West Virginia Skiing Summary (long)
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Roger Z
March 9, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Well, this season I managed to ski all four (five, if you count Silver Creek separate) ski areas in West Virginia and am finally able to back my opinion of a couple of the places up with some cold hard experience (and on Tuesday, the experience at Timberline was EXTREMELY cold and hard- the wind chill was clocked at 40 below zero at the summit. The day before the temps had been closing in on 60 degrees at CV, resulting in a real-feel swing of air temps of almost 100 degrees in less than 24 hours. Those were two of the most diametrically opposite days I have ever experienced side by side).

Here's my take on the hills, from south to north (I think T-line is a shade further north than CV though someone can get Terraserver to verify):

Winterplace: it does a pretty good job with the limited terrain it has. Much of the terrain is tucked away from the rental and housing units which gives me hope that Bill Bright might be able to develop a mountain that doesn't feel like a subdivision. The terrain has some creative layouts for the small hill that they have. The skiing is no more or less steep than other places when you get on the summit, and they leave some areas substanitally ungroomed after snow which makes for some great powder skiing. The snowmaking is pretty powerful and they crank it out quick when the temps drop. I was pleasantly surprised- not a place I'd hang my hat on every day but it's an okay diversion for a day when you're living in SW VA or Southern WV.

On the minus side: the ski area has a ridiculous number of lifts and on the weekend it must be pandemonium. No run takes more than a minute or two and that's stretching it to take that long to get down. The lifts are slow but that seems to be a running theme in most of WV.

Snowshoe: This is the place to be if you want to be "weatherproof." Snowmaking system can really burn it up and they can get terrain open faster than anyone else in WV, period. The scenery is very wildernness-like and the resort at the summit has a great alpine feel, while also being strategically positioned behind trees and bushes so as not to dominate the skiing horizon. Cupp and Shay's are both a blast and come as close as you can in the Mid-Atlantic to skiing in the northeast or even out west. The lower part of Shay's is the steepest run in West Virginia, bar none, and the pitch is substantially long to impress even a good advanced skier.

On the minus side, there's a lot of criss-crossing terrain on the basin side which makes it feel like traffic intersections when you're trying to get around. The basin is also pretty short which gives lie to the 1500 foot vertical claim. Finally, the Shoe because of it's 100% snowmaking can't really offer anything more when it snows, meaning that there's no glades or narrow trails or anything else to open up when the lake effect hits. That kind of stultifies the atmosphere a little.

Silver Creek: Great cruisers and a spectacular view into the Shaver's Fork. Probably the flattest of the ski hills in WV though. Good for intermediates working on their skills, and a funky looking ski lodge screaming "I WAS BUILT IN THE 1980s! LONG LIVE INXS!!!"

Canaan Valley: The resort with the most character, in my opinion, of any place in WV. The trails are all unique and anyone who likes runs that twist and wind around the mountain and constantly lead out to new options, avenues, and venues would do well to ski here. The Meadows, the Glades, Spruce Run, the Valley Vista, Dark Side, Timber Run, Ramble, and Gravity are all very distinctive runs with their own fall lines. There are a dozen or more switchbacks, connectors, and cutoffs that link everything together meaning that you can almost- ALMOST- ski the entire day without taking the exact same route down. It may not be steep, but I always have a blast skiing there.

Minues: snowmaking. Skiing there without natural snow is a waste of time. Also, I continue to be embittered about their decision years ago to widen Dark Side of the Moon. I thought they did it to add snowmaking but there's still no snowmaking on it and the character of Dark Side is dramatically different than it was 10 years ago, when it was not only one of the sweetest runs in the Mid-Atlantic but one of the better (albeit shorter) runs on the entire east coast. Also, Canaan has a bad base lodge. Even their new lodge is poorly constructed on the interior and bears little connection to the other two, mid-40s style military reserves that pass for the other base facilities.

Timberline: at last, Timberline. The mountain that could be so much more than it is. I won't lie: this is the best fall line skiing in the south. The runs are great and the fact is Hitler could run the place and the terrain would probably compensate for it.

But... but... ok, I'll put this nicely: the grooming SUCKS. A while back we asked what we would change about Timberline and I'd like to revise my answer: I'd fire the grooming manager and hire someone who knows what the hell he is doing. And then I would buy the grooming equipment he needs to get the job done.

