Took the Family to Snowshoe WV
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Bodyflight.net
February 26, 2008
Member since 02/19/2008 🔗
28 posts
In leiu of taking our first trip out west, we decided to drive up to Snowshoe for 2 days/2 nights. It's just over 5 hours from us, 2 hours past Winterplace (where we've been 3 times already this year) and it's weather forecast was the best in the region for that weekend (vs. Wintergreen, Winterplace & my local 5) so we booked it and headed up the Smokies to WV.

We arrived Thursday night in dense fog at around 9:30. We took Hwy 219 direct from the Interstate, and I don't personally think it was too windy or anything, but I do live in the mountains of TN and our roads are just like that one. We did bring chains, but didn't need them, but could see easily needing them if the weather changed only slightly. It was freezing rain when we went but hovering around the freezing point..so it was crunchy slush.. no sudden stops but pretty good traction (Front WD Taurus).

I booked thru Central Reservations via their website and check in was SUPER easy & fast. The nice young girl who checked us in was a local but didn't ski or anything. We got 3 Keys to our Townhouse in the Shamrock complex. We drove to the 'house parked right in front basically and unloaded. We brought all our groceries (foil wrapped potatoes & steaks preseasoned in a ziplock bag, steambag veggies, frozen pizza, oatmeal/cereal bars & some tv dinners with asst drinks... if you care :))
The townhouse was bronze level, and at best it was "rustic". It was clean in the important places, the beds were comfortable and the kitchen had everything it could need (albeit cookware in better shape would've been nice). Wood fireplace was REALLY REALLY nice to have and if/when we go back we'll always book shamrock. The other major reason for that is the trail to the slopes, which we really enjoyed having. Made the walk to the slopes super easy, we skiied it the first time out but the snow melted not long after on our mini trail. Last note about the 'house... it was a 2 bd/2 ba.. it had a q bed & 2 bunks in one room, 1 q in another room upstairs, and 3 bunks in a CLOSET! :(.. seriously.. a closet. It was seriously overcrowded and my only injuries the entire trip were from bumping into furniture in this place!

Onto the Slopes!!!
We had mixed opinions... Hubby (pro) & Daughter (13 beg) really enjoyed the Silver Creek side, and I (Int.) really enjoyed the Snowshoe side better. I loved the idea of skiing from one side to the other, the high speed detachables & they had deeper snow. The Silver Creek side was smaller, shorter with less snow & slower lifts, IMO. The crowding was predictable at both places, Friday pretty empty & Saturday pretty crowded. Staying away from Ballhooter & the center slopes at Snowshoe when it's crowded is a GREAT tip. Silver creek did have a few neat places where you could go through the trees to cross over to a new slope but you gotta keep your eyes out for them. The lift attendants are really uptight over there because the lifts let off in such a small area and for some reason I'll never understand people are always standing around after they get off a lift; and not for a minute either... FOREVER!!!

We didn't even explore the village, and due to the dense fog on BOTH days we didn't even really SEE it at all! But that's ok by me.. we ski, sleep, eat & hang out together in front of the fire... the rest is a distraction.

Daughter did great skiing, kept up her learning curve & started hockey stops. She tackled the black at SC and realized the importance of keeping her CG in the right place. She did lose us once in the fog on the last run and ended up missing the entrance/exit and skiing on down to another lift. We waited a while for her but she never came. Hubby had to gear up again and go searching... fortunately he found her easily enough, she was a little worried about being lost in the fog but she just took off her skiies & waited in plain sight. Good girl.

I took a couple of dives in the slushy snow.. skiing the right edge of the slope to avoid the crowds on Saturday. Nothin major but hubby DID remind me that I had to be careful and I might be getting a little.. um.. what's the phrase...? OVER CONFIDENT It's true.. I've likely only skiied like 15 hours worth at this point.. I do feel really confident.

Well.. that was the trip.. sorry no real pics due to dense fog both days other than the lovely deer that came to visit our back porch at the townhouse. The actually seemed to follow us from our Shamrock trail to the 'house. We fed them a sliced organic apple. (yes we eat organic
Steve
February 26, 2008
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Bodyflight,

Glad you had a good time at Snowshoe. We went for the first time over MLK weekend. I was very impressed. Of the other resorts in the DC area (3-5 hrs) that I had tried, Snowshoe had the best combination of terrain and access. We stayed at Whistlepunk which is near Shamrock I believe. I just had to walk down a short flight of stairs and put my skis on.

Silver Creek was a good learning experience for me as well, as the greens have some very challenging sections for beginners. I went from the greens at Snowshoe to blues in Winter Park, CO and Wisp and I think those Snowshoe runs really helped.

The wife and I are trying to head back for a late March weekend, just hoping the snow holds.

Steve
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 26, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Best placed condos at Snowshoe is the Stemwinder complex. You're next to the lift. Glad you enjoyed the stay. Thunder (my Black Lab) and I are there a lot during ski season. His fav is after the slopes close, throwing the ball down the runs and we do that for an hour. There is a definite plus to an upside down resort
skier219
February 26, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Nice report Dawn, sounds like you all had a great time! I like the food details by the way, as we have gotten clever with food prep too -- we do baked potatoes at least one night every trip, and they travel in the foil. My wife also preps stuffed shells or manicotti and freezes that at home, then we just bake it at Snowshoe. Spaghetti and meatballs works good too.

The deer are everywhere, and it's fun to feed them (though probably not recommended). I fed them some carrots last trip, and that was a hit. They eat pretty good when we show up.

I'll slightly disagree with Lou and recommend Powder Monkey condos as the best, but they are larger so you need at least 6-8 people to make them feasible. The location is about the best in the whole place. They're a teeny bit closer to the Western Territory than Stemwinder, hence the slight advantage.

