Has anyone been here? It is always ranked high in the polls and we are thinking of possibly going for thanksgiving. The town of Ellicotville sounds fun. I would love to hear from anyone with first or second knowledge of the place.
I have been to HV once a couple years ago. My wife grew up skiing there. I don't think they are consistently open by turkey day.
The place has 3 really nice lodges, good facilities, good food, and seems pretty well run. The Mtn is pretty short 700' vert but very wide and lots of acreage. It is sort of like if you took wisp and 7springs and made one big ski area out of the two side by side. And they get about as much natural snow every year as those two combined as well. There is some good tree skiing once the season ramps up. They also will get routinely 2-3ft dumps of lake effect.
The trails are pretty mellow. Nice gentle glades, a few steep but short bump runs. Some long cruisers. Pretty good park from what I remember. Holimont is also right next door and has a good reputation as well, but never skied there.
Ellicotville seems like a pretty awesome ski town. Good restaurants, nice vibe. Pretty small and laid back.
Thanks Tromano. It's nice to get some feedback that is not from a ski magazine.
Myrto... another place to look at would be Hunter Mountain, NY. I am not sure how it compares distance wise (i think its about 6 hrs from DC) but they have a more substantial vert (1600') then holiday valley and it seems that they almost always are open by thanksgiving.
And Hunter gets a huge NYC crowd, especially crowded when terrain is limited.
I've been to Holiday Valley numerous times while I was in college (hell, even met Glenn Plake once while there!). Granted, that was now over 15 years ago, so memory will be fuzzy. If I recall, they had something like 57 runs, but the vertical there is only about 800 feet. Still respectable, but not like the 1000+ feet that we got even at some places here in Virginia.
All the times that I went, I remember the snow conditions being really good, and they can and do get some pretty serious dumps. I remember leaving Clarion, PA and it was raining there, but got to Holiday Valley (about two hours drive north), and it was snowing to beat hell, with some sweet conditions. Unfortunately, at the time, I was not close to as good a skier that I am now, so I never did try any of the glades and my bump skiing was pretty much pick my way through and hopefully I make it without wiping out to many times. Also, the concept of a "snow park" was unheard of during those times (let alone, snowboarding itself), so that is all new since the last time I was there. I'd definitely like to go back sometime as I've really enjoyed skiing there during my college years. If the conditions are good by TG day, it may be worth a trip out there. I'll have to go look up the website and see if they still have "The Wall", which was this really steep, but short, run that I remember having a blast on!
While I have been a DC Sk reader for several years I have finally registered and this is my first BLOG, so here it goes.
I used to live between Rochester and Buffalo, Ny and skied Holiday Valley several times a season for 10 years. It ski's very much like 7 Springs but with better snow and more nice tree covered trials.
There is a great section off the CCC Lift where several trails run through a mature Pine forest. To the right of this area this season they added the new Spruce Line new high speed lift which should also have some nice forested close in runs. At the other end of the resort is the steepest slope called "The Wall" but the real steep section is really short. If the snow is good the Eagle lift in the back provides some nice sustained pitch cruisers but that are not real long.
I still drive up to the area every year from Pittsburgh where I now live and not only ski a day at HV but I also drive the additional 90 minutes to spend a day at Bristol Mountain which is closer to Rochester, Ny. http://www.bristolmountain.com.
With 1200 feet of vertical Bristol skis like a much bigger mountain and unlike the black diamonds at HV those at Bristol can really get the legs burning. The left side of the hill is all green and blue with very nice trails that are just the right width. The right side of the hill is where the blacks are and Quantum Leep and Rocket are two of my favorite runs south of New England.
While HV can get pretty corwded there are a large number of lifts but again runs tend to be short. With the exception of a holiday weekend I have never run into a large crowd at Bristol.
If you can ski them both as they are each quite different.
Glad to have you aboard. I assume you also ski at the hoter HV and 7Springs. Where else in the VA-MD-WV-PA area.
I learned how to ski at 7 Springs and HV back in the 70's when I was in high school. I now live about 30 minutes NE of Pittsburgh and ski 7 springs usually every other weekend. In between I usually make it a point to hit Hidden Valley, WISP, Blue Knob, Holiday Valley, Briston Mt & Whitetale at least once a season.
I travel for business so I usually do a long weekend out West and try to do a similar long weekend in the North East.
With the exception of Showshoe I have not skied any of the places in WV. Would you recommend a weekend trip to ski Canaan Valley & Timberline. Winterplace seems like alog drive for 600 ft of vertical.
Skip Winterplace...Canaan Valley is a unique place with lots of wildlife, a great lodge, 2 ski areas (and this year they once again have a ski the valley lift ticket that allows you to ski both places on one ticket. The lodge has ice skating, indoor pool, etc. A bit old in the rooms which are separated from the main building. CVL runs a shuttle to the Canaan Valley ski area; one morning I counted over 100 deer during the short trip to the ski slopes. I have had a deer "knock" on my door at about 1AM and upon cracking the door was nose to nose with this "wild" really pretty tame animal looking for a handout.
I really enjoy my weekends in the valley...it truly is a world apart. I am sure the many DCSkiers that have a 2nd home in the valley, or live nearby, will chime in with their thoughts about a ski trip to the valley.
Skied at Holiday Valley for my first time about 2 years ago and thought it was very nice. I especially liked the system of lodges for food/drinks, etc. Don't count on Thanksgiving for snow though especially the way this year has gone.
Make a point to try Hidden Valley again this year since there is a new owner that is just at a frenzy making improvements to the resort and skiing operations (snowmaking, etc.).
Another ex Holiday Valley here.
I skied there quite a bit when I was at SUNY Buffalo. Great place, we had lots of fun. However, we did mostly night skiing. So I have no idea how is the day time skiing. Kind of funny I guess
Love the place. Maybe one day I'll bring the family over there
Agreed, Colonel. I have been going to the valley long before either of the existing areas were there. There's noplace like it in the mid-atlantic. Very unique, rustic, and some of the best sking south of Vermont.