Now I was there on a day when the temps had fallen almost 50 degrees from the day before, and I was expecting it to be hard. But they only groomed TWO runs (Dew Drop and Salamander) and even those runs were only partly groomed. If they had groomed Almost Heaven, Thunderdraft, and White Lightning like they claimed they did, it was completely unnoticeable- there was no difference in snow texture between those runs and the "ungroomed" runs, except that the "ungroomed" runs had moguls and a little warning side at the top saying "not groomed."

Which brings me to Off the Wall. What the holy heck are those THINGS on Off the Wall??? You know what they are: they are a sign that the grooming has gone to crap at Timberline. I've skied T-line since I was in high school (late 1980s), and I can guarantee that OTW and The Drop BOTH used to get groomed. With time, they let moguls build on one or the other of those two runs, but they always started by patting the runs down to spread the surface out. All those "whales" are, are the snow blown out of the air guns left in big useless piles in the middle of the trail. They don't attempt to shape them, distribute the snow to the rest of the run or anything, and the result is you're left with a 10 foot wide swath of moguls down the run. What are they trying to do- compensate for the fact that they destroyed the Cherry Bowl Glades (which, next to the old Dark Side of the Moon, was the other coolest run in the south)??? I kept looking over at the glades and they are nothing like they were ten years ago- they look like Blue Knob's glades. Either they are logging in there or the soil is eroding and killing the other vegetation in there. Or both.

T-line has the potential of being a first-class resort, but delivers a second (or third) rate product.

Even with all that said, though, I think CV is my favorite place to ski in WV still. The scenery, having two very different resorts side by side (and Whitegrass too!), the town of Davis, etc, all make it a very enjoyable experience. I just wish T-line had managers who were into skiing, not real estate.

Feedback welcomed.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
March 9, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Roger:

I basically agree with most of what you wrote. The consensus amongst the DCSki slopeside group who skied there last weekend is that the whales should be groomed down once and then Timberline should allow natural bumps to grow on OTW. Right now, The Drop is a much better run due to natural bumps. I'd like to see natural bumps on a more solid base of manmade snow.
tromano
March 9, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002
998 posts
Re: T-Line

The whales on OTW are a mad evil genuise's creation and need to be put to rest. I cannot believe they riddiculousness of them. Skiing in wonderland... Other than that, the only days I have been to T-line was a powder day and a day after when all the cruisers were groomed. Maybe they only groom the cruisers a couple times during the week. Maybe you should ask about that one. All I know is that they need a lift upgrade in the worst way.
tgd
March 9, 2005
Member since 07/15/2004
585 posts
Roger: I really haven't had much to complain about regarding the grooming at TLine; however, I haven't skied there much mid-week. On the weekends every slope they groom has always seemed well done. Overall I have been really pleased with the quality of skiing Timberline has been able to put out this season given the warm weather and lack of snow.

I have not skied at CVSP in years, and now my Tline season pass (and innate cheapness) keeps me from venturing over there; however, based on your review (and some others I've read on this board) I will make it a point to ski there at least once next season - if I don't get over there this year.

I think your assessment of Snowshoe is right on. The number one ticket there - reliable conditions; however, minus Cupp and Shays, Snowshoe's basin side is pretty much a congested maze of short trails.

Tom
DCSki Sponsor: Seven Springs Mountain Resort
JohnL
March 9, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
The whales on OTW totally rocked last year, they were unskiable daggers of snow this past Saturday (absolute waste of snow), but they did get rounded off a tad on Sunday (borderline waste of snow.) The ideal scenario for me would be to do some moderate shaping of the whales after they are made.

Instead of "Save the Whales", how about "Bring Back the Vintage Whales"? Just no leisure suits on the whales.

The times I've been to Timberline the past two years I've been very impressed with their grooming. Maybe they got a bit lazy with the grooming since it was midweek during the later part of the season. Without blowing new snow, any area is going to have a hard time grooming and keeping the trails in shape with such a temperature drop. Plus, Timberline's website is not the most accurate around, so maybe they didn't even groom.

Plenty of other tree shots besides Cherry Bowl. Plus, it looks nastier from OTW than it really is (last year). Which is probably a good thing.

