The Timberline snow conditions this past weekend reminded me a lot of what you often find in New England. The surface was firm, but most trails weren't too icy. I don't believe it had snowed since the day after the rain/freezing event, so there wasn't any new snow on the trails. However, due to the cold weather of the past week, the snow remained fresh (didn't have much of the thaw-refreeze cycle which can really hurt snow conditions.) Timberline did a great job with overnight grooming; the groomed runs were fantastic early in the mornings. Because of the cold weather, the snow that was spread around by the snowcats was very nice before it got scraped off due to skier traffic. The blacks held up well on Saturday and Sunday, but the blues, especially Almost Heaven, were pretty degraded by the late afternoons. (Still much better than what I've seen at Whitetail, by comparison.)
The Drop had some very icy sections all weekend long; I primarily skied it for practice with rougher conditions. It wasn't bumped up. Off The Wall was firm, but I was able to ski it in a pretty aggressive manner until Monday. (Didn't really catch much air off the dips since the landing area was very firm, but it was fun skiing over the dips and making quick turns in between to check speed.) There were some nasty icy sections by Monday; I recovered last-second from catching an edge at high speed and decided to ski the trail slow from then on.
Coverage was excellent on all trails with the exception of some bare spots on Upper Silver Streak (natural snow trail?) and the terrain area near the water tank. It looks like Timberline has a solid base to hold up during any rain or warm weather towards the end of the season.
Since it hadn't snowed in a while, there was little fresh snow to be found in the trees. In fact, several of the tree runs were hard-pack (Pearly Glades in particular.) The main coverage issues in the trees were due to small branches and twigs which had fallen onto the snow. The relative lack of fresh snow in the trees coupled with the recent rains meant that you could see most obstacles and avoid them. My ski bottoms and edges looked pretty much the same at the end of the weekend as they did at the start.
I really liked the gladed area between Upper White Lightning and Upper Thunderdraft (just below the pump house.) The area between Upper Thunderdraft and Upper Almost Heaven was nice also. From my experience, Timberline has by far the best glades in the Mid-Atlantic.
Considering President's Day Weekend is probably the busiest weekend of the year, the crowds on Saturday and Sunday were not too bad. Worst case lift waits were probably 15 minutes, but the wait at the single's line was much less (if you chose that route). If you hit the slopes at 8, you had close to 1.5 hours before lines started backing up. I rode up with someone on Sunday who was staying at Wisp, but headed to T-Line for the day since the Saturday Wisp crowds were very bad. He said the wait was much less at Timberline.
On Monday T-Line was pretty much a ghost town. I had maybe one group ahead of me on the new triple all day long.
[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 02-17-2004).]
The crowds were getting long during mid-day but if you skied after 4:30 until 6 or 7 the lines were minimal. I wish I had stayed Monday but we had to get back to DC. I wish I could go up mid-week where you get the whole slope to yourself on any given day.