Timberline Dec. 27-30
49 posts
17 users
15k+ views
luist2401
December 19, 2007
Member since 01/10/2007 🔗
18 posts
I'm renting a house w/ relatives near Timberline Dec. 27-30.

I'm dissappointed to see that Timberline has opened only 4 trails thus far (Whitetail and Liberty already have more trails open).

I've never been to Timberline before. Does Timberline typically not have many trails open during the holiday week? Will CV be any better. Also, among our two families, we will have 4 boys between the ages of 5 and 9. They all have skiing experience but we're thinking of putting them in a ski school for at least one day. Do you have any feedback for me on the ski school for kids at Timberline?

Also, do you recommend tubing and/or airboarding with the kids at CV while we're there?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Pray for snow.

- Luis
TomH
December 19, 2007
Member since 07/6/2005 🔗
375 posts
I wouldn't worry. The 27th is a long way away and temps look to be good the rest of this week. Also, they may be getting some natural bw now and then. I would bet the ranch that White Lightening will be open by then if not alot sooner. If you look at their webcams they have blown quite a bit on the upper part and have guns lined up on the run.
crunchy
December 19, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
they should have more open by this weekend for sure. the state park ski area is opening this weekend also. they havent said what will be open yet, but the mountain looks to have total coverage, altho a distant view can be deceiving. I've never airboarded, but ive seen people haulin' ass down the main slope before on em, and it looks like a ton of fun!
skiTLINE
December 20, 2007
Member since 12/15/2004 🔗
230 posts
The ski school at Tline is AWESOME. My son has taken 2 private hr lessons there. Only like 50 bucks then a lil tip. They worked great with him. Hes 6 now.
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
luist2401
December 20, 2007
Member since 01/10/2007 🔗
18 posts
Thanks for the info.
kwillg6
December 20, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
First timer, huh? Your options are numerous. If you want to do a different area each day, you can. CV is 3 miles down the road from t-line. Wisp is 1 hour north. Then again, if they have the temps, there may be a whole lot more open by the time you get there and you may want to stay put. Pray for a big dump cuz the trees will be fair game then. BTW, the t-line ski school does a great job with the young ones.
Rickh
December 20, 2007
Member since 12/2/2004 🔗
140 posts
TLine just opened White Lighting... Now they will concentrate on Sally and hopefully have it open this weekend!!! Then comes Twister....
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 20, 2007
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,925 posts
Timberline should have more terrain open by then. Salamander takes a long time to create because it is 2.5 miles long--the longest trail in the Mid-Atlantic. Once that trail is finished, other trails come on tap quicker.

Kim already mentioned several other ski venues nearby. I'll add three more:

Whitegrass Touring Center for Nordic, and just for an opportunity to get out into the Wildlife Refuge.

Snowshoe. It's about 1.5 to 2 hours away depending on how you drive.

7 Springs. It's really not a bad drive either--about two hours.

If it were me, however, I would not leave the valley. Between the three resorts in the valley, you'll have more than enough variety without the hassle of winter driving.
luist2401
December 20, 2007
Member since 01/10/2007 🔗
18 posts
Thanks.

Hoping we won't have the urge to leave the valley. I see more trails are beginning to open. I'll keep my fingers croosed for more snow and more trails.

Thanks again.
luist2401
January 1, 2008
Member since 01/10/2007 🔗
18 posts
Well, we're back from Canaan Valley. We had a great family trip with my wife, two boys, my wife's sister, her husband and their two boys. However, we were all very disappointed by Timberline.

First the pros about Timberline:
1) The views from the top of the mountian are gorgeous, and I could see that T-line probably offers some fun skiing when there is a lot of snow and all trails are open.

2) Our boys and their cousins had fun in T-line's Timber Adventure and Mountain Safari children's programs.

3) We had no issues with T-line's chairlifts, about which I had read in past postings complaints about them being slow and breaking down often.

