Timberline is a lonely place in Summer. You get a few mountain bikers and the occasional hiker, but not much else except deer and groundhogs. Interestingly enough, Timberline looks bigger for some reason in the warm months. On Saturday, I paid $4.50 to take a summer ride on the Thunder Draft Triple. My goal was to do at an 8 mile hike in the Dolly Sods and I decided to save some energy for the trek by riding up the mountain on the chair (three trailheads can be found just behind the Salamander trail). For some inexplicable reason, the slopes look steeper when green than white.
On Friday night, the mountain experienced one of those freak rain showers when you can see the sunset but it is raining. A cloud sat on the mountain for several hours hammering it with rain yet throughout most of the storm, I could see the sun. "What a great mountain," I thought to myself, "clouds flow across the valley and get trapped for hours on the northwest facing slopes of Timberline before finally pushing through to Dolly Sods and then over the Allegheny Front. What if this had been winter and this cloud had been pelting the mountain with snow? It's no wonder that Timberline got more snow last season than many areas in Vermont. This is a truly unique microclimate for the Mid-Atlantic. Despite its somewhat antiquated lift system, this mountain delivers where it counts-world class snow just 4 hours from metro DC.
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 07-20-2003).]
- We have our season's passes for Snowshoe,
- I've already booked our trip to Park City in February,
- I'm looking for accommodations and booking us on Southwest for January to Heavenly (went last year and loved it!),
- I check every day or two to see if Snowshoe has opened up booking dates for the winter,
- Researching boots 'cause I promised myself a new pair this year,
- Looking for a reputable house/pet sitter for all those long weekends we intend to be gone,
- Checking my mail box for the 1st fall issues of Ski and Skiing mags.
- Trying to lose weight so that at season start my body weight will match the release weight I told the guy who tuned my skis at season's end.
Do ya think Im ready for winter 2003/04 yet?
We pass the time during the summer in sea kayaking. It's kinda like skiing in that ...
- You need a form of H2O to execute the sport,
- Making a mistake ends you upside down in the wet stuff,
- Equipment can set you back a whole bundle and those with the best toys win ...
- Private lessons cost a couple of arms and a leg or two,
- Bad weather can make your life a misery and involves layers of expensive hi-tech gear,
- If you haven't been out for a while, Motrin becomes your best friend for the day after.
Where's the snow ... Bring it on!
Preparing for Skiing
This is sent to remind skiers how to prepare for the ski season and to remind non-skiers why they do not ski.
10. Visit your local butcher and pay $30 to sit in the walk-in freezer for half an hour. Afterwards, burn two $50 dollar bills to warm up.
9. Go to the nearest hockey rink and walk across the ice 20 times in your ski boots carrying two pairs of skis, accessory bag and poles. Pretend you are looking for your car.
8. For ski boot simulation at home, put a pebble in your street shoes and tighten a C-clamp around your toes.
7. Buy a pair of gloves and immediately throw one away.
6. Go to McDonald's and insist on paying $6.50 for a hamburger. Be sure to wait in the longest line.
5. Clip a lift ticket to the zipper of your jacket and ride a motorcycle fast enough to make the ticket lacerate your face.
4. Drive slowly for five hours - anywhere - as long as it's in a snowstorm and you're following an 18 wheeler.
3. Fill a blender with ice, hit the pulse button and let the spray blast your face. You'd almost believe you're skiing in front of a snowmaker!
2. Dress up in as many clothes as you can and then proceed to take them off because you have to go to the bathroom.
1. Repeat all of the above every Saturday and Sunday.
Tom / PM
Ski_guy_59 - I appreciate your gesture, but it just isn't my cup of tea. Whenever I used to go down to Florida to visit my aunt, it always reminded me of what the surface of Venus must be like. I could never understand how human life could sustain itself in such extremes of temperature and humidity.
I'm not totally against the place, though - in the last year or so, the image of Florida that now comes to mind is the advertisement for Atomic skis where the skier is contemplating a "Welcome to Florida" road sign that has been changed to read, "Welcome to Hell".
In my case, our summer vacations always involve either going north or gaining substantial altitude. Preferably both. Anything else would be just too depressing and trigger another bout of Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder which causes me to do strange things like actually enjoy the cold damp winter weather of places like Seattle and upper NYS.
