Snowshoe TR, 10/9-10/10
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Reisen
December 12, 2005
Member since 01/25/2005 🔗
362 posts
Headed up to Snowshoe for their demo day weekend, and overall, had a good time. Friday was cold, 9 degrees, with winds between 25 and 35mph (according to the radio). Saturday was warm, in the low 30's, with little wind. A couple of observations:

-I'm really glad they opened Widowmaker lift, as it's nice to be able to get to top of the world without taking a bus.

-I was dissapointed they didn't open Widowmaker run. By Saturday morning, they had blown a ton of snow on it, and grooming could have gotten a fine base. Big thumbs down for Snowshoe not seeming to care about opening expert terrain for those of us who get bored on the other stuff.

-Same goes for lower ballhooter and knotbumper. I skied both these runs while closed (as did many others, judging from the tracks), and the coverage was great. Grooming could have fixed any bare spots.

-Credit to Snowshoe for opening the Grabhammer lift to take some of the pressure off the big lines forming at, of course, Ballhooter. Then again, I'm not sure why it wasn't running in the first place.

-No water fountains in TotW? Skiers need to stay hydrated, and the answer "there's a coke machine in the changing room" just isn't good enough.

-Many of the restaurants have yet to open for the season, which I found a little dissapointing. No Cheat Mountain Pizza for me...

-Choker was in great shape, with mini-moguls fighting the boarders plowing over top of them. I wound up doing laps on Choker for about 4 hours without changing runs. The problem is, after the 15-20 seconds of fantastic skiing, you have to spend 10 minutes doding fallen boarders on greens and waiting on a fixed triple.

-Speaking of boarders, I think at least half the people there were on boards. I saw a few do some pretty nifty tricks in the park, as well as watched one ride up a quarterpipe thing against a big wooden wall. I think the idea was to jump and smack your board against the wall, but this poor kid wound up hitting it face-first instead.

-I also have to say, I saw more African-American skiers/boarders in one day (Saturday) than I've seen my entire life. I thought this was fantastic, as the sport needs more diversity and it's always good to see more people being introduced to the sport. I talked to a few on the lifts, and many came from the Tidewater area.

-Demoing was fun, and far and away, my favorite ski was the Nordica Top Fuel. Can't say enough positive comments about this ski.

-When I called last week, Snowshoe claimed they were sold out of the demo day special deals. However, they continued to advertise them for many days, right up to the weekend. I find this bait and switch dishonest, and there's zippy chance I'm giving them $400 for two days where only half their runs are open and little of their expert terrain. The Marlinton Motor Inn, on the other hand, was great. For $50 a night there, you can't go wrong.
JohnL
December 12, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,514 posts
Quote:

-No water fountains in TotW? Skiers need to stay hydrated, and the answer "there's a coke machine in the changing room" just isn't good enough.




Camelback. Hydrate or die. I won't ski out West without it, and I use it most of the time in the Mid-Atlantic.

Course, my Camelback has never been cleaned in the five or so years I've owned it, so I'm probably getting a good dose of antibiotics along with some H20.

What type of ski is the Nordica Top Fuel? Seems like a lot a people have been saying good things about Nordica skis the past few years.
ScotS244
December 13, 2005
Member since 01/29/2004 🔗
122 posts
Yes, a Camelback is CRUCIAL if you ski non-stop all day, regardless of where you are. On Friday I had to start wearing my Snowblast UNDER my jacket because the cold combined with wind was freezing up the tube. So I was rolling with the Quasimodo steeze but at least I could keep hydrated.

Sorry for the mini-hijack. This was my first time at the Shoe and from what all my Ski Chalet cohorts told me, it was far and away the best conditions for a demo day in a very long time. I was there on Thursday and experienced nicely groomed slopes and little skier traffic. They did open up a few more runs on Friday, which was nice and the traffic was increased but not obnoxiously so. Having about six inches of nice, dry pow was a major plus!!! On one run (Skip Jack) there were a few deep stashes of windblown pow along the edges that were a delight to blast through. Once things got "chowdery" it was nice to have a rock solid mid-fat to crush it with. Since I have no base for comparison to how things are run here, I would have to say that for early December this was a pretty good job by the Shoe. I have to give a shout out to Greg, a DCSki lurker who skied with me all day and appeared to kick his skiing up a couple notches. Sorry I couldn't meet up with some of you others who were there. I went to the Connection on Friday and man was that a random experience. I would've skied on Saturday as well but the fuggin' pillows at the Inn at Snowshoe suck so bad, I ended up pinching a nerve in my neck. Couldn't turn my head side to side without feeling sharp bolt of pain. I like being able to look around from the shoulders up when skiing, know what I mean?

