Laurel Highland Resorts 2022 - 2023 7S, HV, LM, BK
228 posts
34 users
27k+ views
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
November 24, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
I thought I'd start a new thread for Western PA resorts. We are beginning to see a few threads about these resorts. Let's keep it all here. Maybe I should include other Vail-owned resorts like Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop? Perhaps there will be crossover now that they're all on one pass?
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
November 24, 2022
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,271 posts

Maybe, maybe not in terms of crossover just because an Epic pass is good at all six locations.  Driving distance matters unless the destination is significantly different.  People from Pittsburgh and DC/NoVA are likely to drive to Timberline or Snowshoe if they want WV snow conditions and terrain.  Driving past Whitetail from DC to ski Laurel or the other western PA mountains, maybe not.  Would someone from Pittsburgh drive all the way to Whitetail?  Certainly wouldn't be worth driving to Liberty or Roundtop.

My sense is that neither Peak nor VR has convinced DC/Baltimore folks that it's worth driving up to Hunter for early season turns.

bousquet19 - DCSki Supporter 
November 25, 2022
Member since 02/23/2006 🔗
780 posts

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

I thought I'd start a new thread for Western PA resorts. We are beginning to see a few threads about these resorts. Let's keep it all here. Maybe I should include other Vail-owned resorts like Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop? Perhaps there will be crossover now that they're all on one pass?

 I agree with marzNC that it’s probably better to cluster the Laurel Highlands resorts into one thread and then keep the former Snowtime resorts (Liberty, Whitetail, Roundtop) in another cluster.  These 2 clusters differ considerably in weather conditions and in the population bases, even though I ski both regions.

Woody

SeniorSki
November 25, 2022
Member since 01/31/2022 🔗
139 posts
Coming from DC area these would be my day trip go to areas. 

Around an hour drive time. White Tail only, Liberty and Round top get packed, basically a newbie mountains, need to be on your guard. 

Around two hour plus drive time. In order of preference, Timberline, Canaan ( needs lots of natural snow ) Blue Mt ( pushing the drive time cap ) Massanutten ( even better draw when all upgrades are completed ) Wisp, then Mid PA resorts based on trail count and snow. 
Of course conditions play a big part in choosing. 
DCSki Sponsor: Past Yonder: A Human's Views on AI
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
November 25, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
Okay, it's settled. Laurel Highlands resort trip reports and general question post here. So who made it to 7S? Mrs. Crazie and I are targeting next week.
Grumpy dad
November 28, 2022
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts

Ice is ice no matter where you go. Snowshoe is great for when there is powder and you have a mid week day off to go (or two) from the PGH area but it's QUITE the commitment if you have a family IMO.

Spring skiing Snowshoe is where it's at (as long as Cupp is open otherwise why bother)

superguy
November 29, 2022
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

I ended up not making it, as I had an issue.

I thought I knew where all my ski clothes were.  Apparently, I was mistaken.  I couldn't find my goggles, gloves, or ski bib. I had sunglasses so the goggles weren't a must, but the gloves were, especially the pants with the weather. My wife graciously ordered replacements for me but didn't they didn't get there until yesterday.

If I find the other stuff, I may just let my son use it as he wants to give skiing a try this season.

Friday was yucky in Johnstown with some hard rain in the afternoon.  Saturday was a nice day and probably would have had some nice spring conditions. Sunday had some rain showers mid-afternoon. Monday probably would have been nice.

I'm going to give it another shot the weekend of the 9th. Hopefully with some snowmaking and a cold snap things will improve.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
November 29, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
I'm still shooting for my first day later this week. Maybe Friday will bring decent weather. I'm no longer up for skiing in the rain, even though my outerwear is gore-tex. 
superguy
November 29, 2022 (edited November 29, 2022)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

Wonder how much it will melt off. I didn't see what they said their base was.

We're not going to get decent snowmaking weather again until next Wed at the earliest. Hopefully by then all 6 locals will be able to make snow by then.

Meanwhile, UT just got dumped with another 17" of snow - again. :jealous:

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
December 1, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
msprings
December 1, 2022
Member since 07/4/2014 🔗
154 posts
7 Springs turned their snow guns back on last night. Would be great if they could all of Stowe and Tyrol lift open for the weekend.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
December 2, 2022
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts

Brett Cook, the new 7S/HV/LM GM spoke for at least 45 minutes at the recent Hidden Valley Foundation annual meeting. He mentioned some interesting items:

- A groomer was brought to Laurel Mountain from Mt. Snow to help with grooming operations. Brett indicated that equipment is shared between resorts and indicated that this offered them flexibility.

- The Techno Alpin software for operation of the automated fan guns at HV has been replaced with the latest version which includes alot of enhancement to improve snow quality.

-There will be no snow tubing at HV this year due to the poor condition of the old Outback barn that was used as the snow tubing lodge. It was also indicated that there were alot of injuries in the past due to the insufficient runout at teh bottom of the snow tubing slopes. He indicated that it needed to be reconfigured to make it more safe.

-They indicated that they are fully staffed for all three resorts. 

- Dave Runco, a former Nutting employee and now manager of hospitality operations also spoke. For HV restaurants, The Clocktower will be open Thurs, Friday, Sat. and Sunday; Glaciers will be open 7 days a week and the Sunrise/Sunset will be open Friday, Sat and Sunday.

-Brett indicated that it is their main goal for this season is to get things right at the three resorts.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
December 2, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts


 

snowsmith wrote:

Brett Cook, the new 7S/HV/LM GM spoke for at least 45 minutes at the recent Hidden Valley Foundation annual meeting. He mentioned some interesting items:

- A groomer was brought to Laurel Mountain from Mt. Snow to help with grooming operations. Brett indicated that equipment is shared between resorts and indicated that this offered them flexibility.

- The Techno Alpin software for operation of the automated fan guns at HV has been replaced with the latest version which includes alot of enhancement to improve snow quality.

-There will be no snow tubing at HV this year due to the poor condition of the old Outback barn that was used as the snow tubing lodge. It was also indicated that there were alot of injuries in the past due to the insufficient runout at teh bottom of the snow tubing slopes. He indicated that it needed to be reconfigured to make it more safe.

-They indicated that they are fully staffed for all three resorts. 

- Dave Runco, a former Nutting employee and now manager of hospitality operations also spoke. For HV restaurants, The Clocktower will be open Thurs, Friday, Sat. and Sunday; Glaciers will be open 7 days a week and the Sunrise/Sunset will be open Friday, Sat and Sunday.

-Brett indicated that it is their main goal for this season is to get things right at the three resorts.

It's good that HV is getting some attention.  Did you ask Brett about mowing the natural snow trails at Laurel? That would be a very easy way to begin to "get things right" at Laurel.

Grumpy dad
December 5, 2022
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts
It's been a long time since I was at the clocktower.  I remember it being gloomy, the food served was cold and the beer warm.  It looks so inviting when you first walk up to it, but man do they have work to do there.  Id rather just eat a chipped ham sandwich in the car honestly.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
December 5, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts

Finally got my first day in at Seven Springs. Conditions were about as good as machine made can be.

Wagner

1670265429_vuwsjdhjmyac.jpg

The best snow and most vertical was found in the Alley. 

1670265724_obxnwnhmdmjb.jpg

1670265753_qjkcfbndajwp.jpg

It looks like the North Face will be the next slope open. They've been making snow its entire length.

1670265873_cqxhnauqjztd.jpg 

We got about a dozen runs in and skied all open terrain at least twice before we called it a day. Perhaps we will hit Timberline next week.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
December 5, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts

Supplement to the previous post:

The Front Side open runs were Wagner, Cortina to the lower third of Stowe, Phillip's, and Fawn. Santa's Beard and Artic blast terrain parks didn't have features built yet. The top of Stowe has a lot of snow, and snowmaking continued down to the new Avalanche quad, so that should open soon.

On the North Face, Lost Boy was open to the Alley terrain park, which was already built out.

superguy
December 13, 2022
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

Wonder if Lost Boy was open to the bottom. I didn't ski it.

I went on Saturday night but conditions were pretty bad.  Frozen and loose granular that was all cut up, and a little wet as it was rainy and foggy. Plus I was on "new" rock skis I hadn't skied yet.

They did the best they could given the crappy hand they've been dealt, but I wasn't feeling it.  Looking forward to Christmas week with hopefully more terrain and better snow.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
December 13, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
Seven Springs today, not as nice conditions as last week, but they haven't lost any terrain. The Alley was built out from Deer Pass, the crossover back to the lodge. Snow guns were still blazing at 11 on North Face, the rest of Lost Boy, and other select areas. Upper Stowe is still not open.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
December 13, 2022
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts


 If it somehow turns out to be good this year, we need to support it. I have always suggested this would be the perfect place for Italian food....REAL pizza, pasta, chicken marsala, lasagna, etc. This would make for good family food. Now that Mauch is not standing in the way of spending a few nickles maybe it will exceed our low expectations. It is a nice space with a nice view. 

Grumpy dad wrote:

It's been a long time since I was at the clocktower.  I remember it being gloomy, the food served was cold and the beer warm.  It looks so inviting when you first walk up to it, but man do they have work to do there.  Id rather just eat a chipped ham sandwich in the car honestly.
Grumpy dad
December 15, 2022
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts

That's actually a VERY good idea.

Home made sauces are not hard.  You can make them, keep them on warm and then put them away for 2 nights until you need to make another batch.

Boiling pasta is easy.

Salads are not hard to make and make sure the product coming in is fresh and stays fresh.

Breads - buy some damn frozen rolls and bake them for 8 minutes, or go all out and buy a system that proofs, hydrates, bakes the product to perfection every time.   The bread could be used as a base for other venues to have paninis. 

Frying up some chicken isnt difficult for a zesty white sauce chicken mozzarella pasta dish, or a red sauce chicken parm.

Meatballs are extremely easy to make/bake.  They do dry out easily though, so 3/4 bakes , 1/4 microwave. (yes I said microwave)

If they wanted to go further you could do more complicated stuff.  

snowsmith wrote:


 If it somehow turns out to be good this year, we need to support it. I have always suggested this would be the perfect place for Italian food....REAL pizza, pasta, chicken marsala, lasagna, etc. This would make for good family food. Now that Mauch is not standing in the way of spending a few nickles maybe it will exceed our low expectations. It is a nice space with a nice view. 

Grumpy dad wrote:

It's been a long time since I was at the clocktower.  I remember it being gloomy, the food served was cold and the beer warm.  It looks so inviting when you first walk up to it, but man do they have work to do there.  Id rather just eat a chipped ham sandwich in the car honestly.
Grumpy dad
December 15, 2022
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts

It will be awhile before they can open North Face.  When you see whales almost as high as the bottom of your skis, that's when they can open it.  They are far off.

7 years ago (WOW I cant believe it has been that long!). 7S stopped allowing ski traffic on northface and did nothing but make snow.  This was late winter/heading into spring at some point.  Everything was open, not North Face.  They made whales as high as the snow machines could reach, would knock those down and made them again.  It was for an event called good company, a bunch of semi/pro riders met up at 7S after they closed to film this event.  The problem was, that spring came in with a ton of warm weather that year as well as rain.  Id say a very large portion of that snow was lost.  The plan was to have a top to bottom North Face park.  Skiing/riding those days of the filming werent so great.  Temps made alot of the snow feel like glue.  They pulled it off, but it was a shadow of what it was supposed to be.  All of that snow, more than Ive ever seen made on a single slope, and in the end they had a few larger features only.   

Northface takes a TON of snow to open, and mother nature is not cooperating . 

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Finally got my first day in at Seven Springs. Conditions were about as good as machine made can be.

Wagner

1670265429_vuwsjdhjmyac.jpg

The best snow and most vertical was found in the Alley. 

1670265724_obxnwnhmdmjb.jpg

1670265753_qjkcfbndajwp.jpg

It looks like the North Face will be the next slope open. They've been making snow its entire length.

1670265873_cqxhnauqjztd.jpg 

We got about a dozen runs in and skied all open terrain at least twice before we called it a day. Perhaps we will hit Timberline next week.

jrstaley
December 15, 2022
Member since 12/15/2022 🔗
10 posts

Has anyone been to 7S since these pics were posted?  I'm curious how much more snow has been added on the North Face, since they have had some cold nights.  Shame they don't have cams over there.

I've got a trip planned to 7S over Christmas break (I'm nuts, I know) and I'm not so patiently waiting for this cold weather to show up.  They should have sustained snowmaking temps and I'm hoping to see them make the best of it.  I've never seen a mountain come close to the snowmaking output that they claim (mainly looking at you WT and 7S).  

Oh, and I'm JR, a long-time lurker, first time poster.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
December 15, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts

I skied there on Tuesday. The North Face  towers opposite to those in the picture were blowing until midday, same for the lower half of Lost Boy. They were getting ice accumulation today and tonight. Temps will be dropping. My guess is they will try to get North Face open for Christmas week.

jrstaley
December 15, 2022
Member since 12/15/2022 🔗
10 posts


Thanks for the intel.

