Timberline - Canaan First Impressions - Report
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Eug
February 1, 2006
Member since 03/3/2005 🔗
142 posts
Well, this past weekend was our first trip to the valley and I just wanted to share some of our first impressions.

TIMBERLINE Sat 1/28

The ladies (daughter and wife) were not impressed with the lodge, building and facilities. My 8 year old commented on how disgusting were the bathrooms, cafeteria, etc. I felt like I traveled backwards in time.

Salamander closes after 4:30 pm, so if you rented a house in the upper portion of Salamander, I am assuming that you could not ski back in. Not sure if this is actually a problem. If I am not mistaken, I think that you could access the lower portion of Salamander.

Night skiing is really limited. I guess I was spoiled by Whitetail. Whitetail night skiing has most if not all of their runs open (of course conditions permitting).

Did not get a chance to ski the blacks as I was skiing with my daughter in the daytime. Remember, night skiing in Tline did not include the black runs this past Saturday. I don't know why as it was pretty busy and crowded.

Coverage was pretty good in the open trails that I was able to ski on.

CANAAN VALLEY Sunday 1/29

What is with that long hill between the lodge and the lift?? I thought that this was very a poor design issue. Might as well put the lodge down at the far end of the parking lot.

It rained during the morning and I think that it scared most people off which was great for us. When we got there, it was empty, nobody in line. We basically had the hills to ourselves. The snow was heavy and slow in certains spots but it was very nice overall.

Like Timberline, night skiing is also limited. If I am not mistaken, their black runs were closed or had very thin coverage. Stayed mostly on the blues.

Wife and daughter commented on how much nicer CV was as compared to Tline. This was our favorite hill in the valley. Wider runs, nicer cafeteria (closed at 6 though on Sunday 1/29).

I wished these two mountains offered 4 or 8 hours block lift tickets not just specific time tickets (half day from 9 - 12, or 12 - 4, etc).

Ok, these are just my observations based on our short trip and as always,

YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)
fishnski
February 1, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
We have been bitchin those same moans for a long time here at DCSKI! Fact is, we keep going back because the Valley has real Mtn's & real snow....Go back without the woman & you will enjoy Timberline much more(challenging)..Canaan upset me so much when they screwed up a golden opportunity to fix that lame hill to the lifts problem, when they built the new lodge & facility's.Like you said they needed to move the whole complex down a couple of hundred vert feet.Instead they have just graded it so it is less steep now(you should have seen it before!)
yellowsnow
February 1, 2006
Member since 12/15/2005 🔗
268 posts
Ouch!
Yep, I agree the parking lot, entry area, and exterior of the "lodge" at Timberline are pretty seedy and have the overall appearance of...well...a dump.
How was the lodging? Where did you stay?
Eug
February 1, 2006
Member since 03/3/2005 🔗
142 posts
Yeah, I did not know what to expect from Timberline. Somehow in the back of my mind, I was expecting a better laid out place because (I think) Timberline was built in mid-late 80's. Similar time frame as Whitetail. But the place is like a hodge podge of a resort.

The parking lot is like a maze with not enough spaces for a semi-holiday (Fairfax and A. Arundel schools closed) Sat crowd.

It reminded me of the orange formica tables and dated furnishings of Blue Knob (which I like quite a bit) but the lodge at BK is truly old. Correct?

I must confess that I never made it into the lodge area of Timberline. My impressions were based on the bathrooms, the rental area and the cafeteria, which are at 3 different levels.

We stayed at Black Bear Resort. The place with the 'compact' pedestal homes. Not bad and sort of reasonable. I am not sure if all of them are decorated the same but our house and the ones shown in the brochure have the same cargo furniture. Total for a 'large pedestal home w/large jacuzzi tub in the basement' was about $570 for 3 nights.
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TerpSKI
February 2, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Are you there to hang out in the lodge or to ski??

If it's the latter then T-line is the best in the mid-atlantic (IMHO)
POWPOW
February 2, 2006
Member since 05/10/2005 🔗
124 posts
Quote:

Are you there to hang out in the lodge or to ski??

If it's the latter then T-line is the best in the mid-atlantic (IMHO)




Amen to that.
Eug
February 2, 2006
Member since 03/3/2005 🔗
142 posts
Good point!

However, going with the family, the 'whole' picture tends to bring up other issues that are related (directly or indirectly) to your own 'enjoyment'.

I still can't figure out why the black runs were not lit up for night skiing during a fairly busy ski day.

I need to arrange a 'skier only' trip so I can get a chance to explore the whole mountain and the black runs.
jimmy
February 2, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Come on let's go easy on Eug. When you said you rarely got to the mountain before the crack of noon, i figured well, u know, party til 4:00 am ., but now i understand, wife & youngster can be worse than a pack of cub scouts when it comes to getting on the slopes.

