Official Status of the Cherry Glades
I received this e-mail reply from Timberline, regarding the status of the Cherry Glades:
"The Cherry Bowl is not an official skiable area. At one time it was,
but logging was done in the area and as yet we have not gone back and
reclaimed the area for glade skiing. People still ski the area when the
snow is deep enough but they are officially 'out of bounds'. Timberline
opened new gladed areas this year. The primary new area is from the mid
station pump house down to the mid station lift shack and from the lift
line to White Lightning."
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 11-20-2003).]
For those Cherry Bowl old-timers, how much did the logging thin out the trees in Cherry Bowl?
I don't want to turn this into another BK logging thread, but why log one of your own trails? Why not log in between trails?
Trying to get some history here.
I heard they sawed off the tops of some of the cherry trees in the bowl and left them standing about six feet high. But I agree with JohnL-- whatever they did, it doesn't make any sense on it's face. Why did they do this??
It was my understanding that Cherry Bowl was logged in order to raise funds to replace the top tower of the Triple lift several years ago. I believe the concrete was cracking and needed replacement. Cherry Bowl, by its name alone, would indicate that it was inhabited by valuable Cherry trees. I would guess that is why they logged it instead of other areas with less desireable species.
Just to clarify a few things about "gladed" ski runs. You DON'T LOG AN AREA TO CREATE A GENUINE GLADED SKI SLOPE! Instead, you leave the large, economically valuable trees standing (and, thus the upper canopy is left intact). Only brush, saplings and small trees are removed when glades are PROPERLY created. In legitimate glades you don't have large stumps, because (other than a few dead trees) NONE of large trees are removed. And, because the upper canopy is left intact and these areas are shaded in the summer, you don't have much of a regrowth of brush or saplings. Furthermore, because NO large logs are dragged ("skidded") down the mountain, you don't have any ground disturbance or erosion problems when REAL glades are created. Of course, it COSTS money when you create REAL glades, versus a logging operation where you MAKE money. I've skied most of the Glades at Timberline; basically it's a mixed bag, some of the glades appear to be genuine and other gladed ski runs appear to be areas that were clearly logged for PROFIT and, therefore, aren't nearly as skiable (due to large stumps, ground disturbance, etc.), unless there's a deep snowpack. At any rate, the Timberline glades are in MUCH better shape than the so-called glades at Blue Knob and are also skiable far more often than the glades at Blue Knob.
I agree with you about what makes a manmade "glade" run. I think in Timberline's case if you go back far enough most of the glades were cleared of underbrush first for glades and then logged at a later date. I'm not positive of that though. Remember too that nearly the entire state of WV was logged at one time, especially the Canaan/Davis area. So a lot of the old skid roads, etc still exist in the area. Those features may not have been repaired and therefore show themselves at the ski areas and in the backcountry.
Speaking of logging, there's an old Spruce plantation about a mile behind Timberline in the Dolly Sods. I like to stop and eat lunch under these big, hulking trees when I am hiking out there...