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

I skied there on Tuesday. The North Face  towers opposite to those in the picture were blowing until midday, same for the lower half of Lost Boy. They were getting ice accumulation today and tonight. Temps will be dropping. My guess is they will try to get North Face open for Christmas week.

DCSki Sponsor: Past Yonder: A Human's Views on AI
superguy
December 19, 2022
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

I posted this on the DCSki FB page, but for those who don't get there, BK just purchased and received 5 new low-E SMI Grizzly guns.  They appear to be on sleds. While more are needed, this should help fill in some gaps with and blow a lot of snow where deployed. Good to see a step in the right direction.

If they could pick up at least 5-10 more, they may be able to get a full slope covered quickly.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
December 22, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
This morning's 7S trail report says the North Face Slope is open. I was there yesterday taking a few runs for Franco, and they were pushing out giant whales on the North Face. Also, Lost Boy was open top to bottom for a novice run on that side of the mountain. There are whales on Avalanch waiting for the plow along with the top of Stowe, and both should be ready soon.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
December 23, 2022 (edited December 23, 2022)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts
It's 4:00 here my HV home and my weather station is reporting -8 degrees. The winds are 30-40 mph. BRUTAL is the only word I can think of. Worst weather conditions I have ever experienced in any area. My poor dogs won't stay outside for more than a minutes and thus have not pee'd or poop'd. I feel their pain. I can't imagine skiing in this weather. You have to be an extreme diehard. I see the chairlift at LM was closed down due to high winds. It's got to be brutal sitting on a chairlift that is stopped in this weather. Unfortunately we received maybe only 3-4 inches of snow from this monster of a storm. Kind of a disappointment.
superguy
December 23, 2022
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

7S is back to blowing snow non the front side, including Tyrol.

I'll be up for thy holiday week starting tomorrow afternoon. If you want to ski some runs over the weekend, I'm up for it. I'll probably be at HV more often as i need to get back into shape.

I'm going to try tomorrow afternoon if the weather's better. Let me know.

jrstaley
December 23, 2022
Member since 12/15/2022 🔗
10 posts
They are really firing away on the front. I am hoping that they have the capacity to be doing that on the north face slopes as well. Let us know what you find when you go, please. 
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
December 24, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
The brutal wind caused LM not to open yesterday (lift safety), so the real opening day is today. We planned to be there yesterday but living an hour and a half away and given the road condition. We opted out. It turned out to be the right choice. Family festivities are planned for the next two days, so that leaves Monday for my first day at Laurel. Holiday hours are in effect this week. LM will open at noon this Monday.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
December 26, 2022
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts

Skied LM for the first time this season today. Limited terrain open which is understandable given the brief cold weather period leading up to the Holiday season. However, it was 16 degrees and not even one snow gun was operating. Snow had been made on Innsbrook but there did not seem to be an attempt to finish the job. Lower Wildcat had little snow made. The key to success of this resort is to get as much as possible of the limited terrain open. Opening the iconic Wildcat is important since that one trail is a big draw. The Wildcat Lounge was open and hopping. The website indicated it was closed on Mondays. The menu has a nice salad with fruit, a healthy choice often lacking when 7S owned the place. Why can't Vail put the menus on the website? Broadway and Upper Wildcat were open with nice coverage although Wildcat was icey.

The woman that was GM last year for 7S was very innovative in getting terrain open. She had snow made on Hegan's Cut and also on Old Innsbrook. This unique ski resort could use that kind of innovative approach to help overcome the snow making limitations. 

LM is such a beautiful place ( I feel like I am in Vermont) that I can overlook some limitations. But please Vail....make use of the cold weather for snow making when it's here. Turn on the snow guns, please, when it is 16 degrees.

imp - DCSki Supporter 
December 27, 2022
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts
crew was told they could not make snow if it hit the chair, supposedly a Vail thing . find it hard to believe
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
December 27, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
So, that excuse might work with Lower, but what is the excuse for Innsbruck, I wonder?
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
December 27, 2022
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts


 That is bull. Just look at the 7S webcams. Thet were making snow everywhere. One GM for 3 resorts may not work. Only the favorite child will get all the attention and we know who that is. 7S is a huge operation and needs a dedicated GM. There was no reason not to at least have the snow guns running in Innsbrook. 

imp wrote:

crew was told they could not make snow if it hit the chair, supposedly a Vail thing . find it hard to believe
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
December 27, 2022
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts


 That is bull. Just look at the 7S webcams. Thet were making snow everywhere. One GM for 3 resorts may not work. Only the favorite child will get all the attention and we know who that is. 7S is a huge operation and needs a dedicated GM. There was no reason not to at least have the snow guns running in Innsbrook. 

imp wrote:

crew was told they could not make snow if it hit the chair, supposedly a Vail thing . find it hard to believe
jrstaley
December 27, 2022
Member since 12/15/2022 🔗
10 posts
7S has made a lot of snow. Grooming it out is another story. And now one of their groomers is broken on the side of Avalanche, so my hopes of addition terrain by tomorrow are gone. The groomers are in good shape early, but the crowds are bad by about noon.
Grumpy dad
December 28, 2022
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts

7S was an absolute zoo by 930a.   At 11am, it's at uncomfortable levels for me to ride.  

Avalanche does appear to be open at this point though.

jrstaley
December 28, 2022 (edited December 29, 2022)
Member since 12/15/2022 🔗
10 posts
Avalanche got me twice. Once it went on hold and had to walk back. Then I got to the bottom a second time to find three lines. One from each side and then the line for racers. Turned back. Whales remain on Tyrol, Boulder, and Gunnar. They did open blitzen with a run down to it. 
Patf1engineer
December 28, 2022
Member since 01/23/2018 🔗
62 posts
I’ve bailed out of seven Springs a little bit before 11. Was turning into a zoo.
Timothy.grasso
December 28, 2022
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
70 posts

Any working cameras at hidden valley or laurel? I can’t believe Vail Corp wouldn’t have these up and running.

superguy
December 28, 2022
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

GM said HV's cameras won't be on until January due to issues with their ISP.

I was at HV last night and it was pretty good. No lines. Snow was good and barely icy.

Snowmaking was in progress on the North Summit and at the top of Sunset lift. There was tons of snow on Tracker. Was surprised to see some HKD lance guns on there.

Front side was well-covered. Cobra looked ready to open, as did Firebird.

Continental was probably the most fun run. Great shape and was just a nice, fun cruiser.


Sounds like I picked well last night.

superguy
December 28, 2022
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts
Laurel just posted on FB that they're having water pump issues like Whitetail is.
wgo
December 28, 2022
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,667 posts
Probably worth a separate thread, but how well are resorts able to test their snowmaking infrastructure off season? Is it the sort of situation where you can test some stuff but some problems wont be found until you run at scale in winter conditions?
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
December 28, 2022
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts


 superguy wrote:

Laurel just posted on FB that they're having water pump issues like Whitetail is.

Brett Cook, GM for all three 7S resorts, posted that today. snowsmith would not have made his above post if we had known earlier. Also, I deleted a critical post I made here about the lack of snowmaking at Laurel last night after I learned there was a pump failure. I applaud the transparency but hope future announcements of this type come sooner. 

HVdad
December 29, 2022
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
95 posts
HV in great shape. More terrain opening on North Summit this morning. No crazy crowds!
jrstaley
December 29, 2022 (edited December 29, 2022)
Member since 12/15/2022 🔗
10 posts
I was fortunate to get first chair on Gunnar today. Was able to do Gunnar and Lost Girl each one time before we had to checkout.  I’m sure Giant Boulder and Tyrol are not too far behind. 
Leo
December 29, 2022
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
358 posts

HV was pretty nuts today. Especially considering the amount of terrain open.  I'm guessing we might be getting some spillover from people fed up with the crowd at 7S.  

They also seem to be having some pretty major lift issues. With multiple extended breakdowns of different lifts.

After about one week of skiing at HV under Vail's ownership, the jury is very much out. Some good, including mostly pleasant employees. But plenty of bad.

Thefirewarde
January 1, 2023
Member since 09/17/2015 🔗
112 posts

wgo wrote:

Probably worth a separate thread, but how well are resorts able to test their snowmaking infrastructure off season? Is it the sort of situation where you can test some stuff but some problems wont be found until you run at scale in winter conditions?

 You won't find everything without running both compressed air and water at full volume.  For Laurel, they likely incur demand charges if they start their main pumps before December - early testing is usually done as early as the GM will let you fire up the equipment. This seems more like a failure in service, though, which is even harder to find ahead of time.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
January 3, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts
Laurel and HV closed Jan 4 and 5 for rain. They're supposed to re-open Jan 6. Lovely, east coast weather. It now seems this happens every year.
Cycleski
January 3, 2023 (edited January 3, 2023)
Member since 01/10/2021 🔗
27 posts
Yes, this weather is a bummer. A couple of weeks ago, I was sweating it out over a family trip to Seven Springs.  The winter gods and snow makers allowed for enough terrain to be open on the front face plus the Alley for the couple of days we were there.  After seeing the deterioration due to this weather pattern, it seems hard to believe that HV, LM, an 7 Springs will recover.  Fingers crossed!
Leo
January 4, 2023
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
358 posts


 I know they aren't going to preemptively announce not being open Fri, but if HV finds a way to reopen Friday, I will be amazed.  Knowing what the mountain and the weather forecast look like.  If it's going to be 60 it could at least be sunny.  <eye roll>

snowsmith wrote:

Laurel and HV closed Jan 4 and 5 for rain. They're supposed to re-open Jan 6. Lovely, east coast weather. It now seems this happens every year.
superguy
January 9, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

7S can put snow out pretty fast.  HV can do it fairly quickly as well as it's a lot smaller.  Their snow tends to be better quality as their system is newer and more homogenous. 

7S is pretty good about replacing snowmaking pipe, and they do some every year.  HV doesn't talk much about it.

LM's problem is they don't own a compressor - they lease one every season and get it around Dec 1. So it's hard to do any tests until they're about ready to blow snow.  And if there's an issue, any repairs could put them behind the 8 ball if the temps are right at the time.

I expect LM willl recover better than BK as their system is better. BK will likely struggle most of the year. They'll be lucky to get to Stembogan at the current rate.

Leo
January 9, 2023
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
358 posts

It's certainly not their fault, the weather is the problem.  HV actually did manage to get back open Fri, which was impressive.  However both Fri and Sat sounded dangerous at best (I did not go, but heard that from multiple people I trust).

I opted not to go Sunday either and didn't hear from anyone who was there whether it was any better than the beginning of the weekend.

10 day forecast is better than it has been, but not great.

superguy
January 9, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

I was up there on the 30th and posted my pics to the DCSki FB page. It was starting to get thin then, with some brown snow and ground showing up.

Some runs that looked like they could have been ready to open earlier in the week, like Cobra, were pretty much all brown on Friday.

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
January 9, 2023
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,581 posts

I'm off today (Monday) and 2 friends and I were planning to go to HV.  We were spooked off by the limited trail openings (6) and the fact that they have ZERO social media posts since Friday morning. 

The lack of a webcam is also frustrating.  We have no idea what things look like or what to expect.

One can't fault them for the lousy weather but for goodness sake, update your potential guests.

I hope I do not regret buying that 7 day local Epic pass ..... and dare I say things were better under Bobby Nothing.


imp - DCSki Supporter 
January 9, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts
bad things are comming from Nuttings people they kept, in some departments they are still in charge.
superguy
January 9, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

GM said HV and Laurel are waiting for fiber to be pulled by the ISP to get the webcams up.  Why they waited until the season started is beyond me. Considering how little they did at all 3 resorts, you'd think they at least could have gotten that done, especially as they had webcams last year.,

Don't know why they couldn't have let those up until they had a replacement.

One of my friends was up there on Saturday as he bought some skis from someone up there.  He said it was looking sorry but they were blowing snow at least. Given the temps, I believe they likely are right now.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
January 9, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts


Like what?

imp wrote:

bad things are comming from Nuttings people they kept, in some departments they are still in charge.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
January 9, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts

It's called the Vail shit show. I must say my optimism has turned to frustration:

- The web cams stopped working in May of 2022. Thus 9 months would seem to be enough time to get them working, figure out they need fiber. The last time I skied at HV, Armstrong cable was there and appeared to be installing cable. There were no staff at the North Summit with the little guns checking passes. Probably because they need to run the internet cable. They did get 7S webcams working.

-They got the trail map up for 7S on the website the day before they opened. 

- The main restaurant at HV, The Clocktower, is not even mentioned on the website and there are no menus for any restaurant other than Helen's at 7s on the web. How many restaurants do you think would be successful without a web site. 

- The facebook page for HV was not updated for 10 days at one point. 

-They have one GM for all 3 resorts. At least tightwad Mauch had a GM for each resort. I really think this is the main problem. 7S is a huge resort operation. The GM has no time to devote to HV or LM.

I'll cut them a break regarding weather and snow making. However, they own 40 resorts. They should be experts in transition planning and operating a ski resort. I guess that's what happens when the CEO used to sell high fructose corn syrup (PEPSI Cola) and had no clue how to run a ski operation. 

