Most challenging run currently open
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wgo
December 27, 2006
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,368 posts
What is the most challenging run currently open in the Mid-Atlantic? It would have to be White Lightning at TL, no? I got to thinking about this just having returned from a few days in the Canaan Valley area. While Timberline had very limited terrain available, I still think that I preferred skiing WL to skiing whatever collection of blues/greens Snowshoe had available (well, I guess they re-opened Grabhammer but you get my point).

On the other hand, with the limited terrain our 3 days of skiing was switched to a day of skiing and 2 days of hiking/biking, so maybe having a wider selection of easier runs to choose from would have made it more attractive for my mixed-ability group to ski more days.
Norsk
December 27, 2006
Member since 05/13/2003 🔗
315 posts
I agree with you ... except that as of 1pm today, the most challenging run open in the mid-Atlantic would be The Drop at Tline. Opened with solid cover top-to-bottom.
wgo
December 27, 2006
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,368 posts
Quote:

I agree with you ... except that as of 1pm today, the most challenging run open in the mid-Atlantic would be The Drop at Tline. Opened with solid cover top-to-bottom.




Cool. Looked like it was skiable when I was there. I guess from a business perspective it made sense to hold it back and make sure it was available for the Dec 26 - Jan 1 crowds, but from my own perspective I sure wish they would have given some consideration to those of us in the pre-Xmas crowd.
ndskier
December 27, 2006
Member since 12/11/2003 🔗
56 posts
Amen brother...i was there pre christmas too and it sure would have been nice to have that open....on a side note, although the top section of Grabhammer is short, they left it ungroomed and the bumps on it today were a blast. They had fresh snow and machine made pumping out onto it so they were soft big bumps that were great to play on. Tough run, only about 6 turns though...
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Clay
December 28, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Quote:

I guess from a business perspective it made sense to hold it back and make sure it was available for the Dec 26 - Jan 1 crowds...




I have to disagree. It makes NO sense to me that T-Line has a double black open when they don't even have a blue open. How many of these holiday skiers do you think can actually handle The Drop? And how many experts is it going to take off of the other THREE congested trails? What a waste of snow making.
Clay
Norsk
December 28, 2006
Member since 05/13/2003 🔗
315 posts
I do tend to agree with Clay, much as I loved having two advanced trails open from the top. Of course what happens is that The Drop does not just pull experts off of WL (even being charitable with the definition of expert). Yesterday I witnesses several rank beginners snowplowing side to side across The Drop, with no signs that ski patrol planned to take any action. I guess one interpretation is that Tline wants to position itself as the hill for better skiers and encourage less skilled skiers to head over to CVR, but I wonder how successful, and financially viable, that strategy would be.
wgo
December 28, 2006
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,368 posts
Wasn't there some mention here a couple weeks ago that infrastructure problems were keeping TLine from making snow on the west side of the mountain? Maybe Tline would have preferred having a blue open for the holiday crowds, but didn't have working snowguns to do this.

Also, didn't they use to focus on getting salamander open early? I am personnally glad for the early attention to WL and the Drop, but it is true that the holiday crowds would probably be better served by salamander.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 28, 2006
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,938 posts
The drop is a reasonably narrow, tree-lined trail with fixed guns and northern exposure. In short, it's easy to make snow on it. The blue squares are all on the western side of the mountain. When groomed, the Drop becomes a single black trail (if not blue) so if they want to create more terrain for intermediates early in the season, they can always groom Drop initially and let it bump up later. Sorry Tucker to mention that ugly G word.

Another reality: as much as people complain about Timberline, it probably has the best terrain open today in the region.
wgo
December 28, 2006
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,368 posts
Quote:


Another reality: as much as people complain about Timberline, it probably has the best terrain open today in the region.




No doubt about that. In fact, in the spirit of appreciating what we have, I propose that we start suggesting dates for the next dcski TLine get together. Some time in late Jan/early Feb, perhaps?
tommo
December 28, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
At the risk of sounding like a shill, unless you call two runs the best, I think Wisp is in better shape than anywhere else. With the exception of east ridge, they have 8 or 9 distinct top to bottom runs (and about 20 different possible combinations), including Squirel Cage, the Face, and the Devils Drop glades all open. Plus the majority of greens and blues are all in great shape. Granted, Upper WL and The Drop at Timberline may be the longest vertical, but it's still just two runs. Biggest problem at Wisp today will be too many people for the lifts - there's plenty of terrain - so it'll be best to wait until evening.

It is great to see that Timberline has much more than just the beginner triangle open, though. In years past, it would have been laps on Woods Hole only. They have clearly made massive improvements in snow making capability!
Clay
December 28, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
There have been three cats out on Lower Almost Heaven since this morning. They have almost worked their way up to the road, so a little grooming (or not) and they should be able to open it any time they would like.

Oh, BTW - it is like skiing in DC traffic from mid-station down. But with all of the bad weather we've had, it's nice to see some people on the slopes - hopefully putting some jack in T-Line's pocket.

Clay
SCWVA
December 28, 2006
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
The Drop is open! Are they letting it bump up?

Hmmmmm......might be worth the drive.
Rickh
December 28, 2006
Member since 12/2/2004 🔗
147 posts
Clay - it sounds like your staying in Winterset??? Have they blown at all on Twister or Dew Drop? Have you heard anything about Sally opening?
Clay
December 28, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Actually, I'm in Northwoods. I haven't heard anything on Twister or Dew drop, but I will poke around and see what I can find out. I just don't have all those connections like Kim and those guys do. I'm going to have to get some introductions....
Rickh
December 28, 2006
Member since 12/2/2004 🔗
147 posts
Track down Johnfmh he knows EVERYBODY

The more you are there the more people you will meet.