Eug, sneak out early some time and get a taste of the real Tline, POWPOW and Terpski are correct . "T-line is the best in the mid-atlantic (IMHO)"
tgd
February 2, 2006
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
Agree, skiing at Tline is great - lodge amenities not so. I almost always ski with my daughter and play "sherpa-daddy" stuffing my pockets with snacks and sweets to keep her happy, on the slopes, and out of the lodge as much as possible. We ski through lunch and hit the lodge for a dog and drink in the late afternoon - if at all.

Night skiing at Tline sucks, so Jimmy's on the mark. You have to get there as early as possible to get maximum out of your day ticket. At my house in the morning, I'm about as popular as Bin Ladin - hounding wife and kid to get moving and out the door. Somehow all the ill will I've fostered melts away during the first chair ride up the mountain.

Timberline's not for everybody. It is lacking in many areas where other resorts excel. Depending on your preferences, needs, or family situation it may come up way short. As a minimalist, I tend to ignore or workaround its deficiencies and focus on what Timberline does deliver - great snow, excellent slopes, and awesome (day) skiing.
TLaHaye
February 2, 2006
Member since 02/9/2005 🔗
136 posts
Going back in time is a good description. Timberline has a real retro feel to it, almost like Bryce. It takes me back to the 60's and 70's.

And the lifts ... could they get any slower?

The terrain though is awesome.
tomimcmillar
February 2, 2006
Member since 11/21/2004 🔗
129 posts
Quote:

snip....

And the lifts ... could they get any slower?






There's always this option:


Rich
February 2, 2006
Member since 11/30/2000 🔗
194 posts
LOL re T-line - you've seen the Legacy of the mad Doctor. Ha-ha, the owner is so cheap I've seen him bus tables, and scavenge parts off of groomers just to keep one running !!! The employees feel like they're in Vegas: getting a paychek to clear is a crap-shoot!

The answer to your message in one word: Snowshoe (where you'll see what a few HUNDRED MILLION invested in the resort gets you) !!!
POWPOW
February 2, 2006
Member since 05/10/2005 🔗
124 posts
Quote:

Quote:

snip....

And the lifts ... could they get any slower?






There's always this option:







Amen to that also. (G3 is my fav)
POWPOW
February 2, 2006
Member since 05/10/2005 🔗
124 posts
Actually there are alot of ski areas (I say ski areas as opposed to resorts because I firmly believe there is a differnce) that have awesome skiing but very poor or older out of date facilities, Timberline, MRG, Alta, etc. But to me i like those places, they feel more homey and fun than super resorts.
Roger Z
February 2, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Quote:

where you'll see what a few HUNDRED MILLION invested in the resort gets you




Overpriced food, long liftlines, poor parking, and an Ohio-like vertical drop? That's really impressive.

In contrast, underinvestment gets you... Whitegrass. I'll take the CV region any day, thanks.
tommo
February 2, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
Blasphemy!! Putting Alta and Timberline in the same sentence should be punished by 5 hours in warm rain. And, actually, Alta has adopted a much more enlightened attitude and poured huge $$ into upgrading the infrastructure. They rebuilt Watson shelter last summer and have installed two high speed quads in the last couple of years for 3 detachables overall. The new Collins quad goes from the Collins/Wildcat base all the way to saddle between Baldy and East Greeley for 1900' vertical in a single, relatively quick ride. Put another way, Alta's facilities are now first rate! And the snow's not too bad, either...
JimK - DCSki Columnist
February 3, 2006
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,723 posts
Eug, appreciate your views on facilities, amenities and layouts, particularly from family vactioner perspective. Old timers like me often can't see the blizzard for the flakes.
I was raised on a heavy dose of Blue Knob (lodge there was rebuilt in '80s after similar one burned down). Coming from Blue Knob all other area lodges and infrastructure, including T-line's, look pretty good to me. Like Terpski I'm more into terrain than facilities and the sustained 1000 feet of vert at T-line exceeds Canaan Valley's and most other mid-Atlantic areas. Tline has a nice variety of good int-adv runs of decent length and continuous pitch similar to those from hispeed quad at Whitetail. With better natural snow than Whitetail, esp in this 2006 winter when being on the west side of Allegheny front makes quite a difference. They seem to have ramped up their snowmaking this year and have been offering some of the best conditions available in the region. The bookend easy trails of Sally and Twister surpass anything comparable at Whitetail. T-line is a tougher drive to get to, of course. I think Canaan Valley ski area is generally always less crowded than T-line. It's real nice that the valley has two fairly distinct skiing options (make that three with Whitegrass). If they ever built a Tory Mtn or Almost Heaven in the neigborhood we might be talking a weeklong destination.
Apparently, last Fri and Mon 1/27&30 were public school holidays in several DC metro area districts (incl huge Fairfax county), elevating that to the best long weekend of the mid-winter for an extended ski outing for many. Though I won't refuse hispeed lifts, when you're talking modest mtns of about 1000' of vert or less slow lifts work fine for me (as long as they don't stop altogether). Lack of good night skiing and perhaps flex tickets are probably a function of market. Closer areas like Liberty and Whitetail have a lot more demand for that, although selling a 4 hr ticket for just a few dollars less than full day would seem to be a no-brainer moneymaker to convince a few latecomers to hit the slopes. Maybe there's an enforcement issue on ticket expirations?
I have still to experience Off the Wall and the tougher glades at t-line, but they appear to add a difficulty factor to t-line's terrain that approaches Blue Knob (toughest stuff not open that often) and the Western Terr of Snowshoe (tough stuff limited to one or two runs) for some of the most challenging in the mid-Atlantic. {Anybody know if steep glades are unofficially skied around Lower Shays?}

