what's the best place for skiing in this region?
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dchandra
November 8, 2007
Member since 11/8/2007 🔗
1 posts
Hi DC skiing gang,

just recently over a beer or three, my friends and I decided we were going skiing for new years. I am from Pittsburgh but have only skied up in new england, so I don't know the best areas around here. I wanted to see if anyone has recommendations for places in the area that are fun to ski and gets decent snow over the new years time.

We are basically looking for a location that is up to 4 hours a drive from DC, has big fun cabins or cottages (for up to 10 to 14 people or so), has a nice town area to celebrate new years' in (i.e. NOT Pennsyltucky) and has access to the better skiing in the region.

Any thoughts?
Dave
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
November 8, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,097 posts
dchandra,
First, WELCOME to DCSki. Second, oh, what a bucket of worms you have opened with this question.
The anti this resort will crawl out and go head to head with other anti another resorters! But you will get some good advice.
To really help answer this question a lot more info is needed:
-What ages are the folks in your group? Families or singles?
-What is more important, skiing conditions or parties?
In general, Snowshoe and 7 Springs will have the best chance of good snow New Years and a couple of days after. And both offer special deals for that week, at least from Jan 1 to the weekend.
Details on both websites.
Neither are really close to a big city, although 7 Springs is not too far from Pittsburg.
Snowshoe has a village at the top of the mountain, nightspots and fireworks. Seven Springs is pretty much self-contained.
Much more to come!
Again, WELCOME!!!
The Colonel
crunchy
November 9, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
 Originally Posted By: dchandra
Hi DC skiing gang,

We are basically looking for a location that is up to 4 hours a drive from DC, has big fun cabins or cottages (for up to 10 to 14 people or so), has a nice town area to celebrate new years' in (i.e. NOT Pennsyltucky) and has access to the better skiing in the region.



hi and welcome. i think everyone knows what I'm going to say already \:\) But canaan valley has all of what you just mentioned. not a huge town area, but 2 small towns in davis and thomas that are right there that should be fun, especially thomas that has the purple fiddle and mountain state brewing co, that should be a good time on nye. canaan gets alot of people from pittsburg given its proximity too.
kwillg6
November 9, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,021 posts
Ahhh.... NYE! Fond memories at the slopes. If you group is younger and is looking for a real bash, I highly recommend the shoe which has one of the best NYE parties I've ever been to . You need to get reservations and party tic soon cuz it'll sell out. Now, if you are just looking for a nice house with all the features, hot tub, game room, etc... \:\) go to CV and rent one of the houses slopeside or close at t-line. Thats been our MO for the past dozen or so years only we own and don't rent.
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lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 9, 2007
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Well, I echo the Colonel's statement, you can open Pandora's box... But my opinion follows:

1. If you're looking for a New England feeling, with picturesque towns, restaurants, skiing and hiking and cross-country, some shopping, open fields, and at least 1,000 vertical, try Canaan Valley. It is about as close to New England's cozy fireplace, pine-scented, Charles Dicken's storybook atmosphere around. Quaint little villages, 3+ hours away, and two ski areas literally next to each other, with a major XCountry area in between. And if you want to go to Snowshoe, you can do it on a day trip. Canaan also has plenty of big houses and condos, especially near Timberline.

2. If you want a self-contained resort atmosphere, I'd recommend Seven Springs or Snowshoe. Seven Springs is one of those venerable resorts where skiing was king in my grandmother's childhood. In my opinion, even with the construction that has been going on, and the accompanying democratization of its clientele, it still has an old money atmosphere. Great accomodations, good eateries, good service, and excellent grooming.

