TR, weekend of 2/4/06
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gpdave
February 5, 2006
Member since 03/16/2005 🔗
13 posts
So, guys, how were your skiing experiences this weekend?

Here was ours:
Skiing Saturday: Wet and cold! We all were soaked. That said, the rain kept most trails from icing up, and so we had a good time on everything except OTW, which was full of ice-moguls. It was more survival than fun, so we decided to stick to the other trails for the rest of the day.

The Drop was excellent, perfect for hi-speed ripping. We even got my mom to go down it, a definite plus . WL was also fun to rip. Needless to say, if you saw three guys going fairly fast down the trails, it was probably jon, dad, and I . This conversation sums it up:
Person who i shall not name: It was really wet and cold today!
Mom: Conditions were Great!

THe plus was that there were few people there, so we almost never waited at all (we rode the sliver queen chair). We looked for your boyscout troupe,pagamony, but there were at least 2 or 3 different ones on the mountain. FWIW: timberline offers group lodges for groups like boyscouts, and even provides meals.


Came back out later that night for some night skiing and telemark practice. Since Timberline did not open any of thier advanced lit trails, we had to stick to Almost Heaven and Dew Drop from the top. I'm not sure why they do this, maybe it has to do with saving snow.

Sunday

After Church, we bought one ride tickets up the canaan lift, and cross countried out to the pipeline cut that runs from bald knob into Dolly Sods. There was a decent amount of snow up there, and we got some powder turns.


The upshot:

1) Skiing is FUN, no matter what the weather
2) Timberline has improved thier snowmaking
3) Barring any sort of thaw, next week should be great for those who have planned trips!

(I'll post pics if I can find my camera-computer cable)
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
February 5, 2006
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
840 posts
yeah, there were alot of scouts there, i had no idea there would be that many. our troop is a bit of an outlier - camps in snow, drives to alaska, makes their own food, rents a house big enough for 40, watches clint eastwood moveis.... go figure. no liftlines were nice.

here is a pic that sums up the day...
JohnL
February 6, 2006
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
I wuz also at T-Line this past weekend, skied Saturday and Sunday. Encountered pretty much all kinds of weather, except sunshine. It was a mellow weekend, kicking back with some friends and not worrying about how much vert I get or if I'm skiing hard enough.

Driving in on Friday and during the light of day on Saturday, it was strange to see practically no snow in the valley except on the snowmaking trails. From the top of the lifts when the clouds occasionally cleared, the immediate valley looked more like a western desert vista than the usual winter paradise. I'm sure Andy was cursin' a bit in the lowlands of West Virginia.

Morning session on Saturday was from about 10 to 12. There were some periods of heavy rain and some periods of mist. Hit the condo around standard lunchtime after the rain had found some openings in my gear and my water-soaked gloves were as heavy as boxing gloves. After several Sammy Adams, I was motivated for session the afternoon. Fortunately, the heavier rain ended, and it was either clear or light mist for the duration of the afternoon.

Each run was a different adventure during the day. Fog would come and go, sometimes in the middle of a run, and my goggles would sometimes be clear, sometimes not. But vision and sanity are highly over-rated.

I finally broke out my rock skis (not needed), the Devil's own Elan M666's. In the appropriate shade of Black Sabbath black and grey. Finally got bindings for the skis, slacker that I am.

Despite the rain, the snow on most runs did not get too heavy; the intermediate runs prolly had sections with the heaviest snow, especially by late afternoon. But my satanic skis are known for plowing through anything, and any blips in the skis' travel were more due to the Sam Addams than the snow surface.

Twister is a nice addition to the Mid-Atlantic; not quite as turny as Blue Knob's Stembogan or Laurel Mtn's Dream Highway, but better suited to lower-level intermediates. Didn't have any trouble with the run-outs at the bottom even in a variety of slow snow conditions during the weekend. The two tunnels near the bottom could be a bit much for timid sliders though, especially when the slopes get a bit crowded.

I agree with gpdave that White Lightening and The Drop were excellent for high speed crusin. Snow was excellent on both runs. Though I do have mixed feelings about The Drop. It probably would not have opened yet this year if snowmaking were not installed, but it is currently too domesticated. No where near a double black. The Drop from last March's DCSki T-Line get-together had a slight edge to it; there was actually a slight drop from the traverse into the trail, some small terrain matching bumps at the top, some bare spots half-way down to make things interesting, and snow naturelle. This year's version is more suited to Snowshoe, but I guess man-made snow is better than mud.