If the quality of off-slope "resort" stuff is as important as the ski terrain to your group, and this is a legit requirement for many vacationers, then Snowshoe, Seven Springs and probably Wintergreen are tops in our region, with Wisp coming on fast.

Sorry for the ramble.
POWPOW
February 3, 2006
Member since 05/10/2005 🔗
124 posts
Quote:

Blasphemy!! Putting Alta and Timberline in the same sentence should be punished by 5 hours in warm rain. And, actually, Alta has adopted a much more enlightened attitude and poured huge $$ into upgrading the infrastructure. They rebuilt Watson shelter last summer and have installed two high speed quads in the last couple of years for 3 detachables overall. The new Collins quad goes from the Collins/Wildcat base all the way to saddle between Baldy and East Greeley for 1900' vertical in a single, relatively quick ride. Put another way, Alta's facilities are now first rate! And the snow's not too bad, either...




Ummmmm? First rate? hmmmm...i wonder why wires are hanging down through the open ceiling and water buckets sitting on the floor catching drips in the gold miners building.
Then there are the bathrooms, which when they work and flush are on the NASTY side. Now i love Alta and its my fav in the country and i spend about 2+ weeks there a year, and they are improving it greatly but first class? i dunno about that one.
Swimmer
February 3, 2006
Member since 02/3/2005 🔗
143 posts
AAAH-HHEEMMMMMM !!!

ixna on the hitegrasswa

It's been mentioned here several times and I have finally accepted that not everyone is into the Whitegrass scene. No need for any more converts. I mean after all, the lodge dates back to the 50's, the people are a bunch of furry faced forest fairies intersmixed uber sexy chicas decked out in form fitting athletic gear as they head out to skate the track or climb for the highlands.

Nightskiing is a bit hampered after all. You have to provide your own headlamp...plus they don't have that any crappy soundsystem blaring out some 80's hair band rock. What to do? What to do?

I'd like to make a proposal to leave Whitegrass out of any further discussions about the skiing in Canaan Valley. It's way dated, no lifts, people are weird, no light system, no snow making and if everyone starts showing up there I may have to ski beside their tracks in the freshies instead of making the first ones myself...three days after a fresh snowfall.

Steve
kwillg6
February 3, 2006
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
WHAT A BLOG! Take no prisoners! Burn baby burn! All I can add is that you get what you pay for. You want four star restrooms you pay for them in lifts, rentals, food, and in some cases lodging. I can agree on the night skiing problems in the valley, but I've found it the same whereever you go, skiied off, "fast" snow, snow guns, and poor visibility. Night skiing has a specific market (day/ 1/2 day tripers and locals) which the valley really doesn't cater to. Personally, if you ski 8 hours during the day on challenging terrain, who needs night skiing?
tgd
February 3, 2006
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
Regarding night skiing: rather than trying to improve or expand the existing lighting, I think it would be great to extend the day session into the late afternoon early evening as the days get longer toward the end of Feb and in March - or at least keep more of the mountain open when there is sufficient daylight.
kwillg6
February 3, 2006
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
tgd... I agree. Extend the skiing until 5:30 or later in March, until 6pm. Their only problem is the time required to sweep the trails at closing, assuming that skiers were skiing trails only. When working ski school at the shoe, we used to help when patrol was short handed, but manpower would be an issue if they were to do this.
tgd
February 3, 2006
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
Yep, always figured it was a staffing issue. Especially come March when most people in the Mid-A have packed up their skis for the season. Seems then there are almost as many patrollers as paying customers on the slopes.
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