Snowshoe is as good as you're going to find in the Mid Atlantic. I own a place up there so I'm intimately familiar with its pluses and cons. The pluses is that it is large. And getting larger with amenities, condos, houses, etc.. Three new runs this year. It is unabashedly new money, Intrawest's targeted audience. It has three sides, so if you find the main resort crowded, go to the Western Territory or Silver Creek and one of the two will be less crowded. There are large houses and condos galore. If you go there, stay with the Brian Ball restaurants (Ember, Foxfire) and the Bistro. While excelling at development, Intrawest doesn't have a clue as to how to run a restaurant, at least at Snowshoe. There are also several very good to excellent eateries nearby. Overall, Snowshoe is worth it.
myrto
November 9, 2007
Member since 10/4/2001 🔗
259 posts
Canaan Valley, Not only do you have two downhill resorts there but you can use taht as a base and hit Wisp 1 hour to the north,
Snowshoe 1.5 hours to the south or 7 Springs 1.5 hours north west.
That why it is such a perfect place to make a second home.
Roger Z
November 11, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Salt Lake City. Southwest flies directly there from BWI and you can be on the slopes by lunchtime.

Sorry folks. I figured we hadn't started the "west versus east" rumble yet this winter so here's the opening dig.
Scott - DCSki Editor
November 11, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,131 posts
Southwest's new pricing structure and policies look less than desirable -- it looks like it will become increasingly more difficult to snag cheap tickets through Southwest. They now have only three categories: "Business Select," "Business," and "Wanna Get Away." A Business Select ticket from BWI to Salt Lake City in January is (ready for this?) $778.80 round trip. (Thankfully, at the moment, you can still get a $218 ticket, but there are less options now for cheap tickets.)

Of course, for nearly $800, you can expect to get the red carpet treatment -- hot meals, cushy seats protected from the "common" folk, an actual reserved seat, etc., right?

Uh, no. It's still Southwest. You get "top of the line" A-pass boarding and a free $5 cocktail. Yippee. So, basically you're paying about $560 for a free $5 cocktail.

You can still find inexpensive tickets on Southwest (although people are reporting it's becoming impossible to get anything better than a B pass with Southwest's new policies), but it's going to be more difficult. I'm not sure what Southwest is thinking -- they want to charge top-dollar business pricing, but stay a no-frills airline. I don't see businesses paying for that; at those prices, you can get much better service on other airlines, and in many cases reward miles that are shared across several airlines.

This might be a necessary move on Southwest's part because they now have to pay fuel at the regular market price. A number of years ago they bought a fuel "hedge," locking up several years worth of fuel at a (then relatively high) guaranteed price. The cost of fuel quickly rose much higher than Southwest's price, and Southwest was able to buy fuel much cheaper than competitors. It was a great move on their part, but they no longer have that hedge.

There's just no way I'm paying $800 to fly Southwest.
Roger Z
November 11, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Very good points Scott. I'm a little disillusioned about Southwest has been up to lately, too. The business mags and consultants like Michael Porter have been arguing for a long time that premium airlines can't compete in the discount world because the structure of operations is fundamentally different. Of course, people try to make absolutes out of past failures, and there's always a learning curve, but I've been wondering why on earth Southwest has been trying all of these new angles, too. They're not a premium airline. Everyone who flies them- and everyone who doesn't fly them- knows this.

I'm very retro on them- I never was a big fan of being able to check in online (though I use it all the time!). The purpose of the A-B-C boarding in part was to get people to the airport early ("you can get a good seat!") in order to get the plane off the ground on time. But, that was a relatively trivial change. These new ones are far more substantive.

I'm hoping that the new model flops. They won't go back to the old model, they'll adapt something else, but hopefully they can find a way to stay the low-cost, no-frills carrier. Either that or maybe RyanAir will get over to our market eventually. \:\)
comprex
November 11, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts

Uh, what's this a $5 cocktail?
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 11, 2007
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Nah... No opening dig, Roger. I decided that I wouldn't go West this year, even to Canada where there are normal people. I also think that dchandra has also made that decision... Even in first or business class, which is my standard for anything over three hours, flying today is a chore. I've given myself a once-a-year vacation out of Washington, and probably the only other way I'd fly is on a friend's airplane. Heck, I won't even fly to Boston in early December, where I'm scheduled to be for a course. Amtrak is easier, roomier, and you get treated well.

