Marchannutten
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JR
February 17, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
I know this is one of those questions that nobody can really answer with any certainty but I was curious what the chances were that Massannutten would be open March 20th. My mom has a condo there the week of the 20th through 27th and I was wondering if there was a chance of getting in some boarding there. I know they probably don't typically make it to the 27th or anything but they seem to have really cranked out the snow this year seeing that they have stayed 100% through much of this up and down season. I've had the pleasure of hiking the ski trails including Diamond Jim and Paradice over the Spring/Summer and have always wanted to try the place out. Anyone know when they typically close, how their base is holding up, and if they might actually try to make it through Easter since it is so early this year? Thanks.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
February 17, 2005
Member since 01/14/2004
2,645 posts
I'd say bring your hiking boots. They closed on Mar 16 at end of epic 2002-2003 season. Here's a related story: http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=268&mode=headlines
JR
February 17, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
Thanks for the link. I was affraid of that but if they made it through the 16th this year it would take them to the weekend of the 20th so maybe I'll hold out some hope for my first weekend there. You're article said it closed but not due to a lack of snow so maybe, hopefully, they'll try. You'd think they'd have plenty of people to still ski even late in the season considering how many people go there to stay in their timeshares all times of the year.
SCWVA
February 17, 2005
Member since 07/13/2004
1,049 posts
JR,

May be they will let you hike up & ride down? If they can stay open until the 16th, the snow should still be around a week later. Patch skiing/riding is better than no skiing/riding at all.
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kwillg6
February 17, 2005
Member since 01/18/2005
2,020 posts
I dunno. The nut usually closes down for the same reason everybody else does...no customers. I am only aware of one time when they kept the lifts running until April and that was an exception. However, you can drive up to the base of the quad and hike from there unless they cable the access road off. But then again, who's to say. It's a fun mountain with some excellent cruisers. Wish you luck.
powderpig
February 17, 2005
Member since 12/5/2003
63 posts
You could always bring the mountain bike and try out the Hoo-Ha course and the Yee-Ha course. While Ive never riddent the Yee-Ha (downhill) I was up on the Hoo-Ha last summer and its really nice with large burms and such. You can climb up to the parking area and then go screaming back down. Heres a link:

http://mountainbikevirginia.com/Hooha.htm

Forgive me Ullr if I have offended you...I will make sacrifice this evening.

Ducking...
-Pig
JR
February 17, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
I believe theres a road that runs to some condos that actually goes about half way up the expert terrain. Wife + Car + access road + 6" strip of snow = Boarding at the Nut. It'd be nicer to ride a lift and not have to look out for security though

I guess after calling out WP_Employee on morality issues I shouldn't be poaching snow I guess if they don't require a lift ticket to be on the trails in the offseason then they shouldn't care if you're hiking or if you have a board strapped to your feet. Ok, maybe I'm just trying to justify my truly evil plans now.
SkiBumMSP
February 17, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004
224 posts
Massanutten typically closes right around the first day of spring - ususally that weekend right before. This year, I'd be willing to bet that will probably be the last weekend the mountain is opened.

I've skied there many times on the "closing" weekend, and it was not unusual by that time, the only people actually skiing the mountain would be the ski patrol and a few of the other employees. The ski patrol would probably out-number the actual skiing guests.

Of course, guess where I'll be this weekend.....

(And this is after having come back from spending a week sking Breckenridge, Vail, A-Basin, and Keystone )
Mountain Masher
February 17, 2005
Member since 03/13/2004
541 posts
I agree that, by the time Massanutten closes, very few people can be found on the slopes, even if the snow coverage is still good. Like many ski areas in the mid-Atlantic, Massanutten usually closes due to lack of interest. I always hate to see some nice ski days go to waste. On a few occasions, I've seen a skier/boarder (or two) enjoying one of the slopes after the lifts have shut-down for the season; not that I'm recommending doing something like that without permission.
SkiBumMSP
February 18, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004
224 posts
Quote:

On a few occasions, I've seen a skier/boarder (or two) enjoying one of the slopes after the lifts have shut-down for the season; not that I'm recommending doing something like that without permission.




I typcially don't recommend that myself for the simple fact that if they got hurt - well, there is no more ski patrol to get them down.

But, hey, who's me to go and spoil somebody else's fun?
ski_guy_59
February 18, 2005
Member since 11/9/2001
221 posts
A second problem with hitting the trails after the mountain closes for the winter is being nailed with a charge of trespassing. Not a fun way to enter the spring!
JR
February 18, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
It really suprises me that the place isn't more crowded. I mean there are no less than 1 billion condo's on the side of that mountain that are typically very occupied with guests looking for recreational activities. I can't believe a larger percentage of the people that stay there when the slopes are open don't give it a shot at least one day regardless of the weather. I mean what else are they gonna do? You can only swim, golf, and play raquetball so much before you start looking for something else to do. Believe me, before I got into boarding I would see the snow on the closed slopes in spring and wish it was open.
SkiBumMSP
March 7, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004
224 posts
Quote:

I know this is one of those questions that nobody can really answer with any certainty but I was curious what the chances were that Massannutten would be open March 20th.




