Blue Knob Snowmaking?
11 posts
3 users
2k+ views
JohnL
January 13, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
While not known for their aggressive snowmaking in recent years, BK seems to be lagging even more this year. Per their website, none of their blacks are currently open (Extovert, Lower High Hopes, Stembogan in particular). They report they are currently making snow on Lower High Hopes and Stembogan. Last year they were aggressively making snow on Extovert the first weekend in January.

Anyone with personal info in terms of this year's BK snowmaking? We've heard plenty of complaints concerning other aspects of Blue Knob's business, let's keep this thread on topic and just discuss the snow making.

Thanks in advance.

(Anonymous)
January 13, 2004
Snowmaking has actually been Blue Knob's biggest problem for a long time. This is fairly typical for this time of year. They normally don't get get any of their blacks open until late january. Last year's good snow was an abberation, and if there hadn't been a thaw they would probably have a few blacks open.

Having said that normally the rotation is Lower High HOpes, Extrovert, and then Stemboggen. THey haven't made snow on Lower 66 but I believe it is possible. I remember skiing on Lower 66 a few years ago and it was quite evident that they had made snow on it since the only other lower mountain trail that was open was Lower High Hopes.

Finally, while Blue Knob doesn't have any blacks open, Expressway and especially Deer Run would be considered blacks at any other resort in the mid atlantic. Deer Run has a fairly steep continuous pitch that goes for a pretty good vertical. It reminds me a lot of a longer version of squirell's cage at Wisp.

If anyone were to ever invest in good snowmaking at Blue Knob, and allow Blue Knob to open its best terrain, it would really make the mountain something special. IN the mean time dont be fooled they have just as much "expert terrain" open as 7 springs does. While the blacks may not be open, some of their blues are just as difficult.

(Anonymous)
January 16, 2004
When it comes to challenge, I agree that Blue Knob has some of the most challenging terrain in the mid-atlantic. Unfortunately, BK simply doesn't make nearly as much snow as most ski areas in the region. The lack of snowmaking appears to be the result of economic considerations by the owners of BK. The snowmaking infastructure and snowmaking capacity at BK are adequate and far more snow could be made if the owners were willing to spend the money on higher electric bills. A large new (used) snowmaking compressor was installed at the top of Expressway a couple of summers ago (in addition to the existing compressor located at the bottom of the mountain) yet, this compressor is rarely used. I agree that it would be possible to make snow on lower Route 66; however I'm not aware that this has ever occurred. To make snow on lower Route 66, extremely long snowmaking hoses would have to be used to run water and air from the hook-ups located along the left side (facing down-hill) of lower High Hopes to lower Route 66. The hoses would have to be long enough to run the width of High Hopes plus span the rather narrow strip of woods that separates these two slopes.
(Anonymous)
January 16, 2004
Planning on going 25 - 27 January. Anyone have any tips or suggestions? 2 families for a few days off :-)

cheers,
wojo

(Anonymous)
January 17, 2004
If you are renting equipment during your stay at Blue Knob, then no problem. If you are bringing your own skis and/or snow-boards, then I would either bring old gear (rock-skis and/or rock-boards) or be prepared to rent equipment if the conditions turn out to be rocky. If the glades are open, some of you might be interested in trying them, I wouldn't dream of skiing or boarding the glades at BK with a decent snow-board or pair of skis.
Roger Z
January 17, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Steve you can enter the glades at BK with a decent pair of skis, you just won't come out with one!
(Anonymous)
January 19, 2004
Please Steve, lets be serious. Certainly if you are going to be traversing into the glades at Blue Knob, your skis may get scratches on teh bottom. However this happens at all glades, especially around here where there is rarely enough snow to cover ALL of the underbrush.

As for the rest of the trails, normally the cover is pretty good. Certainly if there's a thaw the cover wont be as good as 7 springs. Having said that the cover right now is pretty good, the Stemboggen bowl is open as well Stemboggen trail. Its interesting that they haven't opened Extrovert, but I'd imagine that will be next. When Extrovert opens, Blue Knob will have all of its snowmaking trails open for business. Not bad at all. ANything else that may open would just be gravy.


I can guarantee that they have once before made snow on Lower 66. I was there one season, I belive it was 1999, and the only two lower mountain trails that were open were Lower High Hopes and Lower 66. THat means that they had to make snow on Lower 66 as there was not enough natural snow for it to be open.

(Anonymous)
January 19, 2004
Jon S., let's get real here, if you ski the glades at BK to any extent, you're going to end up with far more that just a few scratches on the bottoms of you skis or snowboard. I friend of mine just took a 4 inch gouge out of the bottom of one of his skis while giving Laurel Run Glades a try. This damage went completely through the P-tex. And, this guy is light (145lbs); he is also one of the most careful skiers I know. As far as past snow making on Lower Route 66, that's VERY unlikely. Since the nearest hook ups are on the far side of High Hopes, 200 ft hoses and portable guns would have been needed to make snow on lower 66. Also, the Stembogan Bowl is NOT currently open,
only the far right (non-bowl) side (where the original slope was to start with) is open.
Roger Z
January 19, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Steve- it's still possible to make snow on Lower Route 66. When I worked at a ski area up in New England we had one "natural snow" trail that we routinely made snow on once the other runs on the mountain were open. They created some extra long hoses (either they had some floating around or they linked them) off the nearest air/water spigots which were a couple hundred feet off the top and bottom of the run, brought out those small little portable cannon-like snowguns, and just pumped snow into huge mounds on both ends. They then ran the groomers up and over these snow mounds, flattening them out and pushing them up and down the trail to form a nice smooth surface.

So it *is* possible to "make snow" on an unspigoted trail. I'm not saying whether BK did it or not, just that it can be done.

(Anonymous)
January 19, 2004
Roger Z, I agree, it would be possible for BK to make snow on Lower Route 66, although I have never seen or heard of this happening. Furthermore, since BK is probably one of the least aggressive (in terms of snowmaking) ski areas in the mid-atlantic, why would BK go to so much trouble to make snow on Lower Route 66 when they are often slow to cover their main slopes?
(Anonymous)
January 20, 2004
Steve you can come up with all of the anecdotal evidence that you want regarding BK glades and damage onto the bottom of your skis when skiing the Bk glades. So I'll give you some, I have skied the Laurel Run Glades probably 15 days in my life. I have yet to receive any sort of damage to the bottom of my skis.

ONe definately needs to use common sense in skiing the upper glades at BK, be able to manuever around obstacles, and realize as with any glades, its very possible that underbrush can beat up your skis. Thats glade skiing my friends, whether its at Jay, Aspen, or BK. Hazards exist, and one must be cautious.

GLades or natural trails in the mid atlantic are almost always going to be slightly dangerous to your skis. The mid atlantic rarely gets a large enough natural snow base to cover all of the obstacles underneath. Having said that the best trails are often the natural ones, as snowmaking cannot be placed on them due to them being to narrow, steep or windy.

DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.14 seconds