Mid-Atlantic Glade Skiing
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Roy
March 19, 2007
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
As you look around the mid-atlantic, there are not many resorts with glades on their trail map (Is there anyone besides Blue Knob?). But I know there are more tree hounds out there besides me. Which areas do you ski in the trees?

I was at Wisp this weekend and noticed they had some glades that looked skiable. I ducked in the trees on the right side of Beaver and came out at the bottom of Bobcat Bowl. The recent snow helped make this the best run of the weekend. I think Wisp has lots of potential for glade runs.
Rickh
March 19, 2007
Member since 12/2/2004 🔗
140 posts
You should have been @ TLine this weekend. 12" - 15" storm Friday and Saturday. Saturday afternoon and Sunday I was skiing several of the glades in snow up to my knee caps. Most was atleast 10" deep. TLine probably has the most glade skiing you'll find in the mid-atlantic.
tromano
March 19, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Quote:

As you look around the mid-atlantic, there are not many resorts with glades on their trail map (Is there anyone besides Blue Knob?). But I know there are more tree hounds out there besides me. Which areas do you ski in the trees?

I was at Wisp this weekend and noticed they had some glades that looked skiable. I ducked in the trees on the right side of Beaver and came out at the bottom of Bobcat Bowl. The recent snow helped make this the best run of the weekend. I think Wisp has lots of potential for glade runs.




Blueknob, T-Line, 7Springs, Cannan Valley, Wisp, and others all have glades on the trail map. Most of these areas have additional unmarked areas that you can ski if discrete. The trick isn't the trees, its the snow in the midatlantic.
Roger Z
March 19, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Devil's Drop glades (for lack of a better term. They're not on the map but are obvious and pretty much open for skiing) at Wisp is pretty nice. JohnL and I have a dispute going about whether you can make GS turns through them or not- if JohnL can, he's leagues above me in ski ability. But ever since Cherry Bowl glade "officially" closed at T-line, glade skiing in the Mid-A hasn't been the same. That was a truly sweet run. I've also heard about glade skiing at CV, but have never found it.
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JohnL
March 19, 2007
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Quote:

Blueknob, T-Line, 7Springs, Cannan Valley, Wisp, and others all have glades on the trail map.




Bingo. Laurel Mountain also had some great tree shots. Pretty much any area west of the Allegheny front. Though it sounds like Snowshoe doesn't allow skiing off trail. Surprisingly enough, Elk Mountain also doesn't allow skiing between the trails; they'll apparently pull your pass without hesitation.

Anything more open than Glade Runner at Timberline, and I hesitate to call it a "glade". Though it's very nice terrain, in my book it's stretching the term to call Devil's Drop glades "tree skiing." Same goes for pretty much all of the marked "glades" at Blue Knob, Yak-Yak at Seven Springs, etc. Still, they are loads of fun, all.
KevR
March 19, 2007
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
Is there some subtle difference between glade & tree skiing?

I've always inferred one.

To me glades are (usually) officially marked trails -- often "blues" out west that have narrow but clearly designated cuts through wooded areas -- its fairly easy to weave about through them -- although to the initiate the idea seems crazy.

Tree skiing to me is skiing thru densely packed (but still likely culled at some pt in the past) tree stands -- there are no cuts or "trails" just an area -- although often the area is marked with a "trail" sign but sometimes, in fact in many cases not... equally or more so, to the initiate skiing through such an area seem even crazier than "glades" above!

With that in mind, DD at Wisp would be a glade and I haven't a clue on any true tree skiing in the mid-atlantic... didn't really think there was any mainly due to a lack of natural snow fall deep enough to hide the roots, twigs, branches on the ground ...

Considering all that, I've always felt tree skiing to be a hallmark of out west resorts mainly due to the combination of straight pine trees and deep snowfall.
SkiBumMSP
March 19, 2007
Member since 12/8/2004 🔗
224 posts
Quote:

Surprisingly enough, Elk Mountain also doesn't allow skiing between the trails; they'll apparently pull your pass without hesitation.




