TR: Seven Springs on 1/19/2008
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scootertig
January 21, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
I've never posted a TR before, so I'm not sure I'll hit all of the required elements, but here goes...

First of all, the decision to go to Seven Springs was made almost entirely on the basis of advice/recommendations from this board, so I have to say thanks. It was a great day, and definitely someplace that I'll head back to.

In spite of the advice to be sure to be there by 8:00 that morning, the 6:30 departure from Leesburg was about the best we could manage. Thanks to speedy driving + some confused MapQuest interpretation, we pulled into the parking lot about 9:20, and were on our first lift of the day by around 9:45. I have to say that I think it's the latest start I've ever had (relative to when the lifts start turning), but I still managed to get in a full day of skiing.

Temps were in the low-to-mid 20's for most of the day, so it was brisk, but not the bone-chilling cold we could have had on Sunday. We started over running Boomerang to get a feel for things, since my girlfriend had just gotten some work done on her boots and bindings. I remembered very quickly that goggles are pretty much a requirement skiing here on the east coast, where snowmaking can be running at any time. It's not fun to be zipping along and then suddenly have a face full of ice crystals. It's not nearly as charming as having fresh snowflakes in your face...

Anyway, after a few runs there to try things on, we made our way over to the Cortina Lift, and made that our home base. After a few trips down whatever green was there, my girlfriend was actually feeling gutsy enough to try some blues (last year, she skied confidently, this year, with the new gear, not nearly so much so... The fact that she was willing to step up was a very positive development, so I could tell she was much happier with her equipment.)

We must have run laps on Wagner for 45 minutes or so before we decided to try the "Southwind Lift" thinking that it would put us close to the top of the Polar Bear Express lift, without the nasty wait times. Oops. Wrong. First of all, it's a pretty good trek from the top of the Southwind to the top of the Polar Bear. Secondly, the Southwind lift stopped for the longest wait I've ever had on a lift. I don't think I'll ever take that again. It started spitting a little snow, so at least it was pretty while we were stuck there for what felt like forever. After that mistake, we got off, zipped through the little village area, and headed back towards Wagner.

This time, we found our way to the bottom of Blitzen. It seemed a lot smarter to go this way than to wait for the Polar Bear, so that paid off. We worked our way down Lost Boy, and skied the North Face for a bit. It started snowing harder, and it actually looked like a great day of skiing!

We did Lost Girl, Northwest Passage, and Little Boulder for a bit, before heading to the Tahoe Lodge to warm up. While the girlfriend sat in the lodge, I made a few laps, and never waited more than about 2 minutes for a lift, but mostly avoided the Gunnar Express.

We headed back to the front side, and just skied Tyrol, Stowe, and Wagner for the rest of the afternoon. The girlfriend wanted to hit Boomerang one more time, so I thought I'd give corkscrew a shot. BIG MISTAKE. The straightaways were fine, but the corners were brown and felt like skiing in a gravel pit. You know it's bad when the better alternative is to pop out on Goosebumps and take your chances... I wouldn't try Corkscrew without a lot of freshie to make it worthwhile.

Overall, it was a great day of skiing. The temperatures held in the 20's, so it wasn't too frigidly cold, and we got LOTS of skiing in. I don't know why anyone would wait for the Polar Bear, though, since the lines were long all day, but short almost everywhere else. There was a bit of a headache with a lift chaperone, or whatever they're called, running traffic at the Cortina lift. He was letting one side of the line go for about 3 or 4 minutes (maybe longer... I didn't clock it), and then would let the other side go, instead of the more standard alternating sides approach. I'm not sure why he thought his version was better, but I don't think it was. As it was, people would almost literally ski right onto the lift, while the other side had been waiting for almost 5 minutes. If you timed it right, I guess it would be cool, but if you happened to be the first person that DIDN'T get to ski on, it sucked to just stand there, not moving at all.

They do well with 750 ft of vertical, but I wish they more trails and fewer slopes... Then again, without pretty hefty natural snowfall, I can see why they opt for the "slope" model. Lots easier to cover and maintain, and lots less snow wasted in the trees.