 

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

I'm off today (Monday) and 2 friends and I were planning to go to HV.  We were spooked off by the limited trail openings (6) and the fact that they have ZERO social media posts since Friday morning. 

The lack of a webcam is also frustrating.  We have no idea what things look like or what to expect.

One can't fault them for the lousy weather but for goodness sake, update your potential guests.

I hope I do not regret buying that 7 day local Epic pass ..... and dare I say things were better under Bobby Nothing.


HVdad
January 10, 2023
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
95 posts

As a Hidden Valley homeowner with a vested interest in the ski operation's success, I must say that I am very concerned. Granted the weather has not cooperated, and we'll need to see how the remainder of the year unfolds from an operational perspective, but early indicators suggest we're getting exactly the treatment that a small hill deserves (under Vail's model, at least): little investment; the rationalization of resources (to the detriment of customer service); a global, one-approach-fits-all operating model with little local input/influence; and a general disregard for the unique needs, challenges and opportunities that come with regional/local mountains. As I've mentioned previously in this forum, when decisions flow from a sterile conference room in a generic office park off an interstate outside of Denver, well...

superguy
January 10, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

They hired a new social media girl that's supposed to be taking over for Abbey. I'm glad they at least kept Abbey as she was always great on social media. Her department was on the chopping block for "centralization" so I'm glad they got to keep their jobs.  That viral video with the falling skier behind her probably helped. :D

I agree that there was ample time to get webcams up.  There's no reason, IMO, that they couldn't have at least kept the original webcams up in the interim so we at least have some idea what conditions are out there.

Someone reported in today's FB post about the Clock Tower that several in their party had the chicken soup and all got sick. That was Sunday, and they notified the restaurant.  They still haven't been contacted by management.

7S should have its own GM.  Its too big to run as you guys are right, HV and LM are suffering.  I think they could get away with sharing a GM between LM and HV.  Sara did a good job at LM and would be cool to see her take over the places.

The thing that strikes me about Vail is they seem to have an overabundance of MBAs trying to run this company but not nearly enough people with experience or degrees in ski area management. It's hard to believe that they keep F'ing up at their resorts this badly year after year. This is more or less a normal year.  COVID really isn't a factor so they can't hide behind that.\

While I doubt Alterra and Boyne are problem free, you don't hear about the constant frustrations from their patrons as you do from Vail's. 

snowsmith wrote:

It's called the Vail shit show. I must say my optimism has turned to frustration:

- The web cams stopped working in May of 2022. Thus 9 months would seem to be enough time to get them working, figure out they need fiber. The last time I skied at HV, Armstrong cable was there and appeared to be installing cable. There were no staff at the North Summit with the little guns checking passes. Probably because they need to run the internet cable. They did get 7S webcams working.

-They got the trail map up for 7S on the website the day before they opened. 

- The main restaurant at HV, The Clocktower, is not even mentioned on the website and there are no menus for any restaurant other than Helen's at 7s on the web. How many restaurants do you think would be successful without a web site. 

- The facebook page for HV was not updated for 10 days at one point. 

-They have one GM for all 3 resorts. At least tightwad Mauch had a GM for each resort. I really think this is the main problem. 7S is a huge resort operation. The GM has no time to devote to HV or LM.

I'll cut them a break regarding weather and snow making. However, they own 40 resorts. They should be experts in transition planning and operating a ski resort. I guess that's what happens when the CEO used to sell high fructose corn syrup (PEPSI Cola) and had no clue how to run a ski operation. 

 

Blue Don 1982 wrote:

I'm off today (Monday) and 2 friends and I were planning to go to HV.  We were spooked off by the limited trail openings (6) and the fact that they have ZERO social media posts since Friday morning. 

The lack of a webcam is also frustrating.  We have no idea what things look like or what to expect.

One can't fault them for the lousy weather but for goodness sake, update your potential guests.

I hope I do not regret buying that 7 day local Epic pass ..... and dare I say things were better under Bobby Nothing.


camp
January 10, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

snowsmith wrote:

- The main restaurant at HV, The Clocktower, is not even mentioned on the website and there are no menus for any restaurant other than Helen's at 7s on the web. How many restaurants do you think would be successful without a web site. 


Well, at least we know someone up high reads this thread (?). ;)

camp
January 10, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

superguy wrote:

The thing that strikes me about Vail is they seem to have an overabundance of MBAs trying to run this company but not nearly enough people with experience or degrees in ski area management. It's hard to believe that they keep F'ing up at their resorts this badly year after year. This is more or less a normal year.  COVID really isn't a factor so they can't hide behind that.\


I think Brett Cook, the current GMx3 started in lift ops at Roundtop and moved up/around the 3 Snowtimes in operations. I see Vail curiously having a wide variety of experiences and educations running large operations. But, maybe the decisions and pacing is coming from CO?

superguy
January 10, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

My guess is he's been told to prioritize 7S over the other two. It's the money maker and the largest. The other 2 get what's left over, with HV getting the bigger part of that.

I wonder how much Vail corporate ties his hands.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
January 10, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts

Camp, as of 01/10/23, 8:34pm, there is STILL not mention of the main restaurant at HV on the HV Resort website. I can only conclude that the Vail IT staff is either incompetent or there is insufficient staff to handle the IT work for all 3 resorts. They did post something on Facebook that the restaurant is open. Still no menu for the Clocktower, Glaciers Pub (same with Wildcat Lounge at LM and Slopeside at 7S).  Check it out...

Dining | Hidden Valley PA (hiddenvalleyresort.com)

I'll note that during the Nutting/Mauch regime, they had a video almost everyday with their spokesperson talking about the conditions (more promotional rather than a snow report). 

camp wrote:

snowsmith wrote:

- The main restaurant at HV, The Clocktower, is not even mentioned on the website and there are no menus for any restaurant other than Helen's at 7s on the web. How many restaurants do you think would be successful without a web site. 


Well, at least we know someone up high reads this thread (?). ;)

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
January 10, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts

I think a lot of the problems with LM and HV are coming from the mountain ops. Not the crews that are doing their best but from management. Brett Cook said that the handle tow at Laurel would be operational this season but it has not run yet due to lack of snowmaking. I was at LM on Sunday and the snowmakers were recovering Broadway. I don't know if they ever got snowmaking restarted on Lower or Innsbruck.

superguy
January 10, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

How much snow can LM make at a time?

Or HV for that matter?

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
January 12, 2023
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,581 posts

Well, my buddy and I are going to risk the biscuit and head to 7S tomorrow morning.  I'm 2ish hours west of 7S and it is 46* and pouring rain here.  The forecast calls for rain to snow Fri AM. 

This is the absolute latest, first day on the slopes for both of us in 10+ years. Did I mention tomorrow if Friday the 13th, what could possibly go wrong?

Laurel Highlands
January 12, 2023
Member since 10/29/2013 🔗
54 posts

Wish you the best in your travels, but there is no way I would want to be anywhere close to 7S or HV this MLK weekend with as little terrain as they currently show as open.  I have learned my lesson, and have no patience to pay $100+ day just to stand in line, not to mention all the other expense involved getting there.   If I was looking for that kind of abuse, I would take the family to Disney; No thank you to both.   

It boggles my mind how people move in herds on holidays.   Waiting another week would more time to recover and hopefully open more terrain, not to mention avoiding the "Holiday Rates" and crowd.    If you can get off from work, midweek is better still.   My .02, but your call.   

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
January 12, 2023
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,581 posts


I just hope it's not too bad at 9 AM.  I have to leave by 2 PM at the very latest to pick up my grandson. 

Plan - ski 9 - 11, lunch 11 - 11.30, ski 1130 - 130, get outta dodge by 2 ...

Hopefully, we miss the kids in school. We should have gone to 7S on Monday but we were fixated on HV. 

Fingers crossed and I'll post an update if I get a minute on Friday.

Laurel Highlands wrote:

Wish you the best in your travels, but there is no way I would want to be anywhere close to 7S or HV this MLK weekend with as little terrain as they currently show as open.  I have learned my lesson, and have no patience to pay $100+ day just to stand in line, not to mention all the other expense involved getting there.   If I was looking for that kind of abuse, I would take the family to Disney; No thank you to both.   

It boggles my mind how people move in herds on holidays.   Waiting another week would more time to recover and hopefully open more terrain, not to mention avoiding the "Holiday Rates" and crowd.    If you can get off from work, midweek is better still.   My .02, but your call.   

superguy
January 13, 2023 (edited January 13, 2023)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

I don't know that another week would be better. The forecast has temps all over the map with both rain and snow.

Monday's probably as good as we'll get for a while.

Bonzski
January 13, 2023
Member since 10/21/2015 🔗
652 posts
I agree, if you can get out today DO IT!  I'd rather stand in a lift line than sit on a couch.
Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
January 13, 2023
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,581 posts


Our game plan was spot on. Arrived early, we were 3rd in line for the Polar Bear Express at 9 AM.  There were a half dozen people behind us. We skied up to 90% of the lifts and never waited more than a minute or two. We skied all the open trails until 11:30 then stopped at the Foggy Goggle for lunch.  It was not crowded but was picking up around noon.

Back out a little after noon and skied until 1:30.  Slopes were starting to get crowded but the lift lines were still short.  Parking lot was packed when I left with 2 people waiting for my spot. 

It was the first day out for all of us this season. 2 of us have Epic Day passes. I have the 7 day that cost me 280ish.  Today was well worth the 40 bucks I have in it. The other 2 paid (yikes) 115 for lift tickets. They knew they were not getting their money's worth but were happy to be on the slopes.

We are all former or current homeowners at SS.  We all agreed we need visit 7S more often .... but not on a Sat or Sunday.

Random Coverage Shots

1673651754_nlkmthdvvmkv.jpg

1673651769_zxyleswzktgg.jpg

1:30 PM Lift Line
 1673651385_jwjkyhcbzcuw.jpg


Bonzski wrote:

I agree, if you can get out today DO IT!  I'd rather stand in a lift line than sit on a couch.
chuck_wow
January 15, 2023
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
54 posts
18F and the guns have been firing all night long at 7 Springs. Some decent whales were forming as of yesterday eve.
superguy
January 17, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

Ok, i noticed some of Vail's subtle "improvements" yesterday in the lodge.

Both are in between the cafeteria and the Goggle.


First, all the day lockets that used to be back there are gone, except for a few season rentals in the back. The lockers used to be a dollar per use, and was great for keeping shoes and a lunch in.

The real kicker is they put the expensive day lockera down there, starting at $10 minimum based on size (same ones they had at a WT) . Yes, they're good all day, but when you want from paying $1-2 a day to a minimum $10, that's a huge increase and money grab.

I'm sure the locker room in the lodge across from the ticket window at HV has been upgraded as well. 😡


Now that the coffee bar is there, they're now controlling the seating much more. We were sitting in the back of the coffee room and a guy comes around telling us that they close the area at 2pm. 2pm came and he kicked everyone out (nicely at least).

Seating is inadequate already in the lodge and they killed a bunch of it early for no real reason. Close the coffee bar, but leave the seating at least.

Hearing grumbling about Vail in the lift lines now too. Hard not to understand why.

superguy
January 17, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts
Be sure to stay on the main channel of each slope. They're only about two third covered, with a bunch of thin coat that was deceptive with the shadows. Ended up far right on Stowe and it was pretty thin, but no signs of anything. Didn't find out until it was too late to turn back.
ShredDMV
January 18, 2023
Member since 09/23/2022 🔗
24 posts

Survived the holiday weekend madness at 7springs & Hidden Valley.  Saturday at 7springs was extremely foggy combined with the snowmaking, visibility was low.  I was pleasantly surprised with the skiing at Hidden, I got first tracks down the black there, and it skied like manmade powder from the snow guns!  Hope y'all enjoy!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVR3dNbWEtc

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
January 18, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
North lot at 7S. 34 with fog and drizzle visibility about 30 feet. Season pass holder. Should i ski by feel or wait for a sunny day? Prime parking 
superguy
January 18, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts
You could always go down to the bottom and take the lift up.  If it drives you nuts in that short time, it's easy to leave.
Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
January 18, 2023
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,581 posts


 I'm holding out until Monday with hopes that Ma Nature gets her act together and freshens things up a bit.

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

North lot at 7S. 34 with fog and drizzle visibility about 30 feet. Season pass holder. Should i ski by feel or wait for a sunny day? Prime parking 
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
January 18, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
I hit it for about 15000 vertical in the fog. The surface was okay. Brown spots provided contrast. Not too shabby.
Timothy.grasso
January 21, 2023
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
70 posts
Finally, the camera is back on at Hidden Valley! 
msprings
January 21, 2023
Member since 07/4/2014 🔗
154 posts
No Gunnar lift running today? And only North Face lift running on the back side? Not a great way to spread Saturday crowds out.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
January 21, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts

Lower getting blower posted Saturday on the Support Laurel Mt. FB group facebook.com

1674340841_ogvtxmdeihjx.jpg

Leo
January 23, 2023
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
358 posts


 Any chance of Lower being open tomorrow?

