Timberline Rumor
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Roger Z
November 9, 2003
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
The unofficial rumor at the DC ski show yesterday was that the Cherry Bowl Glades have been cleaned up and will be open this winter at Timberline, weather permitting. Folks working the Timberline booth would not confirm said rumor, but did say that they had been working on opening the trees up on the lower half of the mountain. If said rumor is true, one of the best runs in the mid-Atlantic is back!!!
PhysicsMan
November 10, 2003
Member since 11/20/2001
218 posts
Speaking of other changes in the Canaan V area, at the Ski Expo, I picked up a trail map for the CV ski area, and it looks like there is much more detail filled in off of Dark Side of the Moon.

I must confess that I haven't looked at one of their trail maps in any detail for at least a couple of years now, so I could easily be mistaken, but I wonder if something is brewing in that region as well (or maybe just a new map ... or maybe just old age ).

Tom / PM

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 10, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
I was up at Timberline two weeks ago and saw no evidence of clearing at Cherry Glades. The new glade clearing project is on the lower mountain.
gatkinso
November 10, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
Maybe they are going to mount a fullon assault in the coming days with weed wackers and garden weasels.
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(Anonymous)
November 10, 2003
I was down there yesterday. I haven't heard of or seen any clearing in the Cherry Bowl area. There has been a lot of clearing on the lower half of the mountain. I think some of it is just to clean up the appearance of the mountain, some for cleaner tree skiing. One thing of note is the removal/regrading of the half ditch. The whole area has been filled, graded and mulched. I heard that this area will be used for a terrain park this year.
Roger Z
November 10, 2003
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
It kind of surprised me when the guy at the expo told me Cherry Bowl was cleaned up, as nothing had been said to that effect on the board here (which seems to have some pretty knowledgeable sources available). So perhaps the dude was getting confused with the lower mountain tree work that's been going on... or perhaps it's on the agenda for next season. Or perhaps it's off limits forever.
(Anonymous)
November 10, 2003
<<One thing of note is the removal/regrading of the half ditch. The whole area has been filled, graded and mulched. I heard that this area will be used for a terrain park this year.>>

About time... the "Ditch of Doom" had to go... either that or have the walls actually built up to vert.

T-line should've invested in a pipe-groomer instead of triple chairs, IMO, since having a halfpipe would be quite nice.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 10, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
I talked to management at Timberline today about the Silver Queen upgrade. It's still a go! Also, the resort will be distributing the old Darth Vader chairs in the near future. Anyone interested in buying one should call the resort...
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 11, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Darren:

Did you see any evidence of the Silver Queen upgrade that Timberline is promising (i.e. converting it from a slow double to a slow triple)?

(Anonymous)
November 12, 2003
Johnfmh, I talked to some people in the know about the chairs the other day and it appears as though the project is still a go.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 12, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
This is a good thing. Between the new Timberline web site, new glades, new snow making on The Drop, and the Silver Queen Upgrade, Timberline may be able to build its skier visit numbers this year.
JohnL
November 12, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
johnfmh,

What are the new glades you are talking about? The only glades on T-Line's web site map are Pearly Glades. (I do recall someone mentioned somewhere on DCSki that some clearing was being done around White Lightning.) Are the new glades officially open or are they a work in progress?

Also, any word if T-Line plans on opening the advanced trails earlier this year? I remember some complaints that The Drop/OTW opened very late last year despite the epic snowfall. Seems like it was not due to snow cover, but other issues...

It does sound like T-Line is making an effort to improve the skiing.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 12, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
JohnL:

The new glades start just below and to the left of the confluence of Upper Thunderstuck and Upper Thunderdraft. They should open this season. However, the Corbett's Couloir of the Mid-Atlantic is the Cherry Glades and they are still closed. Hopefully, Timberline will finally clear those glades next year.

Regarding snowmaking, Timberline tends makes snow on only a few trails at a time. It usually starts with White Lightning and Salamander and then moves on to Thunderstruck, Dew Drop, and Almost Heaven. In warm seasons, it can take many weeks before the entire resort gets a coat of snow. Timberline also likes to make a 60 inch base of snow on each slope before moving on to another one. This means it rarely has to return to a slope for touch up work. It also means that Timberline always has an excellent base. You can usually open your throttle at T-line without worrying about catching an edge on grass.

New snowmaking enhancements are changing the situation. Last year, for instance, it got 4 top to bottom trails up and running fairly quickly. I suspect the same will be true this year. My prediction, for what it's worth, is that Timberline will have Salamander, Almost Heaven, Dew Drop, White Lightning, and Thunderstruck open by Christmas and Off The Wall and the Drop done by New Years. This may be optimistic but I think the resort is really trying hard to get its act together and compete with Snowshoe and Wisp--resorts that usually achieve 100 percent coverage in about 12 days or less of operations.

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 11-12-2003).]

JohnL
November 12, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
My expectation is that by the end of the first week of January, a local area should have at least one or two double blacks open. Anything earlier is a bonus.

