Snowshoe without dramamine, possible?
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myrto
February 26, 2001
Member since 10/4/2001 🔗
259 posts
Tim,

Read the shortcuts/bestroutes message board for some good info.
I will be heading out there the following weekend. Let me know how it goes.

(Anonymous)
February 27, 2001
Now that I know there's some powder on top of the frozen Morton's salt at the shoe, I'm psyched to get out there, but that raises another concern. Having only been there once, last year driving from Northern B.more county, we took 250 west across Cheat mountain. Well, besides horrifying(sp?) my wife and child with the horrendous switchbacks sans guardrails, my wife is somewhat prone to motion sickness and almost divorced me once we got to Silver Creek, but thankfully, all the lawyers on the mountain were hitting the slopes so we're still together,for now...but this Thurday our vows will be tested yet again!!:does anyone know the least carsickness inducing way to get to SShoe? From the map, it looks like 55 west out of Straussburg is fairly straight, but I could use the wisdom of experienced "shoe" veterans. A better way to get there would make me a hero, and keep the drama(fighting) to a minimum.
Thanks in advance for the info.
Tim
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 27, 2001
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
I've tried ALL routes to Snowshoe as I go there almost every weekend. My favorite and also the most uncrowded is:

* I-66 to I-81
* I-81 until the Strasburg exit (only 3 miles) to Hwy 55 West
* Hwy 55 West (through Wardensville) to Morefield, left at Hwy 28
* Hwy 28 all the way down to 1 mile past Greenbank (Local Hwy 66)
* 66 through Cass and the back way to Snowshoe

This route goes through the thinnest part of the Alleghenies, and therefore you get to cross only two ranges (I brought a barometer) at the 2000 and 2900 foot level with mostly easier curves instead of (hwy 250) climbing up and down seven ranges up to 4000 feet with the switchbacks you discovered. Besides, Hwy 250 is a major truck route and (it has happened to me) you get behind a caravan of semis going up and down the mountain at 15 MPH. Besides, the only respite and straight stretch in Hwy 250 is Monterey VA, which although a picturesque town, seems to fund their infrastructure with traffic tickets as they have a 25 MPH limit. I've made it a custom to never speed in a Southern town, so I've never been such a recipient of Southern hospitality, but the few times I went through there, it seemed like an exercise in law enforcement.

One good bit of news: This past weekend I drove through on Hwy 55 from the VA border to Moorefield and the construction of the "H-Corridor" is definitely advancing. The H-corridor in the other parts of the state has a 70 MPH limit and is completed from the OH border to just past Elkins to the East. Together with the new Redgate road at Snowshoe's back side, it will take about 3.5 hours from DC to Snowshoe. Something to look forward to...

Lou

Rich
February 27, 2001
Member since 11/30/2000 🔗
194 posts
This might be a hoot - there's now train service there. I checked the Amtrak schedule and it's not bad. The Shoe' has Amtrak packages which include a limo pickup from White Sulphur Springs. It looks like fun...I might try it. Lbotta does give the fastest directions (we've done it in 4+ hours), though I like to go through Elkins (Rt 55 all the way)...'cause I love the Kroger's there for supplies!
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(Anonymous)
February 27, 2001
Lou,
Thanks alot for the directions. I get the feeling that 55 west is the best way to get across the mountains...most of the other veteran "shoers" promote this itinerary as well. The only thing that concerns me is that long run down 28...slow? Have you ever gone across 39 west out of Staunton to Goshen,then north on 219?.The Snowshoe rep. told me to go 39 west, but to use 42 south to get there.My reasoning was; the longer I stay on I-81 where you can average 80mph or get run over, the beter. But 39 could be another one of those "roads from hell"like 250.That being the case, the time you make on 81 would be for naught. Thanks in advance for your help. Snowshoe...."you can't get there from here..."
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
February 28, 2001
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Both tg and Rich have some interesting ideas. On Rich's going through 55 all the way through Elkis for shopping, I will give it a try. Normally I stop at the Food Lion in Morefield, although their selection is a bit limited on some of the "upscale" items, so hopefully the Elkin's Krogers would have a better selection -- it's definitely larger than the Lion. After all, until the H-corridor is complete, we can't expect a Trader Joe's or a Freshfields anywhere near there...