To dig up an earlier thread....

Bring your skis or board! Massanutten will be open on March 20th. However, that is the last day of operation there and the skiing will only be open for the day (9 AM to 4:30 PM).

I was there just this weekened, and the conditions where just awesome there! The base is in excellent shape. It is supposed to be cold again through this week with the possibility of even more snow, so the conditions should be awesome right up to and including the 20th.

They probably could easily go into April, but alas, it seems they run out of skier interest before running out of snow in many cases.

Sadly, I may have very well skied my last day there yesterday until next year, since there is a slight chance I may be in Vermont on that weekend of 19th and 20th. I will not be skiing this next weekend, mainly because I have to go car shopping to replace the vehicle that I had that was totalled in an accident last Monday (some dude skidded out in the snow and ice and rear-ended my car).
JR
March 8, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
Thanks for the info SkiBum. My parents get the condo on Sunday so I can go for the last day and then crash there. It'd be nice if they were open all that week but how can you complain about a March 20th closing really. Hopefully the blacks to the top will be open. Let me know if your Vermont trip works out and if you'll be at the nutt Sunday.
SkiBumMSP
March 8, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004
224 posts
Quote:

Hopefully the blacks to the top will be open.




They should be. They had excellent coverage with good bases on all the runs. Especially now that the weather got cold again (and it snowed to beat hell this morning), they should be in excellent shape by the 20th. It seems the cold weather is going to stick around again for a little while, plus it may actually snow some more later this week.

The Vermont trip is not a definite, but only a strong possibility. However, it is certain that I'll be skiing somewhere that weekend. And if I am at the 'Nutt, I'll be sporting the red and white.
SkiBumMSP
March 12, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004
224 posts
To repeat in what I said in another thread:

Well, I just found out that Massanutten decided to extend thier season.

Only the tube park will be opened from Monday 21 - Thursday 24 from 9 AM to 3 PM.

The skiing will be opened Friday (25), Saturday (26), and Sunday (27 - Easter) for day skiing only (9 am to 4:30 PM)
bawalker
March 12, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
SkiBumMSP - Will you be around or working any of those days on the now extended timeline? I've never been to Massanutten before even though I live like 30 min away from Harrisonburg. I figure I may have to stop by and say hello.
JR
March 12, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
I KNEW they couldn't resist the $$$ from being open another 3 day weekend. I have to take my Tenessee friend to Snowshoe for spring break so I dont know if I can make it to Mass. Its a tough life.
SkiBumMSP
March 12, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004
224 posts
Quote:

SkiBumMSP - Will you be around or working any of those days on the now extended timeline? I've never been to Massanutten before even though I live like 30 min away from Harrisonburg. I figure I may have to stop by and say hello.




There is a good possibility that I'll be there on the 26th and 27th, though.

Just look for the big guy with longish curly blond hair, most likely sporting the red and white.
tskski
March 13, 2005
Member since 03/13/2003
115 posts
Skied at Mass today. The crowds were light with hardly any wait at the lifts. The snow coverage is still good on the slopes but disappearing every where else. Warmed up in the afternoon so the snow was getting sloppy, but it was one more day of skiing. Headed to 7Springs tomorrow for 3 days.
JR
March 28, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
After much debate on if they could make it to Easter weekend, I got to experience Massanutten for the first time on Friday the 25th. I got there on Wednesday night and went with the family on a hike along the upper ridge on Thursday. All of the trails looked to have great coverage with the exception of a few spots on Upper Dixie Dare. I got to watch the lone groomer in the distance perfecting the slopes for the next day. Thursday was a beautiful day with overcast to sunny skies all day. It would have been perfect for skiing but they didn't open till the next day. When I got back to the condo we checked the weather and of course it was the doom and gloom story of rain for the entire weekend starting that night.

I woke up at 8 the next morning and hit the slopes at 9 under really threatening clouds. I was affraid I'd get rained out so I took the Southern Comfort lift straight to the Expert Quad and down Diamond Jim. Oh my GOODNESS what fun. The snow was groomed corn and the slope was long and winding. Diamond Jim had some nice small rollers in the upper portion and then had a beautiful drop in to a short but steep section that then leveled out to the same pitch as the top. You could get a little air on the lip and to a lesser extent the small rollers so you could get some variation in each ride down.

Next I hit Paradice and it was nearly as fun. It had a slightly longer runin at the top so the steep sections seemed shorter than Diamond. It didn't have that great drop in to a steep section either but still, it had a great consistent pitch once it got started and offered great corn conditions, winding design, and lots of speed.

