who's open with all this rain?
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(Anonymous)
December 20, 1999
i just moved to falls church, va a month ago. i have been dying to get out to a mountain. i don't really know the area too well. with all of this nasty rain and mild temps we have had is anyplace good for a day trip? i'd appreciate any help with this.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
December 20, 1999
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Hi Joey,

Not much is open as of now, looking at the websites, and what's open can be described as a ski area token to be able to say "See, we're open"

In my opinion, I tend to look at these for conditions and travel time:

Timberline -- 2.5 hrs (open)
Canaan -- 2.5 hrs (open)
Whitetail -- 1.5 hrs (Not yet open)
Massanutten -- 2 hrs (they say open)
Wintergreen -- 3 hrs (they say open)
Liberty -- 1 hr (Noy yet open)
Wisp -- 3 hr (open) if you can wait and wait...

If you have more than one person to share the drive or can make it a weekend, Snowshoe has about the best conditions even though it is further South, but it because of the altitude and location, it can get dumped on. Snowshoe can be as near as a 4 hour drive or as far as a 7 hour drive depending on the route.

Again, in my opinion and only in my opinion, I will not return to Wisp (3 hours and it is open). Tried twice it and it's not worth the 3+ hour drive for the 600 foot vertical and the interrrrrrminable lines. I'll gladly return when they put in some detached quads. It does have some challenging black diamonds, though.

Wintergreen has about the best safety separation of novices from experts. To access their three main black diamonds, you must go through sort of a (diamond) chute called Devils Elbow which allows access to the lift. I've seen people (snowplowers) intercepted and directed towards the normal blue and green runs. It's a safe thing to do and that's why I like it.

I like Canaan/Timberline for the variety, they're right next to each other, have about 1,000 vertical each, and Timberline can be challenging.

Never been to Liberty, as Whitetail was always open and I do like Whitetail's additional vertical, although I peaked at Liberty during the summer and I do like their lift capacity and their closeness to DC. Having a pup, I don't want to go too far. With my new job, I will be going to Liberty after work on several days.

Lou

[This message has been edited by lbotta (edited 12-20-1999).]

(Anonymous)
December 20, 1999
I just skied at Canaan Valley on saturday (19th); also did 4 Dec. Actually, as measured from my home in Alexandria, it's 3.5-3.75 hours; that's if you don't exceed the speed limit by too much on 66. Take 66 to 81, south to Strasburg/rt 55; 55 west to 33, and 32 north to Canaan.
Canaan opened 5 more trails as of 19th; Upper Canaan is now open on top, Ski Daddler, Upper Spruce. These empty down to Face and Weiss Meadows/Drop. That's the blue-green stuff. They call Face black but it's really blue. Daddler has a steeper drop off the top than Face and it's 'blue'. Go figure. For more consistent pitch, I recommend Timberline, but the options are good with 2 resorts in 2-3 miles. Canaan lodge is relatively cheap too.
Lorraine
(Anonymous)
December 20, 1999
I just skied at Canaan Valley on saturday (19th); also did 4 Dec. Actually, as measured from my home in Alexandria, it's 3.5-3.75 hours; that's if you don't exceed the speed limit by too much on 66. Take 66 to 81, south to Strasburg/rt 55; 55 west to 33, and 32 north to Canaan.
Canaan opened 5 more trails as of 19th; Upper Canaan is now open on top, Ski Daddler, Upper Spruce. These empty down to Face and Weiss Meadows/Drop. That's the blue-green stuff. They call Face black but it's really blue. Daddler has a steeper drop off the top than Face and it's 'blue'. Go figure. For more consistent pitch, I recommend Timberline, but the options are good with 2 resorts in 2-3 miles. Canaan lodge is relatively cheap too.
Lorraine
Jim
December 21, 1999
Member since 11/22/1999 🔗
317 posts
From Arlington, Ski Liberty is 1.5 hours away and Whitetail is 2.0 hours away. I've done the trip to Liberty in an hour, but that was during the summer and I was on a motorcycle that did not go below 65mph (don't ask top speed - don't want to incriminate myself!). Both are fine for local day trips. Liberty doesn't have as much vertical, but does have the "steeps" on the backside. There are three runs where the first 1/3 is very steep. Whitetail does have more vertical, but it's also in a dry county or doesn't have a liquor license or something like that (i.e., no apre ski alcohol). Either way, both are about equivalent. Neither are open right now and I wouldn't expect them to be until this weekend (Christmas). Even then, they won't have all trails open. Best time to ski is probably going to be mid-January.

K2-boarder
December 22, 1999
Member since 12/22/1999 🔗
4 posts
Here's a roundup of the local resorts:
Liberty is closest, 1hr away. its a small but fun mountain. a few steep spots, but not consistently steep. Definitely worth the trip.
Whitetail is close too, but they dont seem to have much snow. Blue knob has good vert., and when conditions are good, then its awesome. unfortunately it is often icy. Seven Springs is the best deal around here. Its three hours away, which is manageable. They have the most acreage of any penn. resort. 30-31 slopes and trails, conditions are almost always among the best around here. Snowshoe is great, but it's also a haul away. That 4-6 hour drive could put you in New York by Hunter Mountain . Hunter has 7 double blacks, and has incredible snowmaking power. I just got back from a weekend up there and its better than snowshoe. I dont really visit VA resorts. Make a trip to seven springs, its a really fun experience.
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