Blue Knob or Timberline on January 4-5 ?
January 1, 2008
OK, it looks like several good snowmaking days lie ahead, and the Allegheny Front ski areas are likely to get some snow. This coming Friday-Saturday-Sunday look like good skiing days. Carpe diem, carpe skiem, right?
I'd like to take a day trip and ski an area with a 1000-foot vertical within about 2 hours of VA's northern Shenandoah Valley. Need some variety in the terrain to please others with whom I'll ski. I expect to ski Wintergreen later, so I'm zeroing in on Timberline and Blue Knob (unless a miracle happens and I can get up to Elk or over to Snowshoe for an overnight).
Where do you think mid-A skiers will find the better skiing?
Timberline generally has better snow conditions than Blue Knob.
While the conditions should be good, neither will have much terrain open. Especially their toughest terrain (Off The Wall and The Drop at T-Line, Extrovert and the natural snow trails Route 66 and Lower Shortway at BK.) The two areas could surprise me, but history is on my side.
Best combination of open terrain and good conditions (but more crowds) is likely Wisp or Seven Springs.
I also noticed that you mentioned 1000 foot vertical. (I am assuming you haven't been to either BK or T-Line.) You rarely ski the full 1000 ft at Blue Knob on a single run since you would have a long flat section at the top or a long flat run-out at the bottom (depending upon what lift you choose.) You do ski the full vert at T-Line but the lifts are slooow (so you won't be getting in laps at a high rate.)
As much as I like Timberline, I wouldn't count on a lot of open trails, and that penalizes them in my opinion -- even if they get natural snow, they might not be able to capitalize on it, which is a shame. I am not familiar with BK, so I won't comment on that option. However, I am thinking Snowshoe will be a safe bet over the next few days, at least in terms of snow. They already have a lot of terrain open with deep bases ready to accept a natural snow cover, and Cupp Run is supposed to open on Friday. I don't think any other local areas will have near as much to offer.
The downside to Snowshoe are the crowds of course, especially as the holiday period winds down, but they can be avoided if you know which lifts and trails to stick to. In fact, the opening of Cupp ought to help crowd control quite a bit -- I rarely see lift lines over there. Same goes for the Soaring Eagle lift. I want to get up to Snowshoe Thurs and maybe Friday for the fresh snow, and am twisting my wife's arm to maybe go there for the weekend as well.
id be willing to guess tline could get some more runs open by the weekend with the cold temps and natty snow. its always a real good sign when the noaa fcast
has a storm warning posted for davis
I agree. But as much as I love this place, you have to admit that 'could' happens a lot here, while 'will' very rarely does. I imagine they have a plan for how they are going to open the mountain and they're not going to let a measly 8 inches of freshies spoil their plans. I've been here since the 27th and they haven't blown anywhere except the 2 open trails. The guns are going now, but I haven't been over to see where they're blowing this morning.
I so hope I'm wrong...
I'll go to TLine Wednesday-Sunday with hopes they "may" open more slopes. Can't figure out why Wisp has so much open and TLine has 2 slopes. Can only handle White Lightening so many times over 4 days.
If it is a day trip I would watch the board, check weather, check slopes open (http://www.skireport.com/ is a good single place to do side by side comparisons) and make late night call the night before. If your going for variety I think your focus should be on number of slopes open. If you're meeting folks there you might need to push your decision point forward some, or get some more adventurous friends. ;).
Can't figure out why Wisp has so much open and TLine has 2 slopes.
Simple - Amazing snowmaking capacity and the financial wherewithal to use it.
Wisp also took a slightly modified approach this year that has worked out very well. First, they blew Main Street and Down Under hard and early. They have new cannons on Down Under and worked on a deep base on 1/2 the width of Main Street. This has allowed them to get those East Ridge runs open before Christmas (very, very rare in past years). Second, they put max effort out to get Northcamp open with multiple runs. Last, they upgraded the snowmaking infrastructure on Squirel Cage to blow much more snow in less time. The benefit to all this has been very apparent - they've had the most variety of any area south of New England open for the christmas week. Yet, there has been better dispersal of the Holiday crowds as all three sections of the hill have been open with all the lifts running. From what our family saw, there have been virtually no lines all week even though there are LOTS of people there. As a side note, we talked to quite a few folks who had driven up from Canaan Valley for the day due to the lack of open terrain at either of the CV areas.
Wisp has it's limitations, for sure, and the amount of expensive real estate can be off-putting, but when it comes to snowmaking and a commitment to service and overall area management, I think they are by far the best in the mid atlantic.
I have been villafied..scorned..condemmed..laughed at.(JohnL Snorting Mountain Dew thru his nose because of a joke by probably Jimmi or RogerZ)..since 03 when Johnf broke the MPC story & I was One of the only people on DCSKI that supported a ski area just south of Canaan Valley with a 2000' vert & An owner with some friggin hustle & BRAINS!..."Almost Heaven" it would be called & that it would be....But Knowwwwwww..We like The area just like it is..says the DCSKI Masses....well, fast f-ward to this thread & here we are...Ain't this SPECIAL??!! We got 0 lift lines on our two slopes...We can get a good deal on wine at the pub! We love the laid back Atmosphere....Get Real. People are taking their money elsewhere you all could care less about the hard working folks that live off the tourist that come here to ski & the hard working folks that spend good money up there...ITS THE VALLEY DUDE..PEACE OUT!..UGGGHHH....The Lack of Support for a Ski Area That MPC Could provide By Folks that call themseves Skiers will forever boggle my mind!...By the way..a lot of the grief you all gave me back then was taken by the most part by me good heartilly...I did giggle at Johnl's drinking problem!