January 3, 2003
My wife and I are planning our first trip to Snowshoe in mid-January. We'll arrive on Sunday and plan on skiing on Monday and Tuesday. The map doesn't really explain the relationship to the slopes. I'd like something that I don't have to drive to get to the slopes. Since we're only there for 2 days, the hotel (the inn) or a minimal priced lodging.
I'm a competent intermediate and my wife is a lower intermediate skier.
Since we're arriving on Sunday (probably early afternoon) any thoughts on things to do.
Is there anything that you'd recommend we do (on other nights, er Monday night)?
Thanks for any advise...
pretty sure their dance/disco place is open almost every night. they have new indoor pool complex that should feel good after skiing. you can always take a stroll around their shops and restaurants.
most lodging at Snowshoe is adjacent to ,or a fairly short walk from the slopes. Spruce Lodge(cheapest) is slopeside, but real, ah,
basic--great for college guys, but your wife may not care for it. The Inn at Snowshoe is probably next in terms of cost, but it's at the bottom of the mountain, probably a 6 mile car or shuttle bus ride. Next in cost
(I think) is Mountain Lodge-- slopeside, and I'd recommend it.
Spruce Lodge has a certain scent -- sweat, grass, beer and a touch of mildew... Great for crashing w/ chums, but the wife may not dig it.
Skip the pizza place -- the pie is crud. The BBQ place is pretty decent though.
Staying at the Inn is a drag -- it's pretty cheap and nice, but that morning drive negates the ability to make first tracks.
PS if you're looking for decent runs for low intermediate, all the runs by the powderridge lift rock.
Spruce Lodge just went through a two and a half month renovation. The newly designed suites now offer full kitchen, washer/dryer and wood burning fireplaces. The rates have gone up substantially, but the location is well worth it. They have not advertised the new lodge so i suggest calling them to find out more about it. Do not recommend staying at base of mountain - the 8 mile drive up the mountain will take longer than it looks especially if conditions are icy. hope this helps.
You must be referring to Allegheny Springs. There are no kitchens, washers, etc in Spruce Lodge.
PS I pulled this juicy morsel off the Snowshoe web site:
"Santa paid a visit to Snowshoe this holiday and presented us with 17 inches of fresh snow. Creating awesome powder conditions everywhere! Mountaineer Halfpipe at the Silver Creek area is open. Cupp Run and Upper Shays Revenge are in great shape! Snowmaking on Lower Shays Revenge is scheduled has begun and will open ASAP. "
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 12-27-2002).]
Spruce Lodge will not be leveled this summer and maybe not next, that plan hasn't been finalized yet. The former Whistlepunk Inn rooms have been renovated but not with Kitchen opportunities and yes the facility which is attached to The Red Fox Restaurant will have a name change to The Vantage.
PS Snowshoe is now operating at 100 percent.
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 12-30-2002).]
I think it is Whistlepunk Inn that was upgraded and will now be called something like The Vantage Inn At Cupp Run. Spruce Lodge will be torn down and replaced next year or so.
I hate to say this, but my advice is to not go. There are much better hills that are much closer such as Seven Springs and Wisp. At Snowshoe, I have found that the lodging is very pricey, the food is poor and it is extremely crowded with skiers of limited capability. And the vertical is only 1500' on two runs and 500' at the rest.
That said, a lot of people like it and I am probably in the minority on that one. But I think that Seven Springs and Wisp (Timberline and Canaan too)are infinitely better.
Actually, the basin side has a vertical drop of 800' thats more than 7 springs and Wisp. Sure, only 2 runs are 1500' but i could spend more time on Cupp run than on the entire Wisp mountain. And since you obviously haven't eaten found this little secret I'll let you in on it, the Hunka' Hunka' Burger at the Fox Fire Grill. I will admit its pricey though.
Yes the lodging is pricey unless you share with friends, then it can be a pretty good deal for several days of skiing.
We go to Snowshoe several times a year and it would be far too expensive if we ate out all the time. We book condo accommodations with kitchen facilities and bring along food, wine, what have you. We have beakfast (coffee, eggs, toast, etc) in our condo, a light lunch on the slopes and then wine and dinner relaxing at days end back at the condo. I think in the 4 trips (20+ days) we have done, we have eaten out dinner only twice. One of those was a blowout celebration dinner at the fabulous Red Fox.
As far as being "extremely crowded with skiers of limited capability" I suggest you spend a Sunday at 7 Springs or Liberty for comparison. Yes, it does get busy, but if you go during the week (extend Sat/Sun to Mon) its practically empty; we have had whole runs to ourselves with not a soul in sight on Sunday afternoons and Monday mornings.
