Lack of skiers, not lack of snow
posted 03-30-2004 09:40 AM
all you people who complained about lack of snowmaking and open terrain back in November and December - get out there and support the ski areas! They are closing from lack of skiers, not snow! And YES, they have more than just the beginner stuff open!!
Jimboc you just posted on another thread that timberline just updated thier website.You don't wait for 2 days & 16"'s of snow to finally get off your a.s & mention the fact that there are mid winter cond with great prices!I mean perk some interest & maybe you will have a great profitable w-end.Timberline & snowshoe are the only place open south of NY,if you got 1 out of 20 elgible skiers to go skiing you prob would have lift lines galore!I should shut up because the lamer the existing area's stay the more Bill Bright will be licking his chops to build "ALMOST HEAVEN"
How true it is that ski season around here ends for lack of customers, not product. No better proof of that than the webcams at Wisp today:http://www.ridewisp.com/season/images/Camera/index.html
Can we dream of a day when mid-atlantic resorts keep going until the snow gives out?
couldnt agree more.....and sunday at timberline was sweet!
No lift lines on Saturday at T-Line.
AAAAWWWW....this is killing me. I had family matters in New Jersey Friday and back home in WV on Sunday...had to drive past US219 TWICE in 36 hours...wifey said if my skis went with me she'd call the lawyers....let's all call, email, beg and plead w/Timberline to stay open. When's the last time snowshoe closed before TL? I promise I'll be there. I sound like a 3 year old.
We skiers are the primary guilty parties to both Snowshoe and Timberline closing with slopes covered in white velvet. If we don't patronize, then there is no point in their staying open and losing money...especially just for bragging rights. HOWEVER...
our local WV ski areas are also guilty of not really hyping the goodness of the situation.
For example, I had seriously considered going to Timberline for the weekend when I examined their website and found the following included with their pictures of the snowfall. I quote: "There can be no better way to finish out the season than to come out and enjoy the fresh powder at Timberline. There is still some lodging available. See the links below to see what you can find". This led me to believe that they were going to have a big crowd, given the new snow and events scheduled for the weekend, so I did not opt to go. Unhappy me when I read westy's post on Sat. evening about the conditions and no lines. More unhappy after reading Kahuna's, ski_guy_59's and johnfmh's posts today. But knowing what Timberline is like with a crowd, why should I go if they indicate they know a crowd is coming on their web site. Likewise Snowshoe last week chose not to send the daily morning snow report to on-line subscribers.
In short, very few local resorts really utilize the power of the internet to juice up interest and get people to their resorts. This is a shame, for I get excellent "powder alerts" from Alta and Snowbird (and others) that scream "come up and enjoy". We can't wait to serve you.
If Snowshoe really wants to be a destination resort, they need to harnass the power of the internet and get a really good website, with real time weather, daily picture (sometimes their pictures are days old), and mean it when they state that "cold weather is allowing grooming".
And Timberline, what can I say. Just a little effort can pay big dividends. While their website improved, their lifts need improvement, both in design and maintenance. It is bad enough that the chairs break down often, but the main chair is made even slower because it serves a midstation as well as the top.
Sorry I missed a great weekend.
IM glad that you mentioned snowbird as that is one of the best resorts in the us. they do a great job sending out their powder alerts. i was getting so many of them in nov and dec and jan when it was snowing like crazy. i got one like everyday the week before i went there, and then i got one the morning i left and everyday i was there. wow what a trip it was. no sun and snow just about every minute we were on the slopes. i think there was like a 3o min period one day when it didnt snow. but it was snowing like crazy. each night all the tracks from the day got covered so it was fresh tracks at noon at the bird till it got all tracked out and nothing but powder at BCC as they don get the crowds the LCC does. backside of brighton had to be some of the best runs of the entire seasonn. other than the first run down mineral basin after they dropped the rope to over 70 inches of nothing but powder. that was a run that i will remember for years to come. but as you can guess all the locals were right on top of it and tracked it out nice and quick. but i heard someone on the tram say what time it was gonna open so we hung arond little cloud and right about the time they said it was gonna open down the rope went and it was super super nice. one of the best runs ever.
Mr bird,I don't know who is worst..Me ranting about WV,Canaan & MPC or you & snowbird!! BUT The valley just picked up 27"'s in early april & the day after the big spring dump the last of skiing south of NY came to a halt(downhill that is,prob will still be enough snow above 4000' to x-country at whitegrass at least thru next w-end)Lack of skiers not lack of snow was the subject..do the western mtn's experience the same dropoff in skiers as we do in the east?
Speaking of Whitegrass... My wife and I skied there last night. Conditions were beautiful. The view from Bald Knob with the sun setting over the valley was unreal. They have a lot of terrain groomed right now with set track and there are huge amounts of snow just about everywhere. Its really worth it if you can make it up in the next few days. If we don't get too much rain it might even be good this weekend.
I agree with much of what you say but on the issue of lines, there really aren't any lines of significance at Timberline after President's Day weekend. After the second week of March, worrying about lift lines at Timberline is just silly.
With that being said, I agree that both Snowshoe and Timberline need to provide better, more accurate weather and live web cam shots. It's kind of crazy that I am still getting my snow reports from Chip Chase's White Grass web site. Perhaps Timberline should pay Chip to establish a real weather and snow reporting station at 3,000 and 4,000 feet. People trust Chip's reports. If it ain't worth the drive, he'll let people know on his web site: http://www.whitegrass.com/report.html
BTW, White Grass is still open with a surface of dry powder. Might be time to finally learn how to telemark--you can take the Timberline trail from WG to Timberline and ski Timberline if you know how to Tele ski--makes me jealous of those freeheel types.