Roger Z.,
I hate to say it, but you were two days removed from heaven at Timberline. Your timing sucks. Better luck next year.
fred
March 9, 2005
Member since 12/23/2004
59 posts
I will agree that T=line is a mismanaged resort, and who ever is running the place has little to no interest in the skiing terrain. And to say the least there is a general lack of planning and foresight, infact I wouldn't be surprised if someone told me a monkey was running the place.

But I'm really dissapointed when you say that Off the Wall should be groomed flat. Off the Wall is the only true double black diamond on the mountain. If you can't ski it or ride it maybe you should take a lesson or stick to terrain that is more appropriate for your level.

Of cousre some days the ungroomed terrain is going to be firm-what do you expect when it is 60 degrees one day and 10 degrees the next. IF YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE BUMPS IN THE SOUTH SOMEDAYS THEY ARE GOING TO BE TO FIRM TO SKI-IT'S THE NATURE OF THE BEAST. Like any difficult ungroomed trail you have to know what the weather has been doing and how it is going to affect the surface and then decide what movements will be required to maneuvor your equipment on it. If you can't handle it then don't ski it, but you have to understand that some of us enjoy the challenge and like to ski difficult terrain.

One time I asked a ski patroller why they always groom all the powder down on the slopes. Why would you groom on a powder day? He said that it was because customers complain because they can't ski it. That is what is sounds like to me when anyone says they should groom Off the Wall.
Roger Z
March 9, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
JohnL- I know that my timing was off this week but the quality of a resort isn't measured by when everything is going right; it's how they react when things turn (or have turned). I certainly wasn't expecting packed powder on Tuesday, but I wasn't expecting the "groomed" runs to have the exact same surface as the "ungroomed" runs, either (except for Dew Drop and Salamander).

As far as "grooming flat" OTW goes, Fred, at least when I say that what I mean is to groom the run out at the beginning of the season and then let the moguls build rather than having those snow mounds sitting all over the run. Also, grooming once in a while after a thaw-freeze cycle isn't a bad idea either, but on a double-diamond that means at most three or four grooms a season (and ideally once- right before you open the trail the first time).

The Drop, unfortunately was closed on Tuesday, but I was tempted to drop it anyway. Decided not to on concern that I'd find a gaping bare spot or a litter of rocks in the trail.

ps- I should add as another detractor that they were trying to blow snow on lower Almost Heaven on Tuesday. There was a 40-50 mph wind coming across the run. The snow was being carried 200 yards into the woods (not into the Pearly Glades) where it disappeared. I skied under the guns at one point and there was almost no new manmade snow on the trail.
JohnL
March 9, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Quote:

JohnL- I know that my timing was off this week but the quality of a resort isn't measured by when everything is going right; it's how they react when things turn (or have turned).




If you are concerned about judging the quality of a resort at a place like Timblerline, then you'll end up like Don Quixote tilting at windmills or Van Gough cutting off an ear. Spend your time being an opportunist and you'll have a lot more fun.

It's all good, and sometimes it really, really, rocks.
KevR
March 9, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
Ok, we need a skier's slang dictionary. A 'whale' is a large elongated mogul? Is it standalone? Also I've heard mention of "spines" and other oddities but not in this thread, any thoughts?
powderpig
March 9, 2005
Member since 12/5/2003
63 posts
Quote:

If you can't ski it or ride it maybe you should take a lesson or stick to terrain that is more appropriate for your level.




I just love genius reponses like this one, I only hope that some day I can be so bold as to tell other people to "Take a Lesson." I bet you use other cool phrases like "go big or go home" and "if you cant run with the big dogs stay on the porch." Youre not talking to a bunch of snowplowers here Fred...but thanks for the suggestion.
JohnL
March 9, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Easy guys. I agree with the general idea of Fred's post, but he is probably underestimating Roger Z.'s skiing. From Roger Z.'s previous posts, I'll admit to being surprised that he would ever critique an area's grooming. Life getting too cushy down there in Hokie land? Met a woman who skis at Deer Valley?
fred
March 9, 2005
Member since 12/23/2004
59 posts
I didn't mean it that way.

As someone who has taught skiing for ten years and snowboarding for five before moving to the southeast and getting a "real job", I can tell you, for sure, that your never to good to take a lesson or to learn.

I didn't call anybody a "picker" or say you were skiing in a wedge, but I will say if you think Off the Wall is to difficult, or anything at Timberline for that matter, then you could definetily benefit from a lesson.