My closing take on this is that if you are such an advanced skier, I wonder why you aren't skiing out west at the likes of Telluride or Alta instead of bother with wussy East Coast skiing. Finally, its all those "skiers of limited capability" that are paying the lift tickets keeping the resorts open for everyone, including you.
Yeah, well I thought that post might get some defensive responses. +Sorry if I offended anyone!+ I don't think I said that I was an advanced skier, but I have skied all over North America, have done Utah, Aspen, Canadian Rockies etc. (And I have 3 trips to Vermont planned for this year.) But since my home is here, I do what I can.
For some reason, Seven Springs skis like a bigger mountain and although is crowded (like all eastern hills) but the back side's advanced terrain is not so bad. And the snow at Seven Springs is very good. Wisp is a small hill, but is not crowded and has a really nice bar with pretty good food.
I really doubt that the basin side of Snowshoe has an 800'vert. That might be what they advertise but...
Another place to try is Timberline/Canaan Valley. Timberline has 1000' vert and IMHO skis bigger and seems more like NE to me. It is not nearly as crowded as snowshoe and takes much less time to get there. Canaan Valley has more moderate terrain and is better for beginners.
Folks, this is all one man's opinion! Happy New Year!
I'd have to agree with you on T-Line at the peak of season. At the beginning or ending though, Snowshoe throws the base faster, and at the end, it just depends on how many trails T Line still has open.
I agree with MikeL. Snowshoe is overrated. Crowded, expensive, bad food. Way too many bad skiers who think they are entitled to ski Cupp. Total lack of organization: parking for daytrippers was a nightmare, we ended up in Silver Creek. Then we waited 40 minutes for the shuttle. "The village" is too fake to be charming. I went twice. Will not go again. Save your time, money, and sanity. Go some place else.
Snowshoe has changed - for better for some and for worse for others. It is not a day skier resort anymore. It is (trying to be) a destination resort. If charming means dorm rooms and cafeteria food, that's great for college kids, but not for the big-time vacationers they are targeting. I think the village will be more charming as it is completed and "matures". There are still pockets of the old Snowshoe that can be enjoyed (Auntie Pastas, Yodelers Pub, Mountain Lodge, Mountain Crest, Top-of-the-World), and an experienced visiter can get by without spending a fortune (bring your own, take advantage of early/late season deals, weekdays). All-in-all, when compared to flying out west for a week, Snowshoe is still a good value. Granted, there are some smaller hills in the area that are better suited for day skiiers. However for absolute ski-ability (trails, lifts, vertical, snow quality, snowmaking, length of season, etc.) I think it is hard to beat south of New England.
Does anyone know if the topography of snowshoe/silver creek would allow for a long green trail to go from the top of snowshoe all the way down to the silver creek area? That would definitely help with skier traffic since nobody wants to hop a bus as soon as they get there and ride to silver creek and everyone wants to be able to access the village. The 3 times i was at silver creek there was basically nobody there which was great for us but still left the basin side congested more than it needs to be.
Oh, and yes, if inexperienced skiers would stay off Cupp it would be much more fun. Its like everyone is out to conquer Cupp and tell their friends about it. Sorta like riding that big rollercoaster when you finally got tall enough to ride it as a kid, except now your a danger to yourself and others.
And last thing, i like the village. Sure its fabricated and kinda forced, but hey, this aint Breckenridge. Maybe we'll soon get a Snowshoe community college like Breck...now that would be something.
I think there is some talk about running something down to Silver Creek. There are definately plans for trail expansion. Yew Pine is a very nice new green on the Powder Ridge side. I have never seen it crowded. There are also plans to add a trail or two on the Cupp side. There's definately a strategy in playing the lifts on the basin side - go against the flow. It also pays to get out at 8:30. A lot of people sleep until 10:00 or 11:00 - come out and complain about the crowd.
Don't take what I'm about to say as gospel, but several years ago, I recall participating in a discussion with Snowshoe management about the possibility of "linking" Silver Creek and Snowshoe via a trail. From what I remember, the topography *barely* made such a thing a possibility, but the economics did not make it worth pursuing. I seem to recall the trail would have to be mostly flat and require an enormous amount of snowmaking -- and would be placed in an area that doesn't keep snow well.
Again, this is just a recollection of an informal discussion, but it did not sound like a plan that Snowshoe had any interest in pursuing.