So Stowe it is for my big road trip, and this on a hybrid. I already took my big flying vacation to Hawaii.

And as for dchandra's question, the fact that Snowshoe got 4 inches is plenty of good reason to consider it.
dcmidnight
November 11, 2007
Member since 11/11/2006 🔗
125 posts
Southwest's cheap fuel hedges are slowly starting to expire and are causing them to go to this increased pricing structure. Their new boarding system to me seems about two steps from going to assigned seats.

Personally I cant stand Southwest. I understand they're great if you fly a short route that they fly but for me they've just never worked.
Roger Z
November 11, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
I decided that I wouldn't go West this year, even to Canada where there are normal people.


Lou, it'd be nice if you could discuss your travels without needlessly slighting a significant portion of the population of this country.
fishnski
November 11, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Even in first or business class, which is my standard for anything over three hours.I already took my big flying vacation to Hawaii.

God Bless The United States of America
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 11, 2007
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
 Quote:

Quote:
I decided that I wouldn't go West this year, even to Canada where there are normal people.


Lou, it'd be nice if you could discuss your travels without needlessly slighting a significant portion of the population of this country.


Nah nah Roger, You're putting words in my mouth and that's not fair nor accurate... I am the first to complain when someone slams West Virginians as backwards or whatever. My comment was in jest considering that I have no interest in the Rocky Mountain States simply for personal reasons. If you infer anything from my statement is simply your choice, same as implying something that was not stated.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 11, 2007
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Fish, I agree with you wholeheartedly. God Bless the USA. After a military career that had me in a tent in a siberian winter in Korea for six months, and getting shot at in the streets of Bogota, and spending time watching penury and hurt in my follow-on vocation, I've decided that I'm not going to withhold comfort from my life style now that I am at the stage when I can in fact enjoy and afford comfort. Especially when airline service today, especially in coach, is a vexation to say the least, and a downright shame on the other side...

I noticed in the Airbus on my recent 12-hour jaunt to Hawaii that the coach section was horribly crowded. People were literally on top of each other. I asked the flight attendants and the answer was that the seat pitch has been reduced from their normal 34 inches to 30 inches in the Airbus, and the seat width was down to just over 17 inches. That means probably two extra rows of seats in the airplane, but also means close to 12 hours of misery and pain for coach passengers.

And this may even affect your health, as the phenomena of Deep Vein Trombosis (DVT) is more common and can in fact lead to pulmonary embolism and death. Add to that, the fact that in order to save fuel, pilots shut down one or more air conditioning packs and therefore, besides sardine-can conditions, you're breathing the same cabin air filled with recycled bacteria, flu germs, and other assorted cooties. Yes, Boeing and Airbus will stand on their head and say that once you turn off a pack that the others will go on high flow and blah blah blah... The fact of the matter is that over 50 percent of the air in modern jets is now recycled.

Flying first or business is a significant expense. But in long flights, over three hours, I've decided that I will spend whatever it takes to be comfortable. And healthy.



Lou
tromano
November 12, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Coach isn't so bad. But I do try to fly as little as possible. The worst is when you have some obese person sitting next to you. There should be a weight limit on coach seats or make them buy two. Its disgusting to have someone literally over flowing on to you.

scootertig
November 12, 2007
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
As long as we're wish-listing flying, I think there should also be a release for the seatback in front of you. In other words, so that one couldn't lean back in their seat without the "consent" (by way of flipping the release) of the person behind. I'm not a particularly tall person (right around 6 feet tall), but when the person in front of me decides that they want to lean back for a little nappy-poo, it pretty much wedges me in, and I don't like it. I won't lean back unless there's nobody behind me...