Unfortunately, that does seem to be the case. When I was up there over President's day skiing, I was very tempted to take a few of those lines that I spied from the lift, espcially considering the 21+ inches or so of fresh they got two days before! I even asked the patrol about it and they indeed told me that if they catch anybody skiing "out-of-bounds" as they call it, ticket will be yanked.

You could also find some lines at Sno Mountain as well, and did see people taking them. They strongly discourage it and you may risk getting a pass yanked, or at least a warning. However, I did sneak a line through the woods just off Fast Track, though.

But then you get T-line! The guys on the patrol there even told me take any line I wanted through the woods and if anybody gave me $#!+ about it, just tell them to call the patrol! Isn't that an open invitation or what? Well, I guess at Timberline, gotta take a line through the Timber!

God, how I love that place - and that is after spending a single weekend there!
crunchy
March 19, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
yeah what SkiBum said! the Canaan State Park ski area actually has trails cut through on the area they call the "glades", but you can still ski through trees if you want altho alot of it is kinda dense it seems. TLine is more true tree skiing on the areas they have marked as "glades" tho.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
March 19, 2007
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,222 posts
Quote:

Is there some subtle difference between glade & tree skiing?

I've always inferred one.

To me glades are (usually) officially marked trails -- often "blues" out west that have narrow but clearly designated cuts through wooded areas -- its fairly easy to weave about through them -- although to the initiate the idea seems crazy.

Tree skiing to me is skiing thru densely packed (but still likely culled at some pt in the past) tree stands -- there are no cuts or "trails" just an area -- although often the area is marked with a "trail" sign but sometimes, in fact in many cases not... equally or more so, to the initiate skiing through such an area seem even crazier than "glades" above!




This is the way I understand it too, although the distinction is often blurred. By that definition, tree skiing in the mid Atlantic is pretty rare. TL probably has the most, and an attitude that allows it.

Quote:

Considering all that, I've always felt tree skiing to be a hallmark of out west resorts mainly due to the combination of straight pine trees and deep snowfall.




I am fortunate enough to have a daughter and family living in northern VT. They and their many friends whom I have skied with have shown me the magnificent woods of the area. It's my opinion that northern VT has the best tree skiing and the best tree skiers in the country. Why? The gnarl factor. VT has half a dozen different kinds of hardwoods and conifers mixed up. It leads to tight and irregular spacing between trees. Throw in ledges, rocks, streambeds, small gullies and ridges, and you have a constantly changing challenge. The skiers in northern VT take great pride in skiing where a rabbit couldn't go. It's a culture. The best of them ski by the Jedi method - believe and the opening will appear when you get there. It's magic. I've had a (very few) Jedi moments but I am not that good and usually bail after 5-6 turns, reassess, pick a new line, and go again.

In the west it is all too often Aspens with regular spacing and bare trunks so you can see far ahead, no cliffs or ledges, and very consistently pitched slopes. Conifers keep their needles all year and obscure the view. You have to be a whole lot more on top of your game to ski eastern trees. There are exceptions. I recently claimed that Taos had the best trees in the country, thus contradicting myself. Sometimes contradictions illuminate.

Why do it? Because that's where the powder is deepest and stays good the longest. On a day at Mad River 10 years ago, brother-in-law and I had each driven 500 miles (he from Rochester NY) arived at the parking lot at 10, to see less than 10 cars parked there. It had rained hard for 2 days, frozen up at the end and the backside of the storm dropped a few inches of snow which was then scoured off the trails by a brutal wind. The trails were grass, rocks, and dirt, covered with an inch or so of absolutely transparent pure ice. At the edge of each trail was a bit of windblown powder. The ticket seller told us not to bother, "it's all ice today". We told her how far we had driven to ski it and that we did not care. We did a run or two on the powder edges taking care to ski in a narrow corridor off the ice. Then we saw a guy explode through the pine boughs at the edge of the woods just above the single midstation and get back on the lift (you can load at midstation on weekdays). He was covered with snow. Bingo!!! It was a foot deep in the woods, S&*#house glades to be specific, named for the hidden entrance behind the ski patrol privy. We spent the rest of the day there. It was one of our best Mad River days ever, and we've had many of them.
Roy
March 20, 2007
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
I agree that Vermont has some great tree skiing. Mount Snow has some great trees that I hit. I haven't ventured to MRG yet but it's on the list.

