horizontal
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wolverine
October 11, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005
113 posts
I was thinking today about my experiences skiing 7S and Whitetail, and how people have posted that WT has a bigger vertical than 7S. I always felt that the vertical doesn't tell the true story. When I look at the whole trail map of WT it looks remarkably similar to the North Face trails at 7S (less than 1/2 of the 7S trails) which leads me back to my original thought that horizontal matters. Vertical with not much horizontal becomes boring.
kennedy
October 11, 2005
Member since 12/8/2001
792 posts
I thin with 7 Springs the big difference is in the fact that the lines between trails is very blurred. There is little to distinguish one trial from another. As a friend of mine said last year he spent 20 minutes descending 1 trail at 7 springs just because he could traverse like crazy and stretch his run out. Whitetail although techinically larger doesn't feel that way and the number of lines you can take is pretty limited. 7 Springs allows for some sick levels of creativity. I mean seriously hit the north face drop of that overhang section ride through what is often a powderfield, travers like crazy then catch your next run through trees and stashes. It just has more variety. My group has been converted to doing weekend trips to the Springs rather than day trips to WT. It's so cheap to stay in Somerset (Holiday $70/night between 3 / 4 people). BTW if you stay in the Holiday Inn try the hotel bar. We were caught off guard last year when an awesome cover band called Mr. Bickle played and Yuengling was $7/pitcher. We were not in the best of shape for the ride home. Oh check out the Smorgasbord place too, awesome.
LMV
October 11, 2005
Member since 06/1/2005
60 posts
You are right 7s has great horizontal, just not much vertical!
I usually try to ski on something vertical. Less of an upper body workout.
Crush
October 11, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004
995 posts
ohoooh boooooy - sounds like that old "Length" vs. "Girth" thing (been hanging around my G/F's grl-parties waaaay to much). Well as they say ! "Length is a strength, girth makes mirth" !

The 7S backside/northface always seemed to ski bigger to me than Whitetail. I'd take 7s over Whitetail for sure.
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jb714
October 11, 2005
Member since 03/4/2003
294 posts
Quote:

The 7S backside/northface always seemed to ski bigger to me than Whitetail. I'd take &s over Whitetail for sure.




I agree....the N Face at the Springs has soooo many ways down that it feels bigger than 750'. Whitetail just feels all the same no matter which trail you're on.
tommo
October 11, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
303 posts
I Agree - horizontal is greatly underrated. One of the best examples in all of the U.S. is Alta. It has a "only" 2000' vertical, but skis as big as any ski area in the country. I think a great deal of this has to do with continuous vertical vs. max vertical. All resorts, as far as I've seen, list their vertical as the difference between the highest and lowest elevations at the resort. That figure, while meaningful in the abstract, is nowhere near as important as the vertical of a typical run. Most chairlifts offer no more than 1500' vert. So, if like Alta, you have thousands of acres with a multitude of 2000' vertical foot ways down, the experience is much more intense than if you have just one or two runs that can be strung together to get, say, 3200 vert feet. Put another way, NOBODY would confuse Alta with Loon NH or Stratton VT or Burke VT, but, in fact, all 4 resorts have nearly identical vertical drop! It's the horizontal and continous lines that make the difference. (OK ... and the snow ... and the scenery ... and the pitch...but you get the idea )
kwillg6
October 12, 2005
Member since 01/18/2005
2,020 posts
tommo...Best said!!!
Roger Z
October 12, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Well, someone has to be the devil's advocate here: I'd take Whitetail any day over Seven Springs. Scenery is better, runs are nicer, runs are longer, mountain is laid out better, lodge is quite well done, and real estate is not crawling around every other turn when you come down the hill. Even the back side of Seven Springs feels more like a water slide than a legitimate ski run.

The best argument that WT is better than 7s? If you swapped geographic location of the two mountains, NONE of us would be having this argument right now. WT is a better hill despite having a far worse location.
kennedy
October 12, 2005
Member since 12/8/2001
792 posts
I can't agree with you. Whitetail scenery is not all that aweinspiring, the runs are limited, lets be honest there are 8 trails on that mountain I don't count connectors and the variety in the runs is limited. 7 Springs has variety, I'm constantly finding little nooks I never knew about.

Whitetail does have some nice features. It's park is not bad, I like the complimentary ski/board check, I like the flex ticket system.

7 Springs has a great apres bar, lift tickets are not bad cost wise, lots of veriety in trails, park isn't fantastic but it's not bad and to be honest there are some awesome natural hits to be had. I love blasting through the little lines of trees from one trail to the other.