I'll differ from Dave and declare Off The Wall the highlight of the weekend. With the rain, it skied as forgiving and edgeable as it will ever get. This year's vintage of whales are maybe the best ever (last year's did suck but the year before they wer pretty nice.) Call me a whale conniesseur. First run down I nearly virtually stopped at the top of many whales to scout the lines below. At the back/side of most whales (left or right), there is a well-defined mogul line that resembles a mini skier-cross course. Subsequent runs down were at greater speed and more yah-yah factor. Luv skiing straight down the steepest bottom whale at the bottom of the headwall.

OTW definitely needs the whales as they were last weekend. Without them, the trail is way too easy for a double-black.

One of my buds did have a good wreck on OTW when he foolishly listened to me and followed a suggested line.

Rain started coming down pretty heavy around 4 PM; called it a day soon after that. For those hard-cores out there who stuck it out during the evening, I was cheering you on from Timbers with Ribs and Almost Heaven. Wouldn't have traded places with ya.

Woke up Sunday AM from the howling wind. Not a good sign, especially since the ground around the Herzwood condos was only partially covered. With the drop in temps overnight, could be icy out there.

Didn't exactly race to the slopes (slacker weekend), but was skiing by a bit after 10. Conditions were pretty decent, and some of the first lines earlier in the day may have been really good, or maybe not, depending upon how much snow accumulated during the morning. It was basically dust on crust, though fortunately the crust didn't have many hidden treasures underneath. Caught some deeper stuff on Lower Thunderstruck, the edges of several trails, and the sides of OTW. Groomers were a lot of fun.

It was great to see the Valley white again. Though my ski bases are glad I saw how bare Upper Silver Streak and Upper Thunderstruck were the day before, and how foolish I would have been to poach them on Sunday. Looked like a few boarders did (including one patroller), but their tracks indicated they didn't let their boards run.

As expected, the base of OTW looked pretty nasty due to the steep drop in temps and previous day's rain, but it actually skied pretty well. By the time I hit it, many sections were scraped bare, but there was just enough snow on the trail, the Devil's own held their own, and I was lucky enough to get a few nice turns in.

At the base on Sunday, the temps were in the low 20's and the wind was brisk. It was worse at the top. A twelve or so minute ride to the top in those conditions coupled with only a 30-60 second ride down were not enough to keep me that warm. Nothing like 2000 feet of nasty moguls to warm you up and take the edge off the cold lift ride up. Unfortunately, T-Line has none of the above. Bailed around 1:30 after my bud had bailed earlier to meet his wife in Philly. Slacker weekend.

Some T-Line customers were obviously trying to start a bra and thong tree off the Thunderstuck lift. While I admire the effort, the bra part was a bit lacking. Looked like an A cup, no hint of lace, a bit too utilitarian. Probably tossed by an East German women swimmer/evening wear model from the mid-70's. The multi-colored thong was a loooot more interesing, worthy of Boader Babe. And since this is West Virginia, it looked like a Doo Rag was caught next to the thong.

Either I'm a perve or maybe the T-Line lifts move way too slow, leaving you with too much time. Or maybe both...
SkiBumMSP
February 7, 2006
Member since 12/8/2004 🔗
224 posts
Pretty much sums up my experience this weekend.

Massanutten was wet and heavy as well, although it was skiable. Thankfully, my trusty ol' Volkl 5-stars do a good job plowing through that crud. I only skied Saturday and went back home that Saturday night. They ended up having to close down for a couple hours Saturday afternoon/evening due to thunder and lightening (started back up around 6 PM).

Pretty anti-climatic, though, after spending the previous week at Sun Valley, ID with some truly incredible conditions (some of the best in over 30 years according to many of the locals there). And, I was finally getting really good skiing bumps, only to have to leave it....:(
jimmy
February 7, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Quote:

So, guys, how were your skiing experiences this weekend?





You guys that made turns Saturday....what a bunch of addicts....u need help , j/k i'm jealous don't you know. Saturday i did do a little cloud skiing, tested softshell jacket in the rain and made a beer run.

