Where to ski from hampton roads area?
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PhysicsMan
September 29, 2003
Member since 11/20/2001
218 posts
> I just moved from CA to chesapeake, VA.

Geeze - I'm really sorry to hear that happened.
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> ...I am a diehard tahoe skier. My home resort was squaw valley in LT...

Now, I'm even more sorry for you. Those of us that have been EC'ers for a while at least have had a chance to get used to our fate.
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> I would like any help on where to ski.

Er...Still have friends or family in Tahoe?
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Unless you are one very easy-to-please individual, any factual comparison between the ski areas around Tahoe, and the areas within day-trip distance of here will be utterly depressing. Most of the double-blacks around here would be at most single blacks at larger areas. While some of these "double blacks" might actually have a steep section approaching the 35 degree range, make a few turns, and you will be past the steep section and onto the runout.

The good news is that if you adjust your expectations, be content to get a little exercise in the outdoors, enjoy the social aspects, work on tweaking your technique, etc., skiing around here can be quite pleasant.

For the best skiing that the EC has to offer, your only option is to head up to New England by whatever means are available to you.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Tom / PM

PS - I'm sure somebody will eventually recommend to you the two well known black runs at Snowshoe, "Cupp" and "Shay" (sp?). Don't get your hopes up.

PS#2 - Certainly don't get you hopes up over Wintergreen. It is much smaller than Snowshoe.

[This message has been edited by PhysicsMan (edited 09-29-2003).]

snow1214
September 29, 2003
Member since 09/28/2003
16 posts
I just moved from CA to chesapeake, VA. I am a diehard tahoe skier. My home resort was squaw valley in LT. I would like any help on where to ski. I've been on the web looking and it looks like wintergreen is the closet to me. What is the terrain like there are anywhere else. I saw that it does have double black but as you know that varies from resort to resrot is it true double black terrain or what. Any help would be great thanks!
(Anonymous)
October 1, 2003
Snowshoe is the only thing that resembles a ski resort in this region..Think Snow!!
gatkinso
October 7, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
You are in a bad location, ski-wise.

It is either take up surfing (not a very helpful suggestion, I know), or hop on a plane.

It is doable tho. For you...

Wintergreen 3 hours
Snowshoe - about 5.5 hours
Canaan/Timberline 5.5 hours
Massanutten - about 4 hours

This is according to Microsoft MapPoint (it is usually accurate) and doesn't take weather and traffic into consideration. However with luck you can blast up I64 going atleast 70 the whole way to Staunton (about 200 miles) and cover most of the distance. Once you get to WV things slow down quite a bit.

I don't know how worthwhile any other local resort would be for you considering the drive.

Mid Altantic has fun skiing, but if you are wanting to be challenged go west. New England is challenging, but not so much because of terrain, but because of the ice.

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JohnL
October 7, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
snow1214,

What trails/sections do you like skiing at Squaw and what do you like about Squaw? I can give some recommendations but I need some more info.

Also, where else besides Tahoe have you skied?

[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 10-07-2003).]

snow1214
October 7, 2003
Member since 09/28/2003
16 posts
I skied Mostly KT-22, Granite Chief, Siberia and depending upon conditions the headwall . Off of KT it was the GS Bowl, chute 75 or Main West. I am into steeps, trees and sometimes a cliff or two. (I know they are now where to be found here). It seems that trails around here that are rated blacks, are rated blacks because they are bump trails. Is that the case? Does anyone know where I can get some good pictures of some of the black and double black trails at any resort so I can better deciede which place is actually worth the drive. Thanks
JohnL
October 7, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
I've skied all that you've mentioned @ Squaw, so I know what you're used to. Drink a beer before you read the rest of this post...
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Ok, hope the beer was good. If you lived in the DC or Baltimore area, the payoff of drive time versus what you get in terms of terrain would be a lot better (job transfer a possibility?) Despite what has been said on this site, there is enough challenging terrain near the DC area to keep an expert happy between major trips. If you're selective. The two nearby options I prefer are Whitetail and Blue Knob. Unfortunately, neither are worth the drive for you. Did someone quote 7 hours to Blue Knob on another thread? From DC, Whitetail is 1.5 hours and Blue Knob is 2.75 hours. Whitetail is often dissed, but it has one trail Bold Decision, that has a nice headwall section, and Whitetail's terrain park has jumps that rival those out West. I've skied with several ex-college racers who've complemented Bold Decision and the park.