Now, the cons about T-line:
1) Even though T-line brags about its increased snowmaking capabilities, it only had two real trails open. They claimed to have 7 trails, but they counted Upper and Lower Salamander as two trails and Upper and Lower White Lighting as two other trails. The other trails open were a bunny hill and connector trails, which really shouldn't be given trail status.

Having only two trails open meant the skiing became very boring very quickly. Also, since there were no blue trails open, Salamander became very crowded.

2) Skis that my relatives had to rent were very outdated.

3) As others have noted we found the lodge to be a dump and the food offerings to be very limited and not good (except for the chili).

On the second day, we decided to drive the extra hour to Wisp, as this forum and site correctly mentioned that they have superior snowmaking capabilities.

It turned out to be a great decision. Wisp had 20 trails open and a good variety of green, blue and black trails available. My family and my wife's sister's family skied all-day together and never got bored. My 8-yr.-old and his 9-yr.old cousin ended the day trying their skills on the terrain park and had a blast.

To cap off the day, we all went on the new Mountain Coaster. Each child exclaimed, "That was Awesome!"

We then ate dinner at a pizza place in McHenry before heading back down to CV.

It was a great day.

On the last day, we snowtubed at CV State Park before starting our drive back home. Tubing was also a big hit with the kids.

We decided next Christmas-New Year's week, we will rent a house near Wisp, and then if CV gets a large hit of natural snow, we'll make the reverse commute and give Timberline another chance.
fishnski
January 1, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Keep hope alive & don't give up on TL Or the valley in general...It will get better & when it does Wisp will be an afterthought!...A Gem in the rough..
Clay
January 1, 2008
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
I don't know. I'm beginning to think I made a mistake by getting a place up here. I'm not sure they 'get it'. I'm not talking about high speed lifts or anything like that, but to come out and brag about your 'increased snowmaking capabilities' and then lag way behind everyone else even though you have the weather seems to me to point to the fact that TLine doesn't give a hoot about its customers and all that's important are Boy Scouts. That's fine - they own the mountain and can do with it what they'd like, but I wish I would have figured it out sooner.
giantjr
January 1, 2008
Member since 09/18/2006 🔗
29 posts
I agree with Clay and keep waiting for management to respond to customers request to just blow snow and open slopes like the rest of the mid-Atlantic. Went to Whitetail twice and for the area, they were blowing snow and opening slopes as quick as possible. Even at lower altitudes, Whitetail had 5/6 solid runs open compared to TLine's two.
This week TLine has the temps and snow; however, they will keep guns on Salamander, bunny hill and the "so-called" 8 slopes. If they get 6 inches of natural snow, they could move the guns to another slope and open another run by Friday. No! They will blow snow on what is open and maybe President's weekend the entire mountain will be open. But, that is when spring comes to Virginia and everyone looks for opening swimming pools. The boy scouts "dirt chickens" as some refer will be back in March to enjoy great skiing. Lucky for them and they get great prices.
Maybe they need to drop the lift prices to accomodate for 2 real runs open.
I still like TLine best as far as runs when they are open. Great skiing, just wish management would open runs!
fishnski
January 1, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Any rebuttal Mr. JohnF...We will wait for you to get back from the French Alps for your response...
fishnski
January 1, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
We need to contact the Gov Of WV Or a representitive at least because the state of skiing in the valley has reached a level that is causing alarm...if this keeps going on the wellfare CKS will have to be written!...15 years of this BS under my belt...
I'm ready for a change & I'm not talking about moving ..I'm talking about staying & raising a little HELL!
Norsk
January 1, 2008
Member since 05/13/2003 🔗
315 posts
Mark me down as another Tline homeowner who is really puzzled. Indeed there is no reason why there should be only two real slopes open at present. I simply don't buy the idea that Tline wants to focus on church-groups-and-boy-scouts. That market is not enough, on its own, to support a ski area, and they sure as hell won't putchase all those new Winterhaven homesites. Tline's real estate development plans alone require a more serious effort to offer an attractive skiing product than they are making.

