Cross Country + Downhill in December
I'm trying to arrange a ski trip under the following constraints:
(1) Takes place around Christmas
(2) Both Cross-country and downhill skiing available
I have skied both Snowshoe and TLine and prefer TLine, at least on a good snow day, but past experience has made me leery of scheduling trips to TLine so early in the season. On the other hand, I suspect that for cross country in December, Whitegrass would be the best bet. Any opinions on this? I guess what it comes down to is whether there is generally enough snow at Snowshoe around Christmas to support cross-country skiing.
Anyway, please let me know what you all think. My brother-in-law and his familiy will be driving in from Missouri to go on this trip, and it would be nice for them to have a good skiing experience in our little corner of the world.
Anecdotal comment from Jan 2, 2006: at this time T-line and CV had about 90% of terrain open. We had a good early season, then around Xmas day it got warm and rainy, but conditions still decent on Jan 2 and 3 at the downhill areas. I went to White Grass same time and it was pretty patchy cover, but still they said they had something like approx 20 kilometers open (don't quote me on that), wet dirty snow near snow fences only. Don't know what Snowshoe had at that time, but something tells me White Grass would very likely be your best bet for X-country, but still something of a crapshoot for Xmas.
Link to related report: http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=869&mode=headlines
Xmas is usually hit-or-miss (mostly miss) in the Mid-A. Last year was an exception - very decent downhill conditions with lots of open terrain at Timberline (cold weather plus greatly improved snowmaking). Even so, there seems to be a trend over the last 4-5 seasons for the January thaw to start a day or two after xmas. Whitegrass only needs one decent snowfall over Xmas week to open some decent kick and glide terrain - so you can never count them out. That early in the season though, you have to take what comes.
I'll just ditto what has been said. Having worked ski school at the shoe on christmas week, I would steer away from the masses who will be "bowling" there. You would be well ahead of the game to chance the valley. Less crowds and better XC especially with Chips' snow farming.
I certainly wouldn't say no to chancing the valley - I suppose in the event of a snow drought or thaw we could always drive up to Wisp. That's what, 1.5 hours or so?
Wisp is only an hour out of the valley.
Thanks to everyone for their input - we have indeed decided to chance the valley. I was also wondering if perhaps anyone had any suggestions regarding where we could look for reasonable lodging. We would be looking for a 3 bd place to accomodate 6 adults and 4 kids. Price range for Christmas week at the places I have checked seems to be $1500 - 2000, but of course it would be nice if we could find something a bit cheaper.
WGO,I could have beat that $1500 for a week But I just cked & I am booked for the middle of X-Mas week. The reason that I could beat the price with a 4 bedroom house with Gameroom,Hot tub,Jacuzzi bath Ect..." Is because I am "out of Valley". My place is only 3 min from the Canaan Ski area parking lot!...You can go cheaper that way..If you need Slopeside You will PAY! Good luck!
Now you have me intrigued...if it's the middle of Xmas week you are booked that could still work out for us...I'll PM ya with the details.