Corridor H
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johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 2, 2002
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
I just returned from Timberline and had the opportunity to drive part of Corridor H for the first time. A 3 mile section between Baker and Moorfield opened on 19 August. Because this small stretch eliminated a set of switchbacks, I could definitely feel the difference (the speed limit on the new road is 65 mph). When the entire 14 mile stretch between these two towns opens later this year, expect your drive from DC to Timberline/Snowshoe/Canaan to be approximately 15 minutes shorter. I usually take the I-68, 220, 93 route to Timberline but I will soon be switching to I-66, I-81, and 55. Once the 14 mile section completely opens, I expect this drive will take about 3.5 hours with a couple quick stops thrown in for good measure.

For Snowshoe skiers, the combination of the new 14 mile stretch of Corridor H and the new Snowshoe access road (scheduled to open by ski season) should shorten your drive considerably as well.

For more on Corridor H:

http://www.wvcorridorh.com/

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 09-03-2002).]

Packyderm1
September 2, 2002
Member since 11/8/1999
36 posts
Thanks for the Corridor H info. Its nice to hear that some of the sections that will help me get home to Elkins faster are opening up.

Even more interesting to me is the new access road you mentioned for Snowshoe. Do you have any details on this new road? Especially where this road will run?

Thanks.

JC

Scott - DCSki Editor
September 3, 2002
Member since 10/10/1999
1,095 posts
I believe the new Snowshoe access road will connect Cass with the end of Snowshoe Drive, which currently ends out by the Widowmaker trail. I'm not certain on this, though. If arriving via Cass, the road should shave off some time by providing a more direct route to the top of Snowshoe.

- Scott

ski_guy_59
September 3, 2002
Member since 11/9/2001
221 posts
Speaking of the 'Shoe...its so hard to find camping in the area! As some of ya'll know, I'm from FL. So i thought it'd be neat to snow camp! Looking at staying at lake sherwood, its about 30 or 45 min. from Snowshoe. Hopefully this year will be much kinder to us! THink snow guys!
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 4, 2002
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Jarrett: Shoot me an e-mail and I will fill you in offline on some good campsites near Shoe:

johnfmh@yahoo.com

canaanman
October 1, 2002
Member since 03/5/2004
358 posts
heh... I know its not near the Shoe at all... but if you want to snow camp, head up to Dolly Sods. Cold, windy, deep snow (usually), and beautiful.
PhysicsMan
October 1, 2002
Member since 11/20/2001
218 posts
Canaanman, I know you began your post with a "heh", so I suspect your post was tongue-in-cheek and you know all this stuff, but just so ski_guy_59 doesn't get the wrong impression, winter camping up on the Sods is serious business. It can not be done next to your car, and is not something that I would ever recommend to a guy from Florida that "... thought it'd be neat to snow camp..." (ie, is a complete newbie who only wants to car camp).

Winter backpacking in an area like this is fun, challenging, but requires many skills and equipment never even thought about in summer backpacking, let alone summer car camping. If someone wants to give this a try, I strongly suggest that they read up extensively and first do several shakedown trips. These should progress from simple winter car camping to very short backpacks where one can ski/walk back to the car in 15 minutes if something goes wrong.

Car access to the interesting (ie, treeless, alpine) parts of the Sods is essentially non-existent in the winter. From the east, they gate the road up to Bear Rocks just a short distance up from Jorden Run Rd, so you you are faced with a long uphill walk/ski/snowshoe carrying full winter equipment in your pack. The closest car put-in point is probably from the west. Assuming you can get access to the gated Timberline community, drive as far up the hill as they have plowed, and park near the water tower. Its then only a short uphill walk to the top of the Sods. You also can access the Sods from points further south, but (a) these aren't drive-in (eg, the top of the Timberline and Canaan V downhill areas, XC in from Whitegrass), and (b) these put-in points leave you some distance from the really unique, treeless parts of the sods.

In years past, I've done winter backpacks in -25 F temps where I have been much more comfortable than on the treeless parts of the Sods at temps in the 0 to +15 F range. The lack of shelter from the wind, dampness, rocky terrain that never seems to get fully covered by snow, and changeable weather can make it a real bear of an experience (but equally rewarding).

Before anyone commits to doing a full winter BP on the sods, take the lift up to the top of Timberline in miserable weather, bring a bit of equipment, walk east a bit to the FS road, poke around for a couple of hours, and then cook lunch for yourself. If you are still interested in winter backpacking after this, you've got the right personality - grin.

Tom / PM

ski_guy_59
October 1, 2002
Member since 11/9/2001
221 posts
Will do John, thanks for the help! I dont know, maybe I could just set up my tent at the base of widowmaker, now thats really ski in-ski out!
canaanman
November 12, 2002
Member since 03/5/2004
358 posts
Yeah... my bad on the negativity there.

PhysicsMan-Ive been out in that -20F weather you speak of... imagine just having to unzip the tent flap, piss, and it froze within the hour, the snow there just turned to yellow colored ice.

Appearntly some Boy Scouts tried to go up there and camp 2 weekends ago, they couldn't get it because the Sods just had its first major ice-storm of the year. Nasty.

You're right about that lift. Usually around Christmas its about -5 at the top. Not nice. People with broken down cars, just trouble everywhere.

If I were to camp anywhere around Snowshoe I'd try to find a place down around Slatyfork or Cass, but if you're quasi-hardcore just head out somewhere on 6000 Steps (great bike trail) and pitch your tent. Then you just ski a singletrack trail and your at the bottom.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 1, 2002
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
I just read on the Corridor H web site that 5 additional miles opened up between Moorfield and Baker. This means that we now have a total of 8 miles completed on that stretch. Between this new Corridor H section and the new Snowshoe access road, the drive to Snowshoe will be much easier this season.

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 12-01-2002).]

(Anonymous)
January 5, 2003
I heard at the Moorefield Library that there were construction problems with the bridge supports. A state or construction engineer told a librarian that they were having problems, as they were encountering winds higher than thy designed the spans for. This is 3rd hand info and I was wondering if anyone knows about this?

TIA

bob2k2

snowcone
January 6, 2003
Member since 09/27/2002
589 posts
The 70 - 68 - 219 route seems about right. 70 and 86 are 4 lane interstates. 219 is 2 lane but is well kept and wide to accommodate the logging trucks. Most of the route follows the Tygart valley between ridges and so there is only one ridge of serious switchbacks not counting the rise to Snowshoe proper.
We find it takes us about 5 hours from Germantown at a steady pace but not busting speed limits.
Hope this helps you.

(Anonymous)
January 7, 2003
I am headed to Snowshoe for teh first time at the end of the month. I was wondering what the best route from the ellicott city area would be? Mapquest says 70 - 68 - 219 but I have not seen that mentioned in anyones posting. I was thinking 70 to 81 south or capitol beltway to 66 etc. Any help would be appreciated

Thanks

Matt Z

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