Let's be realistic. Lets put this in perspective. Anybody who has skied out West or at a real mountain with real steeps and bumps knows that the most difficult trails in the Midlatlanitc are begginer to moderate trails by any mountain's standards - out West or up North.
bawalker
March 9, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003
1,547 posts
All of the things RogerZ discussed and what we have all been talking about for the last year to me are signs of a larger problem under the surface. I'm sure can tell us more about this, but I think there is a real sense of urgency for the owners of Timberline to really batten down the hatches and run a business properly.

I think if I remember right there was a thread some time ago regarding should Timberline continue to be a shantytown of a ski resort nestled in the hidden back mountains of an 1850 style WV, or should it become more of a 2005 Wisp class resort? All of those arguments aside it boils down to just having bad business practice, and having business practices that are not customer oriented. Basic business schooling tells one that revenue coming in is to be distributed about the business to see that all areas of a business remain vital and functioning.

In this case there are several areas to Timberline that need immediate attention by the current owners. Only john can really give insight onto their financial status, their risk taking abilities and so forth. But obviously the main item is infrastructure expansion and maintainence. I.E. a lovely quad lift, better grooming equipment, better grooming staff, etc. The second area is the hospitality aspect from having clean and spacious guest areas to having a well maintained, spacious parking/unloading area. The best I ever seen on the hospitality side of things has been Whitetail in my limited exposure to resorts. Because honestly, is it me or does anyone else feel like you are sneaking in the backdoor to someones house when arriving at timberline, parking and looking at the backside of this ugly lodge?

There are a ton of other things I can hit on but it'd simply be beating the proverbial dead horse. But I would like to know what Timberlines gross and net revenues are per fiscal year, what their expenses are, how much cash is going into each expenditure and so forth. While Timberline might be on a tight budget I don't believe it's a far fetched idea that they can have some restructuring done that would allow for infrastructure improvements. This isn't something that would be immediately fixed, but would rather be a process that would distribute the upgrading over say a 5 year period with the most pressing concerns addressed first. The end result of this is that Timberline could turn into a much higher quality resort and also increase property value of the resort itself.

This is just a very simple and basic couple year strategy that wouldn't be hard to impliment for Tline if they really wanted too. I honestly think that if they searched for an investor, or a 'quiet' investor that they could find one. That would give them the intial cash to get this started and if they wanted to buy out the invester later they could.

2005-2006:
- Finish the green/blue trail expansion on the south/western side of the mountain.
- Install a new fixed-grip quad lift to replace Thunderdraft. Even if it's a used one from a european resort, it's worth it.
- Move the current Thunderdraft lift and install it from the U turn of Winterset to nearly the top.
- Replace/Install better lighting on more trails at Timberline. I fear they are loosing major revenues because not having the ability to keep or attract skiiers after 5pm. I would go so far as to say have the new trail completely lit, OTW, the drop, white lightening, and lower salamander lit. While that would only increase their lit terrain to maybe 50%, it's better than the subpar lit terrain now.
- Look at using some of the developed land along Timberline Road as a place for a potential Wisp like hotel. Depending on the amount of land available in the Winterset area that could house a nice 3-4 story hotel with shuttle or walkway from there to the ticket windows.
- Work on adding more summer activities to attract more revenues. I.E. Offer Paintball ranges on the slopes. That I know would attract men and women of all ages to join in, and if marketed properly to many paintball magazines, TLine could hold competitions there.
- Can't forget the Terrain Parks... BOTH of them. Let lower dew drop be just a trail, bumps-n-jumps area and I'd almost suggest turning Good intentions into one long halfpipe. Having both served by their own hand lifts, a carpet lift, or better yet, a double lift that services from the bottom of lower dew drop, goes along side Pearly Glades to the winterset spur where the lift is aimed at the park and pipe riders.