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Lower getting blower posted Saturday on the Support Laurel Mt. FB group facebook.com

1674340841_ogvtxmdeihjx.jpg

imp - DCSki Supporter 
January 23, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts

I think it will take till mid week at earlist

Leo
January 23, 2023
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
358 posts


 Thank you -- trying to decide where to go tomorrow.

imp wrote:

I think it will take till mid week at earlist

imp - DCSki Supporter 
January 23, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts

I may know more this evening, will post if it is earlier

oddballstocks
January 23, 2023
Member since 02/11/2017 🔗
123 posts
Anyone know if they're blowing on Innsbruck?
imp - DCSki Supporter 
January 23, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts
snowmaking starting back up on lower tonight, none yet on Innsbruck. high winds and high humidity changing tonight
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
January 24, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts
Best day of the ski year today with 4" of fresh at HV. Off to Vermont to ski Mt Snow, Okemo and Mt. Sunapee.
Patf1engineer
January 24, 2023
Member since 01/23/2018 🔗
62 posts

People always seem to focus on when Lower is going to open but frankly Innsbruck (and the rope tow) is just as important to the operation of Laurel since a relatively small percentage of people even ski on Lower Wildcat and it opens up easier terrain for new skiers.  I have always felt that Innsbruck gets more traffic when it is open.  

oddballstocks wrote:

Anyone know if they're blowing on Innsbruck?
imp - DCSki Supporter 
January 24, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts
strange for an engineer you are actually right
oddballstocks
January 24, 2023
Member since 02/11/2017 🔗
123 posts


 I like lower myself, but my wife and two of my kids are too young to do it.  They prefer Innsbruck.  My older two who can do lower don't have the stamina to do it repeatedly and get bored of Broadway.  Innsbruck is enough variety.

Until they get Innsbruck open we'll just continue to hit up Seven Springs.  This is true for a lot of families.

Patf1engineer wrote:

People always seem to focus on when Lower is going to open but frankly Innsbruck (and the rope tow) is just as important to the operation of Laurel since a relatively small percentage of people even ski on Lower Wildcat and it opens up easier terrain for new skiers.  I have always felt that Innsbruck gets more traffic when it is open.  

oddballstocks wrote:

Anyone know if they're blowing on Innsbruck?
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
January 24, 2023 (edited January 24, 2023)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts

I agree on Innsbrook. It gives a little variety to your way down the mountain. I alternate between Innsbrook, Broadway and Wildcat. And if they have some of the other trails open like Hegan's Cut and Old Innsbrook it makes for a great ski experience.  It's a small mountain, they should try to get as much of this terrain open as possible. The woman who was the GM last year was creative in making use of the limited portable guns they have to get some of the trails open like Hegan's Cut. If they can't make snow on Innsbrook and Lower at the same time, the snow making system needs work. Please do not 'cheap out' on snow making. 

 

Patf1engineer wrote:

People always seem to focus on when Lower is going to open but frankly Innsbruck (and the rope tow) is just as important to the operation of Laurel since a relatively small percentage of people even ski on Lower Wildcat and it opens up easier terrain for new skiers.  I have always felt that Innsbruck gets more traffic when it is open.  

oddballstocks wrote:

Anyone know if they're blowing on Innsbruck?
superguy
January 24, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Best day of the ski year today with 4" of fresh at HV. Off to Vermont to ski Mt Snow, Okemo and Mt. Sunapee.

 With the snowmaking you see, what additional runs do you think will be open?

superguy
January 24, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

snowsmith wrote:

I agree on Innsbrook. It gives a little variety to your way down the mountain. I alternate between Innsbrook, Broadway and Wildcat. And if they have some of the other trails open like Hegan's Cut and Old Innsbrook it makes for a great ski experience.  It's a small mountain, they should try to get as much of this terrain open as possible. The woman who was the GM last year was creative in making use of the limited portable guns they have to get some of the trails open like Hegan's Cut. If they can't make snow on Innsbrook and Lower at the same time, the snow making system needs work. Please do not 'cheap out' on snow making.

 The state really needs to pony up some more to get the snowmaking up to snuff. They'll probably make more money too from increased visits. Half of the available runs constantly closed due to a lack of snowmaking is a big turn off to a lot of people - especially those who aren't familiar with LM. Doubtful those folks would even give it a chance over 7S.

Leo
January 24, 2023
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
358 posts

I skied two hours at 7S this morning and then headed to HV.

LM and 7S could both use some TechnoAlpin guns. It's comical how much better the conditions are at HV.  If only there was terrain here.

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
January 24, 2023
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,581 posts


 100% agree. With only a few trails open, I can't justify burning one of my Epic days + the extra drive time (for me) to visit LM. 

I see the need for me to upgrade my Epic 7 day pass to a Northeast Midweek Pass next year. That would allow me to bounce around the 3 WPA ski hills during one full day trip.   

superguy wrote:

 a lack of snowmaking is a big turn off to a lot of people - especially those who aren't familiar with LM. Doubtful those folks would even give it a chance over 7S.

Patf1engineer
January 24, 2023
Member since 01/23/2018 🔗
62 posts

When I am patrolling an early shift and all the "regular" trails are open I will hit Lower 4 or 5 times in a row first thing in the morning and then pretty much just cruise Innsbruck the rest of the day.  Frankly, the scenery of the valley is best from it, and it ends up being the longest run.

Its easy to say put snowmaking on everything, but the places I would most like to see would be Laurel Run to the slot and the lower portion of Dream Highway as well as the right side of lower where it widens out below the trees.  That gives another complete run down the mountain and gets people on Lower away from Deer Path.   

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
January 24, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
I disagree with the idea that Innsbruck should see snowmaking before Lower Wildcat. Laurel has not been a stand-alone resort since it reopened, and now it doesn't even have its own season pass. There are lots of green and blue trails and slopes at HV and 7S, and those two lack true expert pitched terrain. This is the longest wait for Wildcat since Laurel reopened. Beginners and intermediates are well served by HV and 7S. Laurel has something the other two do not have, 500+ vertical feet of 60% grade. Now, if they would make snow from edge to edge and allow skier's far right to bump up...
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
January 24, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts


 LHC - I would think the snow making system could handle making snow on two runs, Wildcat and Innsbrook? It seems like that happened in the past?

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

I disagree with the idea that Innsbruck should see snowmaking before Lower Wildcat. Laurel has not been a stand-alone resort since it reopened, and now it doesn't even have its own season pass. There are lots of green and blue trails and slopes at HV and 7S, and those two lack true expert pitched terrain. This is the longest wait for Wildcat since Laurel reopened. Beginners and intermediates are well served by HV and 7S. Laurel has something the other two do not have, 500+ vertical feet of 60% grade. Now, if they would make snow from edge to edge and allow skier's far right to bump up...
camp
January 24, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

Does the absence of the Laurel Tow from the map mean anything?

Has it run this season?

1674605160_uqauuspuwwnf.jpg

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
January 24, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts


 

snowsmith wrote:


 LHC - I would think the snow making system could handle making snow on two runs, Wildcat and Innsbrook? It seems like that happened in the past?

I was wondering the same. It seemed they started to make snow on both before the pump failure. Imp is on the mountain almost every day. Perhaps he has some insight. 

 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
January 24, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts


 

camp wrote:

Does the absence of the Laurel Tow from the map mean anything?

Has it run this season?

1674605160_uqauuspuwwnf.jpg

The handle tow is still there, but that map has a certain accuracy. It has not run this season.


imp - DCSki Supporter 
January 25, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts
lack of both air and water pressure, 4 instead of 6 compressors, and another water pump was in the original design. 2016 work to ruin Innsbruck was a botch of piping and valves.
RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter 
January 25, 2023
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
260 posts

I highly recommend reading the forecast discussion posted by NWS State College during winter weather events.  They have a sneaky sense of humor.  From this AM:

9:30 AM Update: ALL reporting sites over Laurel Highlands (KJST, KAOO, KHMZ) went from 5-10sm visibility to 1/4SM SN+ in the past hour, and snow has just begun in State College after several hours of returns aloft. HREF prob of GT 1"/hour maximizes to 70-90 percent across the Central and South Central Mountains in the 15z to 18z timeframe, and we`re already seeing these snow rates observed with a report of 1" in 20 minutes in Garrett County MD last hour...and 2.75 inches in 90 minutes (since 8:45 AM) in Cumberland MD. Classic snow thump scenario for the area, esp central and south, with 1-2" per hour rates for 2 to 4 hours. If you are disappointed with what`s happening out your window right now, just wait an hour and get back to us.

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
January 25, 2023
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,581 posts

I must say, I envy you retired guys (and gals) who can ski midweek. I looked at the webcams at HV and 7S today (3 PM ish) to see the weather compared to Snowshoe. (the Laurels look way better than SS) 

I saw 2 skiers at HV and no one in line for minutes at a time.  They have the whole place to themselves. 7S had more peeps but was not at all crowded.

Hopefully, I can join your exclusive club for the 23 - 24 ski season.

HVdad
January 26, 2023
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
95 posts

As of the evening of 26 Jan, things look brilliant at Hidden Valley - new natural snow, TechnoAlpin guns blazing and no dirt and mud! What a difference 1500 feet make in the mid-Atlantic!

1674782069_fkrkkbtcoyeb.jpg

superguy
January 26, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

HVdad wrote:

As of the evening of 26 Jan, things look brilliant at Hidden Valley - new natural snow, TechnoAlpin guns blazing and no dirt and mud! What a difference 1500 feet make in the mid-Atlantic!

1674782069_fkrkkbtcoyeb.jpg

 Totally. The Highlands have just much more opportunity to make snow compared to the Snowtime 3.

I'll be out there tomorrow night and Saturday. Looking forward to it. I hear Cobra will finally open on Saturday. Hope some other runs do too.

RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter 
January 27, 2023
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
260 posts
Giant Steps at 7S open this weekend?  Any chance of Yodeler?
oddballstocks
January 27, 2023
Member since 02/11/2017 🔗
123 posts

I'd be shocked at both.  Was there last night and it's just whatever dusting on the grass.  Guns weren't on.

Seems these last few years we're lucky if Giant Steps is open by the last week in February...

Only snow they were blowing was on Sunset, the race course slope, which looks open this AM.

superguy
January 27, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

I'm surprised they haven't started on Alpine Meadows and the Superpipe. That was over if their big bragging points.

I understand the weather hasn't cooperated, but with the helps we've had you'd think they would have at least started.

msprings
January 27, 2023
Member since 07/4/2014 🔗
154 posts
I was at 7S today. Sunset likely opening tomorrow. Slight chance Alpine for Saturday. Zero chance Giant Steps or Yodeler for this weekend 
superguy
January 28, 2023 (edited January 28, 2023)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

msprings wrote:

I was at 7S today. Sunset likely opening tomorrow. Slight chance Alpine for Saturday. Zero chance Giant Steps or Yodeler for this weekend 

 Have they even made snow on Alpine?

On another note, HV has one thing that hasn't been Vailed: the dollar locker room near the ski shop. Good place to dump some equipment or a lunch without spending an arm and a leg like 7S.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
January 29, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts

Laurel's Lower Wildcat was opened yesterday. Innsbruck is next for snowmaking. I haven't been yet. Next opportunity is Tuesday. Laurel is closed Mondays.

chuck_wow
January 29, 2023
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
54 posts


 I did it a few years ago and I regretted it. I shoylda gone to 7S for same drive time and money. Hunter sucks balls

marzNC wrote:

Maybe, maybe not in terms of crossover just because an Epic pass is good at all six locations.  Driving distance matters unless the destination is significantly different.  People from Pittsburgh and DC/NoVA are likely to drive to Timberline or Snowshoe if they want WV snow conditions and terrain.  Driving past Whitetail from DC to ski Laurel or the other western PA mountains, maybe not.  Would someone from Pittsburgh drive all the way to Whitetail?  Certainly wouldn't be worth driving to Liberty or Roundtop.

My sense is that neither Peak nor VR has convinced DC/Baltimore folks that it's worth driving up to Hunter for early season turns.

superguy
January 30, 2023 (edited January 30, 2023)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

Growing up in the Highlands, I know there weren't too many people heading down to Whitetail back in the day. A few maybe to try it out, but no one going on a regular basis. The only other resort on people's radar was BK.

Much more likely to see people driving up to the Highlands vs driving to WT. I doubt that has changed much, and certainly hasn't among my friends that still live up there at least.

Hunter was always my HS ski club's big trip, but they always got a screaming deal since my ski club advisor's son worked in management there.

marzNC wrote:

Maybe, maybe not in terms of crossover just because an Epic pass is good at all six locations.  Driving distance matters unless the destination is significantly different.  People from Pittsburgh and DC/NoVA are likely to drive to Timberline or Snowshoe if they want WV snow conditions and terrain.  Driving past Whitetail from DC to ski Laurel or the other western PA mountains, maybe not.  Would someone from Pittsburgh drive all the way to Whitetail?  Certainly wouldn't be worth driving to Liberty or Roundtop.

