Just wanted to let everyone know that early this morning the low temp here at the house was 37*F (1000' elevation), and numerous trees now are starting to shed their leaves with little time for color changing. I'll get a picture but the walnut trees leaves are almost all yellow and almost all off.
It's not much longer now!
Well, how about a big snow storm dump over labor day weekend in Colorado?
Here's the pics. Clickie here
Heck I'm in school in Blacksburg now and two nights ago we set a record low at 37... same temp as Wardensville! Where's our CV posters? I want to know what the low was out there!
How far is it from Blacksburg to Snowshoe and the Canaan Valley? Which areas do you plan to ski the most this season? Does VA Tech have a big snowboard and skier community?
From what I can tell, there's a respectable snowboard/ski community down here. We've got a ski team and a number of folks in the Outdoors club snowboard and head out west any chance they get.
Snowshoe is three hours, Canaan Valley probably five hours or so, and Winterplace something around 1 1/2 hours (tops). I might try to save my money up for a trip next year out west and thus limit my skiing a little this year, but my folks and I are planning a Christmas trip to CV (since I'll be back in MD at that time), and down here I'll probably due 2-3 trips to Winterplace and maybe one weekend up to Snowshoe. So it'll be a little light this year on skiing, though I'm hoping for some natural snow to do some X-C skiing in town and up at Mountain Lake as well (which is 2000 feet higher than Blacksburg and gets more than twice the snowfall town does). And... the NC highlands are only about 2 1/2 hours from here, so just for a change of pace it might be fun to go try out Sugar Mountain or Beech if I can get a weekday to do it on (in grad school, we pretty much have every Friday off, making midweek skiing a pretty easy thing to do!).
Speaking of new ski resorts... southern VA could really use one. If I had the money and the inclination for a massive environmental fight, there are several ridges within an hour of Roanoke that offer 1200-1500 foot verticals off of 3800-3900 foot summits. Snowfall averages along these ridges are in the 40-60 inch range; 30 inches or so at 2500 feet... not great but better than Wintergreen. With snowmaking technology as advanced as it is, I could see a 150 acre ski resort running a pretty healthy business on an average winter down here. Any VA venture capitalists reading this board?
There's alot of people from VT up at Snowshoe especially during spring break. Snowshoe seems to use the turkey as their unofficial mascot since he's in every picture with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. This sure puts alot more at stake when WVU and Tech play each fall, its been a long ride up the lift for the past few years for a Hokie I know.
Any more news on completed/open sections of CH?
You are our eyes and ears on this and it would sure be nice if there was another section open to shave off even more time going to SS/Canaan/TL.
I'm from Blacksburg too and Snowshoe definitely seems to be the resort of choice. However, most go to Winterplace out of convenience. We take mid-week night trips up there without even missing work/school. Most people don't even seem to be aware of what NC has to offer.
Roger Z, Where do you ski at Mountain Lake? Also, I'd back you in building a SW Virginia ski resort (spirtually back you that is, not financially). Check out this link for helping you locate your dream resort: http://friends.backcountry.net/snowmaps/
I personally like the Burkes Garden area. The mountain just to the east of town has a 4,700' peak and 90" of snow at the top.
I have a few things coming in the next few days in regards to Corridor H which I think everyone will be pleased with. I'll see if I can build suspense a little bit.
Thanks Roger and Murphy for the insight on skiing in Southern VA. I almost moved to thar area once, so I am curious about distances to ski resorts. Is Wintergreen worth a trip? They are obviously putting a lot of $ into new lifts and expansion terrain. Winterplace was mentioned but not Wintergreen. BTW, I always confuse these two resorts. One of them should change its name.
PS I second the recommendation on NC skiing. I've only been to Sugar but was impressed by the steep terrain on the upper mountain--quite challenging for this region...
Cool map! I just moved down here about two months ago, Murphy, so I don't ski anywhere at Mountain Lake yet. A couple of thoughts come to mind:
4WD up to golf course and ski there, or go until road stops being plowed and x-c road back to Wind Rock, where you can go east to Wind Rock/White Rock at 3800-4100 feet or west along Rocky Mountain Road to the Butt Mountain Lookout (@4200 feet) if you can ski that far. Probably a good overnight ski route!
2) drive up to White Rocks National Recreation Area and ski up the road from there to Wind Rocks, where you can repeat the latter half of the first description. White Rocks Campground is at 3000 feet and that valley is definitely cooler than New River Valley, plus the ridge you'd ski up faces north. Good snow hold back there, I'm guessing.
