69 trails between the two mountains. 1000 feet of vertical at Timberline with some nice steep, narrow trails-a good place for confident intermediates and a couple trails that will even challenge experts). Canaan has wider slopes with more gentle pitches and an 850 foot vertical-a better mountain for less confident skiers, cruisers, and riders who want lots of space for tricks. Canaan is also less crowded on weekends and has a beautiful new lodge.
Nice slope-side housing at Timberline at affordable prices.
Affordable hotel rooms and condo rentals.
The Canaan Hotel (lodge) has an nice ice rink for after dinner skating.
Ample cross country skiing opportunities exist at Canaan and Blackwater Falls state parks. More challenging cross country and back country skiing can be found at Whitegrass touring center-probably the finest touring center in the Mid-Atlantic.
Wonderful natural beauty and lots of wildlife. The base of the Valley is at 3,000 feet with mountains on 4 sides. Most of the land is owned by the state and federal government so there is very limited development. Canaan Valley-Land of Milk and Honey!
Very limited nightlife. The Timberline Lodge has bands on Saturday night and there are a few bars connected with restaurants but other than that, the valley is pretty quiet. If your groups needs nightlife, head to Snowshoe or 7 Springs.
Limited restaurant opportunities in the valley itself. Deerfields is nice but CROWDED on the weekends. More restaurants can be found in Davis, but that's a 12 mile drive over a small mountain range-not fun in the snow. If your group likes eating out, Snowshoe or 7 Springs again would be a better bet.
Limited services. The closest grocery store (Foodland) is in Davis.
Old rental equipment. Your best bet for getting Demo equipment is to rent it at Ski Chalet or Ski Center before you leave town.
Limited lift capacity. Both mountains are served by slow lifts. For much of last year, Timberline only operated one top to bottom lift. This year, extensive maintenance was performed on the Silver Queen double (a new reduction gear was added) so this problem should be solved. Nevertheless, for those who want higher speed and more capacity-think Snowshoe and 7 Springs.
Limited night skiing and no night skiing Monday through Thursday.
[This message has been edited by Jim (edited 12-07-2001).]
[This message has been edited by Rich (edited 12-07-2001).]
Since that time, I have made the round trip about 20 times via different routes. Unfortunately, I still am not 100 percent sure what the best route is. All I can say for certain is that there is no good way to go. All routes compel thr drive to take 2 lane roads and climb moutains via switchbacks. West Virginia is indeed wild and wonderful, but those mountains sure don't make for easy driving, even under the best of conditions.
My wife and my bird Franz, a Cockatiel, enjoy 220 to New Creek (home of Wal-Mart), route 50 to Mt. Storm, 42 to 93, 93 to Davis, and then 32 to the land of milk and honey. This route only has one bad set of switchbacks (just before Mt. Storm when 50 crosses over the Allegheny Front near Horseshoe Mountain). These switchbacks, however, have a passing lane on the steepest sections so you don't have to worry about a big rig slowing you down. The State of West Virginia, in its infinite wisdom, directs cars to take 93 after New Creek towards Scherr rather than staying on 50 and going through Mt. Storm. This is a more scenic route BUT just before Scherr, you hit a much nastier set of switchbacks than those on 50 and there is no passing lane!
It takes 2.5 hours to get from downtown DC to Cumberland, and then another 75 minutes to the Canaan Valley if you don't make any stops.
The only drawback of the 220, 50, 42, 93 route is that I-70 between Hancock and Frederick can be very congested. I hit so much traffic on I-70 coming back from the valley over Thanksgiving, for example, that the trip took me 6 hours (trucks use this stretch of 70 to get from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to I-81 South and that's why it is so bad). From Washington, I-270 also can be mess in Frederick because of the construction there.
The alternative routes are 50 through Romney and the 55 route already mentioned. If you can take 66, the Dulles Toll Road, then the Greenway, and finally route 7 to Winchester, this route can avoid some of the traffic in MD (although 66 can be a bear coming out of DC), but 50 has additional switchbacks between Winchester and New Creek. Also, the Fire Department at Capon Bridge often stops traffic and asks for donations--sadly, this is what happens in a town which does not have an adequate tax base to pay for basic emergency services.
There is some hope for the future with the construction of Corridor H--a four lane road which will run in an arc from Wardensville to Elkins and pass right above the Canaan Valley near Thomas. I am only luke warm about corridor H because it is cutting a huge swath of ugliness through one of the last unspoiled wilderness areas of the East Coast, but it will make the ski resorts more accessible. Some say it will cut an hour off the commute. I think 30 minutes is more realistic. In any event, it will certainly make the drive easier.
Do you really find I-66 to be the fastest route to Canaan from DC? I have always found it to be a rather painful trip once you hit Route 55, especially when it's storming or you're behind a big slow truck. My experiences (leaving from Arlington) taking 270/70 to 68 and then down 220, etc. have been mostly good, although it is a slightly longer and more complicated trip. One advantage is the Wal-Mart in Keyser for groceries. Perhaps it all depends on where you're leaving from?
Really looking forward to the season! I am heading out to Aspen for the holiday, from what I hear they aren't much better off for snow than we are here.
Does anyone have any other fun things they like to do besides skiing/tubing/Whitegrass while around Canaan/Timberline in the winter? Any advice is much appreciated.
By the way, great web site!
I'm going to take your route on 21 December. If you are right, I owe you a beverage of your choice anytime at the Timberline Lodge.