My sense is that neither Peak nor VR has convinced DC/Baltimore folks that it's worth driving up to Hunter for early season turns.

needawax
January 30, 2023
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
37 posts

Skied HV fri-sat-sun.  Weather & conditions were wonderful on Saturday.  Glad they opened Cobra, Glad they reopened the Clocktower bar and tables.  Dining room closed off though.  It was packed.  Servers a little overwhelmed in Glaciers, but it seems that the ski operations, etc are finding their groove finally.  The rain moved in on Sunday, but it cut out in the early afternoon so it was a decent experience from 1-3pm.  What slopes they do have open ski great, but wish they could get more of the North Summit slopes open.  

superguy
January 30, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

needawax wrote:

Skied HV fri-sat-sun.  Weather & conditions were wonderful on Saturday.  Glad they opened Cobra, Glad they reopened the Clocktower bar and tables.  Dining room closed off though.  It was packed.  Servers a little overwhelmed in Glaciers, but it seems that the ski operations, etc are finding their groove finally.  The rain moved in on Sunday, but it cut out in the early afternoon so it was a decent experience from 1-3pm.  What slopes they do have open ski great, but wish they could get more of the North Summit slopes open.  

Voyager looks like it just needs a groom and Barracuda looked decent. Hope they get those open this week!

imp - DCSki Supporter 
January 31, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts
just heard lower will be closed till friday for snowmaking, 
Thefirewarde
February 1, 2023
Member since 09/17/2015 🔗
112 posts

Yeah, the 7S and LM snowmaking issues have nothing to do with the brand of snowgun (HKD has built very impressive automated systems at Holiday Valley NY, for example) and reflects more on the age of the resorts in question. The newer manual HKDs at Laurel do fairly well, but they can't start and stop and adjust as well as a technically inferior gun at HV if that HV gun has an auto valve. (The 2010-2020 era TA guns are objectively lower output than comparable HKDs based on grid measurements.)

Does LM merit a $15k/gun overhaul to add TechnoAlpin towers on core routes? Probably not - to my mind that kind of money could be better spent on an $8k/gun semiauto Klik upgrade from HKD, which removes connecting and disconnecting hoses but doesn't require any electronics at the gun. Likewise at 7S getting more trails equipped with modern HKDs - that use even less air than the originals that were developed in-house - can make a pretty big difference. The old gooseneck guns were state of the art when they were built, but they're 30 years old in some cases. Expanding the Klik system already present is better than going with an inferior TA stick.

Ask any controls engineer if they'd rather support a Siemens PLC based system or an in-house controller. TA does not use very many industry standard components, HKD uses widely available controls components wherever they can.

imp - DCSki Supporter 
February 4, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts

Innsbruck opened 1pm. all snowmaking areas open

oddballstocks
February 4, 2023
Member since 02/11/2017 🔗
123 posts


 Finally!!! Just in time for a week with the temps in the 50s...ugh.

imp wrote:

Innsbruck opened 1pm. all snowmaking areas open

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
February 5, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts

Article in the Post Gazette about the snow making challenges at 7s/HV and LM. Also talks about perceived failures by Vail Resorts.

Good weather means bad times for area ski resorts | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Grumpy dad
February 6, 2023
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts

Look Im sure 7S / HV snow making crews are great, but I watched when we had sub 20 degree temps many times and the only snow being made was maybe one slope that wasn't open yet, and slow/heavy traffic areas.  If staffing is still an issue I would suggest it's more of a limit that vale is putting on staffing and a lack of automation.  Paying people to run around to turn valves on/off seems crazy to me in 2023, but whatever Id certainly enjoy it if I was retired :).  I do know though, that they dont have the same staff levels for many areas as they did prior to Vale. Vale paying $20/hr will absolutely limit the number of positions they hold on their books. 

I know people that worked there part time to be in the area, able to ski for free etc but no longer since Vale.  Most citing new rules around part time workers, minimum requirements etc that they just werent willing to jump through the hoops for any longer.  

I also know alot of people that like me, opted not to get a season pass - getting day passes instead and limiting the number of local outings to just that number, or if it is a wonderful powder day late season , just fork over the extra cash for say 2 days, and you are still way ahead.  I also called the Vale # early on and they said they would work with me to pickup extra passes if needed.  So far, I dont need it, and so far Im still planning on what I did this year for next year.  

7S is my local hill, and I love the place.  I see so much potential too.  But the cutting back is obvious across the board.  For example, Timbers is still shut down 'due to covid'.  Huh?  What's that?  But they dont mind packing people in like cattle into the lodge area eating on the floor.  SMH.  Slopeside has no hot prep area running during the dinner buffet that we visited twice.  None.  Remember they used to have a guy there making pasta, or omelets.  The restaurant was more full than Ive ever seen it when I visited as well.  The food was sub par. The large desert , meats, cheese table - gone.  

Bowling only had a few lanes operating properly the one week we went.  A few weeks later we stopped by and asked, and they were still suffering with the same problems.  Lack of maintenance.  

At least they redid the mini golf.  That was embarrassing before.  I really thought they were going to turn this into something a bit more profitable, but for now and likely at least the next few years it looks like this is something they will highlight as 'things to do' at 7s. After all, they do need things to do when the weather sucks and you've booked here and arent going to cancel.  Ive always suggested they operate a theater there.  I think they would do well with that.  It would only take a couple of workers to operate.  At times (holiday in the highlands) they used one of the conference rooms, put up a cheap projector and showed christmas movies.

Speaking of holiday in the highlands....I wonder what they plan to do with the million plus lights they have all over the property that they no longer light? 

snowsmith wrote:

Article in the Post Gazette about the snow making challenges at 7s/HV and LM. Also talks about perceived failures by Vail Resorts.

Good weather means bad times for area ski resorts | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Grumpy dad
February 6, 2023
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts
Dont you feel as if the moment you get off the lift you are already at the bottom at HV?  I could never spend more than a couple of hours there when I got older without feeling like this place was so lame.  It wasnt until I decided to pickup snowboarding at an age that most people wouldnt dare, that I found the vert/steepness perfect for learning, not to mention the lower crowds and better snow making conditions.  Then the clocktower or glaciers really made it nice for me, or the little hut at the bottom of their expansion - I could grab a coffee or two and head back out.  I liked that. 
superguy
February 6, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

GD,

I agree largely with your sentiments. Anytime I've looked when it's been good snowmaking weather, it seems like they don't take full advantage. I'm willing to accept that it could be happening on the backside where there's no cameras, or virtually anywhere at HV and LM due to the lack of cameras. By this point I would hope they're balancing getting new terrain open while building the base a bit.

HV arguably has the most modern snowmaking of the 3 with automation due to its pretty homogenous TA system. They just upgraded the system software so I believe there isn't much manual intervention required to run the system, portable and select guns excepted. 7S and LM are largely manual with guys having to run over the mountain to activate/deactivate/mix the guns.

I've seen some weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over on one of the 7S groups that they're still short-staffed. One would think that with the $20 Vail minimum plus OT that they would have solved that as that's pretty good money in that area. Guess not though.

I don't think that I'll get a pass next year. Maybe some day passes, but it's midseason and I've only been out 5 times. Haven't even amortized a day pass let alone the cheap NE Value Pass I got. It's getting too unpredictable unless you know you can get out and can even get out midweek.

I've always thought HV skied bigger than what it is.  Its vertical is equivalent to the front side of 7S. But unlike 7S, there's actually variation in the terrain rather than feeling like you're skiing the same run over and over again like you do at 7S.

Bonzski
February 6, 2023
Member since 10/21/2015 🔗
652 posts
Has anyone listened to Stuart Winchester's podcast interview of Vail's VP of 7S/HV/LM? Geesh.
camp
February 6, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

Bonzski wrote:

Has anyone listened to Stuart Winchester's podcast interview of Vail's VP of 7S/HV/LM? Geesh.

 A 1/3 through, pretty disappointing so far

Grumpy dad
February 6, 2023 (edited February 6, 2023)
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts

The workers have no idea what is posted and what isn't.  There was a culture of looking at good employees and asking hey do you know anyone.  

Now hiring is handled early in elsewhere then people are sent onsite to interview.  That's intimidating honestly to a perspective employee. Whereas before the buddy system just worked. 

Not to mention I know for a fact that jobs that maybe took five people they are posting only three spots for.  Maybe not all positions but lift runners and snow machine workers ive hear is at all time lows with certain reliable workers being worked hard.  

Weve been vailed. It won't last long I don't think. Maybe the out of state people will continue to fall for the gimmicks for awhile but Pittsburgh people will consider 7s and hv dead to them in a short time.  Using them for off season purposes and non busy periods and picking snowshoe, wisp, blue knob, holiday valley as better options. 

I talked to a lift guy from the early 90s today. He talked about how exceptional and careful the food was in the 90s.  Especially in slopeside.  The prime rib was apparently insanely good.   He also said they did everything they could to open every lift and always had people available due to illness or whatever.  People went wherever they were needed and if lifts weren't open by nine all hell broke loose.  All lifts serving open terrain.  People working there had a blast and the owner , Dupree, would throw parties and events for workers apparently.  Also he mentioned the sausage pits at the bottom of hills where you could buy big sandwiches.  I don't remember that maybe before my day but nutting stopped that as it was all cash and hard to track but dupre apparently made a ton of money per year on those pits. 

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
February 7, 2023
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,990 posts

stormskiing.com

Here’s the link. 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 7, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts


 

Grumpy dad wrote:

Weve been vailed. It won't last long I don't think. Maybe the out of state people will continue to fall for the gimmicks for awhile but Pittsburgh people will consider 7s and hv dead to them in a short time.  Using them for off season purposes and non busy periods and picking snowshoe, wisp, blue knob, holiday valley as better options. 

I think you're wrong about that. If you think service and snowmaking have declined at the Laurel Highland resorts, then you haven't been to Blue Knob in recent years. The other places you mentioned are unrealistic day trips for most Pittsburgh markets. It's a lousy winter, and all Northeast resorts struggled early season, but some folks like to assign blame and complain. Frankly, I've never liked giving in to nostalgia. Back in the good old days, lift lines were longer, lifts were slower, and snowmaking was worse. What the good old days had were cold winters.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
February 7, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts
I listened to the Storm King podcast and my take on what Brett said about LM was that there is insufficient electrical power and water supply for expansion of snow making. He mentioned getting improvements to the electrical power supply to add fan guns. So it sounds like they have a plan to improve snowmaking, but will need participation from DCNR.
Leo
February 7, 2023
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
358 posts


 Come on snowsmith, you know the DCNR has all of their resources tied up trying to keep people from using the State park/forest.  If they invested money in things like snowmaking that would have to come out of their enforcement budget and who knows what would happen then, tax payors might be able to use the resource they're paying for, and I don't think anyone would want that.  LOL.

snowsmith wrote:

I listened to the Storm King podcast and my take on what Brett said about LM was that there is insufficient electrical power and water supply for expansion of snow making. He mentioned getting improvements to the electrical power supply to add fan guns. So it sounds like they have a plan to improve snowmaking, but will need participation from DCNR.
needawax
February 7, 2023
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
37 posts

In HV's case, yes they were vailed, but any modernization there (e.g., the now almost ubiquitous RFID passes) would be welcome.  Snowmaking, I've noticed, has been done more wisely and has allowed them to remain open from the start pretty much given little natural snow this winter -- opening trails and slopes one at a time, albeit a little slowly for my taste.  All this is not without a downside and that would be the lodge and its amenities.  They've reopened the Clocktower bar, but not the dining area, and from what I can gather, this is only because they don't want to spend $$ to staff it, can't staff it, or perhaps there's some disorder during this changeover.  Someone more in the know can add/correct me if I'm wrong.  Generally, having skied for 40-some years at these laurel highlands resorts, I don't see the "vailing" as changing any of their baseline traffic.  In fact I see it increasing.  Take a look at surrounding resorts (Whitetail, Blue Knob, etc).  I skied between Christmas and New Years' at Whitetail, and they were 25% open.  I skied at 7S the friday after thanksgiving - and every weekend from then on at one of the three highlands resorts since. 

Leo
February 7, 2023
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
358 posts


 I'm lucky and don't have to deal with HV amenities because I have a place there, but I believe the Clocktower restaurant was open and would have stayed open but the fire in the kitchen is when it closed down.  Now that said, I would think if they really wanted to they could get it back open.  But they did in fact have it open at one point.

needawax wrote:

In HV's case, yes they were vailed, but any modernization there (e.g., the now almost ubiquitous RFID passes) would be welcome.  Snowmaking, I've noticed, has been done more wisely and has allowed them to remain open from the start pretty much given little natural snow this winter -- opening trails and slopes one at a time, albeit a little slowly for my taste.  All this is not without a downside and that would be the lodge and its amenities.  They've reopened the Clocktower bar, but not the dining area, and from what I can gather, this is only because they don't want to spend $$ to staff it, can't staff it, or perhaps there's some disorder during this changeover.  Someone more in the know can add/correct me if I'm wrong.  Generally, having skied for 40-some years at these laurel highlands resorts, I don't see the "vailing" as changing any of their baseline traffic.  In fact I see it increasing.  Take a look at surrounding resorts (Whitetail, Blue Knob, etc).  I skied between Christmas and New Years' at Whitetail, and they were 25% open.  I skied at 7S the friday after thanksgiving - and every weekend from then on at one of the three highlands resorts since. 

needawax
February 7, 2023
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
37 posts

I have a place there too, and often try to make do with regards to food and drink on my own, lol.   What I meant to say was that since the kitchen debacle, they reopened Clocktower the bar area and high top tables, but not the dining area, which looks to be completely functional. So I could only assume that it is a staffing issue or management decision to not spend money on it.  Just meant to imply that HV has been packed many saturdays and demand has been high in general.  