I just don't think you can put Whitetail up there and say it's better because it's just not. It's missing some kind of vibe that the Springs has.
wolverine
October 12, 2005
Member since 08/26/2005
113 posts
Whitetail is on a hill of deciduous trees...a brown grey backdrop in the winter.
Seven Springs has mostly evergreens. I prefer the scenery of evergreens.
Roger Z
October 12, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
7S reminds me too much of skiing in the midwest. Short, wide runs and numerous lifts drenched with real estate developments... this could be Caberfare or Boyne except the snow isn't quite as good. It tried to make up for it with the backside but the backside only gets it to a standard mid-Atlantic vertical and is- what- 10 or 20% of the mountain? Snowshoe's backside, while not being able to compensate for the smaller front side, at least puts it into a league more like the northeast or a smaller hill out west.

I enjoy the skiing in the midwest because it's what's there and there's usually lots of fluffy lake effect on the mountains, but if I've got a choice between driving 100 miles to ski a larger mid-Atlantic hill or driving 200 miles to ski a midwestern hill, the former is going to win every time. Frankly, when Whitetail has a foot of new snow midweek I think it's combination of convenience and consistent fall line makes it foolish to drive anywhere else, even Timberline.

Boy is this fun! Maybe I should go resume my diatribe against Jackson Hole while I'm at it...
kennedy
October 12, 2005
Member since 12/8/2001
792 posts
I won't argue with you on convenience. If it's a question of getting somewhere quick and snaking the powder before it gets chewed it has to be whitetail just on a distance basis. That said if I could get one weekend at the springs this year where it dumps the night we check in I will be crushing glades like it's my job the next day.

I've had some good powder days at WT but I always seem to have more fun riding 7 Springs.
gatkinso
October 12, 2005
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
It is all about the vert. Horizontal??? That is almost as dirty a word as "ra*n." Good for the toddlers to learn on the bunny slopes I suppose, but that is it.

Someone ban this guy from the board! ;-)
SeaRide
October 12, 2005
Member since 03/11/2004
237 posts

Hmm.. horizontal on the slope? I can see where this is going.

For me, it depends on the characters of the mountain itself. If there is one mountain with lots of characters, I would hit it whether it's bald or full of trees. When I say characters of the mountain .. I mean the depth of gulch(s)/hollow(s), ridges being very switchy or just plain straight, numbers of creeks to cross if any, sizes of rocks (size from basketball to VW bugs), glades full of old forest or new forest, and the appearance of the summit vs the appearance of the base.

If there is one bald hill with no characters, too much traverse area on top and some traverse area halfway down .. I wouldn't touch it. Because I have seen better ones.

If there is one bald hill with too much characters to list, no traverse area, lots of horizontal area left to right, lots of bridges to cross, lots of boulders to avoid or to jump and so forth.. I would hit it over and over.

Scenery of evergreens or none.. Nobody can't help it because the mountain itself can either comes with it or not.. again it's about characters of the mountain.

Glades that are mostly birch trees or aspen trees... well it's nice but not every mountain has it set up perfectly.

I see the difference between Whitetail and 7S. Again, I can see the difference between Snowshoe and Timberline.

I am sure some of you have seen the difference between Park City and the Canyon.

Canis Lupis, anyone?

Oh man I would go for a little man made "Canis Lupis" style trail around here in the mid-Atlantic area. Imagine a dry creek with high banks lined with trees covered with plenty of snow all over.. snake down at least half a mile.. oh please ..somebody hold me down!

Horizontal or not .. it's all about the characters of the mountain.

I am curious.. how many of you prefer:

a plain mountain full of glades?
or
an almost bald mountain full of "canis lupis" style trails/coulairs/chutes/narrows?

JohnL
October 12, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
LOL at some of the comments on this thread.

In my book, I don't care about vertical drop or horizontal spread (for skiing at least), it's all about terrain. (I sure many folks think the exact opposite.) Can I get creative and ski different lines down the mountain? By that yardstick, Seven Springs falls far, far short to Laurel Mountain, Blue Knob and Timberline. It's not even in the same league as those other areas.

Because it gets more snow, you can often ski off the main trail at Seven Springs; that is virtually impossible at Whitetail. That gives Seven Springs a big advantage in terrain possibilities, though most of the trails at Seven Springs are boring, wide boulevards. That said, there are tons of great lines to be skied and terrain to play with on several Whitetail trails (Exhibition when its bumped up and Bold Decision when there are snowmaking swales.) If you can't find 'em or don't want to ski 'em, I guess that makes a few less people in the way.

The only thing I ask for in vertical drop for a ski area is that it's enough so I feel I haven't just left the chair when I'm reaching the bottom. For me, Liberty, Roundtop, the main face at Seven Springs, etc. are just too short.
kwillg6
October 12, 2005
Member since 01/18/2005
2,020 posts
Come on now....a lot of us ski t-line because of the vertical, however, some mixing and matching is not bad either. But too much and you have k corner at the shoe. I prefer vert, but if it's constant falline that you seek, whitetail is superior to 7 springs. If you are one of those folks who likes to play a little, it's the other way around. Personally, I don't care for either mountain for reasons not mentioned here. Bring on Almost Heaven the real skier's dream!
Roger Z
October 12, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
The REAL skiers dream is Moonshine Mountain... but that's for another thread.