I live in Chantilly and I grew up near Elkins and go back there to visit the family from time to time. So here's my take on the various rts.
As Rich said, I-66 to I-81 and then 55 is probably the best way to go, most of the time.
However if you are leaving during rush hour, or anytime after 2:30 on a Friday, I-66 can be a nightmare, it will take you about an hour to get from Rt. 28 to 234 at Manassas (about 12 miles), thats in addition to all the time it takes just to get from the beltway to Rt 50. If you can, the Toll Road to the Greenway, Rt 7 to Winchester that you mentioned is the best way to go if you are trying to get out of this area during any evening rush hour condition.
If you are on 50, I am a big fan of using Rt. 93. 93 between 50 and Scherr is about as straight as a 2-lane road in WV gets with the possible exception of the section of 93 after climb the mountain after Scherr. The section between Scherr and the turn-off towards Davis has a bunch of curves as you are climbing the mountain, but not nearly as severe as the ones you find if you stay on 50. Plus if you take 50 and backtrack on 42 to pick up 93 to Davis, you have to drive through an area that has active coal mines, not a problem if you don't mind a car covered in coal dust. If it is snowing, I would try to avoid the Mt. Storm area if you are not real comfortable with driving in snow, Mt. Storm routinely gets the worst of the snow storms passing through WV.
As far as corridor H goes, the section between Baker and Morefield will be open by this time next year, with some of areas within opening as they are completed. Work on several other areas before and after this area have already started or contracts have been awarded. Basically, using the Rt 55 way is going to get faster and easier each year.
Like you said, I'm not sure if the new road is a good idea with all they are tearing up to build it, but since they are building it anyway, it will make my trips a lot easier. I think your estimates are pretty fair, I think it will save me about a 1/2 hour when it is done. It will probably save an hour for the people in this area who are not used to WV roads.
Good thing you weren't patrolling. Guys like you give patrollers a bad name. Its no wonder people consider patrollers nothing but a bunch of jack-booted thugs when they have people like you in their ranks.
Just because I enjoy listening to music while I ski doesn't mean that I am automatically a hazard on the slopes. Would you take the radios out of every car? Probably. Comparing skiing with headphones to talking on a cell phone in a car is a ludicrous analogy. Do you have accident statistics to support the hazard of skiing with headphones? I doubt it. And your holier-than-thou attitude about counseling parents of an injured skier are just some much fluff and conjecture. So you and Timberline can keep your authoritarian attitudes. My ski dollars go elsewhere.
[This message has been edited by Jim (edited 12-13-2001).]
I understand your love of music, but from everything I've heard it is a big time no no to ski with headphones out west as well as here. It is against the law to drive with them and not a safe idea to ride a bike with them, so skiing should be no different.
I appreciate our input. Guess I just disagree that skiing with headphones is inherently unsafe. With the volume my headphones are set, I can hear background noise well enough to ski safetly. I compare the level of hearing to being no worse than the wind noise I get from skiing or the reduced hearing others have from helmets. I know about the latter having tried a helmet for skiing last year.
As for the prohibitions, I haven't seen any outright rules against them out west or run into trouble with it. I ski in the Rockies every year - usually with my tunes and at times with patrollers. Even chatted with some of the patrollers at A-Basin last year in their shack with my headphones in plain sight. No problem with them. Never had a problem, except the one time at Timberline. But that's my personal experience and my earlier post about Timberline was my opinion based on that experience. I appreciate your response.
As for the legalities, you're right that it is often illegal to wear headphones while driving a car. However, I would compare my skiing with headphones to someone driving while listening to their radio/tape/CD player.
[This message has been edited by Jim (edited 12-13-2001).]
Slow lifts on Saturday? If you can load/unload a lift just ride the double, the line goes a lot faster.
Btw... the guy running the double is great, and listens to AC/DC.
Anyway, Canaanman, don't worry about riding old lifts. Mad River still has an original single chair and nearbye Stowe has a double that is over 50 years old. If maintained properly, a lift can have a very long life indeed.
PS I enjoy the tunes from the cool dude who runs Silver Queen.
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 12-09-2002).]
Thank you my friends.
'HASTA LA VISTA, BABY!'
Ze true "Arhnahld" hangs out at powdermag.com and epicski.com and wouldn't dream of sluming around here.
Tom / PM
PS (in edit) - I guess UBB is not turned on.
[This message has been edited by PhysicsMan (edited 02-23-2003).]
Tom / PM
PS - As the post previous to yours was dated in Feb 2003, I will now say that with the latest information in hand, Arhnahld *definitely* wouldn't dream of sluming around here.
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 11-21-2003).]
You're forgetting that Arhnahld has acquired a new job since last February. Don't think he's too concerned about skiing anymore!
I am still optimistic. Its still novemebr 20th for crying out loud. Looking at the 10 day for T-line from [url=http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/ski/weather/tenday/304002]weather.com[/url] there are 4 days in the next 10 scheduled for sub 32F lows and 2 others where the wetbulb maybe low enought to crank the guns as well. So 6/10 may alow snow making. Additionally there doesn't seem to be a high likely hood of rain. For the near future it looks cooler and drier. And after 50F rainy for the past week things cant get any worse.
[This message has been edited by tromano (edited 11-21-2003).]
No one wants to see Timberline open early more than myself but the reality folks is that it is a privately owned ski mountain with limited financial resources. As result, it tends to be conservative when it comes to making snow.