Trail expansion is not the number one priority at Snowshoe right now, but recent upgrades to the snowmaking system were put in place with an eye towards future expansion. I believe tentative plans call for eventually adding some trails across from the main basin area (across the lake??), as well as cutting another trail or two in the Western Territory. The Western Express lift is definitely underutilized -- I've never seen a line there. (And I'm not complaining.)
Also, if you can at all pull it, visit Snowshoe (or any other Mid-Atlantic resort) midweek. It's cheaper, the snow is better, and there are no crowds. It's a vastly different experience and worth, um, taking a sick day for.
The last time we were at Snowshoe we looked into buying a condo. The information we gleaned after talking to a number of people who live and work there (besides the condo sales staff) is that there are a number of change in the works:
.. New runs between Widomaker and Ballhooter lifts.
.. Additional runs to the north of Yew Pine and south of Silver Creek.
.. Developement of the ridge opposite the basin and lake for both condos and ski runs.
.. More runs on the Western Territories.
.. A gondola connecting Silver Creek and the Village.
Of course the big question is -when- these changes are to take place. InterWest is in the business of selling condos and if the skiing facilities are over-crowded and limited they arent going to sell much real estate. So I imagine the answer is sooner rather than later.
I agree with 'rimfire's take on the current situation at SnowShoe. But, until Canaan and Timberline can get some major upgrading done, SnowShoe is still one of the two major Mid-Atlantic ski venues; the other is Seven Springs. For those of us that can't get time off to do West Coast or the NorthEast, Snowshoe works out well for a long weekend.
SKIING is BELIEVING
Thanks for all the assistance.
After some of the comments about Spruce lodge, my wife and I had the following conversation:
Me: I think Spruce may be a bit rugged.
Wife: What do you mean rugged?
Me: well, 1 guy said, "Spruce Lodge has a certain scent -- sweat, grass, beer and a touch of mildew... "
Wife: uh huh, I'm not 20 years old anymore... I need a little better accomodations.
Me: I still think of you as 20.
Wife: Right <heavy sarcasm> Listen cheap b**stard, pay for a good room.
It was worth a shot!
We are looking at Rimfire.
I appreciate all the feedback about Snowshoe. We've skied at 7 Springs at liked it very much. I went to Steamboat last year and it was a blast. In Feb, I plan on taking 2 weeks and if Snowshoe is nice, we may spend 4 days (midweek) at Snowshoe, 3 days 7 Springs (midweek), and a couple of local day trips.
By the way, I was at Liberty the Friday after xmas (12/27), and was astounded at the crowd. I almost always ski during the week. I'm not used to having to wait to get on the lifts. Let alone wait to purchase tickets.
Have stayed at rimfire several times. It's pricey but it's nice. It has underground parking. We stayed in a studio and had plenty of room for two people. There's a small kitchen with dishwasher which helps save $ as earlier suggested. It's convient to slopes and shops. I think your wife will enjoy it, I did.
Rimfire is very nice -- gas fireplaces, underground parking, right next to the slopes. I believe there's also high-speed Internet access in each room, if you want to geek out after a day on the slopes. I haven't tried out the high-speed Internet access; I didn't bring an Ethernet cable, because I assumed Internet access meant there was an extra phone jack, which is what most hotels mean when they say that. (I know accessing the Internet is probably not something most skiers care to do while on vacation, but in my case, that's how stories show up on DCSki!)
I have to say the same about Rimfire, my friend stayed there last year! As far as expanding, I dropped by the sales office, and the display in the Inn at Snowshoe. The plan is to continue to expand the village, and then move to the "Cheat Mountain Trail System" which I believe will go around to the other side of the mountain. To me, any skiing is better than none. Some places are super huge with lots of trails and huge vert for mid atlantic skiiers (Cupp and Shay's) and still others offer incredibly small resorts, for much the same price (appalachian ski resort in NC). It's all gonna be skiing, and just to be able to go is great!! but as far as over all resort ops, I'd have to stick with Snowshoe as the best. If only for the fact that they've pumped in so much cash!!!
At SnowShoe, we bring a laptop and an Ethernet cable with us each time so we can check back at the office to make sure nothing has gone totally AFU in our absence (its not always nice to be indispensable!).
The Internet connection is relatively speedy; basically about that of a good DSL connection. If you are staying at one of the high-end places (Highland, Rimfire, Allegheny) you can get a cable from the front desk for a deposit of $10. You probably can do the same with some of the other properties, just check when you make your reservation.
i loved joesoccerfan's conversation with wife. maybe he can take a turn at the mike at snowshoe's comedy club.