Searide- have you ever found a glade covered mountain that is boring? I'm wracking my brains here. Normally glades mean the terrain has been left in it's (relatively) natural condition, which invites most if not all of those features you cherish. That said, those natural half pipes are awesome. There's one at Big Mountain called George's Gorge that goes on for a quarter mile and snakes too. Fields are also often known to have powder stashes in them- there's a great field for powder skiing at Winterplace, of all places. Turns into wonderfully soft moguls by the afternoon.

All this said, any mountain that has groomed all its terrain flat is boring, in my opinion. There's gotta be at least one mogul field available for pounding, a place where the vertical tries to lay you horizontal in other words...
SeaRide
October 12, 2005
Member since 03/11/2004
237 posts
The REAL skiers dream is Moonshine Mountain... but that's for another thread. *nodding in agreement*

Searide- have you ever found a glade covered mountain that is boring?
of course NOT I've done that at Snowbird, Canyons, glades between Brighton & Solitude .. Backcountry skiing is the way to go if you want to ski the ultimate glade covered mountain

If the word glades means trees, then what do you call it when human beings started to act like trees all over the newly formed moguls where it used to be a boring groomed flat trails?
Roger Z
October 12, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Quote:

If the word glades means trees, then what do you call it when human beings started to act like trees all over the newly formed moguls where it used to be a boring groomed flat trails?





I believe that's called "time for happy hour."
kennedy
October 12, 2005
Member since 12/8/2001
792 posts
I personally like wide open runs which 7 springs has in scads. The whole trail thing is constrictive unless the trees in between them are rideable which then throws in numerous other posibilities. The whole reason I fell in love with snowboarding was because it was like finding the best coaster in the park but everytime you ride it's different and the differences are defined by what the terrain offers you and what you can make of them. With trails you cut your ability to improvise for a few reasons. First off you cut out whole swathes of the mountain that can't be ridden. Second the space you have has to be shared with a lot more people so cutting huge carves becomes less of a likelihood as the day progresses, and on some trails forget about doing anything other than just holding a tight line (why I avoid Liberty, it feels like 95 in rush hour).

I've ridden the bejaysus out of Whitetail and while I enjoy certain aspects of it I always kind of consider it stop gap riding. It holds me over until I can attack something better but it's not overly exciting stuff.

7 Springs isn't necessarilly the best hill around and everyone has an opinion on what they consider fun skiing/riding but in my book it provides some of the best stopgap riding in the area.

I need to hit Tline this year and see if I can't locate some secret stash. I've not been to Laurel but, unless you convince me otherwise, from looking at the trail map it looks like a handful of trails. Is it really all that meaning is it worth a 5 hour round trip from DC or is it a kind of if you happen to be in the area thing.

To try and stay on track with this thread though, yes vert matters but around here the differences in vert of a couple of hundred feet is not worth arguing over. 750 vs. 900 so what? At 25mph I'll cover that ground in about 10seconds but will I be happy? indeed will I be happy>?
gatkinso
October 12, 2005
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
I can dig that - my favorite trail of them all is Ballroom at Alta - as wide as they come. I also like Ramble at Canaan - a blue wide cruiser that NOBODY else seems to like (or even ride).

But let's face it - with out the vert we are all wasting our time.
Roger Z
October 12, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Ramble is an awesome blue Gatkinso, one of them that I love to just GS top to bottom (except for the moguls at the top of the Canaan Curve drop off- I gotta hit those before rumblin' on Ramble). It's up there with Limelight at Whitetail and Gondolier at Stowe as one of my favorite cruisers- though Gondolier blows away both of them down here (because it's two miles long and nice and rolly the whole way down).

Generally, though, I love trails. I love the snakiness of them as they wind around corners; it always feels like you're exploring back as a kid. The blues at Brighton feel like old, New England style runs. The cream of the crop though are trails that trip into fields and dive back again into the woods. For that, one of the finest runs was Dark Side of the Moon at Canaan, but now it's been hacked up and...

...oh yeah. 7 Springs. Generally I don't care for big, wide runs so that's probably another reason I don't like that place as much as some others on this board.
Crush
October 12, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004
995 posts
SeaRide -
"Oh man I would go for a little man made "Canis Lupis" style trail around here in the mid-Atlantic area. Imagine a dry creek with high banks lined with trees covered with plenty of snow all over.. snake down at least half a mile.. oh please ..somebody hold me down!"