I have a place over in Woods End, but with two boys in sports (basketball)its hard to get up when I want. I'm planning on spending most of the March weekends on the mountain. Two positives, short lift lines big snow storms...I hope
Rickh
December 28, 2006
Member since 12/2/2004 🔗
147 posts
BTW - Are you paying for Internet or stealing TLines lodge? If you can reach TLines lodge from your place, that is a beautiful thing...
Clay
December 28, 2006
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Well, I TRIED to steal from T-Line's lodge, but it is about 100' too far away - so I am actually paying for it.

My son has joined the snowboard team, so we will be up here most weekends I suspect.

Clay
tgd
January 1, 2007
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
We just got back from a week at Tline last night. Given the weather, I kept my expectations low and ended up with a pretty solid 5 days of skiing. Did plenty of laps on White Lightning and the Drop. Yes, I did see Ski Patrol cracking down on some beginners on the Drop. No they are not grooming the Drop, but it was hard pack most of the week, so not much loose snow to mogul up. Crowds were very low for a holiday week. We were on the snow by 8am each day for the best skiing and no lift lines. By lunchtime, we would pack it in as the crowds built up and the snow got heavy. Oh the beauty of the season pass - no worries about having to get your money's worth each day.

Anyway, Tline has done a great job with what Mother Nature has thrown at them. The slopes they have open all have a good amount of snow on them. There was grass sticking up on the Drop - but I skied that slope a dozen or more times with no damage to my skis.

I am however, skeptical about the greatly enhanced snow making capacity they are claiming. True they have added snowmaking on more trails, but Thunderstruck and all of the blues (with the exception of Lower Almost Heaven) have no evidence of snow or recent snowmaking. My guess is that they need 2-3 weeks of solid snowmaking weather to get even half of those trails ready to go.

Evidence is pointing to a pattern shift and cold returning to the Mid-A after Jan 10. We're back up in wild/wonderful WVA for MLK day weekend. Hoping for a return to Canaan's winter paradise.

Tom
dmh
January 1, 2007
Member since 12/11/2003 🔗
127 posts
We spent the three days after Christmas in CV and was disappointed in the lack of snow. I fully understand that TL could not do more than nature allowed. It was basically the bunny slope and WL. My kids did not complain but they also had enough after a 1/2 day.

I think TL did itself real damage by charging full prices, however. I grudgingly paid but a friend who was at TL for the first time was livid. He felt he and his family paid premium prices for not much skiing. If they were smart TL would have reduced their prices to reflect the absence of snow. A real pity and further reflection of their lack of business acumen.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
January 1, 2007
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,938 posts
Just back from Timberline. I submitted a brief report to Scott. Bottom line: it was better than I expected. I actually enjoyed the challenge of skiing in marginal conditions. Furthermore, when I left yesterday, WL still had decent cover, although it was icey in spots.

It was clearly a rough weekend for beginners but advanced skiers and boarders seemed to be having a decent time.

PS I want to thank the Patrol for looking out for people and warning everyone about the thin surface on The Drop. With skiers of mixed ability on WL, you had to ski defensively and the patrol was doing a good job of making sure people generally skied in control.
Clay
January 1, 2007
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
John,
I agree wholeheartedly. We came back this afternoon. I got an hour in from 8-9 before we left. This might say something about my sleeping habits, but this is the first time in my 5 years of skiing that I got first tracks! I actually skied Lower Almost Heaven 4 times before anybody else made a track over mine. It was getting very thin though (especially at the top where the fearful scrapped their way down this weekend) and I didn't think to take my rock skis out, so I went in after an hour.

I think the folks at Timberline did a fantastic job with what they had to work with. Every staff person I talked to (mostly lifties) had a GREAT attitude. They were friendly and cheerful.

I talked to several people who told me how hard they were working to get Sally open for the beginners - but they just couldn't get the "S" turn covered . It looks like they might get two nights of snowmaking this week, so maybe they can beef up the open trails and get Sally open.

I didn't do a trip report, but here are a few pics I took this weekend. Sorry for the quality, I'm still getting used to my "ski" camera.

"No Snow in the Valley"


"Fog at Seneca Rock"



Clay
Tucker
January 1, 2007
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
Clay, that is a great picture of Seneca rocks...just drove home from timberline and is spitting weeeet snow....
Clay
January 1, 2007
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Thanks. I suppose if I didn't have 3 hours left to drive at that point and I was a serious photographer, I would have parked, gotten out and taken a "real" picture. But hey, what's the point of a point and shoot camera if you can't use it while driving? Speaking of that, I also have a couple on CH where we had to basically drive through a cloud...

Clay
kwillg6
January 2, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,036 posts
I was in the valley on Friday and Saturday. I agree, the skiing was better than expected, although, in the afternoon WL became a pretty good bump run. I enjoyed myself and my legs are still talking to me. I had to cut my skiing short on Saturday because of a NWHOA board meeting . Still, I hope to be back on every weekend from now on.
kennedy
January 2, 2007
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Thats a great picture Clay. We were in the Shenandoah for the weekend and drove home via 211 over the mountain. It was pretty cool because for the most part there was no one one the road so it was a really nice drive. At the top though it was cool because the cloud base was so low that day that we were over everything and it was beautifully sunny with this huge mass of clouds below us. As we drove down and dipped into it gave everything a beautiful mysterious look. We unfortunately forgot our camera so no cool shots from the top.

Oh we skied Bryce for the first time too. Don't know the trail names so basically they had their green that goes from the top to the bottom and the adjacent blue open. Condituins were at best spring like and at worst pure mucky crud. They had no snow on the offloading ramp just a bristle mat so offloading was treacherous. Fun afternoon though. The terrain gave wifey a little more challenge thab she has been accustomed too and she took it all in stride.
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