The post above about two consecutive days at Tline and Wisp says it all. There is simple good old-fashioned American competition going on, and Tline is losing. My family and I had planned to be up at our place last week and this weekend, but there really is no reason to go if they can't get more slopes open. It doesn't take too many weekends sitting at home in DC for lack of open terrain at Tline, when no such problems exist at Wisp, SS, Snowshoe, etc., for you to start to wonder why you own a home at Tline.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
January 1, 2008
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,925 posts
Buyer's remorse is a common problem at Canaan Valley. Buyers rarely have a good understanding of Timberline and its ideosyncracies before purchasing. The mountain looks great during the warm months or in March when all the slopes are open, and so do many of the the properties around it. The basic problem is that while some of the real estate may LOOK like it belongs on the the slopes of Deer Valley, Timberline is not Deer Valley (although we probably have more deer). ;\) It's a simple, family run operation with extremely limited financial resources. I think they honestly do the best with what they've got and leave the rest to mother nature. And mother nature does deliver (case in point this week). In March, Timberline often boasts higher base depths than any resort in the region and certainly better quality snow.

THINK MARCH

In the meantime, enjoy Timberline for what it is and not what it could be. If you get bored with early season skiing, head to Wisp or Snowshoe to break the monotony or do what I did last weekend, take a hike in the Dolly Sods, the State Parks, or the America's 500th Wildlife Refuge. This weekend, I would also suggest that people try Nordic skiing at Whitegrass.
luist2401
January 1, 2008
Member since 01/10/2007 🔗
18 posts
fishnski,

I definitely love the valley. This was my second time there. The first time was in the summer when I took the family hiking. The valley is a great relaxing getaway. I find the Deep Creek Lake area to be too crowded and developed for a vacation.

That's why I was so disappointed with my Tline experience.

All things being equal, I would prefer spending my time and money in the valley. However, as things currently stand between Wisp and Tline things are not equal.

Tline definitely could use a Buncher-like rescue.

- Luis
fishnski
January 1, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
as you can see by the above response by MR. JohnF Mr 2401, Timberline has many enablers that keep this lame operation going..TL Has had many chances to sell But refuse all offers...This should not be alowed by the Gov't since they have been bailed out a few times to be able to do the Samo Samo..Piss Poor Management in one of the most Snowy & Beautiful places on the east coast!.....The State Owns Canaan ski area & they are lamer if there is such a thing!..this should not be alowed to continue...call the Gov't..I am going to get on it in the Morn!
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 1, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Given the gist of this thread I decided to copy a post I made several days ago about TLine, entitled "You Have to Have a Product to Make Money".
The post: "I just took a tour of various local ski resort web cams. I note that Seven Springs and WISP have plenty of folks on the slopes and in the lift lines....while Timberline, offering no blue trails and only one black appears to be near empty...assuming the webcam is showing today's view. No skiers impacts profits which minimizes improvements for next season. A whirlpool to destruction@".
...................
And, johnfmh, while I agree with your description of TLine: "Timberline is not Deer Valley (although we probably have more deer). It's a simple, family run operation with extremely limited financial resources. I think they honestly do the best with what they've got and leave the rest to Mother Nature", I respectfully disagree with your assumption that they can not do more. For example, stop trumpeting improved/additional snowmaking capability if you are not going to use it to max advantage. Quit teasing us! And the next time a ski area buyer comes a courting, sell or make a partnership deal that will result in an infusion of cash and improvements.
My concern right now is that TLine might be nearing the end of their economic viability and no one is aware of what is really happening. What happens when the real estate is all sold?! I do not think TLine management are like the Kettler Bros. mess at HV, I agree with John it is the little area that tries to keep going, but is running out of "I think I can, I think I can" (s). With HV we had DC skiers that seemed to get inside info about what was going to happen...any DCSkiers have the inside info on TLine??? Hopefully nothing bad is happening, but inquiring minds would like a bit of reassurance. Maybe Bright could develop the TLine area vice MPC, perhaps connect the various mountains between TLine and CV Ski Area as was once proposed by a major ski area company.
The Colonel \:\)
Clay
January 1, 2008
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
I can't dispute that they're doing the best they can. And again, I don't feel that they owe me anything. I didn't buy my property from them. But it does irk me when they advertise for two years running that they have improved their snow making capability. From a marketing perspective, I don't think I am being too Pollyannaish to assume that they're going to USE the 'upgraded' snow making capability that they're touting.