Leo wrote:


 I'm lucky and don't have to deal with HV amenities because I have a place there, but I believe the Clocktower restaurant was open and would have stayed open but the fire in the kitchen is when it closed down.  Now that said, I would think if they really wanted to they could get it back open.  But they did in fact have it open at one point.

needawax wrote:

In HV's case, yes they were vailed, but any modernization there (e.g., the now almost ubiquitous RFID passes) would be welcome.  Snowmaking, I've noticed, has been done more wisely and has allowed them to remain open from the start pretty much given little natural snow this winter -- opening trails and slopes one at a time, albeit a little slowly for my taste.  All this is not without a downside and that would be the lodge and its amenities.  They've reopened the Clocktower bar, but not the dining area, and from what I can gather, this is only because they don't want to spend $$ to staff it, can't staff it, or perhaps there's some disorder during this changeover.  Someone more in the know can add/correct me if I'm wrong.  Generally, having skied for 40-some years at these laurel highlands resorts, I don't see the "vailing" as changing any of their baseline traffic.  In fact I see it increasing.  Take a look at surrounding resorts (Whitetail, Blue Knob, etc).  I skied between Christmas and New Years' at Whitetail, and they were 25% open.  I skied at 7S the friday after thanksgiving - and every weekend from then on at one of the three highlands resorts since. 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 12, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
 I finally got my first run down Lower Wildcat today. My wife and I left for Stowe just as Lower opened, so I finally bagged it today. I was afraid after a week of Vermont big mountain skiing, I would be less enthused about skiing locally. Lower proved me wrong. The steepness keeps you focused despite the grooming. All snowmaking trails are finally opened. I hope we get some natural to skI the rest of the mountain and some trees. 
camp
February 13, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

Any 7S folks know how this bump line gets made?

A special machine?

Talented skiers?

1676292886_lbwowwkeubut.jpg

Patf1engineer
February 13, 2023
Member since 01/23/2018 🔗
62 posts

7 Springs was a lot of fun today but I am afraid they are going to take a beating this week.  A lot of their slopes seem to have fairly thin coverage on them.

This weather stinks.  Bike ride Wednesday.

oddballstocks
February 13, 2023
Member since 02/11/2017 🔗
123 posts


 Was there yesterday as well.  Skied MUCH better than expected.  Sorry if we held you up in line (I had the four boys), the youngest two struggled to get on the lift.  Since the snow had melted there was a slight uphill from the ropes to the lift entrance and proved to be an issue.

It was near perfect around 11-12am, the snow was soft but not slushy.  It started to get pretty chunky and heavy by late afternoon.

Fingers crossed we get a big storm or two and we can finally ski on some of the other stuff there.  When Dream Highway and Lincoln Highway are open it's hard to beat LM in PA.  LM can ski nicely with 1-1.5ft of snow in the trees, you need more than that to get into the trees at Blue Knob.

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

 I finally got my first run down Lower Wildcat today. My wife and I left for Stowe just as Lower opened, so I finally bagged it today. I was afraid after a week of Vermont big mountain skiing, I would be less enthused about skiing locally. Lower proved me wrong. The steepness keeps you focused despite the grooming. All snowmaking trails are finally opened. I hope we get some natural to skI the rest of the mountain and some trees. 
MarkJ
February 13, 2023
Member since 02/4/2022 🔗
14 posts

The fam and I will check out 7S, LM, and HV over President's weekend.  I assume 7S, will be very busy so was thinking that LM and HV might be good alternatives to the crowds.  Would that be correct?  

Which day would be the least busy at 7S?  Saturday, Sunday or Monday?  Will hit it that day if possible.

Am interested in seeing some new places.  I have been to 7S a few times.  We have the Epic pass.  

Thanks!

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 13, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
7 Springs will be a madhouse on Saturday and probably Sunday too. If you do go on those days, start at 8. I think the frontside six opens at 8. Ski there until the crowds show, then move to the North Face side. Monday at 7S would be a better bet for fewer crowds. Laurel should be less busy on Saturday and Sunday, and Hidden Valley too. HV has the least vertical but many lifts and terrain, all on the mellower side. 7S has a significant amount of terrain and 750 vertical on the North Face. Laurel has 760 vertical but limited snowmaking. If there is no natural snow, then Laurel has really 3 top to bottom trails, 2 of which are over a mile long and rated novice to intermediate. Lower Wildcat is an actual expert slope, steep but groomed.
MarkJ
February 13, 2023
Member since 02/4/2022 🔗
14 posts

Just the local info I was hoping for.  We'll follow your plan.  Lower Wildcat sounds interesting, will have to check it out.   I can send my son down it a few times.  He likes to complain he is bored.   It will be fun to try out some new places.  Hopefully the coming rain doesn't hurt the snow too badly.  

Thanks so much.  

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

7 Springs will be a madhouse on Saturday and probably Sunday too. If you do go on those days, start at 8. I think the frontside six opens at 8. Ski there until the crowds show, then move to the North Face side. Monday at 7S would be a better bet for fewer crowds. Laurel should be less busy on Saturday and Sunday, and Hidden Valley too. HV has the least vertical but many lifts and terrain, all on the mellower side. 7S has a significant amount of terrain and 750 vertical on the North Face. Laurel has 760 vertical but limited snowmaking. If there is no natural snow, then Laurel has really 3 top to bottom trails, 2 of which are over a mile long and rated novice to intermediate. Lower Wildcat is an actual expert slope, steep but groomed.
Patf1engineer
February 13, 2023
Member since 01/23/2018 🔗
62 posts

MarkJ wrote:

Just the local info I was hoping for.  We'll follow your plan.  Lower Wildcat sounds interesting, will have to check it out.   I can send my son down it a few times.  He likes to complain he is bored.   It will be fun to try out some new places.  Hopefully the coming rain doesn't hurt the snow too badly.  

Thanks so much.  

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

7 Springs will be a madhouse on Saturday and probably Sunday too. If you do go on those days, start at 8. I think the frontside six opens at 8. Ski there until the crowds show, then move to the North Face side. Monday at 7S would be a better bet for fewer crowds. Laurel should be less busy on Saturday and Sunday, and Hidden Valley too. HV has the least vertical but many lifts and terrain, all on the mellower side. 7S has a significant amount of terrain and 750 vertical on the North Face. Laurel has 760 vertical but limited snowmaking. If there is no natural snow, then Laurel has really 3 top to bottom trails, 2 of which are over a mile long and rated novice to intermediate. Lower Wildcat is an actual expert slope, steep but groomed.

 For the record, Lower Wildcat is a very legitimate expert level slope that is significantly steeper than any terrain at 7 Springs and has a challenging double fall line. 

MarkJ
February 13, 2023
Member since 02/4/2022 🔗
14 posts

Thanks for the info.  We'll do a good recon before we attempt anything.   

Patf1engineer wrote:

For the record, Lower Wildcat is a very legitimate expert level slope that is significantly steeper than any terrain at 7 Springs and has a challenging double fall line. 

camp
February 13, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

MarkJ wrote:

Thanks for the info.  We'll do a good recon before we attempt anything.   

You'll easily be able to scout it from the lift. As long as you don't make that your first run, lol

 

superguy
February 14, 2023 (edited February 14, 2023)
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

I think this year is the poster child to  show why buying a season pass at BK is a bad idea.

This year is a terrible winter, but it's really separating the men from the boys this year, both in know how and the system.

I think here is the biggest contrast in between Laurel and BK. I think they're on fairly equal footing for snowmaking. Some new stuff, but mostly old stuff. Both have good altitude and NW exposures. Looking at it in paper, you'd think BK could actually do better.

They've been terrible. And new Grizzliez haven't helped much. There's a learning curve, I'm sure, but I'd suspect they didn't pony up for adequate training and only got a crash course. It was probably a stretch to buy those guns. They were the first new ones I've seen since that truckload of fans the bought about 5 years ago.

I think what we're seeing is Laurel has a much better snow crew. They're pulling off some amazing things with what they have to work with. The fact that they were to get everything open with snowmaking, including all of Wildcat, is simply amazing with the crappy weather we had.

Not only that, but they've been able to create a much deeper base. Laurel was around 20 inches. BK was reporting 5-11", or barely above mud.

The only real blue BK has been able to keep open is Expressway.

With the season pass prices they charge (more than the NE Value Pass), anyone who'd pay that is a fool. Even at $349 early bird would still be crazy.

I can't imagine they're getting much sales in day tickets, with most visits likely pass holders trying to squeeze what little value they can out of it.

Within 3.5 hours or so, the only real competitor to Vail is Wisp, and maybe MNut. Going into WV it's a bit of a longer drive that may by offputting for some.

So in the long run, Vail doesn't have anything to worry about. Plenty of room for it, Wisp and others to survive.

This may be the year that does BK in. I hate to say it, but I hope it does. Hopefully then we can get a new owner with some money, like the Perfects, Alterra, Boyne, someone.

Just curious has anyone even been to BK this year?

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 14, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
Before Laurel reopened, BK was my go to after Stem and Ex opened. Ex hasn't seen snowmaking in years, and Stem might not see some loving this year. This is so sad. I hoped they would get it together, and I have no doubt they thought that they could. Maybe there is a savior out there, but don't count on t.
oddballstocks
February 14, 2023
Member since 02/11/2017 🔗
123 posts

BK was my goto without LM as well.  The thing is they were consistent and would always be open.  Not right way, but I knew I would be able to ski everything (outside of the trees) by February.  That doesn't seem to be the case anymore.

The problem with buying BK is there is so much deferred maintenance that will eat up capital, from snowmaking to lifts, to needing to overhaul the entire lodge.

The numbers I heard from a local banker was that the Perfects are in about $25m, I would expect at least that for BK, maybe more.

superguy
February 14, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

I have a lot of fond memories of BK as well.  Used to love their all night skis. Cold and icy, but a lot of fun.

If the Perfects are in that deep, I don't see it as very likely that they'd pick it up if it went on the market.  New lifts, snowmaking, and a lodge, though needed, weren't cheap.  It'd probably take someone or some corp with a deep pocket to take them on. I doubt Vail could grab it at this point even if they wanted to.  They already own a significant chunk of PA, especially in our region.

Maybe one of the Ikon companies would be willing to pick it up. It could use more resorts it the region. Or perhaps the Fiores from Altoona would be interested again. They have the bucks, but they'd probably have to bring in a good management team to make it worth it.

It would probably go fairly cheap. It sold for $1.5-1.7m last time.

As some condo owners told me, the folks that own it and run it are great people. They just don't know how to run a ski resort.

camp
February 14, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

superguy wrote:

Just curious has anyone even been to BK this year?

 Yep, went a few Saturdays ago. My threshold indicator trails to decide whether I go or not has dropped so low now. Used to only go if Ditch Glades were open, then Edgeset, then Jack Rabbit. Of course none of those are anywhere near opening so I burned an Indy day to ski Mambo and half of Expressway.

The place would be perfect for the Perfects

superguy
February 14, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

I think you're the first person I heard of going this season.  What was the crowd like? Did you see a lot of day tickets or mostly passes?

Was Expressway open all the way? What about Deer Run?  I think it was open at some point, but may not have lasted.

MarkJ
February 14, 2023
Member since 02/4/2022 🔗
14 posts

Perfects have done a great job with Timberline.  Just a dramatic turn around.  BK would be a similarly good mountain with old infrastructure.  Both are really good mountains.   I only went to BK once, but was impressed with the mountain.  

camp wrote:

superguy wrote:

Just curious has anyone even been to BK this year?

 Yep, went a few Saturdays ago. My threshold indicator trails to decide whether I go or not has dropped so low now. Used to only go if Ditch Glades were open, then Edgeset, then Jack Rabbit. Of course none of those are anywhere near opening so I burned an Indy day to ski Mambo and half of Expressway.

The place would be perfect for the Perfects

superguy
February 14, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

BK has a ton of potential. Just lacked investment and good management.

If someone could turn that place around, it'd be the powerhouse of the area. 

Man, if both Laurel and BK were at their primes ... wow ...

camp
February 14, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

superguy wrote:

I think you're the first person I heard of going this season.  What was the crowd like? Did you see a lot of day tickets or mostly passes?

Was Expressway open all the way? What about Deer Run?  I think it was open at some point, but may not have lasted.

