Laurel Mountain Snowmaking Upgrade
I have heard through a fairly reliable source that a snowmaking upgrade is the works for LM next year. Dream Highway (an excellent, relatively steep and narrow, winding trail on the right hand sie of Lower Wildcat) and the bottom of Innsbrook are the candidates. I'm not sure who will be paying for it (Somerset Trust or 7 Springs). It sure would entice more people to ski there since this would effectively cover the existing skiable area with snowmaking.
Currently, the entire mountain is open due to the natural snow last weekend. I would encourage anybody within driving distance to get there and try LM this weekend. My opinion is that LM is the best mountain to ski in Western PA (including 7 Springs) when the entire hill is open.
Has anybody heard if 7 Springs management is happy with the amount of traffic @ LM this year ?
I think Laurel is a great place, too, but they need more terrain. Another run or two on the Wildcat side and another nice winding intermediate run through the woods like Broadway would do it. I don't think they should ever get too big, just take better advantage of what they have.
Glad to hear they're 100% open. They've got a lot of neat hidden terrain stashed around that hill!
I don't know how they did last weekend with the "big snow" but I was there last Friday the 21st. It was a beautiful bluebird day by all accounts...Lower Wildcat was covered with powdery man-made snow that did not scrape off all day. I got there late by my usual timetable at about 10:30 AM and there were 13 cars in the lot! It did not get much more crowded than that, maybe 30-40 people with only about 10 of us hard-core guys skiing LWC. I love this place and felt like I owned a private resort but management can't be happy with turnouts like that. I have a few pictures from that day that I hope to get around to posting.
It's the old paradox...improvements bring attendance but improvements do not come without attendance.
I say good websites bring attendance too. I don't even think they have a trail map on their homepage. There is just NO info on there. Without a website like DCSki.com to give us first hand reports of how nice it is nobody would know about the place other than locals.
If 7 springs links from their website to a very informative website with pics and a trailmap about Laurel I think things would be way different. Only curious people that go more than a few times a year are gonna risk a trip out there if they don't know it'll be worth wasting a trip on.
I saw earlier this week that they are 100 percent open. Barring a system support emergency, I'm planning on skiing there on Saturday for the first time.
I agree with JR that Laurel Mtn's website sucks. The stock photo footage of a western open bowl (main picture on their home page) is rediculously out of place. From the pictures I've seen, Laurel Mtn is very scenic; why not use correct pictures?
A prominent link on the home page of Seven Springs would certainly increase traffic to The Springs At Laurel Mountain. So too would shuttle buses to/from the resorts.
But at least the mountain is open, so I won't go too ballistic on the website. First things first.
I couldn't agree more that the website is lacking, however, the locals are just enthused 7 Springs has LM opened. Hopefully, next year, given more time, (7 Springs took over operations in early November) upgrades can be made to the website (mountain cams, web specials, etc.) and a little more promotion of the facility via radio/TV (and even websites... DCSki). In year 2002-03, they had $10 lift tickets on Thursday evenings and the parking lot on some of those nights was 1/2 to 2/3's full.
I also was there last Friday... never has Lower Widlcat been better. L.Wildcat alone was worth the price of admission.
Evidently the good people at the Springs were listening to everyone's comments, and decided to upgrade their website. Well,a small upgrade, the inclusion of a trail map. Baby steps. Anyone know if you can use a 7 springs lift ticket at the Springs?
Dang, that's almost a little scarey.
Well, if they listen to us about the website, why don't we try:
Free rum and coke.
Free rum and coke.
Free rum and coke.
Free rum and coke.
I'm not afraid to try either. that is spooky
Wait, I still don't see it, OR our free beer offer. Where'd you see it?
I hope you made it up there this morning JohnL. I almost joined you but I could not get up early enough this morning due to some late work nights....I must be getting old.
The picture on the SALM homepage was actually taken on the North Face Slope at 7 Springs (Look closely, you can see the HKD snow towers) I beleive most of the other pics were taken at 7 Springs although they do have a picture of the correct lodge.
There also is a link from the 7 Springs homepage in the button bar on the right.
Tickets are not interchangable although 7 springs offered a $50 upgrade to season passholders to ski both areas which I did take advantage of. It has given me a place to ski on weekends as I avoid 7 Springs on Weekends during Dec/Jan/Feb.
Anyone else think that trail map looks like the Legend of Zelda map? I hope there's no lost woods cause I could NEVER find my way out of that place.
I did make it up to Laurel today. Had a great time. Though, after 6.5 hours of driving and nearly 6 hours of skiing, I'm about ready to pass out! I'll do a trip report in a few days. I also took some pix - depending upon how they came out, I'll post them here.
Also, Roger Z. is totally spot on with his assessment. But the terrain that is cut is tons of fun.