I've been living in Ohio with my wife since July. I've been waiting on background checks and paperwork for my job in Pittsburgh since August now so I thought I'd make the best of it and go out to one of the hills here now that the weather is cooperating. Me and my wife went to Snowshoe the week after Christmas (yeah, remember me? I'm the one that started that thread about out of control skiers on Cupp :P ) Anyway, I was there for what was the last good day before the warmup and I've been jonesin to get back out.
Mad River Mountain is a little hill with about 300 ft vert and 21 trails. I wasn't expecting much when I got there but boy was I surprised. The snow was awesome. They have some incredible snowmaking for their size. Everything was packed powder and in wonderful shape. They had some winding green trails, some blue trails (more like greens) some glades, and even some pretty decent steeps. Nothing to brag about but pretty fun nonetheless.
I took some runs down the blacks and started getting bored on the groomed slopes so I decided to head to the greens and practice boarding switch foot. I'm terrible to say the least but I went 5 runs or so and eventually picked it up OK. Then I headed to the terrain park to check it out. I've never actually been in a terrain park for real so I thought I'd give it a shot. It was a blast. They had a top to bottom run with kickers of all sizes and rails from simple flat rails to S-rails, battleships, and rainbows. I never was much of a jumper so I started out on the kickers. A couple of bad falls and I figured it out and was doing grabs and 180's (sometimes not intentional). Then I hit the rails. It was way easier than I thought. I hit a few flat rails, up to flats, and the S twice (the last time was TERRIBLE). They had tons of rails, and I had a blast and felt like I did decent for my first day in the park. I then went back to the black trails and used my new jumping skills on some of the whales I found on the side. You could get better air on one of the whales than any of the kickers in the park. So my park riding increased the thrill of the groomed trails big time. I spent the rest of the afternoon finding all the whales I could and hitting them as fast as I could. It was a blast.
All that to say, you CAN ski in Ohio and have a good time. A few people saw my Timberline and Snowshoe stickers so that made for some good conversation. You'd be surprised how many people make the trek from Columbus to 7 springs and the WV resorts. Someone also talked about Holiday Valley in NY which is near Buffalo. They said it was really nice. Anyone been there???
Well, if you ever get stuck in Ohio with an urge to ski don't be afraid to give this place a shot. It sure isn't Snowshoe or Timberline but I'd compare it to Wisp's front side from the top of squirrel cage and face down (not quite as steep) including the green runs and blues and an incredible top to bottom snowboard park. Check it out at www.skimadriver.com
I still can't wait to be near 7 springs and Laurel though
If anyone wants to see some pics I can try to download them...just let me know