Didn't somebody in another thread say the Governor had bought a place here? Maybe he can get them on the fast track for a grant...
yellowsnow
January 1, 2008
Member since 12/15/2005 🔗
268 posts
The governor was at his place in Canaan Wednesday through Friday, and left mid-day Saturday.
Does he ski?
Clay
January 1, 2008
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
I have no idea - he's not my governor But even if he doesn't, I'm sure he want's a healthy and robust economy in the valley. Isn't that what all politicians want?
skier219
January 1, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I have to say, I am looking forward to skiing the valley as soon as I can this season. However, they will have missed out on at least 12-15 skier days worth of business with my family group here. I don't necessarily like giving all my $$ to Snowshoe, but at the moment they have the best game in town (within a 5 hour drive that is) by a long shot.

I have not been real thrilled with the slow progress opening trails at Wintergreen this season, but at least they have an excuse with the mild weather and no natural snow. And when I have skied there, the snow quality has been outstanding considering the mild weather, so I know they are maximizing their product. In contrast, TL has experienced significantly more snowmaking opportunities and even gotten a few decent natural snow events. They really do seem to be behind the ball.
Norsk
January 1, 2008
Member since 05/13/2003 🔗
315 posts
Perhaps this is not what was intended by the comment, but questioning the business decisions of Tline management is not "buyers remorse", it is simply business judgment. Competition is a reality in virtually any business, and mid-Atlantic skiing is no exception. It seems to me that The Colonel is on the right track in asking about the potential for a "death spiral" (they really do happen to businesses). Losing business to competitors due to failure to offer a competitive product is exactly what leads to a death spiral. Saying that Tline is "doing the best they can with their limited resources" is perhaps an explanation, but not an answer to the question about business judgment and the potential for a death spiral.

From the outside looking in, one could certainly be forgiven for thinking that a ski area touting "improved snowmaking" intends to use it to offer a better product. More troublingly, a ski area whose major real estate initiative is selling slopeside "ski-in, ski-out" homesites needs to actually make those homesites ski-in/ski-out during as much of the season as possible. In this market, Tline is competing with Wisp and Snowshoe, among others, and no amount of "good efforts" or "doing the best they can with limited resources" will make up for failure to provide the product necessary to sell those homesites. This is basic business and real estate management. From my limited understanding of Tline economics, those real estate sales are an economic necessity for long-term viability.

From my perspective, the business bottom line is this: Tline is not immune to competition. If limited capital resources is the problem that gets in the way of offering a competitive product, then prudent business management requires seeking outside investment capital to enable offering a competitive product. Companies that cannot offer a competitive product, and refuse to seek outside capital to enable them to do so, are prime candidates for a death spiral.

Personally, I skied Tline for nine years before buying a home there, so I knew what I was getting in to. My family and I value the "four seasons" aspect of CV, and have the flexibility in our lives to go there when the skiing is good and stay home when it is not. So we will be a lot later to leave than others. However, if the ski area enters a death spiral due to mismanagement and refusal to raise necessary capital, even those of us who knew what we were getting in to will suffer quite a lot.

I should caveat all this by admitting that I know very few facts about Tline management or financial condition -- only what I read here or learn in conversation up in the Valley. So if any of my factual assumptions are wrong, I'd happily stand corrected.