You are one f-k'd up crazy MF who I would like to ski with! We can both eat-it in Canis Lupis (me first!!!) you must be a insane head-case .... you're on ... skier-cross in Canis! And may the best man die, lol!
jimmy
October 12, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
Yup gatkinso, Rambles a good one, i think the drop into it scares a lot off.

I like a nice tight line but I LOVE horizontal, and the more you stack vertically the better . Chips Run at snowbird down thru peruvian gulch, little cloud bowl, maybe that's why i like cloud skiing soo much. Take 7 springs and stack it on top of itself ya think you'd have fun then? It all good but as Crush will confirm, when it lasts longer it's better!
warren
October 13, 2005
Member since 07/31/2003
485 posts
Jimmy,
Well, there it is. I knew there was a reason I also liked cloud skiing.... Little Cloud Bowl!

-Warren-
tromano
October 14, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002
998 posts
7S and WT are the two places I ski most often. 7S has rolling slopes with a funkier profile. The width is not just the width of individual pistes but the width of the area in total. 7S has almost 300 acres, WT has only 90 some. But WT is much more continuous in its slopes and has more vertical. But the size in total means that 7S has more.

7S doesn't have an expert pod or any one area where you can go to for ungroomed, or expert terrain. And they tend to groom a lot of stuff so I think they miss out on a lot of terrain because of that. If I had to choose one place, the most interesting zone is the shoulder of the mountain between north face and main basin sides. There are a couple of little trials you can take down past a pond and through some trees that lead to a few quick turns before cutting across a green and going back into the trees. The area between the trails at Giant Steps and Boulder is cool too and you can get a few nice hits in there. The improved turtle neck glades coming this season may very god as well and may get snow making as well.

WT has much more continuous vertical, 2 nice bump runs and two really nice cruisers. But their options are limited and you can only run Exhibition and BD so many times before getting bored with them. Off-piste at WT is an oxymoron. The best you can do is the long grass field on skier's right of BD or under the Exhibition chair lift. While WT is technically better it is more transparent, has much less quantity, and really doesn't have enough options to keep me interested for a two full day weekend.

JohnL,

Its interesting that the places you mentioned T-Line, BK, and Laurel as places that have better terrain (and they do) and more variety than either WT or 7S are at the same time much less popular and less "succesful" financially. I wonder if their terrain doesn't work against them in terms of getting the average skier to come out and play. Even I--and I enjoy the challenge--have skied 7S and WT for a estimated 30 days in the last 2 seasons while spending maybe 5 at those other 3 combined over the same period. Do they owe it to terrain, relatively remote location (7S is close to Pittsburgh), or is it the power of snow making?
BushwackerinPA
October 14, 2005
Member since 12/9/2004
649 posts
Its intersecting that the places you mentioned T-Line, BK, and Laurel as places that have better terrain (and they do) and more variety than either WT or 7S are at the same time much less popular and less "succesful" financially. I wonder if their terrain doesn't work against them in terms of getting the average skier to come out and play. Even I--and I enjoy the challenge--have skied 7S and WT for a estimated 30 days in the last 2 seasons while spending maybe 5 at those other 3 combined over the same period. Do they owe it to terrain, relatively remote location (7S is close to Pittsburgh), or is it the power of snow making?




I thinks it a combonation of good snowmaking, which leads to more days open, and better coverage than the "Skiers 3", better access to metro centers. Even Laurel is a futher drive than springs for most people in pittsburgh, also the masses enjoy "mcskiing" they want to have a fun day on the slopes, without having to work for it.

For the record I have skied more days combined at Blue Knob the past 2 years, than any other resort locally(beside Hidden Valley were i work). To me it worth the 2 hour drive , to ski that terrain. It is the best terrain south of NY, when it is good it is Mad River Glen south. I have enjoyed every cold, core shot riddled, tree branch jousting day there. Heck i even got lucky and skied East wall this year with 2- 3 feet of snow. You know what though, sadly the average consumer doesnt ski like i do, or like the terrain i ski on, that why these place arent that successful. I have actually seen people complain at Hidden Valley, because the snow "was too deep", to me that just means I get to ski "our" glades, but to these people it not enjoyable to them at all.

Oh yeah new term for the board "Skiers 3"
Blue Knob
Timberline
Laurel Mountain

dont you wish it would just snow? Skiing is much better than talking about skiing
tromano
October 14, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002
998 posts
Getting horizontal > Skiing > Talking about Skiing > Reading a Magazine About Skiing Realestate :P

The "Skiers 3" are deffinately on my list of places I need to do at least once a season. Unfortunately the conditions are the critical thing for me. I mean the palces like BK for example arent really worth doing unless they have good snow and have the signature trails open. And since they operate on a shoe string budget it takes a while for them to get up to speed. I am hoping for a soem good natural stuff this winter the help them along.

-Tim
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