One other note: when driving home past MPC on Sunday afternoon, I could not help but notice how much less snow there is in that valley compared to the higher altitude Canaan Valley. Also, the wind blew practically all the snow off the summit. If Bright wants to develop this resort, he's going to need serious snowmaking. Also, like Sugarloaf in Maine, there will be many, many days when the summit will not be skiable. Sorry to be a naysayer Andy but the microclimate in Laneville is very, very differnt than in the Canaan Valley.
I was thinking about this earlier that Timberline/Canaan needs to have something "more" when getting information out about slope conditions. I found myself checking snocountry.com more often than anything else this year for conditions. Personally I do have the expertise in setting up websites that give out up to the minute information. Plus I also have my own webserver located in a secure datacenter that I would gladly loan some space on just for having live cam shots or streaming information on slope conditions.
Now... to get a camera. john are you up for a midnight raid to swipe a DC redlight cam and mount it on your house at Tline?
Maybe Snowshoe will add a live cam for next year. A few years ago, they didn't have high speed access. But I'm 99.9% positive they have it now, so that removes the excuse that they don't have the connection needed. A top of the line pan/tilt cam would not cost more than $10,000 a year. In fact, I would imagine that several could be installed for that price. I'd love to see the same thing at Timberline, but I'm not holding my breath yet.
John this storm did do better from north to south.look at snowshoes totals compared to the valley.But there will be snow there when there is none in the valley, also I remember people that worked at TL who lived over in the JOB area(tory area)& swore that it snowed there more than the valley.So it comes down to which way the wind blows a lot of times. Mpc makes its own weather,its altitude will hold the clouds which would shade the slopes a lot of times when the sun is beaming other places.I agree that the valley is a great snow magnet & also worry about the wind at MPC but i have said many times the best slopes arn't on the west side.They are on the north facing slopes across from lanesville with a 4700' summit.I have asked chip at whitegrass where the SNOWIEST place in west va was & from places like snowy point on the north end of the valley to spruce knob to kumbrabow state forest to the shoe he picked MOUNT PORT CRAYON....I thought wiess knob was it till then.
++ john unless you were using some good binoculars & pulled off at a good vantage point,you couldn't see the summit.+ wasn't it cloud covered & snowing still?I could be wrong but i bet you were looking at another side slope which i did for years till i figured it out.Bill bright has is obs out there & there could be a possibility that High mtn just to the west & slightly south does a little wind blocking.How can it get any windier than TL gets at the top?
Snowshoe does have high-speed Internet access (in fact, newer condos such as Rimfire have Ethernet in each room), but an official from Snowshoe has told me in the past that the resort has no plans of adding a webcam in the future. This was a year ago; as far as I know their position hasn't changed.
The concern is that webcam images can be too deceptive -- what might look like rain could just be fog, for example. And the quality of the image can vary a lot too (the lens can fog up, water can freeze in front of it, the data cable can go down leading to an out-of-date image, etc.)
Instead of a webcam, Snowshoe takes high-resolution daily photos from varying vantage points throughout the resort, and places these on the web. These shots are almost always of much higher quality than anything that can come out of a webcam, but they also undergo an editorial process by the resort (which is one of the reasons resorts prefer daily photos vs. live webcams). Snowshoe is also pretty good about telling it like it is when it comes to conditions: they're not afraid to talk about rain in condition reports. (The resort also often sends DCSki and other media outlets fresh photos a couple times a week to include in stories, or whenever we request it.)
I find value in webcams (and find myself checking many each day during the winter), but not all resorts are sold on them. These days, if a resort doesn't have a live webcam, it's probably not due to money or technology problems, but rather a conscious choice.
I think alot of times it goes back to how webcam's are implimented which makes all the difference in the world. I've seen people try to setup a $99 logitech webcam in a window (I've done that myself) and expect that to do the job. As we know that just doesn't work. Also I've seen resorts take a webcam and shoot it directly at a slope with no other outside focal points so it's hard to get a sense of the weather when you are looking at a completely white backdrop with only a tree limb or skyline to go against.
For timberline it'd really be nice if they mounted a high quality cam up on the roof of the Timbers Pub area letting it look down towards the thunderdraft lift, backdrop condo's as well as getting a piece of the ski patrol building. Just seeing the snow drifts up against it will tell alot. Personally I'm of the technology mindset so when I think of webcams, I think of implimenting then via 802.11g wireless with non-broadcast/encrypted streams ... or running a mini-webserver right from the cam itself. While we are on the topic why not have wireless temp/boromoter meters on varing parts of the mountain to give *true* mountain conditions.
Scott, I suspected that's why a live cam had not been installed. The points are all correct. Most people could easily confuse fog and rain, especially because the weather at Snowshoe can include a lot of fog. To me, it's more of something interesting to look at during mid season. The webcams are most valuable for showing conditions during the spring, when bare spots start to surface. The current methods work though, so why change them?
Th new forest service cam at canaan hts works great.It provides the temp,humidity,wind dir ect.. during daylight hours you can see the flakes falling & if it is just clouded over it prob is fog.wind dir tells a big part of the story as well as the temp ofcourse.You can combine a good radar site with the cam at nite to figure the weather out.They have a zoom feature that could be improved.
bawalker-- we've got a few red light cams out in Crofton I'd be more than happy to loan you. Easy to get to, too, as many back onto woods and swamp!
Norsk & jimboc, how right you are. Sunday March 28 @ timberline they were putting 1 or 2 people in every 4th or 5th chair....we had the place to ourselves, but you're preaching to the choir, i think.
I'm intersted to hear how many days some of us have skied Mid-Atlanticly since March 1.
I've got 31 for the year, 7 MAM.