Overall, I liked the terrain options, and it wasn't too crowded. If Timberline had the terrain of Seven Springs, with the feel of their hill, I'd have a hard time going anywhere else...

By the way, dinner was in Somerset. We were desperately hungry, and saw a sign that said "Meet and Eat at Mel's". We stopped in, and chose not to do either. Instead, we found the Summit Diner. Definitely highly recommended, if you're a diner food type. The Reuben sandwich was insanely large, but very, very good.


aaron
oldensign - DCSki Columnist
January 21, 2008
Member since 02/27/2007 🔗
437 posts
Nice day! excellent TR!
JohnL
January 21, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
 Quote:
so I'm not sure I'll hit all of the required elements


Only required element you missed is the most important one, Happy Hour!
Crush
January 21, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,017 posts
johnL- damn str-ate, mate! heh actually the new bit-o-the-burgh bar is nice too ... i like smokeless. and in somerset the italian oven is pretty good food i must stay.

if u ever stay in bedford, ed's steak house rules! plus it's got free wifi , heh!

JohnL
January 21, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
 Quote:

if u ever stay in bedford, ed's steak house rules!


Is Bedford the Blue Knob exit? If so, I may have to hit the place this winter.

 Quote:
They do well with 750 ft of vertical, but I wish they more trails and fewer slopes... Then again, without pretty hefty natural snowfall, I can see why they opt for the "slope" model. Lots easier to cover and maintain, and lots less snow wasted in the trees.


One of my biggest complaints about Seven Springs. Trees act as a natural snow fence to keep snow from blowing away, help to shelter the trail from the sun (preserve base) and they add character.

Plus IMHO, Alpine Meadow Glades >>>> Super Half Pipe. At least the half pipe should have been moved over a bit.
hockeydave
January 21, 2008
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
 Quote:
One of my biggest complaints about Seven Springs. Trees act as a natural snow fence to keep snow from blowing away, help to shelter the trail from the sun (preserve base) and they add character.


Couldn't agree more. That's why I tell everybody 7S should purchase a Zamboni to groom North Face. But given the amount of traffic on weekends, they need as much skiable terrain as possible to avoid having the ski patrol deal with additional multi-car pileups.
jb714
January 22, 2008
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
 Quote:
Plus IMHO, Alpine Meadow Glades >>>> Super Half Pipe. At least the half pipe should have been moved over a bit.


I strongly agree with you on this point, John. Alpine Meadows has always been one of my favs at 7Springs - it gets snow blown over from the NF, it rarely draws much of a crowd, and the sun tends to soften the snow just a bit when the NF is icy. The last 2 seasons, it seems to be closed as often as it's open due to various things related to the Super Pipe. I don't understand why it's deemed neccesary to close the entire slope when they're simply blowing snow on the Super Pipe section.
SpringsRegular
January 22, 2008
Member since 10/14/2004 🔗
153 posts
Monday was off the hook good. As many of you know I ski there every weekend and this was the best all season. Skiers left of NF was primo. The bump line to skiers left of the lift on the bottom face was verrrrrrry nice. Big whales on the bottom skiers right were sweet.

Alpine was $$$$$. No one on it, soft creamy powder. Just laying out big GS turns.

Gunnar was good all day. Did not get skied off like it usually does. Next weekend will be even better. A full week of snowmaking plus natural snow. I have to say I love the high speed on Gunnar on busy days. It draws in all the lemmings and NF and Giant Steps lifts are empty. I actually think it is helping limit the skier traffic on Gunnar on busy days. On slow days you can do a lap every 8 minutes or so.

One thing I do not like is the Nastar on Sunset slope. That is one of my favorites and now they close almost the whole thing for the course. Little known stash is the trees skiers right at the top of the course. Snow blows in them and you get nice powder in there most days.

Last run of the day was on Wagner heading back to the house. Skiers left was money per usual.

Even though I "work" there, I have to commend them on setting up the slow zones at the bottom of the slopes, especially Wagner and NF. I have seen the difference this makes.

If anyone is ever in the area and wants a tour just let me know via PM. Scott this means you too!
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