Anyone out there know what's going on with 7spring's Great Western?
Yes - I am told it is being overrun by cicadas. ;-)
Gatkinso, did you know that in W. Va. cicada's are considered an aphrodisiak. We usually enjoy a big platter at family reunions!
bmstump, I too am curious what's going on w/ western expansion @ 7 Springs. The liftline grapevine says that they need to secure a right of way and then they're ready to go.
Scott, Maybe this would be a good topic for one of your DC Ski investigative reports.
Happy Decoration Day
ONLY Six months til ski season!
1st time poster--long time reader.
I'm a frequent 7 springs skier and have been wondering about the progress out there myself. I e-mailed 7 Springs and got a prompt response Bob Duppstadt, the marketing manager. Here's what he had to say; it's not really new information, but we can look forward to a future high-speed lift on the North Face, though.
Thanks for your interest in the Great Western.
John G. was correct. We do need acquire an easement from the state to span a small piece of state-owned property. There is a small triangle of property in that area which the chair lift would have to span in order to get to the top of the Great Western terrain.
At this time we are not scheduling the opening of the area. The next addition to the mountain will be a high-speed lift on the North face side of the mountain.
The Great Western will be a significant investment. We will need to clear the brush, do some grading, add snowmaking on the terrain and add at least one chairlift (which would most likely be a high-speed lift.) Adding all of the snowmaking includes a significant amount of underground pipelines and pump stations.
Please feel free to stay in touch in regard to the status of the area.
Many thanks for the encouraging news. Let's hope they get that easement but in the meantime, the high-speed upgrade on the North Face should eliminate an important bottleneck at the mountain. With the high-speed linking Wagner base and Tahoe and now a new high-speed on North Face, 7 Springs will really rock for high mileage skiers.
My pleasure, John.
Unfortunately no date is set for the lift, but we can always hope for a surprise. I very much doubt we'll see it this season,though, due to the planning that would be involved--not to mention Bob not disclosing that any sort of investment has been made yet.
Even if we don't get the lift for another season, I'm still HAPPY. It's just one more reason why 7 Springs is the best managed resort in the Mid-Atlantic. They look at bottlenecks and problems and then fix them. Things work at 7 Springs and that's why I love that place: everything from the food in the lodge to the shuttle bus service is a cut above the competition. Sure, you can complain about lack of vert., but the expansiveness of the place and all the efficient services make up for lack of vert. in spades. My wife thought 7 Springs was better in early December than Killington because she got more skiing done thanks to great shuttle bus system and easy access to the Lost Boy Trail from the upper parking lot. The food at 7 Springs also is much, much better--nothing beats the peel and eat shrimp at Foggy Goggle (yum).
I agree 7 Springs is top-notch for service.
Speaking of vert...
I failed to mention that I had also had also mentioned the potential 1200' vertical in my e-mail to Bob.
I can't be sure if it was a direct confirmation or not, but Bob's stating that "John G. was correct," was in response to not only the details he reiterated--but also the 1200' vertical that John G. had mentioned.
This past winter, I had super-imposed a satellite picture of the Great Western cut on to a topo map and had come up with only 934' to the valley. vert analysis here
They have another 270' to come up with if they want to claim the magic 1200 number, but 934' is still a nice improvement. Of course, I have no idea how they may actually design the rest of the trail, though. Maybe they'll try to 'finesse' it further down into the hollow.
Dave, is that for sure the area of the new slopes or are we not sure. Seems like they would be west to south-west facing slopes there. Maybe they're going off the North to NW face of Spook Hill. It'd be really slow going from 2500 to 2600 feet but surely no worse than the traverse from Upper to Lower Shay. That face would give you a vert of 1238 ft.
Here's the topo-link for us topo-nerdshttp://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?t=2&s=12&x=804&y=5540&z=17&w=2
I interviewed Scott Bender, the 7 Springs President, about the Great Western, last year for DCSki and he said the vertical will be about the same as the North Face, give or take.
750 feet is a respectable vertical--only a minority slopes in this region exceed that. What's important to me is the layout of the slopes, the skiable acreage, and uphill transportation. Big vertical is not much fun if you have to spend long periods of time on slow lifts to realize it. That's why I like 7 Springs, Whitetail, and Snowshoe--superior uphill transportation systems (fast fixed grips and the occasional high-speed). One day, the high-speed will be the norm, but until then I favor the resorts with the best infrastructure.
JR, I think you're right on that one. At the time I did that little bit or research, I was rather mindlessly extrapolating the path of the dog-leg down the SW side of the slope without thinking of the direction. That direction doesn't make sense from a solar perspective, though. I hadn't bothered checking the delta H of the NW face of Spook... They'd really have to stretch it out to get that number. In the end, it would be an enjoyable ride to the head wall, but the main slope would have about the same vert as North Face.
Looking at it realistically, a new high-speed lift on the North Face will be a welcome addition and a necessary step in opening the Great Western down the road. Constructing the high-speed lift would free up one of the older lifts for eventual use over in that area.
Is the North Face really 750 foot vertical?
Through a quick scan of the Topozone map, I'm getting 2940 - 2320 = 620 feet.
It's been a long day, so maybe I'm missing something...
JohnL, your low elevation of 2320 is a bit high. You can switch between arial photo and topo map to get a better idea of where the actual slopes are.
I was going by the lifts which were on the topo map. Not sure if the map is accurate.