-Stunning scenery (when I could see it through the blizzard conditions). The best scenery of any Mid-Atlantic resort in my opinion. Has a wild, rugged feeling (including the access road)
-Varied terrrain. The Stemboggan trail is one of the more interesting trails in the Mid Atlantic. There are also very interesting narrow trails under the lifts which require lots of turns and skill to stay on the snow and off the ice. The gladed trails looked interesting but were so icey that I was too chicken to try them (actually most were closed)
- Nice vertical drop
-A real skier atmosphere. (No Bogner outfits here) As they say its "the skier's mountain". This is the way skiing used to before the "Snowshoeization" of the skiing industry where realestate and commercial development is the real money maker.
- Ice and I mean boiler plate ice. My run down the black diamond Stemboggan was literally terrifying. There are huge undulations in the terrain with bumps and ruts. I was going so fast that I felt completely out of control until I located some snow to get an edge. This trail could be great with good snow.
- The double chair lift from the bottom to the summit is SSLLL00OWWW
- Weather - the wind was incredible. It blew so hard that all of the snow was blown off the ice on top of the mountain. As soon as you got off the lift, you were literally blown sideways across the glare ice with snow pelting you in the face. I can't remember more extreme weather with exception of the summit of Arapahoe Basin (@13,000 feet). It did kind of give a sense of adventure and kinship with the other hardy souls that are there to ski no matter what.
- While the ski lodge gave you a nostalgic feeling for the old days of skiing, it could use some up grading. With the snow piled up around it and the wind howling, it kind of reminded me of the weather station hut on top of Mt. Washington.
On a good day with good snow conditions, this is the Mid-Atlantic place to ski if you want some challenge. Unfortunately, it was 51 degrees the day before with some rain and all that wet snow froze. So next time I go I will consider recent weather history more carefully.
I also skied Seven Springs for the first time on Friday and it was great. The north face feels like more that 750 vertical and it is wide open. I would never venture there on a weekend, however. The bus loads were arriving as I left that evening.