The weight limit isn't a bad idea, though. Of course, it would be seen as discriminatory...


aaron
crunchy
November 12, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
 Originally Posted By: tromano
Coach isn't so bad. But I do try to fly as little as possible. The worst is when you have some obese person sitting next to you. There should be a weight limit on coach seats or make them buy two. Its disgusting to have someone literally over flowing on to you.



according to NIH stats.. you have a 33% chance of that happening \:o thats why i try to book an aisle seat
Scott - DCSki Editor
November 12, 2007
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,131 posts
 Originally Posted By: scootertig
As long as we're wish-listing flying, I think there should also be a release for the seatback in front of you. In other words, so that one couldn't lean back in their seat without the "consent" (by way of flipping the release) of the person behind. I'm not a particularly tall person (right around 6 feet tall), but when the person in front of me decides that they want to lean back for a little nappy-poo, it pretty much wedges me in, and I don't like it. I won't lean back unless there's nobody behind me...

The weight limit isn't a bad idea, though. Of course, it would be seen as discriminatory...


aaron


Yeah, I think they should do away with the declining seatbacks altogether, since they have insisted on placing rows so close together. I can't stand it when the person in front suddenly leans back, and voila! Their head is now an inch from your nose. Of course, if someone insists on doing this, you can always use their head as a cupholder, play with their hair, use their shiny head to take notes on, etc. That might give them a message.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 12, 2007
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Actually some airlines do. Southwest does have one, and morbidly obese people are discretely taken aside and told they won't fly unless they buy two seats ( http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou070914_tj_fatflyer.d509641b.html ). I have a small frame and even with a 30" waist and a 5'7" height, I find myself close to claustrophobic with a 30" pitch and only 17" to play around. My caveats for flying:

1. I ensure I have an aisle seat even for the shortest flight. Otherwise, I will take another one. I don't ever, ever, fly middle seat.
2. I don't care how much I have to spend or how many miles I have to forfeit. Longer than three hours, I will not fly coach.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 12, 2007
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts

aaron [/quote]

Yeah, I think they should do away with the declining seatbacks altogether, since they have insisted on placing rows so close together. [/quote]

Actually, they DO make a contraption to defend against the slings and outrages of reclining airline seats. You can buy it online. It's called the Knee Defender, and some of my very frequent flier colleagues have bought it. You put it in behind the tray seat and the person in front thinks that the seat is broken. The airlines, however, take a dim view of it. But if I was 6"3" and had a 17" pitch on the seat, this means that the seat is actually smaller than my femur... I'd get one of these.
fishnski
November 12, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
1st off I'd like to say Thank you for your service to our Country Mr Ibotta & 2nd I'm working as hard as I Can in this Great Country so that one day I Too might be able to ride up front like you!...They serve any Nattie Light up there?
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
November 12, 2007
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Thanks for the nice comments Mr. Fish... As far as the first class accommodations, the reason why I have a 3-hour standard is because in shorter flights, it is a waste of money to go first. I'm smaller and can fit in a shoe box if I needed to. On trans-continental flights and overseas (I consider HI as an overseas due to the length), it is definitely worth it. Besides the large seats, some of which now fully recline to become beds in some airlines (US carriers are still to catch up), you get amenities that make it a bit more worthwhile. First/business class food in American flag carriers can actually be good, and yes, you do get food. On the Hawaii trip we got fed three times and all three were pretty good. And you get vintage Beaulieu Vineyards Napa Valley selections up front, free of charge, instead of the Ripple-quality wines in the back. Not to say that the leg room makes it worthwhile.

The other top reasons for flying first - you get to take additional luggage, such as ski gear, and no one gives you any grief or make you pay extra. If you need something, you have at least two flight attendants for the 15 or so people instead of two per 100. You get to breathe cleaner air. You get the preferential line at check-in. And you go through another TSA line.

As my job travel days are pretty much over by choice, I'm burning some FF miles but, for my next big vacation, perhaps next fall back to Hawaii to do the Haleakala volcano crater hike or the NaPali hike again, or a scuba trip to Australia, or a summer stint to Argentina or Chile to ski, I've already figured out the upgraded price in the budget. In my opinion, and I am probably an old timer on this, I consider flying to the destination as a part of the vacation. That's the way it used to be.
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