Sunday at 7 Springs it started snowing on our way up the mountain, snowed all day, pretty hard at times and the wind was, um special. The place was a ghost town, must've been something else going on besides skiing last Sunday?

Coverage when we got there was ok except for nat snow areas which were brown, beautiful frozen groomed granular and a bit of loose pow. I do enjoy skiing crud/ice from time to time and Sunday was a good test. New Atomic Izor's really eat the hard snow up, ski the slow line fast, fast line fast, i really like the balanced feel these give me.

Spent the morning skiing back and forth from North face to yodeler, the longer we skied the more it snowed the better it got. Didn't seem that they were making a lot of snow, temps were in the low 20's. Made one trip across the front side after lunch and, to me, it seemed the conditions were much better on North Face.

They got a solid 4" while we were there Sunday. Looks like winter returned, hope it stays! I've got my spring skiing out of the way already.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
February 7, 2006
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,726 posts
Quote:



Pretty anti-climatic, though, after spending the previous week at Sun Valley, ID with some truly incredible conditions (some of the best in over 30 years according to many of the locals there). And, I was finally getting really good skiing bumps, only to have to leave it....:(




Tell us more about the terrain. Is it all tree lined, or do they have open hillsides/bowls? Never been to SV, it's supposed to have some of the longest continuous fall line single black thigh burning groomers on the planet. Is there enough variety to keep you happy for 5-7 days? It has a rep for being a little snow-starved compared to most other western resorts, so you really hit the jackpot.
bawalker
February 7, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Your's truely hit up Wisp on Saturday at 2pm. It drizzled and then turned to sleet by 5pm, but went back to rain around 6pm. Finally as I was riding up the lift drenching wet (but still bone dry on the inside) it started to snow/rain mix around the top of squirrel cage and finally by the top it had turned into snowshowers. Those weren't to last because when I left around 7:30 it had quit raining or snowing. I stopped for supper at Taco Bell in Oakland when it started up with windriven snow again. All in all it was a decent day.
SkiBumMSP
February 7, 2006
Member since 12/8/2004 🔗
224 posts
Quote:


Tell us more about the terrain. Is it all tree lined, or do they have open hillsides/bowls? Never been to SV, it's supposed to have some of the longest continuous fall line single black thigh burning groomers on the planet. Is there enough variety to keep you happy for 5-7 days? It has a rep for being a little snow-starved compared to most other western resorts, so you really hit the jackpot.




They have quite a bit of both, both plenty of tree-lined groomers (and bump-runs) as well as wide-open bowls. I'll have to try to find someplace to host these pictures that I've taken while there. Also, although there are no "official" tree/gladed runs on the map, there are plenty of places you could duck off and ski the trees (i've done a little bit myself).

And yes, there are some seriously long single black thigh burners (and it did not help to jump into the bump lane along side, such as those on Limelight slope). Many of the runs, I had to stop to rest my thighs. Also, even many of the green runs would easily be high blue/low black here on the mid-east. This was a difficult mountain to ski, with plenty of steeps and plenty of bumps.

And there was definitly enough variety to keep me happy for the 6 days I was there skiing. There are a couple of runs that I've not even got a chance to hit that I wanted to try out. I guess a good reason to consider going back

And about hitting the jackpot - on top of the awesome conditions we had, the day I was leaving, it snowed some 12 inches up on the mountain. A friggan foot of some sweet powder up on the mountain, and I could not ski it, because I was leaving! Also, they have the smaller hill, Dollar Mountain, that is meant for rank beginners (think typical small ski area around here), but because it is typically used by beginners, who tend to stay on the groomed runs, if you ski down the back side of it, you can find all kinds of untracked powder.

I would highly, highly, recommend visiting Sun Valley at least once in your lifetime. It really is an excellent area (plus the food up there in the lodges is quite good, although somewhat pricy, but actually not much worse than what we had to deal with around here). Also, if you could, just once, try to eat at the Roundhouse - fine dining right there on the mountain side.

And to add a nice touch to end my stay there, the ski patrol let me ski sweep with them on the very last run of the day that Friday right before I left (my last run there). I was the very last person off the mountain. Thanks, Sun Valley Ski Patrol - you guys are awesome! Damn, I just wish I'd thought of taking that picture of the avey dog sitting on the snowmobile. It was so cute.

I'll go back in a heartbeat if given the chance.
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