Devils Drop at Wisp was closed this past weekend. I thought about ducking the rope but didn't do it. I'm not sure if you can do GS turns through them but I think I could get some nice turns

I've only skied TLine once. It sounds like I need to take another trip.

There is one tree run at Liberty. It goes from White Lightning to Blue Streak (it's kind of a cut trail). I think it is used by the snowmakers but holds snow pretty well mid-season. There's no turns but just a cut-through.
SCWVA
March 20, 2007
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
Quote:

.... But ever since Cherry Bowl glade "officially" closed at T-line, glade skiing in the Mid-A hasn't been the same. That was a truly sweet run....




Cherry Bowl Glades are closed? I didn't see any signs before I dropped in this weekend.

SkiBumMSP -
Quote:

"But then you get T-line! The guys on the patrol there even told me take any line I wanted through the woods and if anybody gave me $#!+ about it, just tell them to call the patrol! Isn't that an open invitation or what? Well, I guess at Timberline, gotta take a line through the Timber!"




Thats funny you should say that. I was in the deep woods at Tline on Saturday, when a patroler came up behind me when I was about 2/3 of the way down. I thought he was going to hassle me, but instead we exchanged a few comments about the quality of the snow and we followed each other out to Salamander. Whats the way it should be.
skier219
March 20, 2007
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Quote:

Quote:

.... But ever since Cherry Bowl glade "officially" closed at T-line, glade skiing in the Mid-A hasn't been the same. That was a truly sweet run....




Cherry Bowl Glades are closed? I didn't see any signs before I dropped in this weekend.

SkiBumMSP -
Quote:

"But then you get T-line! The guys on the patrol there even told me take any line I wanted through the woods and if anybody gave me $#!+ about it, just tell them to call the patrol! Isn't that an open invitation or what? Well, I guess at Timberline, gotta take a line through the Timber!"




Thats funny you should say that. I was in the deep woods at Tline on Saturday, when a patroler came up behind me when I was about 2/3 of the way down. I thought he was going to hassle me, but instead we exchanged a few comments about the quality of the snow and we followed each other out to Salamander. Whats the way it should be.




Sounds like I need to meet up with some of you punks to get the official glade tour at TL. Of course, I only feel comfortable skiing trees/glades when the powder is deep enough that you can safely float through the openings between the trees (ie, no-brainer speed control). Many times when I hit glades/trees around here, the snow is already rutted up into a track through the trees, and that is not real fun to me -- I don't have a good way to control speed in that scenario.
tromano
March 20, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
You can use standard mogul techniques (soft edging, active absorption, and turn shape) in trees to control speed if snow is not so deep.
Roger Z
March 20, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
You can also use my technique: throw a shoulder into the oncoming tree and pray that you don't fall into a tree well.

My favorite part of tree skiing is the part where you come around a tree and you think "man I really hope there isn't a tree behind this one." Unfortunately there's lots of trees on glade runs, and luck can't last a lifetime unless you die young (despair.com poster), so sooner or later I'm going to come around a tree thinking "man I really hope there isn't... aw sh&#$" and eat some bark.
skier219
March 20, 2007
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Quote:

You can use standard mogul techniques (soft edging, active absorption, and turn shape) in trees to control speed if snow is not so deep.