The rain clouds still threatened so after hitting each of those once I headed to the double lift to make sure I got in every trail. Rebel Yell and Mass Transit were fun trails with consistent pitches that reminded me of the blue's at Silver Creek. Lots of fun with fun corn snow.

Upper Dixie Dare was next and it ripped me apart. I've successfully managed back to back runs down Lower Shay with HUGE moguls all over it with relative smoothness (as far as us boarders go) but MAN this thing was wicked. The bumps were corn/slush over an ice base but I just couldn't figure out a good line. The run is really similar to Knott Bumper with its steep-flat-steep pitch and moguls abound. I saw one guy making wonderful turns down it on skies so I know it was do-able, I just couldn't get it. I tried it 3 times and finally got one run where I only had to plow across some moguls twice before getting a small rythm going again. After the small victory of not falling on my face or catching an edge for one whole run I called it quits on moguls for the day.

I then tried out Geronimo but skipped the terrain park. I just wasn't feeling it that day.

The rain was still holding off so I headed back to the top and got in 6 more runs up there before getting pelted with rain on Diamond Jim and limping back to the car. I could have swore it was hail hitting me until I slowed back down.

The crowds started out really slow but picked up by 10:30. There were quite a few people on Southern Comfort and occasionally a number on the blues and blacks. The first hour I was there I felt bad for Mass for trying to give us another weekend of skiing and having such a bad turnout but I think it worked out fine. The terrible weather forcast definitely had an impact on traffic though as I was staying on the mountain and almost didn't waste my time. I'm glad I gave it a shot.

The snow coverage was incredible for this time of year and for their geography and recent heavy rain. There was maybe 2 small thin areas on both Diamond Jim and Paradice but other than that it was tree to tree coverage on those. The beginner slope and Terrain park had some limited terrain but still had very wide areas with great coverage on skiers left. Upper Dixie Dare was the worst covered but still was well marked and had a very wide swath on with great coverage.

I'm sure this place can be a nightmare when busy but with small crowds it was great. The lifts were a little slow but outside of the Southern Comfort Lift, they were acceptable. That lift was CRAZY slow and long and you had to use it to get from the lodge to the expert terrain.

I loved the terrain. All of the blue and black trails had consistent pitch and were absolutely a blast. The top expert trails reminded me of Cupp and Upper Shay only much shorter. They weren't extremely steep and some would probably argue that they aren't black diamonds but who cares when they're such a blast.

I hope the rain held off Saturday and Sunday enough to bring the crowds and make it worth Mass's efforts to stay open longer. I appreciated it and hope they do it again with hopefully better cooperation from Mother Nature.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 28, 2005
Member since 01/14/2004
2,645 posts
Glad it worked out JR. I guess the Easter weekend was the closer for them? I wonder if Mass set an all-time latest closing date this year? Wouldn't that be ironic after the tropical January we had?
I used to ski there a lot and I know the layout lends itself real well to spring skiing. The stuff served by the two upper lifts D Jim/Paradice and Dixie Dare/etc. are pretty much straight down the fall line, nice in soft snow conditions. And the main lodge has a big deck for sun bathers and spring partiers, and the lift ticket rates go way down.
SkiBumMSP
April 2, 2005
Member since 12/8/2004
224 posts
Quote:

I hope the rain held off Saturday and Sunday enough to bring the crowds and make it worth Mass's efforts to stay open longer. I appreciated it and hope they do it again with hopefully better cooperation from Mother Nature.




I was there on both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, it did not rain at all, but was very foggy, especially in the morning. The top of the mountain was pretty well socked in. Was quite interesting trying to ski Diamond Jim and can only see about 10 feet in front of you. Some of the fog lifted later in the day, and turned out to be a good day of spring skiing.

Sunday morning, nearly all of the mountain was socked in, and it was thick at the top of the expert (lift 6) quad. Also, trying to ski those moguls in the fog. I ended up bailing out halfway through, since I could not see anything, let alone, try to pick out a line. (Yes, those mogoals are difficult to find a good line, but it can be done - I pretty much ski on the right side, but that side was pretty much showing bare, though, making it even more difficult).

I ended up leaving about 1 in the afternoon on Sunday to go visit my parents up in Winchester. I'd like to of stuck around and finish off the season, but probably was best that I did leave, since it was starting to rain by than as well.

Alas, I probably skiied my last run for the seaon that Sunday afternoon. Still a possiblility I may squeek a New England trip in, but I am not holding my breath.

In the end, despite the tropical start to the winter, it turned out to be an awesome time skiing this season. I even managed to get a day in at Seven Springs as well as a week at Breckenridge, CO. I wanted to get up to Ski Liberty, but never got the chance.

Now, time to look forward to the summer activities, such as hiking the river, camping, etc.
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