Do you have any suggestions for x-c up there?
John I'm torn between telling you all about how much you're missing and keeping this area as relatively secret as can be expected.
Yeah it's growing down here but man. Man! If we had a ski resort nearby I'd never leave; if all goes well I may not leave yet. We'll see.
Oh and regarding Burkes Garden: that'll never happen. That was where Vanderbilt wanted to build his estate and the locals wouldn't let him. Plus it's on the National Historic sites, so you'd have to build any ski resort facing away from the Garden-- eg southwest exposure on the higher ridges (where it would cross the AT) or southeast on the lower ridges. Neither direction is very good this far south. Check out Arnolds Knob on the VA/WV border or Potts Mountain, which has a couple of 3800 foot high points along it and very, very nice northwest facing slopes. Arnolds Knob is due north of Mountain Lake on your map-- Potts Mountain is too far north and west of the AT to make the map you sent, though it's still really cool! Thanks!
I guess I consider Wintergreen my home resort (45 minutes from Charlottesville) , so maybe I can say something about it. I think Wintergreen's main strength is its setting - The views of the blue ridge really do give you a feeling like you're in the mountains. As far as the skiing goes, I have heard people compare it to Whitetail (hard for me to say since I have never been to WT). There are a couple spots in the Highlands area of the resort that are somewhat steep, and (last year at least) they do let bumps form on one of the highlands slopes. It's possible with the "expanded terrain" they are claiming that there will be more bumps this year but we'll have to wait and see.
I would say it is worth a trip, if nothing else then at least to try another resort. Oh, but be forewarned that parking on the weekends is a real hassle - much of the space is reserved for property owners, so if you get there late you may be forced to park at the remote lot and take a shuttle - ugh!I'm planning on hitting the resort mostly during the week, during the sick days that I feel coming on
I suppose you could take interstate 81 to Wintergreen, but a scenic 3 hr trip from the DC area can be made by going west on 66, south on 29 at Warrenton, then west a short ways on 64. I used to ski Wintergreen once or twice every year for about a dozen years until I moved from Fredericksburg area to inside the beltway in 1999. It's a well run area with pretty big-time development high on the mountain, reminiscent of Snowshoe, but not as big. I can remember getting in some fun cruising there on weekdays or weekends late in season. Primo weekends in midwinter can be unpleasantly busy. The slopes are broken into a couple sections sort of like Whitetail, number of runs is comparable too. Wintergreen has a 1000' vertical, but only a few routes cover that whole drop and it doesn't ski as big as a place like Blue Knob with comparable vert. If you use Rt 29 to drive there, it presents the opportunity for a serious dining treat at the Bavarian Chef Restaurant near Madison, VA. It's been about 5 years now since my last visit, but this chef-owned restaurant is one of my all-time favorites. I was never disappointed in about 20 visits. A stop here was almost de rigueur whenever I went to Wintergreen or Massanutten. I also went out of my way to go there for special occasions/celebrations. I believe it is open Wed-Sun, with delicious entrees and wonderful vegetables served family style for groups of four or more. Dinner runs in the $15-20 range. If you take Rt. 33 to/from the D.C. area, it is directly on Rt. 29, south of Madison and a few miles north of the Rt 29 and Rt 33 intersection.
Sorry to go on the food jag, I must be hungry. Here's more I snagged off the web, sounds like prices have gone up. Fred is a classy guy, so's the owner/chef.
The Bavarian Chef (Shelby VA, south on US 29, about 4 miles south of Madison, just past Route 662.) It's open Wednesday through Saturday, 4:30-9:30, Sunday 11:30-9:30, closed Monday and Tuesday. 540-948-6505. The Bavarian Chef has fine dining including linen tablecloths, napkins, and fresh flowers. Wait staff are dressed in traditional Bavarian style. They serve standard German entrées such as Sauerbraten (slices of marinated roast beef with a raisin sauce) and Yäger Schnitzel (egg-batter breaded veal in a mushroom cream sauce) as well as continental specials from their European-trained chefs. German beers are on tap. Expect to pay $20 to $35 per person depending on your drink and dessert choices. If possible, ask to be served by Fred (Alfred Dolezal), originally from Vienna, and now with an art studio in Charlottesville.