Hey, I am still working on that stuff in the moguls; adding trees doesn't help any! Actually though, retraction/extension is one area I need to improve for speed control in bumps. This will allow me to point the skis down the fall line more and rely less on skids and edge sets coming in/out of bumps to maintain speed. Right now, I feel I am relying too much on my edges and this makes it harder to fire off quick turns.
tromano
March 20, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Quote:

Hey, I am still working on that stuff in the moguls; adding trees doesn't help any! Actually though, retraction/extension is one area I need to improve for speed control in bumps. This will allow me to point the skis down the fall line more and rely less on skids and edge sets coming in/out of bumps to maintain speed. Right now, I feel I am relying too much on my edges and this makes it harder to fire off quick turns.




Same here. It has taken alot of mileage for me to get comfortable in the bumps. And I am still working on active absorption.
Roy
March 22, 2007
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
Quote:

Hey, I am still working on that stuff in the moguls; adding trees doesn't help any!




Actually the trees are a training step to get to moguls. You see, the trees are a bigger target and you can always see them. Plus, when doing a zipper line, you'll be more apt to stay upright.
Roy
March 26, 2007
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
I just got back from a weekend trip to 7 Springs (first time there). I can't believe no one spoke up about the tree skiing there. No I didn't get much tree skiing this weekend (there was a melt going on). But the potential there is huge. Any stories?
tromano
March 26, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Quote:

I just got back from a weekend trip to 7 Springs (first time there). I can't believe no one spoke up about the tree skiing there. No I didn't get much tree skiing this weekend (there was a melt going on). But the potential there is huge. Any stories?




I think people did mention it, but the tree skiing at 7S is not so amazing mostly because they have cut down so many trees. I have seen photos from 20 years ago and there were a ton more trees than they have now. I am not sure why they did it but they are gone now. And after snow or storms move through 7S always seem to get a very strong westerly wind. The trails are so open and IMO, most of the glades are also very open too. As a result the trails and many glades get blown off and do not hold good powder after a storm.

Guide to Tree Skiing at 7S.

1. Turtle Neck Glades. They cleaned them out this year it seems and they are the best glade at 7S. The trees are tighter spaced than others on the hill. A thick wall of vegetation serves as a wind block on the left (west side) of the trail. The top is steep enough for a challenge and gets bumped up in the trees. The bottom is more open, mellow, easy, and is a great place to learn tree skiing. IMO this trail is as good as any glade in the region and would be a favorite blue or double blue glade in areas further north.

2 Tied. Yak-Yak glades are the best front side glade. Yak-Yak starts out pretty steep and tight. But after 4-5 turns it flattens out and really opens up. The mid section is constantly blown off and the bottom is open and weak.

Another glade between tyrol and avalanche holds snow better than yak-yak but is even thinner in terms of trees. The lines in this glade are better at the bottom than those in yak-yak. Both glades are too narrow and too thin in vegetation to hold much pow. But they do get lots of man made so are ski able much earlier in the season than glades in other areas.

4. Turtle claw is a meadow (not a real glade), but holds snow well and had some interesting lines in the entry. If it got bumped up more or if it was more in the trees it would really be better.

5. Alpine Meadows are really a shadow of what they used to be. They are east facing and used to get the best snow on the mountain but the trees are nearly all gone now, the best lines are also gone.

6. The North Face Glades are basically a steep open shot with only a few trees in there. It is similar to D-trail at Blueknob. It is steep but very short and opens onto a groomer after 200 ft. Not much there.

7. The LM hiking trail is skiable in sections where it rambles through the woods, nearly flat, very tight. This is pretty fun but also short.


My advice to the new 7S mgmt. Plant more thick fir trees in strategic locations to block wind, I notice that some are already in the ground on the north face. In the short term, install snow fencing between stowe and yak-yak and on skiers right of tyrol.
Roy
March 27, 2007
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
That's definitely a good guide for next season.

That's good information to know concerning the trees not holding the powder. Then again (for me anyway), it doesn't necessarily need to hold powder, just have coverage.

With all of the fir trees around 7S, it's amazing there are not more of them on the mountain. It would really help add more charm to the slopes.
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