BTW, Johnfmh is definitely on to something in mentioning Canaan Valley, WVA. It's 3 - 4,000 ft higher than here and has temps 10 - 15 deg cooler, making it one of the more reasonable nearby places to vacation in the summer. OTOH, I have occasionally seen it in the low '90's on top of the Sods. Of course, on those days, it was probably over 100 in DC.
Keep cool folks. It will be over soon.
Tom / PM
[This message has been edited by PhysicsMan (edited 07-23-2003).]
According to Weather.com, the average July high in the Canaan Valley is 77, the average low, 54, and the mean, 65. The record recorded high for July was 96 (1988) and the low, 27 (1988).
A 90 degree day in the Dolly Sods, therefore, is relatively rare. However, given how exposed it is up there, high 80s can easily feel like 90. I've never felt a need to have AC at Timberline, but I have used a fan from time to time.
The coldest month, btw, is January with an average high of 34, an average low of 15, and a mean of 24. The hottest is July
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 07-23-2003).]
We used to go out to that area a lot (4x per summer, 4x or more per winter), either backpacking or camping using Red Creek campground as our base, or else staying with a close friend that used to have a house in Timberline. Unfortunately, in the last few years, we haven't been going out as frequently ... maybe just once in the non-skiing season, and a couple of times during the winter. This year, we are thinking about trying to hit it sometime in Sept. to catch the fall bird migration and banding.
Tom / PM
I like Otter Creek and the Backbone area in July because those areas are more protected by trees--hence cooler. Fall is better for Dolly Sods, but I often go in late July/early August because of the blueberries.
BTW, just got news that the Canaan Valley Store closed and will not reopen again until they find a new owner. This is a bummer because it means that we'll have to drive to Davis in the winter whenever we need provisions. I guess I'll have to stock up on beans and rice for the next blizzard.
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 07-23-2003).]
If I owned it, I'd make a few changes.
1. Rather than devote half the store to clothing, I'd set up a WIFI based Internet cafe in that section of the store. It would be self service to save on staffing and WIFI equipped laptops would be available to rent from cashier.
2. I would stock more reading material--magazines and paperbacks.
I see quite a few skiers and other tourists in that section of the store. My family often buys items from there because we either forgot something, or because the prices were so reasonable compared to prices in DC. I kinda their down-home selection of items.
In addition, even in ski season, I see quite a few locals, non-skiers, hunting types, etc. buying things from that section of the store. I'm pretty sure an Internet cafe wouldn't be their cup of tea, and the fraction of computer-hungry customers probably drops wildly when ski season ends.
Even for myself, a geek from "Day 1", when I'm on an outdoor vacation in WVA, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a computer. If I absolutely had to do some computer work because of my job, I'd probably just bring my own laptop.
I guess I'm just not convinced that the profitability of that part of the store (averaged over a full year) would be higher as an Internet cafe.
> ...I would stock more reading material--magazines and paperbacks...
Even though I would personally enjoy this, I've got essentially the same reservations about this possibility as well. I used to be afraid of being without reading material whenever we were headed out to WVA, and I used to load myself down with fun books, technical book and journals that I needed to read, ski mags, etc. After about 10 years of doing this, I finally realized that I just never looked at this stuff when on vacation, even though I am an addict to reading back home.
Anyway, take all of the above with a large grain of salt. My opinions in the field of retail sales are probably worse than what you would get by rolling a die.
We also probably have different perspective than you on this because it sounds like we spend much less time in the valley than you, and so, in our short visits there, are probably more driven to do all the things we can't do at home.
Tom / PM
[This message has been edited by PhysicsMan (edited 07-24-2003).]
The White Grass cafe and Purple Fiddle serves this purpose to a degree, but WG is closed in the summer and Purple Fiddle is sometimes further than I want to drive. Ski Barn fuflfils the clothing needs in the valley and is also reasonable. I'd like to see another venue that is designed more as a day hang out than a restaurant. Such a place would serve the needs of non-skiers in the winter and offer a rainy day activity for fair weather hikers in the summer. A book store cafe with WIFI would be the ideal, but short of that, I'd settle with half of the CV Store.
All this talk is hypothetical. Right now, I just want to see someone buy the joint and keep it open for the pogey bait needs of the valley.