Norsk (Ryan Schwarz)
giantjr
January 1, 2008
Member since 09/18/2006 🔗
29 posts
Well, I don't know all the "ins and outs" and history of the Valley, but I do know that it is beautiful and the skiing (when everything is open) beats Snowshoe. As a skiing family, I dream of the day that TLine uses mother nature, real estate, finances and snow blowing to show everyone it's potential! It is so frustrating to want to go to the Valley and realize they only have 2 slopes open. Why? Whitetail, Wisp and Snowhoe open a heck of a lot more, but my heart will always be on great mid-Atlantic vertical runs the Drop, the Wall and White Lightening with a twist of relaxation on Almost Heaven and Sally. Can any DCSkiers get through management and plead that another year will drive all customers to other slopes? If they purchased 40 new guns this year, they should at least be able to open another run or two by this point in time. If mother nature is delivering, can we expect a few more slopes to open? Or, do we stay on Sally and White Lightening?
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 1, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Let me add:
1. The ski product in CV is hurting. TLine as mentioned appears "out to lunch", and the CV Ski Area has always been behind in openning slopes for a lack of $$ and water, or whatever the excuse. But with both areas competively falling behind, the tourist business, lodges, home values, etc. in the valley will suffer.
Not sure why WV unable to fund the CV Lodge and ski area operation better.
When conditions are good I thoroughly enjoy skiing both of CV ski areas. I love visiting the valley, it is so different, beautiful, and has an abundance of wildlife.
The Colonel
The Colonel
kwillg6
January 2, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
I agree with you all. However, let the truth be said, the owners of t-line are suffering on the cash flow side due to their realty (ahem ) split early last summer which took a real bite of the business. They are recovering from this realty snafu, however, it will take time to make up the kind of jack that they relied on through property management. Their snowmaking philosophy to open a slope after having made ample snow made on it does irritate me, however, look at last season when they had the ONLY advanced terain south of New England and it makes sence. Time and patience, friends, time and patience. \:\(
Clay
January 2, 2008
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
It's always something isn't it? If it's not broken water lines, it's somebody ran off with my real estate business. I feel sorry for the guy, I really do. But do you notice we only hear these things about Timberline and no other resort?

I'm just going to have to get used to the fact that I have a nice place, in a nice valley, that might have decent skiing during the month of March and decide whether I want to give them any more season pass money.
fishnski
January 2, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
They blast so much snow on the base that it stays till june!!??+ there will be snow on WL till may..Spread the wealth... They have got to try something new...Like hire a snowblower from Snowshoe as a consultant or something...Whoever is running MT Operations is stuck in some sort of timewarp...Take chances, live life on the edge..Quit being so conserative!!time for a new coach!
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
January 2, 2008
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,925 posts
Clay,

The snowmaking really has improved over the past two years. Admittedly, its nowhere in the same league as Wisp, Snowshoe, Whitetail, or Seven Springs, but it is a vast improvement over what I experienced 8 years ago when I first started skiing the line.

With regard to the owners, they are not making much money on real estate. Most of the lots were sold a long time ago to to 3d party speculators. However, since the original owners still own the mountain, their cost basis is low, so I suspect they can weather many storms (or lack thereof). They are nice people and run the resort because that's what they enjoy doing--traditional business models really don't apply very well to this mountain. If anyone expects big changes in the near future, they will be sorely disappointed. But to quote Billy Joel, "Don't go changing Timberline, I like you just the way you are..." I oppose all change on principle... ;\)
giantjr
January 3, 2008
Member since 09/18/2006 🔗
29 posts
At 7:00am this morning, the groomers were all over Lower Dew Drop (not enough snow to open, but maybe they are getting it ready for snowblowing) and moving guns to Upper Dew Drop. They have about 15 people out moving guns, hoses etc on Upper Dew Drop. Also, there was a lot of snowmaking on top. Probably White Lightening from our hot tub view. Anyone have views of the rest of the mountain? I'm going to get my lift ticket right now. Question: Does Upper Dew Drop have night skiing?
kwillg6
January 3, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
Upper Dew has night skiing. It'll take through the weekend for them to have the Dew open and the temps may not provide that amount of time. If they get guns blowing on the Dew, they should start on either the drop or OTW at the same time. expect twister to be the next in line.
Clay
January 3, 2008
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Yep - at least according to the snow report they are making on The Drop as well.
Clay
January 3, 2008
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Rumor has it that The Drop and Winterset will open tomorrow...
JohnL
January 3, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
I'm sure The Drop has been poached today. Anyone seen Jimmy around?
Clay
January 3, 2008
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Don't know where my head was at when I typed that message... I actually heard that Winterset and Off the Wall would open tomorrow. But I did hear that they are blowing on The Drop.