JohnL - I'm going to post a review on the Top Fuel over on Epic. I'll say right now that it is a tremendous ski and I'm super psyched to own it.
Reisen
December 13, 2005
Member since 01/25/2005 🔗
362 posts
Too bad you missed Saturday, Scott, it was a total bluebird day!

As for the camelbak, that was precisely my problem, no place to fill it up. It was too big to fit under the faucets. I wound up grabbing an early lunch and the waiter kept bringing my water. Every time he turned around, I'd pour it into my camelbak!

Scott can probably give you more details on the Top Fuel, as he actually owns it (and you don't want to know what kind of deal he got on it!). I can tell you it's pretty much the same ski as the Hot Rod Nitrous, but with metal in it. I was surprised how wide the shovel was!

I'm amazed more of you guys weren't on choker. I skiied most all the runs (even tried the greens), and choker clearly beat out Grabhammer as the best conditions/difficulty open.
ScotS244
December 13, 2005
Member since 01/29/2004 🔗
122 posts
Choker was a great run and I also enjoyed whipping over to Gandy Dancer when it looked like there was a lull in traffic. I'd guess I spent equal time using both PowderMonkey and BallHooter lifts but BH is much faster.
That Top Fuel is one great ski. What is this deal you speak of? Love the new Hot Rod boots as well but damn, my toes were FREEZING. What do you suppose the wind chill was making it? Top of the Mountain was absolutely brutal and of course that's where the ski reps set up the demo tents...
warren
December 13, 2005
Member since 07/31/2003 🔗
485 posts
Scott,
Well, I was there Friday and Saturday. I was going to Ski some Sunday before we left but with the heavy snow warning, we left in the morning instead. Friday was indeed a blast!! I brought out my Rossi B2's on Friday Lot's of wind-blown pow everywhere. I agree about Skipjack having a lot of fun stuff to play with! Choker was also running real sweet on Friday as well . We did the same basic pattern of drifting between the Powdermonkey and Ballhooter lifts. Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL, clear, blue-bird day. Warm, (close to freezing) but not too warm. Saturday I brought out my Nordica W65's as it seems to be much more of a carver day (I was right!) Anyway, It was definitely one of the stronger winter kick-off weekends I've seen.

-Warren-
ScotS244
December 13, 2005
Member since 01/29/2004 🔗
122 posts
Warren, I demoed the Rossi B2 and it wasn't my kind of ski. I may have been on it one size to large though but I preferred the stiffer skis like the Atomic B5, Volkl AC4 and of course, the Top Fuels. I would've loved skiing Saturday but I figured I saved the exorbitant cost of the lift ticket, avoided a more crowded situtation and missed the opportunity to ski like Frankenstein with my stiff neck.
ScotS244
December 13, 2005
Member since 01/29/2004 🔗
122 posts
Oh yeah, one more thing about Snowshoe... getting there and coming back. I followed the advice of many on the board and took the suggested route of: 66W to 81S to 55W to 28S to SR 66 up the back side to Snowshoe. Leaving Alexandria early Thursday morning, I was able to make it in almost exactly four hours flat and that was with two short pit stops. I CRAWLED through Wardensville, under the speed limit, after hearing the nightmare stories of the local barneys trying to increase the town revenue. Did the reverse on the way home and it took 4 hrs and 15 minutes. Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, the Corridor H section was really nice and it looks to be super convenient when they open more of it. I went to Snowshoe once in the summer a long time ago and I remember taking the directions from their website. This way seemed much easier.
bawalker
December 13, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Speaking of Wardensville, I believe we now have another cop who drives a charcoal black unmarked Crown Victoria that is fairly easy to hide.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 13, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
Quote:

Speaking of Wardensville, I believe we now have another cop who drives a charcoal black unmarked Crown Victoria that is fairly easy to hide.




Brad,

The cops are aggressive, i.e. mission focused, in Wardensville because they know that if they don't perform, they'll end up working in the chicken factory. My wife, who once worked in such a factory, claims it's a very POWERFUL incentive to perform. Pulling over skiers for traffic violations is far more preferable than pulling guts out of dead birds. The only thing worse would be working in a fish processing facility--one of those North Korean facilities that process dead WHALES.
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