 Expressway only upper was open and it was pretty technical, icy, bumpy. Deer Run had been open the day before on natural, as were some of the glades. As for tickets/passes, lol, it's Blue Knob. They don't scan, they don't check, they don't ask. Most peeps I rode the lifts with were locals with passes (seemed like). There were usually a dozen or two folks in the liftline each time, so in BK terms, yea "crowded"

MarkJ
February 14, 2023
Member since 02/4/2022 🔗
14 posts

I remember thinking once I wished Vail would buy BK, but now that they have control of my beloved Whitetail, I don't wish that anymore.  Now I'm hoping someone else could turn BK around.   It does really have a lot of potential.  

superguy wrote:

BK has a ton of potential. Just lacked investment and good management.

If someone could turn that place around, it'd be the powerhouse of the area. 

Man, if both Laurel and BK were at their primes ... wow ...

msprings
February 15, 2023
Member since 07/4/2014 🔗
154 posts
Does anyone know when the snowmaking compressors are leaving Laurel Mountain for the season? Hoping there is time for one more snowmaking push before the season wraps up.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 15, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts

The plan was to make snow this Friday/Saturday. Snowmaking weather looks pretty bleak after that. The compressors will be gone by the end of the month.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
February 15, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts
It was reported on the LM facebook page that 2 of 4 compressors departed today.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 15, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts


 I couldn't find the post.

snowsmith wrote:

It was reported on the LM facebook page that 2 of 4 compressors departed today.
camp
February 15, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:


 I couldn't find the post.

snowsmith wrote:

It was reported on the LM facebook page that 2 of 4 compressors departed today.

 in the comments

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 15, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts


 It must be deleted. Comment ballon says 22 comments, but when I click, all I see are 7 comments. 

camp wrote:

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:


 I couldn't find the post.

snowsmith wrote:

It was reported on the LM facebook page that 2 of 4 compressors departed today.

 in the comments

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
February 15, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts

Check out this link ( need also use cntrl when clicking on this):

Facebook

 

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:


 It must be deleted. Comment ballon says 22 comments, but when I click, all I see are 7 comments. 

camp wrote:

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:


 I couldn't find the post.

snowsmith wrote:

It was reported on the LM facebook page that 2 of 4 compressors departed today.

 in the comments

camp
February 16, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:


 It must be deleted. Comment ballon says 22 comments, but when I click, all I see are 7 comments. 


1676550920_qpktuatzmoew.jpg

imp - DCSki Supporter 
February 16, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts

2 compressors left, 2 are ready to go friday and whenever possible till the end of the month, 

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
February 16, 2023
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,581 posts
HV and LM are both closed today.  The HV webcam looks dreadful ......
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
February 16, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts
I skied HV yesterday. The snow surface was terrible. It seems we're now skiing on the base. What a sucky ski season, locally.
camp
February 16, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

snowsmith wrote:

I skied HV yesterday.

Yippeee. I'll be based at HV for the long weekend, and may ski LM Sat morning while the youngins' sleep in. Looks like Sat AM will be as good as it's gonna get for a while

hockeydave
February 16, 2023
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
780 posts

The following statement is purely subjective and anecdotal... I can't remember a worse ski season for the local Western PA hills.


hickster - DCSki Supporter 
February 17, 2023
Member since 03/20/2021 🔗
8 posts
Seven Springs cams show they are making snow!  Go go snowmakers!
SeniorSki
February 17, 2023
Member since 01/31/2022 🔗
139 posts
Snowing in the West Virginia Rockies ⛷😃
hockeydave
February 17, 2023
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
780 posts

The weather forecast next week looks like a "Rinse... Repeat" for the past several weeks... warm p during the week and rain followed by a cold weekend, but no significant snow. At least not yet. But...

https://www.axios.com/2023/02/10/sudden-stratospheric-warming-event-polar-vortex

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
February 17, 2023
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,271 posts

From what is showing on the webcams on Friday night, Feb. 17, there is snowmaking all over at 7Springs and Hidden Valley.

I went looking and also found snowmaking at Paoli Peaks in IN and Boston Mills in OH, a couple of the places in the midwest that Vail Resorts got with the acquisition of Peaks Resorts.  Perfect North in Indiana is also snowmaking, but slopes don't close under midnight so may be some snowguns that aren't on yet.

GGNagy
February 18, 2023
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
506 posts
I looked at the HV webcam yesterday morning and this morning and it is night and day. Must have been some natural and not just blow in as Road Runner was all brown yesterday and white this morning. 
HVdad
February 18, 2023
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
95 posts

1676738405_auobirgjuury.jpg

padjaski68
February 19, 2023
Member since 01/21/2016 🔗
101 posts

I skied HV until 1:30 pm before heading up to LM. First time there ever,  it fun little place that was not crowded.  Many talked about the conditions Friday very ugly I heard.  Saturday the fan guns were running until about 10. Sticky in spots. North Summit skied better once the guns were off. Valley side was good too. Night and day between Friday and Saturday. 

LM got there at 2pm,  don't trust GOOGLE Maps on directions from HV. Luckily I had a truck to navigate the off-road track it took me on. Anyhow LM, the hard part about LM is giving a honest report without negative.  Weather change and quick freeze plus winds created variable conditions. Ice, hard packed grooming with ruts and loose granular.  With that said,  it skied well as long as you ready for the quick change in the conditions as you skied.  Definitely laid back area vibe which was cool. It is more for those that ski and don't care about the bells and whistles.  Definitely need to comeback when conditions are better. Some trails had good bases on them despite this Winter 's lack of snow and windows for snowmaking. 

7S was the option today, but temps stayed above freezing overnight and with the mashed potato skiing expected as the day get into 50's. Next year hopefully the weather will be better and more snow ❄️.  

1676813322_furhyhvqbckv.jpg

camp
February 19, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

padjaski68 wrote:

I skied HV until 1:30 pm before heading up to LM. First time there ever,  it fun little place that was not crowded.  Many talked about the conditions Friday very ugly I heard.  Saturday the fan guns were running until about 10. Sticky in spots. North Summit skied better once the guns were off. Valley side was good too. Night and day between Friday and Saturday. 

LM got there at 2pm,  don't trust GOOGLE Maps on directions from HV. 

Totally agree! HV yesterday. And this morning, went to Laurel. I've driven to Laurel several times from HV and either taken 381 or 711. I google mapped it anyway to see which of those were shortest. It gave me another route, so I went for it. Good thing there is no snow, as I ended up on State Forest roads, and then Laurel Summit Rd for 3 miles, before turning "left" onto the ski road. 

Good snow on all 3 runs. Really fun. Love Laurel

GGNagy
February 19, 2023
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
506 posts
LOL.. Yes.. State Forest roads are the shortest route between HV and LM. Watch out for that. 
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 20, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
Yes, Hickory Flat Road and Laurel Summit Road are not maintained during the winter, but during no snow winters, the roads are passable. If you map a route to LM from 7S, it will often take you on Fire Tower Road from County Line Road. Fire Tower is also a state forest, non-plowed road in the winter. Rt, 711 or Rt. 381 to Rt. 30 is the safest bet.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
February 20, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Yes, Hickory Flat Road and Laurel Summit Road are not maintained during the winter, but during no snow winters, the roads are passable. If you map a route to LM from 7S, it will often take you on Fire Tower Road from County Line Road. Fire Tower is also a state forest, non-plowed road in the winter. Rt, 711 or Rt. 381 to Rt. 30 is the safest bet.

I like Rte 381, one of the most scenic roads in the area. You also drive thru the amazing Mellon estate, Rolling Rock Farms. Rte 381 then brings you out on Rte 30 just a few miles from the entrance road to LM. A very pleasant drive.

 

camp
February 20, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

snowsmith wrote:

I like Rte 381, one of the most scenic roads in the area. 

Agreed. Had 4 sessions at the 3 areas and didn't experience any long lines. 

Opening hour this morning on Gunnar and Lost Girl was rippin' fun

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
February 20, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts


 

camp wrote:

snowsmith wrote:

I like Rte 381, one of the most scenic roads in the area. 

Agreed. Had 4 sessions at the 3 areas and didn't experience any long lines. 

Opening hour this morning on Gunnar and Lost Girl was rippin' fun

The conditions at HV on Sunday morning were excellent. They managed to make enough snow Friday  night and Saturday morning to salvage the weekend. However, we're back to this miserable weather pattern. 

Hope to see you on the slopes!

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 24, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts

Lower Wildcat today.

1677266707_zrgzinexlosx.jpg

GGNagy
February 24, 2023
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
506 posts


 So.. this photo leads me to a historical question or two.

When riding the lift, if you look back down the hill when you are aligned with the two remaining t-bar towers in the woods, The line projects down to just where dream highway comes out of the woods. The problem is, there is almost no flat land there except for the runout itself. Was the base of the T in the middle of dream highway, or slightly upslope from it?

secondly, I know that there's no snowmaking skiers right of the lift, but there looks to be old pipe along the top of The Slot. Was there once snowmaking there, or at least plans for it?  

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

Lower Wildcat today.

1677266707_zrgzinexlosx.jpg

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 24, 2023 (edited February 24, 2023)
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts

The current load area for the quad is about 15 feet higher than it was during the days of the T-bar and double. The picture below shows the load area of the double. If you stand by the edge of the current load area and look downhill, you can see the boulder that is n the foreground and the load area behind it. The place where the T-bar loaded was wider and flatter and would have been out of frame to the right. Just a little downhill of the T-bar load was a warming hut with glass windows in front and a huge fireplace in the middle with a large hood and flue above. 

The pipe was for snowmaking along the Slot down Dream. It lasted about two seasons or so in the late 1980s. 

1677270494_ivoaxdiykfza.jpg

imp - DCSki Supporter 
February 24, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts
the t-bar terminal was over the edge creek side of bottom of dream, the pipe you see fed to midstation on the old double. at one time snowmaking went down dream from there, it only lasted till sitkat went out of business
GGNagy
February 25, 2023
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
506 posts

Thanks LHC and imp. I knew the location of the double and the rock, but I was not as sure about the T because the valley gets narrower quick over there. 

Hoping for some big dumps next year so I can explore more. 

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter 
February 28, 2023
Member since 01/13/2008 🔗
1,581 posts

Is this worth a 2 hour drive each way, 1/2 tank of gas and PA turnpike tolls from Cranberry to Donegal?

6932912778142461386.jpg  

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 28, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts

Two hours? Drive faster, at least try to keep up with traffic. You could cut a half hour from that drive, haha.

I drive Harmar to Donegal, about an hour and a half. My outlook is this. It's open, it's paid for, would I rather do chores? I think you know my answer.

Leo
February 28, 2023
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
358 posts

Driving speed to the side, it's not really worth it.  No.  

At some point you cut bait.  You don't have to pivot to chores.  Mountain biking and fly fishing are fine with me.

Laurel Highlands
February 28, 2023
Member since 10/29/2013 🔗
54 posts
Have you seen the Laurel Highlands forecast for this weekend?   Calling for 4-8in on Friday;   Could be best dump of the season....Its not over till its over!  
imp - DCSki Supporter 
February 28, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts
Laurel was great today, ski it while it lasts
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
February 28, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts


 

imp wrote:

Laurel was great today, ski it while it lasts

You would never know by Laurel's website. According to that, nothing is open. 

imp - DCSki Supporter 
February 28, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts
it's a secret,
imp - DCSki Supporter 
March 1, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts
Laurels report is unable to update in colorado   & springs closed till saturday!!!
Timothy.grasso
March 3, 2023
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
70 posts
based on the web cams, hidden valley > seven springs...  funny how that turned out!
Leo
March 6, 2023
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
358 posts


 Since Buncher upgraded the guns under their ownership, it's pretty consistent that the conditions at HV are superior to 7S.  And that's with much heavier resources being diverted to 7S.  If they would expand the terrain at HV, upgrade some lifts, and put in more TechnoAlpin snowguns and then approach HV they way they do 7S, it would hands down be the better SKI resort.  I know that's a pipe dream, but a guy can dream.

Timothy.grasso wrote:

based on the web cams, hidden valley > seven springs...  funny how that turned out!
Timothy.grasso
March 6, 2023
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
70 posts
I did see Seven Springs ran a few guns this AM for about 30 minutes, prepping for the colder weather?
Timothy.grasso
March 6, 2023
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
70 posts

Leo wrote:


 Since Buncher upgraded the guns under their ownership, it's pretty consistent that the conditions at HV are superior to 7S.  And that's with much heavier resources being diverted to 7S.  If they would expand the terrain at HV, upgrade some lifts, and put in more TechnoAlpin snowguns and then approach HV they way they do 7S, it would hands down be the better SKI resort.  I know that's a pipe dream, but a guy can dream.

Timothy.grasso wrote:

based on the web cams, hidden valley > seven springs...  funny how that turned out!

 I agree, Hidden Valley has more potential and I hope it happens.  I really enjoy skiing at HV and Laurel.

oddballstocks
March 6, 2023
Member since 02/11/2017 🔗
123 posts

I wish they'd invest in the HV snow making system at Laurel.

Issue with HV for me is:

1) Lack of vert to expand
2) Crowds on Avalanche lift

We went this weekend, at this point Seven Springs is dead to us compared to the snow at HV and LM.

