Gritches and Happy Places
January 28, 2009
After reading the topic about the Nut and some of the comments, I almost hy-jacked it but decided to start a new topic on the subject of what your biggest "gritch" or "fondness" of any ski area you would be inclined to sound off about. Maybe it's not correctly stating the vertical or counting off-ramps as slopes, the price of a burger, or the slow lifts. Whatever is very, very, good or really, really, bad in your opinion, shoot away. Many resorts do check what is being said here, and some try to improve things if customers complain and are very appreciative of compliments.
Here's a new one I got just the other night...
At Whitetail, the basket check closes at 10 PM (on Saturdays, anyway). I suspect it closes at EXACTLY 10 PM, if not a few minutes before. We skied until 9:56 (by the clock at the base), and then headed in. We couldn't have been more than a few minutes after 10, but there was a sign saying "basket check closed, please go to Guest Services," which is over by the ticket windows. Not exactly convenient...
Since we had our "street" clothes (shoes, pants, tops), a backpack, and a gift for a friend in our basket, I couldn't easily carry everything back to the changing room area (in the basement of the main lodge). The guy at Guest Services didn't want to let me take the basket back with me to the locker area, but I wasn't really willing to compromise.
When asked why they close the basket check at the same time as the lifts, the explanation was that the girl that works basket check is a minor, and has to be done at 10 PM.
Obviously, the best case scenario is to let the basket check stay open longer than the lifts (so that people who ski to the end of the night can get their stuff back), but if they are going insist on closing at 10, they should make a point of telling people when they drop off their stuff (if it's close to "night skiing time") that they close the check at 10. Another idea would be to take the baskets to the information booth upstairs from the lockers, intead of all the way out at guest services...
Because we normally ski right up to the last minute, we probably won't be using the basket check again anyway. We normally only need a locker, but the gift for the friend was too big to fit...
What I love:
The progress throughout Buncher's ownership is amazing. New snow guns exceed all expectations. Grooming improved ten fold under Buncher. The facilities continue to improve and I can't wait to see the new base once it is constructed. I mean, I just can't say enough good things (which I have been doing on here since they bought the place).
What drives me CRAZY:
I know it's a family-ish resort. And I know there are lots of beginners, which is great as far as the future of the resort and sport is concerned. But, you have to keep lifts running. They stop constantly. All of them. The beginner lifts, the quads with the magic carpet thing that ANYONE should be able to figure out...the "expert" double Thunder lift. They all stop. Every thirty seconds. It's maddening. Especially when the wind chill as at or near zero.
Lift Management to me is the main gripe and the cheapest to improve. I have four points here:
1. Manage flow at the bottom of the hill better. I was at Liberty on Sat. and there was no lift management at 3:00pm on the Dipsy Quad.
2. Manage offloads better. Instead of having just one operator at the top have another person to clear the bodies off the exit ramp to avoid hard lift stops.
3. Install conveyer loaders like HV and Wisp. I tried one for the first time at Wisp on MLK and was impressed See http://www.emmegiski.com/video01.asp
4. Upgrade all doubles. In the other post, one true fact about Massanutten is they have a double serving the entire intermediate area. This must be terminal on busy days. And this lift is 2500 ft long. For perspective, the expert quad at WT is 2,100, and the backsides at Liberty are under 2,000.
All of these seem much easier and cheaper to me than installation of a new HSQ.
Grooming- I realize it's a necessity in the East, but really do they have to groom perfectly flat from edge to edge???? We not building a superhighway here. We skied 7 Springs yesterday, their grooming leaves a lot of fun humps & rollers on the terrain you can get some nice air on them. What fun to watch the unsuspecting shoulder turners, big yard sales, snow snake charmer dancing, saw five great multi-acre yardsales during one trip on the Giant Steps lift. The "blacks" at 7S yesty were skiing at least like a blue.
Timberline, while you do leave the blackblacks ungroomed, why must you groom everything else as flat as......people shouldn't be able to eleven white lightning and wouldn't if there was some humps and rollers for my entertainment, whether on the slope or in the chair.
I assume a "Gritch" is not a good thing.
1) Faster way to get up the mountain. I don't expect a high speed quad, but somehow at least 4 minutes has to be chopped off the ride. The frequent stops are also an issue, but not as bad on the Silver Queen lift.
2) They cut down the trees between Silver Streak and White Lightning. I know Kim disagrees on this one.
3) Don't groom White Lightning on a powder day!!!! I don't particularly care if it get groomed otherwise.
I've never had any complaints with the lodge or other facilities at T-Line.
1) Open up Extrovert sooner. Looks like they listened this year.
1) Repair some of the damage in the glades so that rock skis aren't always required.
I've got a season's pass at T-Line, and I make it up to Blue Knob for several weekends a year, so I only gritch at places I pay money at.
You watch Nascar for the wrecks Jimmi??
..Johnl wants 4 minutes off the Lift at TL...Give me 2.5!!..& Pad the friggin thing...Dangit!...Can we hire one of the Snowmobiles up there as our personal Snauffer?
+The lodging at 7Springs and appreciating the apres ski scene (the best one I've experienced so far in the Mid Atlantic).
+The buffet breakfast at 7Springs. Their omelet is the BOMB.
+How 7Springs usually have a great deal on their ski packages so it averages out to about $100.00 per day to ski with lodging.
+How WISP has their anniversary in early December with $7.00 lift tickets.
+The layout of WISP and how the trails are easily accessible.
+Hidden Valley's free lift ticket promotion this year.
+Salamander at Timberline. Fun for a beginner to meander down a trail that's close to 2 miles long.
+The lift patrols at Whitetail and how they are able to manage crowds in a short amount of time.
+Bryce Resort's ski school. Informative, patient, professional.
-The weather at 7Springs whenever I go. It rained the last 3 times I went.
-Canaan Valley's lodging. It's too far from the resort itself. Felt more like a motel room than a "ski lodge".
-Canaan Valley and Timberline's inflated number of runs. It seems like a single trail has been divided three times to boost the number.
"....I assume a "Gritch" is not a good thing...."
Well, I'm thinking it's one of those composite words, you know, kinda like fugly...
Think about it.
I like it.
PLEASE let us know when you are planning to go to Seven Springs so we can avoid the rain!!!
Whitegrass. Beginning to end, alpha to omega, a quintessential gem that is worthy of national attention. Nothin' bad to say about it.
Canaan Valley- big snow days. The openness of the terrain, they pretty much let you ski anywhere, great funs to be had.
Snowshoe- Lower Shays. I think it's the toughest run outside of Blue Knob that I've skied in the Mid-A.
Blue Knob- D-Trail and the liftlines. Yeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhaaaaaaaawwwwwwwww!!!!!!!! is all I can say. How many other runs in the Mid-A have mandatory air? D-Trail does, or at least it does when there's not three feet of snow on the ground.
Winterplace- the section they leave ungroomed after the snowfalls that somehow no one except the ski patrol and two or three skiers know about, so it doesn't get tracked out until lunchtime or so. Having a lodge halfway down one run where you can get a beer, hence the trail's nickname "b-double e- double r- u-n".
Silver Creek- for not being skied and holding snow so, so well.
Denton- the Wolf Creek of the east.
I am going this weekend! Just kidding
On a serious note though, last time the wintry mix froze on our ski jackets so there was a layer of ice on our clothes. We only decided to stop skiing once we got hungry.
Hope you guys have better luck than I do at 7Springs. It is my favorite resort when it's not raining.