Best weekend trip option?
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Sporttracski
March 4, 2023
Member since 03/3/2023 🔗
10 posts

Hi DCSkiers, 

I would like to get your thoughts on this— I’m thinking of taking a day or two off work on Friday or Monday to go skiing somewhere next weekend (10-12 March). I’m debating where to go given the spring conditions and changing weather in the DMV. My BF has been going to college at night while working during the day and has his spring break from school this weekend so would like to take advantage of his time without schoolwork to go ski without the weight of homework hanging over his head. 

I know the conditions at the resorts closest to DC aren’t great right now. We’re debating between going somewhere like Timberline, Seven Springs, Snowshoe, or going to CT where my parents live and using that as a springboard to drive somewhere in southern VT/MA/CT like Mount Snow, Killington, Mohawk, or Berkshire East. 

We have one day left on the cheapest version of the epic day pass (doesn’t include Mt Snow/Okemo/Stowe) and we have Indy passes (used all of our allotted days at Canaan/Bryce/Massanutten). My parents would probably not ski with us. We would prefer not to travel too far if the conditions will end up being fine somewhere closer to the DMV. 

I see there might be colder snowmaking temps and a winter storm coming to WV/VA next weekend but the forecast can always change. 

What do all of you think? Any suggestions? Trying to balance time/weather/cost. I was initially thinking Timberline but am hesitant given their current conditions. Would greatly appreciate any thoughts! Thank you!

wgo
March 4, 2023
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,642 posts
Another possibility to consider - the NE Penn and Catskills resorts look to be in decent shape. I am considering that if Timberline or Snowshoe are not able to open more terrain for next weekend.
Sporttracski
March 4, 2023
Member since 03/3/2023 🔗
10 posts
Where would you suggest in NE PA or the Catskills? I haven’t been skiing there before. I know the Indy pass works at Montage, but that’s pretty much all I know. 
wgo
March 4, 2023
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,642 posts
I have skied Montage and Elk in NE Penn and liked them both. Search the forums here and you can find trip reports. I have actually never skied the Catskills, I was just looking around for places I could do as a sat/sun trip from Central VA. I have seen trip reports to Belleayre in the forum if you wanted to look into that.
wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter 
March 4, 2023
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
353 posts
I skied Montage and Elk earlier this year. I think Elk is the better overall experience and it looks like they got more trails open. Either are pretty good though. Montage has more vertical and is a bit closer, plus right off I-81. Elk is about 45 minutes from Scranton.

A nice thing about them is the I-81 corridor has plenty of places to stay. I've broken up the trip outside of Harrisburg a few times. Plus, I-81 most of the way means you don't have the backroads like the WV places. Of course, the tradeoff is, oh about 2,000 feet difference in elevation, so there's that too.

From Central Va, Timberline looks pretty appealing. I caught myself looking at the long-range forecast and considering a trip to T-Line next Sunday. I don't think I'll do it, but I didn't think I'd be skiing Massanutten last March until the night before.

If I was in your shoes, I'd lean strongly towards New England though. I always kept it "close" when I was younger and kind of wish I had left the region more. It's a little harder now with two kids and a mortgage to do anything that gets me out of the house for more than 1.5 days.
Sporttracski
March 5, 2023 (edited March 5, 2023)
Member since 03/3/2023 🔗
10 posts
I appreciate the suggestions! 

What are your thoughts on 7 Springs/Hidden Valley/Laurel Mountain? We’ve never been.

I think we’re waiting to see for now what happens with T-line but 7 Springs might be a good option to use the last day of our epic day passes. T-line made a troubling Insta post this morning that makes me wonder whether they’re going to call it quits for the season. 

We’re not as young as you think (just a set of DINKs in our 30s) and the BF is worn out from trying to juggle school, work, and skiing over the past few months. NE PA (Elk/Montage/Jack Frost/Big Boulder) might be a solid choice but I’m not sure if we want to travel that far. Belleayre is the same amount of driving as going to my parents’ in CT so I don’t think that’s worth it over going to New England (especially since we could fly into BDL).
Gibou Skier
March 5, 2023
Member since 12/9/2019 🔗
22 posts

I am planning a similar trip second half of this week. Would appreciate input from anyone on the forum with experience in western Mass / Southern Vermont…

IndyPass family road trip from DC with elementary school age kids; four nights; three days skiing; range of abilities and ages from upper beginner/lower intermediate to advanced. 

Was thinking of splitting time between Berkshire East and Magic Mountain or Catamount and Berkshire East. 

Any thoughts on conditions, lodging, and terrain variety would be appreciated. Thinking Greenfield or North Adams? 

I’ve never been skiing at any of these places, but I have other non-skiing experience in western Mass. Our normal trips every winter are to Canaan Valley and Jay Peak, but we’re not up for long haul to northern Vermont  

Sporttracski
March 6, 2023
Member since 03/3/2023 🔗
10 posts

Have been to Mt Snow, Okemo, Killington, and Ski Sundown (CT). Haven’t been to any of the Indy pass places you listed. A piece of general advice regarding the weather/conditions. The rain/snow line with the past several weather systems has vacillated between parts of CT and MA. Their conditions might be a bit slushier in at Berkshire East MA than at Magic Mountain in VT. I think the past few weather systems have been all snow in VT. I would keep an eye on the next system coming through this weekend and make sure you’re on the right side of the rain/snow line. 