Overall, we've been happiest at Powder Ridge condos (silver) when we have 2-6 people. They are only slightly more expensive than Shamrock, and generally in much better shape. Most have wood fireplaces, though a few have switched to gas, which is not as nice. If you get a Powder Ridge unit lower than #10, you'll be very close to the top of the Power Ridge lift, which makes for a short walk to the snow. In a good snow year, all the Powder Ridge condos are ski-in ski-out.

Camp 4 (gold) is nice too, but not affordable until March rates go into effect. Those condos get a big discount early and late in the season because the Camp 4 connector trail may not be open. But if you head there in March with good snow and the Camp 4 trail is open, the Camp 4 condos are a super deal.

I hope you guys head up there again and get some powder next time! As much as I like to complain about some aspects of Snowshoe, I have had several spectacular powder days there, and it turns out to be a great place. Our family has always had a good time at Snowshoe.

Craig
Murphy
February 26, 2008
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Just got back myself. Monday was beautiful. The snow had the consistency of whipped potatoes (whipped not mashed ;\) ). I loved it although I did talk to a few people who didn't care much for it. I found it very forgiving and easy to carve but a little sticky. It even gave me enough confidence to hit a few bump runs. The new runs by the Widowmaker make for great intro-to-bump runs.

The weather this morning was pretty craptacular but the snow was still nice and lines were non-existent. I rode the Ballhooter lift at 10am with 3 empty chairs in front of me and 6 behind me. If you ask me, I'd take the resort to myself and a little drizzle over sharing it with a few 1000 of my closest friends and sunny skis any day.

Finally, I have to give some props to the kids program at SS. There setup isn't the greatest at SS (and they weren't offering lessons as Silver Creek) but the teachers are excellent. My daughter is pretty tentative when it comes to trying new things and the lifts scared her but the instructors had her hoop and hollering up and down the Skidder in no time.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
February 26, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
As for skiing the Shoe in late March. A friend of mine has a condo and we have gone for for about 4 day each of the last many years during the last couple of weeks of March. I have never been disappointed in snow conditions, have even been stranded there twice due to very deep snows, having to extend my stay...awwwwww!
My only frustration with the Shoe is the closing of the Silver Creek area in mid March, even with the slopes fully covered. Economics, I suspose. I am especially hopefull about this late March what with Joe Bastardi appearing to be right on with his last fall predictions of a bookend winter, and a good March.
The Colonel \:\)
GRK
February 26, 2008
Member since 12/19/2007 🔗
404 posts

Very nice report...thanks for sharing. Good tips and detail!
Steve
February 26, 2008
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
<<closing of the Silver Creek area in mid March>>

Colonel,

Do you know when that is this year?

Steve
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 26, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
One thing about the condos at Snowshoe, the each individual condo has its own rating, not the complex of condos. Within Summit, for example, we have all, bronze, silver and gold rated units.

Agree with Colonel in the snow in March. My family from FL and TN and I spend close to a month in the end of Feb and March. Last year, over 10 feet of snow fell in March. 'nuff said...
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 26, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
One thing about the condos at Snowshoe, the each individual condo has its own rating, not the complex of condos. Within Summit, for example, we have all, bronze, silver and gold rated units.

Agree with Colonel in the snow in March. My family from FL and TN and I spend close to a month in the end of Feb and March. Last year, over 10 feet of snow fell in March. 'nuff said...
Ullr
February 27, 2008
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
 Originally Posted By: Murphy
Finally, I have to give some props to the kids program at SS. There setup isn't the greatest at SS (and they weren't offering lessons as Silver Creek) but the teachers are excellent. My daughter is pretty tentative when it comes to trying new things and the lifts scared her but the instructors had her hoop and hollering up and down the Skidder in no time.


Nice to hear it. When our family had a place there, and my kids were learning to ski, we ran into numerous problems with their kids program. I had lodged formal written complaints on more then one occasion, and my wife and I were so frustrated, we actually rented our place out, and used the $$$ to take the kids to 7 Springs! Now this was about 5 years ago, so it is nice to hear they turned things around.
Murphy
February 27, 2008
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
 Originally Posted By: Ullr
 Originally Posted By: Murphy
Finally, I have to give some props to the kids program at SS. There setup isn't the greatest at SS (and they weren't offering lessons as Silver Creek) but the teachers are excellent. My daughter is pretty tentative when it comes to trying new things and the lifts scared her but the instructors had her hoop and hollering up and down the Skidder in no time.


Nice to hear it. When our family had a place there, and my kids were learning to ski, we ran into numerous problems with their kids program. I had lodged formal written complaints on more then one occasion, and my wife and I were so frustrated, we actually rented our place out, and used the $$$ to take the kids to 7 Springs! Now this was about 5 years ago, so it is nice to hear they turned things around.


I'm not saying everything was perfect. They quit teaching kids ski school at Silver Creek do to staffing issues and I was very dissappointed in that. They were set up nicely there. They did add a magic carpet area to the Basin side but they put it on such a gentle slope that they can't evaluate a kid's ability to stop. To do that they go to a near by area where they have to hike back up the hill.

Despite all that, I still give them thumbs up because of the staff. When it comes to teaching 4-6 year olds it's 80% the teacher's ability to interact with children and 20% ski knowledge and these guys were great with the kids.
Ullr
February 27, 2008
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Perfect? No, it doesn't have to be perfect, but what you described is ten thousands times better then what I had experienced there. Foul language, poor attitudes and without a doubt the worst kids instuctor I have ever seen. My daughter told me horror stories about her class. Trust me, and am giving them mad props for cleaning up their act!
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