshoe on the East Coast and it’s hard to choose between BIg Boulder/Jack Frost and Wintergreen when I can’t visualize either.

All the younger kids in our group are not strong skiers and will be living on bunny slopes and maybe greens. Older kids will be just doing greens and occasional blues. 

Are their many restaurants in the main area at BB/JF or Wintergreen? Again, I can only visualize Whitetail which has one (maybe two) restaurants and Snowshoe which has a few.

thanks again for helping figure out this trip!

Argent - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago
Member since 12/20/2018 🔗
18 posts

I like both Jack Frost and Wintergreen, but mostly because I can avoid the beginner areas. The beginner areas at both seemed pretty small to me, with long lift lines and crowded slopes.

I've only done day-trips or stayed elsewhere, so I can't speak to the dining, but from what I remember, JF had very sparse dining options on the slopes, potentially due to COVID.

Either way, I would consider JF and Wintergreen to be pretty similarly tiered, so I would stick with what you have. I also agree with abeski that the drive isn't quite worth it for JF. The only reason I've been to JF is because it's a doable detour on the way back from Hunter to DC, and I had a Peak Drifter Pass (RIP) so it didn't cost anything extra.

pagamony - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
867 posts
per Restaurants, you have to to define 'main area' .   WG is an enclosed resort on the top of the mountain so there is basically one daylodge cafe and a couple of table service restaurants that are 'ok', and one market/gas station.  Last year you could not sit in the daylodge cafe, not sure about this year.  Down mountain, there are several options like the huge Devils Backbone, our favorite Wild Wolf and, of course, Blue Ridge Pig.   Lots of craft beer/cider/distilleries in general.   Skiing at WG is good as long as nearly everything is open, which is now.  
wgo
8 months ago
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,457 posts


Wild wolf is closing on January 30th: nbc29.com

It's too bad, it was a good option when we did not feel like waiting for a table at Devils Backbone. 

Anyway, the places down mountain are a 15 or 20 minute drive. If you are a BBQ fan Blue Ridge Pig is a must - limited seating, so you could do that as takeout. If you wanted to drive another 15 minutes North on rt 151 you could go to Blue Mountain Brewery. Both Devils Backbone and Blue Mountain Brewery have nice outdoor areas, a place to play cornhole, etc. 

As far as the skiing goes, the 2 main greens are side by side in the center of the resort. Expect the lift here (Blue Ridge Express) to be crowded, 15-20 minutes wait. I know you said there will be 8 adults and 13 kids. Are some of the adults going to spend time skiing on their own? If they can handle mid-Atlantic black runs then the Highlands area is a good bet - some decent terrain for the area and the lift lines are usually OK. The other section of the resort, the runs served by the Big Acorn lift, can also be fun but expect longer liftlines here than at the Highlands lift. 

If you are trying to get from the Highlands side to the Acorn side and the Blue Ridge Express is backed up, then sometimes you can save time by using the loggers alley lift instead - from the top of that lift you can get to the Acorn side.

pagamony wrote:

per Restaurants, you have to to define 'main area' .   WG is an enclosed resort on the top of the mountain so there is basically one daylodge cafe and a couple of table service restaurants that are 'ok', and one market/gas station.  Last year you could not sit in the daylodge cafe, not sure about this year.  Down mountain, there are several options like the huge Devils Backbone, our favorite Wild Wolf and, of course, Blue Ridge Pig.   Lots of craft beer/cider/distilleries in general.   Skiing at WG is good as long as nearly everything is open, which is now.  
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,825 posts

cbyrne0609 wrote:

Thank you so much for all of these comments! I’ve only been to Whitetail and Snowshoe on the East Coast and it’s hard to choose between BIg Boulder/Jack Frost and Wintergreen when I can’t visualize either.

All the younger kids in our group are not strong skiers and will be living on bunny slopes and maybe greens. Older kids will be just doing greens and occasional blues. 

Are their many restaurants in the main area at BB/JF or Wintergreen? Again, I can only visualize Whitetail which has one (maybe two) restaurants and Snowshoe which has a few.

thanks again for helping figure out this trip!

 Since you have a nice house to hang out in, I think sticking to Wintergreen seems to make more sense this time.  The older kids will probably like the long greens off the Blue Ridge Express.  When my daughter was a tween, we did a day trip with her friend who was only an advanced beginner.  The girls lapped Blue Ridge for most of the day.  I could pop down to Highlands for a few runs and then meet up with them at the Checkerberry Cabin (base of Blue Ridge, access point to Highlands) at a pre-arranged time.

After an adult checks out the snow on the blues off Big Acorn, the older kids might like that area.  It be more interesting since there is more than a couple ways down.  Just going over from the main area is a bit of an adventure for kids.  Best if an adult checks out how that works so that the group doesn't get stuck going too slow and ends up having to walk a bit on the flat.

There is a short double-chair that's good for younger kids just starting to ski.  It's part of the main area near the Blue Ridge Express.

Jeremy
8 months ago
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
73 posts

Something you might consider too are the conditions. I had a friend bag a trip there because of the temps in the low single digits. Who knows what is going to happen in a month, I hear the warmer ridge might move back east, but when you are a kid the difference between 5 degrees and 30 is pretty big. Of course if it is in meltdown here you might want to be up there where it is 30. 

I say stick with the plan you have now and maybe think different next year. You could wind up spending all your time and money chasing "something better." 

I would also recommend wisp, but it isn't in the Epic system (yet! C'mon vail!) as I have a weekend with friends/family at a house planned out there for the second week of Feb and we have always had good conditions even in warm years. That said, I'm sure their houses are all booked up.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago (edited 8 months ago)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,825 posts

Here are some pics of Wintergreen from Jan 2014.  Not much has changed in terms of the slopes since then.  I was there midweek so that's why the slopes are so empty.

First two are from Highlands, the black area.  

1642711017_nzqpnawecslc.jpg1642711080_qctktqevjxbf.jpg

Three views from near the top of Blue Ridge Express.  The building behind the double chair is for rentals.

1642711126_beanwzmctamb.jpg

1642711149_eohhlkfcvrnv.jpg

1642711169_jjfltxkufuug.jpg

pagamony - DCSki Supporter 
8 months ago
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
867 posts


 

wgo wrote:

Wild wolf is closing on January 30th: nbc29.com

Waaaaaaaaa :(   Thanks for the warning. 

sometimes you can save time by using the loggers alley lift instead 

if open - always always always take that option.

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