...and I have yet to see Jimmy, but I haven't been out much lately.
JohnL
January 3, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
Any first-hand reports on how much snow accumulated today (Thursday) at Timberline? Total for the week?

Sounds like it should be a very nice weekend in the valley with the new snow and opening terrain. It will be a belated start of the season for me.
Clay
January 3, 2008
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
You know, it's really tough because of all the wind. The wind was blowing at 20+ for the last several days. I think we probably got another two or three today, but most of the day has been clear.

So here it goes - take it for what it's worth... I'm going to put the week total between 10-14". That may be conservative but that's my numbers and I'm sticking to it.

Regardless, it should be a very nice weekend in the valley.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
January 3, 2008
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,925 posts
Whales or no whales?
JohnL
January 3, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
 Quote:
that's my numbers and I'm sticking to it.


Works for me. Thanks!
giantjr
January 3, 2008
Member since 09/18/2006 🔗
29 posts
There was a lot of skiers/boarders on the slope today. Much more than I expected. They moved the guns from Winterset and Sally this afternoon. Nothing on lower dew drop. The groomers worked hard all day and I can see the impact of the new guns! Let's see what happens in the morning. Roads are pretty much cleared, but no snow melted. Everyone seemed to work hard all day and they are still working. Snowmobiles all over the place. It was an ok day, but I hope tomorrow is better. Kids got bored on Sally. Hope they can open a blue run.
fishnski
January 3, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
If you add the 2 to 3 that Clay reported for today to the 15.6 that was measured at 3715' by 7am this morn....you get..A Foot & a Half! Thats the 2nd storm to do that this season...HMMMmm Something about a storm coming up on the longrange thread??!
David
January 3, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
You guys have it all wrong. This past storm didn't bring any snow at all. According to Chip it only brought "powder of the lightest quality".......
OhioHillbillies
January 3, 2008
Member since 09/29/2007 🔗
30 posts
 Originally Posted By: Clay
But do you notice we only hear these things about Timberline and no other resort?


The pending litigation on this issue is something I understand that will set a precedence. The manner in which this real estate company split took place, in my opinion as a real estate broker in WV and Ohio and from my understanding of the facts, was questionable.

Rental income, exisiting property sales, lot sales and new builds are the bread and butter for a resort. The combination of the market in its current state doesn't exactly help having to rebuild a book of business from scratch either. I agree with KWill, T-line will recover. Patience... time ...

"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time." Tolstoy
crunchy
January 3, 2008
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
 Originally Posted By: johnfmh
Whales or no whales?


whales were starting to build up on one side of white lightning from the snowmaking yeah.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 3, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
We need more open trails, not whales!!!
Timberline expects to have more trails open this weekend.
The Colonel \:\)
kwillg6
January 4, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
I noticed that OTW was open today with snowmaking in progress . That makes whale lovers like myself really excited! Long live the whales!!!! This weekend OTW should be very excellent until some half brain decides to groom it flat. \:\( A true double black experience!
Clay
January 4, 2008
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
hmm - OTW was still closed when I was just out, but it looks like it could open any time... I'll keep you posted.
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