Rich, I will give the route 39 a try. Route 28 is my favorite because of the reasons previously described. On your question, Route 28 follows a single river valley except for the stretch between Seneca Rocks and Greenbank, where it crosses Spruce Peak's highlands. Unlike 250, there is plenty of passing dashed yellow lines, and save for Moorefield, Petersburg, Cabins, Seneca Rocks, Circleville, and Greenbank, the speed limit is 55 MPH with a little padding on the side. I average 60 MPH on the Route 28 stretch. There is one speed trap to the South of Seneca, and I've also spotted them (same State Trooper vehicle) on Hwy 66 just short of Cass, as the speed limit goes down to 40.

The one time when I saw someone actually stopped and the trooper busy writing, was once that some one passed me north of Greenbank at about 80 MPH. If he/she continued at that speed, the driver surely deserved that citation.

(Anonymous)
February 28, 2001
Lou,
Because it is unexplored territory,and no one has recommended it, I am going to avoid 39w this time. If I was by my self I would be more adventuresome, but if 39 is a vomit inducing switchback riddled serpent, my wife will cuss me out for NOT taking the way that all you guys have suggested,ie 55/28. I will be taking my laptop with me to the Shoe...even there is no local POP for my ISP... I will still need to check my email(quickly!! as it will be long distance). If you are "net capable" out there, please post a comment about 39w if you do decide to take it. If you dig it, I will try it for the ride home. Thanks for all of your help.
Tim
mrhazmat
March 5, 2001
Member since 12/7/2000 🔗
47 posts
Hello Everyone. Coming from the Va. Beach, Norfolk, Va. area to Snowshoe puts me on the 250, 42, 39 route as the quickest. Unfortunately, as others have expierenced this route takes you up and down many moutains stating in Va. and continuing through W. Va.. My wife and I will always remember the trip with our 6 kids in a 15 passenger van and forgetting the Dramamine. Gave the domino effect a whole new meaning. Boot bags double as Barf bags quite well. Anyway enough of that, the route I just described is not one for the timid or prone to motion sickness.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
March 6, 2001
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Oh well.... I tried it and the 42/39/219 stretch doesn't work from DC. Between Warm Springs, Minihaha and Marlinton, it seemed like a road from the Alps.

but it's certainly scenic....

Lou

JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 6, 2001
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,701 posts
Lou, I'm planning to go to Snowshoe on Friday 3/9 and will try your route featuring 28 and 66 through Cass. How many miles on 28 from Moorefield to Greenbank? About 70 miles? Will 66 through Cass be tough if fresh snow? Thanks
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
March 6, 2001
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
80 miles almost exactly.

The heartening thing along 55 is that the construction of the H-corritor is now plainly visible and well advanced. In a couple of years we will be flying through it.

Cass to Snowshoe can be a bit tricky with fresh snow, but VA Public Works does a credible job of keeping it clean. And consider that next Spring, the new Redgate Road will be opened, almost a straight shot from Cass to Shoe.

L

twin58
March 6, 2001
Member since 04/1/2000 🔗
198 posts
>>Cass to Snowshoe can be a bit tricky with fresh snow, but VA Public Works does a credible job of keeping it clean. <<

My tax dollars at work? That's in WV. (Happens to me all the time.)

(Anonymous)
January 13, 2002
Thanks for all the info on the directions. I see most of the replies were from last yr. Are there any new roads (like the H corridor that you were talking about), or new routes this yr that anyone would recommend?
(Anonymous)
January 16, 2003
i posted a few months ago on this, but never got an answer. I like Ibotta's directions...used them last year, thanks!...but want to know about the new road. Is is clearly marked in cass? does it have a name?

I want to make sure I don't miss it. Thanks!

Rich
January 16, 2003
Member since 11/30/2000 🔗
194 posts
Been a few times already this year. The "new road" is actually 6 miles past Cass. You will still have to go through all the 10 mph turns. You will see it on your right, with a clearing and big sign. Now beware...it is VERY steep, and is a swath cut out so in fog or low visibility (most all the time) BE CAREFULL as there is no tree line to mark the sides (drops) of the road. Once on the top...don't be shaken if you happen to find youself lost inside some big parking lot.
skier123
January 20, 2003
Member since 01/20/2003 🔗
14 posts
Thanks for the info on the 55W to 28S route to snowshoe. Tried it this past weekend, and it was significantly easier than the route given on the snowshoe website. No hairpin turns, little traffic, and we made it in 4.5 hours from DC.
(Anonymous)
February 3, 2003
wow rich, you weren't kidding! that new road is a deathtrap waiting to happen. When I went up there (MLK weekend, sunday), conditions were fine so I took it & noticed what you're talking about.