2006-2007:
- Work on capital improvements to the lodge area alone. This includes paving the road upto and around the unloading circle, parking lots and not just paving, but putting in decent concrete sidewalls for the havement. At least make it look like a Wal-Mart parking lot with painted lines.
- Possibly build onto, or modify the back side of the lodge so it looks more welcoming. Having a concrete side walk would be a plus.
- Get rid of the rental shop from where it is, and build a new building beside the ski patrol hut for rentals only.
- Create a whole new kitchen area similiar to Whitetails. One that is professional looking, has a wide range of foods either made or pre-packaged. I would go as far as to try and attract an outside steak restraunt to come in, possibly in the former rental area, for a steak house and lounge. Thats a revenue stream from the steakhouse paying rent to TLine.
- Glades, Glades and more Glades. There is a nice area between White Lightening and Thunderdraft that would be great to extend glade runner. I would make this an 'open' gladed area, where all the saplings have been cut out allowing anyone to enter and exit at any place. There is great potential for having glades between Thunderstruck and upper almost heaven. I would make those 'closed' glades. You know, the type that have brush and thicket on the outside of the trees with small secretive entraces into this dark deep forrest, but once inside it's cleaned out open for hitting stashes of powder. I would bring back Cherry Bowl to be this type as well.
- Continue lighting more terrain as incoming revenues allow.

2007-2008:
- With a new fixed grip quad in place, Thunderdraft moved to serve upper "Winterset", it'd be time to modify SilverQueen into an experts only. If you fall once your ticket is marked, if you fall twice it's yanked. Also I'd remove those seats because sorry, they just don't hold us 6'5" people very well.
- Bring in more snowmaking. Timberline is somewhat set on snowmaking so it's not a prioritity need compared to lifts. I wouldn't hesitate to get polecats installed in more than just the base lodge, but have them along White Lightening, Thunderstruck, and one of the blues. Then expand snowmaking via smaller wisp like tower guns, hidden along the trees to concel their profile on the other top down trails. Simply put more guns = more snow.
- As revenues grow continue to market the skiing as the Mid-Atlantic headquarters for best skiing. Market market market it like crazy. Work to get the season started sooner and keep marketing to get people in until the last morcel of snow melts. Sometrails may have to close, but extending the season and working HARD to keep people coming in, even if locals, will generate a longterm committment to customers that Timberline is here to provide quality skiing and service.
- Time to start thinking about that new lodge, or a hotel down along the Winterset road area. I'd press for a new lodge because more people would see that than a hotel. I wouldn't rule out building an entirely new huge main lodge area between the current lodge and the SilverQueen lift area, tear down part of the current lodge and join the two together.
KevR
March 9, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
Actually I think skiing out west is a bit easier due to better snow, with the exception being the terrain eventually tilts in the wests favor towards difficulty well past us. I don't know where the line is but I seem to recall at one time Bold Decision with massive bumps (whales?) and a bit of ice and rocks thrown in, being about as challenging a mogul run as I 've found east or west (i miss that run!). Also I think out west the moguls tend to be rounder and more even than around here -- at least that's my experience. From there of course you move more or less farther off trail and its true we don't have anything much to compare to here -- no cliffs, cornices, giant bolders, tree stands, etc... But that's somewhat mediated by their (in general) nice soft snow (& plenty of it) which makes all that stuff accessible.

So bully rogerz! T-line sucks and you won't catch me there ever!
tromano
March 9, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002
998 posts
Fred, have you skied off the wall in the past month? While I am not the most well traveled skier I know a F-ed up run when I see one. OTW is totally hosed in its current configuration. Jsut about every 30 ft there is a bullet proof frozen ice cliff waiting to be jumped. While it may be good practice for the next extreme skier in training, it sure is unconventional. The only similar configuration I have seen was at Blue Knob on extrovert where the conditiosn are always blown off ice. However this was even worse.

Since midatlantic mountians are max about 1000 vertical the challenge arround here isn't necessarily the extreme terrain but the conditions... Typically we have two types of snow... Ice and crud. A relatively shallow bump run frozen solid is much harder to ski than a paccked powder groomed slope much steeper.

And I think you are incorrect in your assesment of T-Line's difficulty. It is a legitimate "expert mountain". Both in terms of the skiers who frequent it and the trails. Steep and narrow with ony the snow nature provides the trails under both Thunder draft and silver queen are legit black diamonds anywhere. the drop with its kickers at the entry narrow and dog legged was described as a "classic" new england style run. Also Silver streak, the groomer is pretty steep and fast slope.