I've never skied Wintergreen but I know several that have. They say the terrain is not much better than Winterplace with the exception of 1 nice run (maybe 2 this year). I'm sure a view of the blue ridge is much nicer than I77 though and the resort itself is probably much better. Still if you're doing a day trip, Winterplace is too convenient and if you're going to drive 2 hours, you can be at Snowshoe in one more hour.
I don't actually x-c ski so I couldn't give any suggestions other than I know there is a small underground culture of x-c skiers around here. I've heard them talking at Back Country. Something about skinning something I don't know. I was just curious what the snow was like atop Mountain lake in the winter. If you could make it to Wind Rocks, you could go for miles on the AT (probably not allowed).
Yea, I know that story about Burkes Garden, but I'm guessing there are probably a few more things keeping me from building a ski resort. But it would be ideal. A 360 degree bowl around a 3,000 ft base area with 1,700 ft of vert.
You could add Kelly's Knob and Poor Mountain to your list of potential sites. I believe Kelly's Knob is the peak that sticks out on the horizon abouve Brush Mountain to the east of Mountain Lake. Poor Mountain is the mountain between Blacksburg and Roanoke with about 50 antennas on top. I think the environmentalists have already given up on that one.
I'll take a look at Poor Mountain.
Oh, and about Wintergreen: no self respecting Hokie would ever touch something so close to Charlottesville.
Oh, and about Wintergreen: no self respecting Hokie would ever touch something so close to Charlottesville.
Ouch! I'm just recent transplant to the area and even I felt that!
Web surfing this morning, I saw some winter stats:
Solitude, Utah: eight inches of snow fell on Sept 20th (Solitude and Brighton are the CV of Utah, the little brothers next door to the big daddy (Snowshoe in our case) who get better snow and fewer folks).
Jackson, WY: here's a photo from the top of the tram as of 9/23/04: http://www.jacksonhole.com/today/photo_big.html
They got snow at Bachelor, too, but nothing posted there.
Looks like the west saw its first respectable snow this past week. On the one hand, its great news for us skiers, but man am I glad I wasn't shovelling eight inches of snow out of my driveway two days BEFORE the autumn equinox! Man...
Current temp in Champion PA is 34 at 2 am. Looking at the 10 day forecast this weekend will be hovering right around freezing. Seven Springs is a little higher up so its even colder up there. Looks like winter isn't to far away.
Even better news... It's 2:52am here in Wardensville at 1100' elevation and the temperature is hovering around 31*F, a far cry from the listed 41*F on any of the weather sites. Ok now i'm wondering why I don't have my own snowmaking system on the hill behind my house at least making 1 mogul.
You mentioned a week or so ago that you had some news on CH for the near future. Is today near future enuf or do you need to some more time?
I am getting really antsy waiting for the 1st runs of the season. Need some kind of info fix to keep me going! Good news on CH would help.
I'm waiting to hear back from WVDOT officials I had contacted but no one is getting back with me even after I dropped them a few reminding emails/voice mails. Soon my young ski jedi, soon.
We had a low this morning of 24 degrees here in Davis. Second time this fall under 25. Waiting for snow.
The daily obs report had the valley at 22 this morn..Thats got to be about as cold as it gets for this time of year!I wonder if it will be a white Halloween up there?
Not to drop off winter a notch but the weather here in Blacksburg has been insanely perfect for the last five days or so. Our lows have been 35-40 and highs of 70-75. You leave for school in the morning with a coat and light gloves (the kind you wear to an office) and come back in the afternoon with your t-shirt on. I just spent three hours doing homework down on the banks of the New River, eating dinner and having a beer with a buddy and his dog. As much as I love winter, sometimes I wonder... does it get any better than a Indian Summer October afternoon?
On more wintry news: the leaves are, I hear, peaking in the high elevations. Was going to go for a hike this weekend but that pesky tropical weather is moving in. Oh well; I've got way too much work to do anyway... hope it snows in CV in the next couple weeks!
Allright rogerz I wasn't going to sidetrack the winter optomisim..but since you brought it up..Its 73.7 air temp with a 77 degree surf temp at 7am down here in se NC...A little long boarding on some liquid snow this morn?
Oh yeah, shoot the messenger Murph.
Snow? Snow??? Well, it's supposed to drop to 33 here in B-burg by the end of the weekend, with rain in the air. It's entirely possible that in "southern snow country" there could be a nice little frosting... and for once I'd have to give some credit to accuweather.com. They were forecasting snow for the WV mountains around Oct 17th almost a week ago.