However, it snowed a bunch while we were up there, so I elected to pass on taking that road down. There is zero margin for error, mistakes, bad luck, etc. if conditions are bad. There are spots on it that REALLY should have guardrails, so I'd advise everyone to keep that in mind.

Besides, I only saved about 10 minutes or so by taking that road, so it's not really even worth it.

kennedy
February 4, 2003
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Some of my friends took that route recently and I think it did a number on their truck. They had problems shifting from 2 to 4 wheel drive, their ABS stopped working. I'm not sure if its the hill or just coincidence but from what I heard its pretty steep.
snowcone
February 4, 2003
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
We took the new road in early December and, while it was a beautiful ride, it scared the socks off me. In addition to the steep incline, the road is badly cambered in several places. One in particular stands out: a long steep incline to a tight left hairpin not far from the top, no guard rail or tree line and a terrific drop. We couldn't see the bottom of the drop because of the cloud-fog (on a clear day!). The turn is wide but tight and the pitch is steeply to the right, so that if there is black or patch ice on the curve you could well go sliding backwards off the mountain. Also, our truck smelled really hot toward the end of the climb. We put it down to a recent service but after what Kennedy posted I am beginning to wonder. Fyi: we drive an Xterra SE 4WD with which we do off-roading and have run Taskers Gap and Peter's Mill (S to N), et.al., with no problems.

We are leaving this Thursday after work for a long weekend at SnowShoe. Snow is predicted for Thursday evening so I think we are going to take the old road, the -long- way around!

Rich
February 4, 2003
Member since 11/30/2000 🔗
194 posts
To skier123:

Great...pick us all up next time you drive!

Just an aside - my ski tour company won't do Snowshoe - just too difficult for buses to negotiate the roads there. We do weekly trips to Killington, Hunter, Gore & Whiteface instead.

Oh, I forgot to add - also because of the inept/rude staff there (not the 'Zealanders - they're OK) only surpassed by their surly ski school. Don't bother sending the 'shoe comments...they couldn't care less unless you're buying real estate!

[This message has been edited by Rich (edited 02-04-2003).]

skier123
February 5, 2003
Member since 01/20/2003 🔗
14 posts
I feel completely opposite about the new road. I too drove it on MLK weekend, in my little 5-speed Honda Civic. The road was snowcovered when I got there around 11pm on Friday night, but I had no trouble getting up the hill and did not feel that it was any more dangerous than the old way up. (Mostly in 2nd gear) If anything, I felt safer than I usually do driving to snowshoe. Sunday, despite the fact that it snowed that morning, the road was wet, but not slippery and I had no troubles.
Gigantor
February 24, 2003
Member since 02/24/2003 🔗
10 posts
We tried this route on Friday:

* I-66 to I-81
* I-81 until the Strasburg exit (only 3 miles) to Hwy 55 West
* Hwy 55 West (through Wardensville) to Morefield, left at Hwy 28
* Hwy 28 all the way down to 1 mile past Greenbank (Local Hwy 66)
* 66 through Cass and the back way to Snowshoe

The drive over the mountains on 55 was really easy, but once we got on 28 it SUCKED - fog the whole way, and we couldn't go faster than 25-30mph. Added at least an extra hour to the trip. I hope fog isn't the normal situation on that route.

We went back via 33 to Harrisonburg. Took 4.5 hours to get from Snowshoe to DC by that route (compared to 6.5 on the way out). I didn't have a problem on 33, but it was about 2000 feet higher at the peak, and I might not want to drive that route if there were any kind of weather (snow, fog, rain).

(Anonymous)
February 24, 2003
We were at Snowshoe on Pres. Day weekend. We took the route suggested: 66 to 81 to 55 to 28 to 66 on the way down. It was easy. On the way back after the tremendous snow we went north up 219 to near elkins then across on 33 until we hit 28 at Seneca Rocks. Rt. 219 was very clean, 33 was spotty and a lot of ups and downs. We headed north on 28 to 55 to 81 to 66. The worst was getting off the mountain; I-66 closer to D.C.; and getting into our street in Alexandria. We stayed at Snowcrest and everyone from the resort to the lift ticket sales person was great. WORST: the virtually non-existent shuttle bus. We walked from the Western Territory to Snowcrest in a blizzard (1 and 1/2 miles) in our ski boots and hauling our skis. They said that they are working on improving it.
Roy
February 25, 2003
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
I had the same experience as ROMUSA. I took the 28 route to snowshoe and got there in 4.5 hours. No fog. The back way up is not that steep. But I did not take it after the dumping on President's day weekend. It took me about 7 hours to get back. We took 33 back to the highway. 33 was cleared but 28 to 33 was really bad. Luckily, it had snowed about an inch the night before (Monday) and that provided some traction.
Scott - DCSki Editor
February 27, 2003
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,134 posts
Hi folks,