My dad went skiing at Ski Sundown in CT for a few hours yesterday and he said there was lots of snow, no lift lines, but the snow felt “heavy”. Ski Sundown tends to become spring-like a lot earlier than places in VT. Dunno how similar Berkshire East and Catamount would be to Ski Sundown conditions wise, not sure how much that would apply to anything you’ll be skiing. 

Based on Instagram I think the conditions at the VT ski areas are as good as you’ll ever be able to get this week and weekend, have fun!

Gibou Skier wrote:

I am planning a similar trip second half of this week. Would appreciate input from anyone on the forum with experience in western Mass / Southern Vermont…

IndyPass family road trip from DC with elementary school age kids; four nights; three days skiing; range of abilities and ages from upper beginner/lower intermediate to advanced. 

Was thinking of splitting time between Berkshire East and Magic Mountain or Catamount and Berkshire East. 

Any thoughts on conditions, lodging, and terrain variety would be appreciated. Thinking Greenfield or North Adams? 

I’ve never been skiing at any of these places, but I have other non-skiing experience in western Mass. Our normal trips every winter are to Canaan Valley and Jay Peak, but we’re not up for long haul to northern Vermont  

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
March 6, 2023
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,231 posts

Gibou Skier wrote:

I am planning a similar trip second half of this week. Would appreciate input from anyone on the forum with experience in western Mass / Southern Vermont…

IndyPass family road trip from DC with elementary school age kids; four nights; three days skiing; range of abilities and ages from upper beginner/lower intermediate to advanced. 

Was thinking of splitting time between Berkshire East and Magic Mountain or Catamount and Berkshire East. 

Any thoughts on conditions, lodging, and terrain variety would be appreciated. Thinking Greenfield or North Adams? 

I’ve never been skiing at any of these places, but I have other non-skiing experience in western Mass. Our normal trips every winter are to Canaan Valley and Jay Peak, but we’re not up for long haul to northern Vermont  

 I stayed in Lee, MA for an Indy ski safari in Feb 2022.  Easy drive to Catamount.  A little longer but well within day trip distance to Berkshire East and West Mountain.  If interested in heading up to Vermont then North Adams makes sense.  That's quite a tourist town, partially because of the MASS MoCA art museum.  The snow conditions that week weren't great in the region so making the longer drive into southern VT didn't make sense.

Berkshire East and Catamount are fun for all ability levels.  BEast is probably in better shape in terms of snow due to being farther north.  Less busy on weekends because it's not popular with people from NYC due to location.  Get some day trippers from Boston.  Catamount can be busy on weekends but probably not during late season.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
March 8, 2023
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,231 posts
According to SkiSoutheast on March 8, snowmaking started up at Snowshoe, Wisp, Timberline, Massanutten in WV, VA, MD.  In NC Beech and Sugar aren't done for the season yet either.

Gibou Skier
March 8, 2023
Member since 12/9/2019 🔗
22 posts
Interesting. I figure the season was over down here. Would love go to Bryce again this season or try Massanutten. Thanks for the intel on Mass. areas!
Gibou Skier
March 8, 2023
Member since 12/9/2019 🔗
22 posts
Thanks for the intel. For various reasons, we’re scaling back our trip and heading to the northeast PA resorts instead. Not our first choice, but hopefully we’ll find some decent spring like conditions. Would’ve liked to have gone the extra miles to Mass and VT. 
KTMan
11 months ago
Member since 02/13/2023 🔗
11 posts
I've gone to Bryce a few times in relatively recent history.  They are trying to hold on and making snow at every opportunity it seems, but they are only operating on weekends if they can make snow currently. 
Sporttracski
11 months ago
Member since 03/3/2023 🔗
10 posts
An update: We ended up going to Timberline on Saturday evening and Sunday. (We decided we didn’t want to take off work and had a few errands to take care of Saturday morning.) Had a great time. 

The snow that fell on Friday and Sunday made for decent conditions, though some of the trails had a lot of icy patches on Sunday. Guessing the snow they made got blown off a lot of the trails by the wind and people probably skied some of it off by then too. The conditions on Salamander were fire (since it’s on a different side of the mountain from many of the other trails, it ended up not being as affected by the wind). Hope they will make more snow this week, the mountain looked like it was a day or two of snowmaking away from mid-season conditions. Hope they will continue to make snow for as long as the temps support it. Would love if they could make it until the end of March. I won’t be able to ski this weekend and would love to get in one more day/weekend of skiing.
wgo
11 months ago
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,642 posts
I was there Saturday as well. Would love to get back out there mid-week - Wednesday looks like it might be very nice but that is not in the cards for me. Maybe next Sunday.

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