Snowshoe Notes - Jan 28-29
Drove up to the shoe on Thursday for a weekend of skiing. Took the 55/28/66 route. I really enjoyed the finished portion of Corridor H and hope that they have some more ready for next winter; I could see some road signs already in place on one unopened section.
Friday morning was nice and cold. My Dad (well into his 60s) warmed up over on the Basin side. The snow on the Northern Tract greens was in great shape and perfect for loosening up the old legs before heading across the street to Cup & Shays.
Started off w/ Upper Shays which was in awesome condition; nice firm snow and no wind. Lower Cup was a bit disappointing. It was only 10am and a lot of the snow had been skied off and there were several icy patches. Even more alarming was the bare patch towards the left of the trail. Since Upper Cup was in pretty good condition as well this tells me that mgt. really needs to blast lower cup w/ more snow in order to handle the increased traffic it now handles. Skied there for a few hours and then headed back over to the basin side. Big mistake. The lines were almost Saturday like. So we headed over to Silvercreek.
Silvercreek's snow was in great shape but they didn't have the Flying Eagle lift running so we only skied about a half-dozen runs (Cascade, Timberjack, and Foxchase) and then called it a day.
Awoke Saturday to slightly warmer temps but with much more wind as a front was moving in. Waited about five minutes at the top of Cup/Shays for the rope to drop and then had at it. Lower Cup was in better shape w/ regards to the ice, but the bare patches on the left of the trail had become worse w/ plenty of gravel now being mixed in w/ the snow. I skied there until about 11 when the snowplow brigades began to venture over; off to the fully open Silvercreek.
There I skied mainly Flying Eagle, Bear Claw, and Fox Chase for the rest of the day while it started to snow a bit (maybe an inch). I think the longest I waited in line was 30 seconds, the snow was in great shape, and the wind on the lift much less than anywhere else on the mountain. The few times I shared a chair everyone remarked how thankful we were that the masses don't know about Silvercreek.
Lastly, I decided to demo some skis as I'm in the market for a new pair. Tried the Salomon Hot Screams and the Volkl 5 Star Supersports. While both are much nicer than my old Rossis (1st generation of shaped skis) the Volkls skied much better in my opinion. They seemed more lively and had much better edge grip. That and I think they were lighter which made lift rides a bit more enjoyable.
That is all. One week of work and then it's Utah.
yeah, I'm not really understanding the "only weekends" thing with Flying Eagle lift. Seems like a waste of alot of snowmaking to only open it 2 days a week. If they wanna ignore those trails why not spend the $$$ making snow on Lower Shay earlier in the season since Western Express is open everyday. Are they really that hard up that they can't afford to run that lift all week? They run both the cubb and cascade lifts there too. I think they could eliminate the Cubb lift during the weeks and let beginners ride Cascade, then send the Cubb lift operators to Flying Eagle. Eliminating Flying Eagle only further hurts the appeal of an already underutilized Silver Creek. IMHO they need to add lights to Flying Eagle and Bear Claw to make night skiing a bit more appealing instead of ignoring 2 of the resorts best trails 5 days out of the week.
As for lower cupp, like I said before, they need to really threaten the snowplowers with ticket removal or it'll continue to be overcrowded and icy, especially when Lower Shay is closed.
I haven't been there for years but I recall that Wintergreen used to conduct a ski test before they would approve your ticket to go to their "Highlands" slopes. Do they still do that and how does it work? It could conceivably generate ill will and cause people to go elsewhere. In practice I noticed no lack of crowds in those days. When lift lines were 30 min. or more on the rest of the mountain you could ski right onto a chair at the Highlands. I liked that!
Has Snowshoe considered such a system?
I don't think Shoe would ever consider that system. I noticed a lot of ski patrollers out on Saturday but I didn't see anyone stop someone who was obviously skiing well beyond their abilitiy.
As to the Flying Eagle lift I was kind of ticked off about it being closed on Friday. Bear Claw is probably the 3rd best trail at Snowshoe behind Shays and Cup (I guess one could make an argument for Knot Bumper). I guess I'll be writing a letter to intrawest to complain.
Were there bare spots to the left of Lower Cup all week? I'm just wondering why they didn't blow snow and groom that over.