In terms of driving to areas that are covered by DC Ski, IMHO your only option is Timberline. I have to caveat this recommendation enormously given that I've never skied there. (Don't you love the net!) I can say that Timberline is in a real nice snow belt (probably get's as much as Sun Valley), has 1000 ft vertical, and has glades. I'm gonna check it out this winter and will probably add it to my regular local rotation. I can say that a friend who works at a local ski shop likes it a lot. I've skied with him (Whistler/Blackcomb) and he is a very solid and adventerous skier. Plus with glades, you can always find a very tough line, even if the terrain is not too steep. A three foot drop with a tree staring you in the face is more challenging than a 10 footer with a clear runout. Take a chance and make the 5-6 hour drive to Timberline.

The glades at Blue Knob just don't get enough snow to make them worth the drive for you. Blue Knob is east of the Western PA / West Virginia snow belt.

Another driving strategy to consider is to take the bridge-tunnel across the mouth of the Cheasapeake and head north through Delaware. This may save you some time to get to places like Blue and Montage in PA and Plattekill in lower NY. You'll have to do the math on the drive times, but they may be worth it.

Best advice: find the best low-cost (and convenient) air fairs either to New England, the West or Europe. You can stay very cheaply in Salt Lake City, Utah and Burlington, Vermont.

Vermont teaser: if the cost/drive time works out for you, I can recommend some trails which are as steep and more exposed than Chute 75. There is a reason some of the best skiers come from Vermont/New Hampshire (K. Ulmer, the DesLauries, the Egans, etc.)

If you make it to this area for skiing, look us up.

[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 10-07-2003).]

gatkinso
October 9, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
Well, I condede that there IS some challenging terrain around here: the problem being that you are challenged for all of three or four minutes per ride.

There is nothing to be done: that is the nature of the 700-1500 foot verticle slope.

Norsk
October 9, 2003
Member since 05/13/2003
315 posts
I've skied the same stuff at Squaw (when I lived in the SF Bay area) and perhaps can add to JohnL's comments since I ski regularly at Timberline. He's right, there is enough difficult skiing in the mid-Atlantic to keep an expert happy between parole trips out of the area. And T-line definitely has some of that terrain.

Here's a suggestion, though, that most of us who live here intuitively follow, but sometimes forget to mention: you've got to be a slave to open terrain and recent snowfall. At Timberline, for example, if they do not have enough snow to open The Drop, Off the Wall or the Glades, you will probably get bored quickly. That's the problem for advanced skiers here: There is enough terrain to provide good fun, but just barely, so what's open matters a lot. And unlike out West, what's open changes from week to week. The tougher terrain at T-line often closes and reopens several times each season.

[This message has been edited by Norsk (edited 10-09-2003).]

JohnL
October 9, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
>> There is nothing to be done: that is the nature of the 700-1500 foot verticle slope.

If I have to stop once on the way down, the vertical is enough for me. I doubt many (any?) posters on this board can ski aggressively down Extrovert (under it's normal conditions) and not average at least one stop. Or Bold Decision & Exhibition when they're bumped up.

Granite Chief chair @ Squaw has less than 1000 foot vertical (per a map). I doubt Sun Up and Sun Down bowls @ Vail give you more than 1500 foot vertical. Guess they're not worth it ...

[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 10-09-2003).]

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 9, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Timberline will be making snow on both The Drop and Off the Wall this year. That will probably make Off the Wall easier than it has been in the past (they've been making snow on Drop for a while now). Off the Wall is not a long trail but it is steep, narrow, and isolated (no trails feed into it). Once you commit, you must ski the entire trail. It reminds me a little of the old version of Jaws of Death at Mt. Snow or sections of the expert trails at Stowe.

Off the Wall does not have the sustained steepness or the moguls of Lower Shays, but Lower Shays suffers from being too wide, too low in altitude, and westard facing. Snow sticks much better to Off the Wall (it faces North and most of it is between 3,500 and 4,000 feet in altitude), and that's why it is often a better bet than Lower Shays. It's a great trail to hit after or during a big storm. On the other hand, Lower Shays can be awsome once the moguls have grown to VW Beatles.