With all the snow last season, seems like T-Line could have opened The Drop and Off The Wall by New Year's using just natural cover. A post from last year concerning yet to be opened slopes on 1/15 with 90 inches of snow to date:

http://www.dcski.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000304.html

I think it's more than a snowmaking issue. In addition, waiting for a 60-inch base on double blacks is overkill. A bare spot or two is to be expected on a double black. In Vermont, stumps, rocks, grass and moss are terrain features. I think West Virginians are at least as hardy as Vermonters.

gatkinso
November 12, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
Reading that thread from last year....

what xtra costs are there associated with opening a trail with natural cover? Grooming, that is about it.

This is one thing that I HATE about both Canaan and Timberline - they leave perfectly fine trails closed.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 12, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
JohnL:

I was there at that time last year and yes, we got some natural snow but it was really not enough to open Drop or Off The Wall to serious traffic. I talked to a local who ducked under the ropes to ski the trail that day and he said it was kind of sketchy. It was ok for a handful of locals (and insiders) to ski it but not for the general public. That's kind of the story with Cherry Glades as well. If you know how to do it, you can get away with it, but don't try it unless you are sure you know the correct lines to take.

As for the 60 inch base, I LOVE it. It saves my skis and makes it harder to get injured on the main slopes at Timberline. If people want challenge there, they need to ski the double black terrain or out of bounds. The blacks and blues are basically for intermediates.

With enhancements, I don't think we're going to see the one slope at a time snowmaking of the past. Timberline's skier visit numbers for last season were down (Snowshoe, by comparison, had record numbers) and I think management has gotten the message about what needs to be done to attract and more importantly retain skiers. Last year was a wake up call, but this year should be better. For better or for worse, places like Snowshoe, 7 Springs, and Whitetail have really raised the bar for skiing in the area and all other resorts need to work hard to catch up. Mid-Atlantic skiers now demand 100 percent coverage by New Year's day and high-speed, uphill transportation. The resorts that fail to listen to skier demands will continue to see skiers voting with their feet and going to more modern resorts.

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 11-12-2003).]

JohnL
November 12, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
johnfmh,

I agree that a 60 inch base (assuming we're talking unsettled snow) is a wise idea for greens and blue/black cruisers. That's why I was pretty specific about opening with lesser cover on double blacks only.

My philosohy is to open the trail, clearly mark it as having thin cover/poor conditions and let natural selection take place. Seems to work well in New England and out West. I've rarely seen skiers in those places skiing natural snow trails without having the ability to do so. Maybe seeing a cliff band or two from the chairlift gets people to realize that they should pay attention to trail signs.

One feature that often discourages skiers from going down a trail they shouldn't is to have a real sketchy entry (with a bailout to another trail at the entry). Cornices, rocks, mega-bumps, very narrow entrances do a good job of making people think about whether they can handle the trail. Make the entrance real nasty looking.

Stein's Run at Sugarbush is a great example of this. It has a pretty narrow entrance off a busy catwalk. There are only 4-5 lines a skier can take to enter the trail, and as a result, the bumps at the beginning get to be pretty rough. The rest of the trail is a lot easier. Most skiers take a look at the entrance to Stein's and keep on skiing down the catwalk.

JohnL
November 12, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Also, one thing I really don't believe in is ducking under a rope, even if there is a wink-wink understanding with ski patrol. Even at places that will let you ski nearly everywhere inside the ski area boundary at any time at your own risk, ducking a rope is the one big no-no. When a rope is up, 90% percent of the time there is a safety hazard for even the very best of skiers. I can live with the other 10% of the time a rope is up and not duck it.

So if a rope is there to keep out most but not all skiers, then you are defeating the purpose. Make ropes absolute boundaries, but use them only under extreme conditions (sketchy does not equal extreme) and properly label the current conditions the times the rope is down.

[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 11-12-2003).]

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 12, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
JohnL:

I basically agree with you on the ropes issue. E-mail me at johnfmh@yahoo.com and I can offer you some offline suggestions about how to make the most of the expert terrain at Timberline. I really do not want to broadcast my secrets over the entire net.

(Anonymous)
November 13, 2003
<<Also, any word if T-Line plans on opening the advanced trails earlier this year? I remember some complaints that The Drop/OTW opened very late last year despite the epic snowfall. Seems like it was not due to snow cover, but other issues...>>

I distictly remember there being expert trails open before New Years last season... with the Christmas snowfall and everything.

My first day there last season over Christmas week they had White Lightning, Salamander, and Silver Streak open. Before New Years Off the Wall was infact open, and remained open and somewhat skiable until the opening of The Drop.

Hmm... I also remember The Drop being open a few days over the Christmas holidays... it had poor coverage. So they shut it down to build up a good base... so it could stay open until the bitter end of the season.


But yes... unless I'm hallucinating... Timberline did have The Drop, Off-The-Wall, and Silver Streak open at some point before Christmas.

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