I agree with everyone else, it's a shame they don't invest in HV and LM, the ones with a lot more potential compared to 7S.

Leo
March 6, 2023
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
358 posts


 Some of it may in fact be old ski instructor legends and nothing more, but when I worked there twenty-some years ago there were always tales of them having potential access to some of the stuff almost up above Koosier, which actually is pretty good terrain and vert.  It would be out beyond even Charger and that stuff.  Again, no idea if it was ever true that HV could develop it if they wanted to.  But back when it used to actually snow I hiked and skied it a handful of times with some friends and it's better than anything at HV as it exists today.

oddballstocks wrote:

I wish they'd invest in the HV snow making system at Laurel.

Issue with HV for me is:

1) Lack of vert to expand
2) Crowds on Avalanche lift

We went this weekend, at this point Seven Springs is dead to us compared to the snow at HV and LM.

I agree with everyone else, it's a shame they don't invest in HV and LM, the ones with a lot more potential compared to 7S.

Laurel Highlands
March 6, 2023
Member since 10/29/2013 🔗
54 posts

Under Buncher ownership they cut trails and installed some water lines with the idea of extending down to the Outback Tubing area along route 31; See proposed trail map here: dcski.com  

But that died along with so many other things upon purchase by Nutting/Seven Springs.  A real shame, since that would have raised HV to the level needed to truly stand on its own.    Buncher had the right idea, but at the wrong time with the 2008 housing bust.  Wish that Vail Resorts would have the same vision, but just don't see it happening.  

Leo wrote:


 Some of it may in fact be old ski instructor legends and nothing more, but when I worked there twenty-some years ago there were always tales of them having potential access to some of the stuff almost up above Koosier, which actually is pretty good terrain and vert.  It would be out beyond even Charger and that stuff.  Again, no idea if it was ever true that HV could develop it if they wanted to.  But back when it used to actually snow I hiked and skied it a handful of times with some friends and it's better than anything at HV as it exists today.

oddballstocks wrote:

I wish they'd invest in the HV snow making system at Laurel.

Issue with HV for me is:

1) Lack of vert to expand
2) Crowds on Avalanche lift

We went this weekend, at this point Seven Springs is dead to us compared to the snow at HV and LM.

I agree with everyone else, it's a shame they don't invest in HV and LM, the ones with a lot more potential compared to 7S.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
March 7, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts

Buncher cut those trails to compete with 7S. Unfortunately, we're all one big happy family now. Vail HV does not want to compete with Vail 7S. I doubt we'll ever see those trails. In the future, the Sunrise/Sunset lifts will be reaching the end of their useful life. That I believe is the next big expense.

Tuesday night, March 7 and HV is cranking the Techno Alpins and snow is forecast for Friday/Saturday. Could be the best weekend in a long time.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
March 8, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts
7 Springs and HV are open and blowing today. Laurel is closed and hoping to reopen Friday on the remaining snow pack.
imp - DCSki Supporter 
March 8, 2023
Member since 01/11/2007 🔗
299 posts

looks good for something Sat. am.  

SeniorSki
March 8, 2023
Member since 01/31/2022 🔗
139 posts
Put your snow hats on boys and girls first good storm signal coming this weekend for this season, with a few more in the pipeline, March might be the best ski month in a very long time. 
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
March 12, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts
Skied HV today and conditions were pretty good on what was open. We received about 2” of mixed slop on Friday and an inch of fresh snow today. More predicted this week but HV will be closed mid-week. I will head over to 7S on Monday. 2 feet predicted for southern VT, so I may head to Mt. Snow next week.
HVdad
March 12, 2023
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
95 posts
HV should win the MVP award for winter 22/23. Understated, underated, underecognized, but held up better than any other resort this season.
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
March 13, 2023 (edited March 13, 2023)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts

Skied 7S today. Conditions were good, although it was extremely foggy in the morning. It is now nighttime and the snow intensity is picking up. Up to 6” is predicted. It is looking very wintery in the Laurels. I will return to 7S on Wednesday. HV reopens on Friday but high temp is supposed to be in the 50’s. I am sure they have enough snow to survive the closing weekend. Sorry about the sideways photos. It seems to be an Apple IPhone thing.1678754574_qbesjlbjonde.jpg

Grumpy dad
March 15, 2023
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts

Fixed.

1678883815_lkuuimxsvwdp.jpg

Grumpy dad
March 15, 2023
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts

Im a bit jealous of people that can ride 7S during the week, especially today.  Just a bit though because they are blowing man made snow and that stuff is like glue when it isnt groomed.

Sunday was an odd day. I decided to hop on the board instead of ski and I paid the price.  Icy on corners and steeps, then powdery texture of what I can only suggest was baking flour.  I know they groomed earlier, and then there was a light dusting of about 1" of fresh snow on top but that for whatever reason it was that constant feeling like someone was grabbing my board as I went down.  This threw me off a couple of times and the old man landed hard on shoulders and back.   

I was hoping for a nice packed powder experience for the first time this year this weekend, but Friday's weather has me a bit worried. I just hope it isnt a drencher and is just a light rain off/on for hours then change back to snow.  Saturday is shaping up to be much cooler w/ the pond skim happening at NOON which will still feel like 11...not sure I will make it up and over there (2 miles) by that time.  Not to mention, I have to have a beer in hand to watch of course.  Saturday is shaping up not to be a productive day for me.

I think Sunday will be the best day to ride, after say 1 or 2pm.  That's about when the weekend crowds start to disappear.  

Gunnar was supposed to be open this week, or maybe it's a typo in an email they sent me yesterday.  Looking at the snow report for Weds Mar 15th, I only see boring north face open.  

Snowmaking has been going on now for quite some time, morning/noon/night.  It's hard to tell without driving up but they sure seem to be investing in the future of being able to ski well beyond this weekend, or they just dont know what they are doing.  April 2nd was supposed to be their closing date, however if we keep getting snow/cold weather and they continue to make snow like this, I can't imagine not being able to hold out until mid April :). One can hope.

Avalanche is getting a ton of love, but only the left side.  This is a change of pace, and a welcome one as that side is much wider and honestly it rides nicer.  

Poor lost boy didnt stand a chance this year.  Rain sitting on that relatively flat surface, sun, and of course the biggest enemy wind - evaporated and melted that trail to nothing but small humps of snow here and there.  It looked like June on lost boy a month ago.  They are NOT making snow on lost boy unfortunately, so that entire side of the mountain is relatively useless to many guests.  That's their best terrain though, so the decision to lock out that area to just advanced and wanna be advanced riders is a curious one.

camp
March 15, 2023
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts

Grumpy dad wrote:

...lost boy unfortunately, so that entire side of the mountain is relatively useless to many guests.  That's their best terrain though, so the decision to lock out that area to just advanced and wanna be advanced riders is a curious one.

And doesn't that also mean no use of the North Lot? Not being able to park there is a game changer. Is there parking near base of Blitzen lift? Or is the upper lot and shuttle the only option now? 

Grumpy dad
March 15, 2023
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts


HV is a great hill.  Especially when they have alot of natural snow.  I absolutely loved learning to snowboard there at age 40.  That little warming hut at the bottom of the left side, I probably sat in there dozens of times in the span of 3 years drinking a cup of coffee every couple of hours.  I would jump in my car after work during the week many times, in Robinson...and drive to HV to ride a few hours before heading home another hour away.  Snowboarding brought me back to snow sports.  I had been skiing since being a little kid, and then when I got older no one wanted to go.  I would go MAYBE once or twice a year with whoever I could drag with me, and 90% of the time I was stuck on the bunny hill teaching people that had more fun falling and laughing and drinking at the bar.  A co worker got me to try snowboarding at boyce park, and I really liked it and was dedicated to learn it.  Boyce gets old real quick.

I think some of the coolest real estate exists along the HV trails. 

All that said, I still dont understand why it even exists.   It's so short, so small,...and there were so many better options to put 'another' resort. Hecks right down the road across the street they could have taken over an old resort that was there and turned that into some of the best terrain.   

Then watching the days open shrink, End of November to Mid April sometimes to now Almost Jan > mid March?!?  It's hard to take serious now and kinda sad as it 'feels' like it was on the decline.  When Vail bought that resort I thought, oh boy - maybe they will breath new life into it?  All I can say is, it's pretty clear to me that HV will receive not much but platitudes and promises.  But we shall see.  Hopefully they arent using it as a means to funnel more people to 7S and nothing else. 

HVdad wrote:

HV should win the MVP award for winter 22/23. Understated, underated, underecognized, but held up better than any other resort this season.
Grumpy dad
March 15, 2023 (edited March 15, 2023)
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts


You could valet your car at the hotel, or just find the first open spot in the non valet areas in those lots.  It doesnt look like a long walk, but it is in ski boots.  not so much in snowboard boots.  Use that little area at the bottom there to drop off anyone else.  Driver gets screwed.  

North lot is CLOSED.  And do not park in ski patrol they will tow people from time to time.

The other option is to get there early and pay for premium parking right at the base of the lodge there.  Instead of trying to park at the front of the lodge that fills up super quick, keep making your way down the hill - I think it's $30 to park there.  If you go at like 4pm on a Sunday you can just park there for free :)

When Gunnar is open, if you go really early or get really lucky you can park in a little mud lot up there. I havent used that since Vail bought it so I have no idea if that is even open anymore.  It's a big gamble though because if there is no parking then you have to huff it down the hill and back through the main gate to find parking, wasting 10 minutes of your time or more if it's snowing hard.  There is also a maint lot below this little lot that Ive parked in with my truck at the time and then walked up the hill to Gunnar slope.  But again, I dont know whats going on now that Vail owns the place.

camp wrote:

Grumpy dad wrote:

...lost boy unfortunately, so that entire side of the mountain is relatively useless to many guests.  That's their best terrain though, so the decision to lock out that area to just advanced and wanna be advanced riders is a curious one.

And doesn't that also mean no use of the North Lot? Not being able to park there is a game changer. Is there parking near base of Blitzen lift? Or is the upper lot and shuttle the only option now? 

SeniorSki
March 15, 2023
Member since 01/31/2022 🔗
139 posts
30 bucks for parking are you kidding me? 
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
March 15, 2023
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,040 posts

The only paid parking is weekends at the Blitzen lot. Weekdays are free but get there by 9 am. IMHO, the North Face Slope is much more interesting than Gunnar and Giant Steps, both have long flat spots about 3/4 of the way down. North Fave has the best sustained pitch. All three pale in comparison to Laurel's Wildcat.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
March 15, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts

Grumpy dad wrote:

Fixed.

1678883815_lkuuimxsvwdp.jpg

 How did you fix?

Shotmaker
March 15, 2023
Member since 02/18/2014 🔗
180 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Grumpy dad wrote:

Fixed.

1678883815_lkuuimxsvwdp.jpg

 How did you fix?

 Ditto

I ended up taking & posting everything landscape as rotating didn’t fix. 

Grumpy dad
March 15, 2023 (edited March 15, 2023)
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts


 im sitting on a computer so I just grab it, put it in an editor, flip it, copy/paste done.

On a pc use paint, on a mac just download the picture - open it and click the rotate button at the top.  Looks like a direction arrow on a semi curve.

Shotmaker wrote:

snowsmith wrote:

Grumpy dad wrote:

Fixed.

1678883815_lkuuimxsvwdp.jpg

 How did you fix?

 Ditto

I ended up taking & posting everything landscape as rotating didn’t fix. 

Grumpy dad
March 15, 2023
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts


 that...that's a bargain.

Yea I know it's pretty lame but there are only about 100 spots there.  

In fact actually now I dont know whats going on there.  I havent been there since they went cashless...so do they use a CC at the little hut that they stick someone in at the bottom there?

SeniorSki wrote:

30 bucks for parking are you kidding me? 
GGNagy
March 18, 2023
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
506 posts
Heading to HV today for last trip of the season. Look for the hi-viz road worker jacket. 
snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
March 19, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,578 posts


 Here is hi viz gnagy. Enjoyed doing a few runs with this gentleman. 

As usual my photos show up sideways!!!!!

1679200515_ccxiiskyefef.jpg

GGNagy wrote:

Heading to HV today for last trip of the season. Look for the hi-viz road worker jacket. 
GGNagy
March 20, 2023
Member since 01/5/2006 🔗
506 posts
I am certainly hard to miss. Saw one other person out there in similar colors. Usually, I am mistaken for Mtn Ops. 
Grumpy dad
March 21, 2023
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts


 Nothing wrong with being seen, especially at 7S ..people there are blind..and they can't ride.  

Fixed again.. :)

1679404337_fyeewuzdsaft.jpg

GGNagy wrote:

I am certainly hard to miss. Saw one other person out there in similar colors. Usually, I am mistaken for Mtn Ops. 
Grumpy dad
March 21, 2023
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
144 posts

3 inches of rain heading for the laurel highlands. 
UGH.

Imagine how much snow that would be.

snapdragon
March 21, 2023
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
348 posts
if it was 20 around 36"

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.30 seconds