Snowshoe route / road conditions
December 7, 2007
Has anybody taken the alternate directions on snowshoe's site before? (33 west, 220 south, 84 west, 92 north, 66 west and up the hill.) Any ideas what road conditions are like today / tomorrow?
WVDOT's page isn't too much help.
I took 81 south to 250 last year and was one curvy ass ride, looks like on google maps that the alternate route is pretty flat and only makes one mountain pass on 33. I've got a new awd crv that does really well in the snow but my tread is running on the low side.
I can't give you any insight into the route, but you can get (fairly) up to date information from the WV Traffic line - 877-982-7623
I think that's the route i took my very first time to Snowshoe about 7 years ago. Not positive. But if it is, it really bummed me out. Lots of very narrow, twisty roads with low speed limits (which were appropriate, given the roads)
I do the 33/28/66 route when I go. There is NO easy way to get to the shoe. WV is usually good in treating the roads, however, the worst part of the above route is Cass Mountain. You better have AWD/4WD or don't attemt it on white roads, especially if you're running bologna skins.
I have tried all the routes and they are all about the same in terms of road hazards. I generally take 250 all the way to Bartow and then 28/92 to 66. That seems to get consistent attention from the road crews when the weather is bad. Though, there is usually a noticeable decline in road conditions when crossing into WV. For whatever reason, the VA side of 250 is usually in better shape.
If you have more than 3/16" tread you should be OK. Less than 1/8" and I would start to worry. And remember, AWD only helps forward motion!
My experience is that I-66 to I-81 and then 55 to Moorefield (part now 4-lane) and then 28 to Greenbank, and local 66 to Cass and the Redgate Road at the Shoe, is about the best way. I've done 3 hours and 50 minutes before. That, before they opened Coyote Coffeehouse in Wardensville and that is now a mandatory stop for my soy cappuccino and baguettes, so that adds 30 extra minutes. Time well spent too...
250 is not only winding and zig-zagging,but it is also a major logging road. which means that you can be 25 MPH for an entire hour following a lorry.
Is it that much faster? I looked at the Map just now. Distance wise it is about 210miles versus 233mi from my house in Reston. Normally I do 66-55-33-219 (I think those are the roads) and it takes me about 4.5 hours with stops. Is 28 much faster? Are there any grocery stores on the way? I normally stop at the Krogers in Elkins before heading up to the mountain...
Grocery stores???? You be whistling dixie
if you expect to find one of those anywhere except a major town/city. Ma and Pa stores aplenty.
Is 28 much faster?
Yes, Rt 28 is faster. I've made it to the Shoe from Centreville in less than 4hrs, but typically it takes me 4.5 hrs. This would include a stop at the Sheets (last stop before leaving civilization)in Petersburg.
There's a Food Lion in Moorefield.
To add to what was said, Rt 28 is very good highway by WV standards. It's fairly straight until Bartow. The only iffy part is where you go over the mountain and sometimes the roads will be white, even a few days after a snow.
I have made it in 3 hours and 50 minutes from Dupont Circle using I660I81/55/28/66. Today, with snow, made it under 4:20.
1. Wardensville at the Coyote Coffee House. Fresh baguettes, great coffee, organic produce locally grown.
2. Moorefield: Yes there is a supermarket... Food Lion on 28. Pretty good selection of everything. Unbelievably for that part of WV, it has a better selection of Latino products than some of the Latino stores in DC... Go figure... After Food Lion, which is 92 miles from Snowshoe, there is nothing else.
I'll have to go that route next time. I'm jealous you are up there right now - the conditions are probably perfect. I'm debating whether or not to go up for the weekend but the weather is kinda scaring me. I was up there last weekend and it rained on Sunday :(.
Starting to get light at Snowshoe. Temperature at the top 28 degrees and fog. Waiting for the snow report in an hour
Looks like they have few more runs open that will make for some better top to bottom skiing. I was looking at Wisp's site first this morning and was surprised to see that they have 12 trails open today (I was thinking "Wow, more than Snowshoe"). But never to be out done, the Shoe has 17....
The conditions today were good to excellent, not as good as yesterday. I thought I was in the Pacific Northwest for a second, it was overcast, humid, temp at the top hovering on the freezing, and both drizzle and snow. The mush fell all day and we have about another inch of it. At 1450 hrs now, it is 28 degrees and fog.
The number of slopes almost tripled. Upper and Lower flume were open, from the Soaring Eagle all the way down to Ballhooter lift. Powder Ridge was also open, which means Powder Ridge lift was open too. So was Gandy Dancer, Spruce Glades and Skipjack. Skipjack was my fav today, did it non-stop about 6 times at full throttle.
Today they cut the ribbon on the three new black runs but I hear they won't start the new Soaring Eagle quad for another two weeks... :-(
But once they do, having two detachable high speed quads in the front face will make all the difference. Now all we need is another quad in Powder Monkey...
2 more weeks? Man, I was hoping they'd crank it up soon. I was thinking about heading up on Sat but I really don't want to wait in line.
Did they have snow whales piled up on widowmaker and the south mountain?
I love Skipjack. That has been a repeat-ski trail for me many times. In fact, I can hole up on Skipjack, Grabhook, Grabhammer, Ballhooter, and Knot Bumper all day long on a snowy weekday and be pretty happy.
Now all we need is another quad in Powder Monkey...
Riding Ballhooter 3 or 4 times then switching over to Powder Monkey makes me want to pull my hair out!! It is amazing how slow that thing is compared to any high-speed quad...
I agree, after riding the quads, who wants to ride the ole triples at 3 mph.
I wonder what the actual speed of those lifts are? Somebody should GPS the quads and the regulars.
The Powder Ridge lift is equally pathetic for speed. Both that and Powder Monkey sap the life out of me, though it does make for plenty of chat time if I am skiing with my wife
I seem to remember that the Grabhammer lift is a little faster.
I wonder if the shoe will ever do like killington did this year and open expert and intermediate terrain first? Wouldn't that be cool to start with a few easy trails on the basin and then go straight to cupp. I mean, that is where you get lots of vertical in a day and don't have to worry about the lift stopping for beginners falling all over the place.
I don;t think I've ever stopped on the Western Express.....
It is hard for the 'Shoe to open expert and intermediate for several reasons:
1. The transit runs to the lifts are all green
2. The clientele demands it
Having said that, I was surprised that this year, they opened Ballhooter first. And Skipjack, Gandy Dancer and Spruce Glades, all three blue, with Skipjack being a certified race course, are indeed open. So it has been a wonderful beginning.
I also agree with the slow speed of the "Powder sisters", Powder Monkey, Powder Ridge and Grabhammer. Slow as molasses. But I normally start on Powder Ridge anyway, however slow, as they are long green groomers and it is easy to get both, warmed up AND gauge the conditions for the morning. At my age, I don't want to find out that it is an icy day, while flying down Grabhammer...