I am sure T-Line on tuesday was a totally different animal than I saw last weekend. The freeze thaw cycle is cruce.
Bumps
March 9, 2005
Member since 12/29/2004
538 posts
Interesting to me that everyone wants fast quad lifts. This weekend while riding a lift up my son mentioned that he liked riding the lift (a slow two seater at bryce). He said it gave us time to talk. Of course he also said that the ride down the mountain was the real attraction. I think quads just lead to congestion on the slopes. Personally, I'd rather wait a little longer in the line than double the amount of folks on the slopes.

A few weeks back, I found OTW difficult to continuously link turns on without stopping to pick a new line at each whale. But I did find it fun. I must of went down it 5 times before my out of shape legs told me to go find something easier. It was also cool to watch some of the more aggressive folks catch some big air off the whales. I think the real issue is that OTW was the only run with anything resembling moguls and it was way extreme. It would have been nice to also have a run which had a more traditional mogul field, where the average intermediate/advanced skier could run a line with some speed.
Roy
March 10, 2005
Member since 01/11/2000
609 posts
Quote:

Let's be realistic. Lets put this in perspective. Anybody who has skied out West or at a real mountain with real steeps and bumps knows that the most difficult trails in the Midlatlanitc are begginer to moderate trails by any mountain's standards - out West or up North.




I'm realistic that skiing out west is generally more pleasurable and challenging. The reason being is the snow conditions are typically better (you ever seen a sign for ice out west. It always gives me a laugh) and the advanced terrain is larger in terms of acreage and longer in terms of length and vert.

But some of the runs here are difficult. And if you made them 2000' vertical they would hang with anything out west. The sometimes icy conditions only add to the difficulty we have on these slopes.

There is plenty of challenge in the mid-atlantic. It's the boredom that eventually gets you because you meet the challenge and you need a couple of weeks of freeze-thaw cycles to change that terrain to give you a different challenge.
warren
March 10, 2005
Member since 07/31/2003
485 posts
John,
I have to agree with you. I used to get all upset about what T-Line COULD/SHOULD be doing. Instead, I do most of my skiing elsewhere but I still visit at least once a year. If the snow's good, there's a lot to do there Otherwise, it's still good. Any day on skis is better than a day at work

-Warren-
kwillg6
March 10, 2005
Member since 01/18/2005
2,020 posts
Ok! Ok! After reading the comments on this thread, I can honestly say that there is truth in what everyone is saying about each mountain/resort. Skiers are like craftsmen, each desirous of their own special tools (skis/boards) and materials (terrain/conditions). My opinion of a resort or specific trail may differ for a multitude of personal reasons. And we must remember, we do live in the southeast where 6" of fresh is very special and a reason for celebration. Comparing western to eastern is akin to hot dogs to filet . That being said, We all have our preferences and favorites and nothing mentioned here will change that. So....I will ski fresh powder on the dark side of the moon when there's the next 12" dump , do a skier derby at K corner in the basin at the shoe , ski mush at w-green , play on OTW's boilerplate whales, deal with ungroomed cruising (aren't we spoiled?) , ride slow lifts over and over , and when it's a warm sunny day just enjoy and be thankful for what we do have . After all, we do live, work, and play in the southeast where skiing really shouldn't exist anyway.
JR
March 10, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
Good wrap-up kwill. About Dark Side of the Moon, the one time I boarded it there was 10" fresh and I thought I'd NEVER get over to it. me and a few other boarders pushed and pushed and pushed, some gave up and decided to just hit meadows instead and some stopped and took a snackbreak to regain their strength before pushing further onward. I will say once I got there it was an incredible run. The effort needed to get there on a board in powder reminds you of climbing a peak at Breckenridge for a bowl so it seems like you are backcountry boarding by the time you get to the steep, at least until you get to the bottom and almost get run over by kids on tubes They could have stood to groom that traverse a bit

One thing that always puzzled me about Timberline was that crazy beginners lift. I've never seen ANYONE on it mid week afternoon. Any beginner takes it a few times after their lesson and then moves on to Salamander or the mid station down from Thunderdraft. Seems like a terrible waste to run that thing mid week afternoons.

Timberline must not be too strapped for cash because they replaced all the double chairs on Queen with triples. (any update on if they ever actually put 3 people on it during actual operation without throwing people everywhere?) That had to be expensive and, in my opinion, a huge waste of money that could have been spent on snowmaking or a terrain park.