I drove up to Snowshoe today, and used the new access road for the first time. Snow was falling quite heavily at the time. (Looks like Snowshoe got about 5-6 inches of fresh powder today.) Having driven on the new road, I don't understand some of the concerns that were echoed here. There was a guardrail the entire length of the road, as far as I could tell, and I didn't see any steep dropoffs. The road seemed pretty tame. (My GPS receiver had led me to take the 250 route, though, so I suppose just about any road would seem tame compared to some of the switchbacks on 250.) The new road seems a lot easier to navigate than the old Snowshoe access road, and it's great to drive right into Snowshoe, assuming you can check in at the Brigham Center.

I thought Virginia and West Virginia did a fairly good job keeping the roads in good shape during the storm, although Virginia seemed to have the edge. 250 has a lot of steep switchbacks, and these could have been quite slippery with the falling snow, but gravel had been sprinkled on them, providing decent traction. (Obviously, you never want to drive too fast, and I drove very, very carefully.) There were also two plows taking care of the worst parts of 250. Having four wheel drive was helpful for the ride up, but besides taking longer (about 8 hours vs. the normal 6.5 for me), I didn't have problems getting to Snowshoe.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
February 28, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,918 posts
Scott:

Thanks for the update. I'm trying to decide right now about whether to drive to Timberline. WV DOT reports snow on 32. I'll probably call Timberline today and get managements take on the roads.

nome
January 22, 2007
Member since 01/19/2007 🔗
14 posts
What is this new road refered to by snowcone in post #6856?
kwillg6
January 22, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,023 posts
I had to drive to Pgh yesterday (sunday) morning and then get back last night to be at work this AM. 350 miles of slushy white was no fun. At times white knuckle driving, however, with our new 07 Outback it went very well. I stayed in the left lane away from the flatlanders who drive on the brake pedal and my 41/2 hour trip was only 6 hours. Then again, I'm one of those who doesn't let even a blizzard keep me from the Mountains. As for the drive to the shoe.... "ain't no way" for a straight and easy ride. And rt 66 over Cass can be a treat if you aren't used to that type of road. In the old days, it was not paved and only has had guardrails for the past 16 years. I've known some folks who use those guard rails to slow down/ stop with but not on purpose!!!
Clay
January 22, 2007
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Kim,
We ran into the same coming back from T-Line. The truck had no problem at all but goodness what a mess the flatlanders make. We left at 1:00 and it started to ice when we got to 17. All in all, not too bad - the normal 3 1/2 took 5 1/2.

Clay
nome
January 31, 2007
Member since 01/19/2007 🔗
14 posts
I am going to snowshoe for the first time this Friday (Feb 2nd). I'll be starting from IAD and it seems the my best route is I-66 -> 55 -> 28 -> 66.

But with the continous snow throughout the week, I wonder if my FW sedan would make the trip. Should I go in a 4WD instead (that means renting/borrowing/begging)?


Snowshoe Weather

Thanks.
kwillg6
January 31, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,023 posts
FWD can do the access roads and rt 66 if you are careful. I used to have a 85 k-car and did the trip to the shoe every weekend but I grew up in the snow belt of NW PA. Experience is everything. 4WD can be a false sence of security.
Clay
January 31, 2007
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Quote:

4WD can be a false sence of security.



Agreed. But is sure is nice to get you going up those hills

Clay
bawalker
January 31, 2007
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Quote:

4WD can be a false sence of security.




Amen to that. I went to Timberline a few years ago and from Seneca all the way to TL, the roads were snowcovered and not even plowed in some spots. The road was just ruts of hard packed powder. I was driving a AWD subaru and by driving carefully and using my experience, I never slipped, slid, spun or anything when climbing the mountain.

However you know what I saw a lot of? Wrecked SUV's or SUV's in ditches. Even a SUV flipped over on it's top. People treat them like they are indestructable and that they can still drive 55mph up the mountain in 3" of packed powder.
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