The Drop is a bit less steep. Because of snowmaking, it always seemed to ski easier in the past but this may change as Timberline begins making snow on Off the Wall.

Another place for experts is the Cherry Glades (same part of the mountain as Off the Wall) at Timberline. This is technically a closed area but many locals and non-locals ski it regularly. I've never skied it b/c I'm always afraid that management will clip my season pass, but if I were skiing on a day ticket, I might take my chances. There will be some new glades this year near Thunderstruck, but they strike me as "advanced" terrain as opposed to true "expert" stuff.

Another fun locals thing to do is to ski the whales. Early in the season, Timberline snowmakers build huge mounds of snow on Almost Heaven and Dew Drop. It's apparently a hoot to jump the ropes and ski these mounds before the snow cats come in and groom the snow out. Again, I've never done it but know others who have.

There's sort of an attitude amongst Timberline regulars that the ropes only apply to non-locals, but be forewarned, the place is crawling with Ski Patrol. Patrollers from other resorts love to train at Timberline and sample some of the off-piste. Sometimes they will look the other way if they catch you on Cherry Glades--especially if you look like you know what you are doing. However, if you are in over your head, they will clip your ticket.

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 10-09-2003).]

gatkinso
October 9, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002
316 posts
Well this is true: I broke my collar bone on a smallish slope called Panic Button at Killington.

Regardless of the name, Panic Button is not an extremely challenging slope - a single black that while steep is extremely short.

snow1214
October 11, 2003
Member since 09/28/2003
16 posts
Do black and double black trails always equal bumps out here? I love bumps but it's not my first choice.
PhysicsMan
October 12, 2003
Member since 11/20/2001
218 posts
> ...I broke my collar bone on a smallish slope called Panic Button
> at Killington...Regardless of the name, Panic Button is not an
> extremely challenging
> slope - a single black that while steep is extremely short.

That's part of its problem. Its right next to the Needles Eye chair, so less experienced skiers spot it and decide to give it a try when they realize its so short. This puts a surprising ammt of traffic on the trail, so it often gets weird shaped bumps, scraped off, etc. 'Taint as trivial as it looks. Hope your bones are mended.

Tom / PM

JohnL
October 12, 2003
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
snow1214,

The double blacks in the DC area are steeper than other local trails, but no where near as steep or as long as what you are used to in Squaw. These trails ski much, much more difficultly (and are worthy of legimate tough black or even double-black ratings) when they get bumped up and/or are icy. Both are common occurences. Extrovert @ Blue Knob and Bold Decision are somewhat of the exception in this area in that they do have some terrain variation. Extrovert has a double fall line in some sections with two narrow trails which bisect it. There are steep drop-off into and out of the cat-walks formed by these two bisecting trails. Bold Decision can have some nice rollovers in addition to some gulleys on the side of the trail (depends upon the snow making.)

If you can groom it, it's really not that steep or that long. Just about every double black in the Mid-Atlantic is groomable.

Even out West the popular steep trails get bumped-up in a hurry. Chute 75 and West Face (Main West?) @ Squaw are bump runs unless you are getting a foot of snow a night (which I have experienced ). Welcome to East Coast skiing. A different skill set is dominant (though I've experienced lot's of icy runs out West and numerous pow/crud/slush runs out East.)

[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 10-12-2003).]

snow1214
October 19, 2003
Member since 09/28/2003
16 posts
Thanks John L,

Yes most everything off of KT gets bumped up and tracked out quickly (the main stream runs) but those runs are well worth it to me in my humble opinion. Even if they didn't get bumped up they would still be a challange to almost anyone.(steepness) If the runs you are talking about present the same degree of difficulty then I'm sold! You just had so may options off of KT you could traverse over red dog ridge and drop into some powder stashes between some steep trees that are just sick if you didn't want the bumps that day. Well it seems you Know! I just love to ski and I will adapt to and ski anything anywhere I can. I just wanted some guidence on what to expect at local resorts so I can get the proper gear and know what to expect. You just have to make the best of what you have and I will do that.

Thanks for the insight!

PS. When I head up that way I will look you up! Oh yea, Main west aka west face is the full name of the chute. That's just what my group called it!

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