Anyway, enough of my comments after complementing your final summary
SCWVA
March 10, 2005
Member since 07/13/2004
1,049 posts
Skiers like Bode Miller got to be good as they are by skiing the boiler plate we have here in the East. Skiers in the west are use to the "Hero" snow they get out there. I've been out West when all the locals were complaining about all the "ice". I couldn't find any ice, just some hard pack. In the East we'd call those conditions "Packed Powder"

In regards to OTW, I skied it last Friday and it was a blast. On a nonpowder day, I would have skied it nonstop or at least until my legs fell off. Sure beats doing groomers all day.
tromano
March 10, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002
998 posts
kwillg,

Well said. I love skiing and appreciate the good conditions when it comes along.
kwillg6
March 10, 2005
Member since 01/18/2005
2,020 posts
JR, To answer your question on the silver queen double, er triple which is really only a 2 1/2. The theory behind going from a double to a triple was sound. It increased the uphill capacity by 20%. However reality set in... the chairs were purchased, I believe at a special price because they don't fit regular adults. If you are over 5-10" and wear a helment, you cannot put the safety bar down without getting bonked by the bar especially inth emiddle seat. If there are 3 "large" riders it is a very tight fit accross the chair's width. Last year, they installed the seat padding backwards on the chairs and riders felt as though they were falling off. T-line put them on right this year. It seems as though the chair runs slower, but according to an industry lift rep, the max speed that the queen's chair can run safely is 450'/minute. So, given all things, the lines are shorter with the "wider double" as my wife calls it, hence more runs , and better skiing. We pushed 20 runs in one day back in January . Could have done 4 more by starting at 8 and skiing all the way till 4:30, but beer o'clock called .
JR
March 10, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
The theory behind a moon landing in 1969 was sound but it couldn't happen with the equipment they had

I don't think I've ever seen the Queen open. I was always there on a weekday or a slow weekend. If it does help with lines a little I guess it was worth it regardless of the kindergarten chairs, I just didn't expect it to help given what I'd heard about them. I figured half of the people lined up as triples would fall all over the place with the small chairs and cause so many stopages it would actually hurt the speed and capacity.
MadMonk
March 10, 2005
Member since 12/27/2004
235 posts
Skiing steep moguled runs out west (especially after a good snow) is much easier than skiing say Lower Shays in its typical condition (icy moguls). Number one the snow is slower and easier to grip an edge on, and number two it doesn't hurt in the least to fall. It's like falling onto a nice down mattress out west. In WV you fall, bounce, and slide.
kwillg6
March 10, 2005
Member since 01/18/2005
2,020 posts
Actually, we talked them into doing a singles line at the queen on president's weekend, and they were filling all chairs. That singles line was the best kept secret for all of 2 hours!
Roger Z
March 10, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Yeah, me complaining about a lack of grooming. What's the world coming to?

There's a time and place for everything though, right? If a run is supposed to be groomed it ought to be groomed, especially if it's marked as "groomed." Ungroomed in freeze-thaw cycles is an EXCELLENT proving ground for practicing (because if you can ski a frozen mogul field, you can rest assured that you can ski *most* of what's out west), but Almost Heaven as an "expert's practice" run was a bit much. OTW was fun for what it was worth, but frankly if they're going to cut the width of the run to 10-15 feet I'd rather the other 30-40 feet be converted into a glade rather than a migrating gray whale pod caught in some "Day After Tomorrow" freeze-up.
kwillg6
March 10, 2005
Member since 01/18/2005
2,020 posts
Hmmmn...Rodger Z. Good point. As the saying goes, if it's white (or in your case gray) just ski it!
JohnL
March 10, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Hey Z-Man, we'll have to catch up some time for some turns on the local slopes. Maybe next year's DCSki T-Line gathering.

Just call me Ahab. Aaaaaaaar!!!!!!!!!!!!
jimmy
March 14, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
Hey Capn, Whales in leisure suits??? Too much free beer?, crush says hello

Roger Z, That groomed ungroomed thing you had going made me think someone hacked your password.!!
Roger Z
March 14, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Yeah, not only is the grooming insufficient, but the mud they use for your face in the day spa is just AWFUL... and don't even get me started on the valet service. I'd order a martini to calm myself, but they make them so DRY... sheesh...
wgo
March 14, 2005
Member since 02/10/2004
1,261 posts
Did I accidentally stumble into the bearded spock universe?

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

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