early season at Snowshoe
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7 users
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janej
September 20, 2004
Member since 09/20/2004 🔗
42 posts
hi,

Does any one have experience with early season at snowshoe? I am organizing a ski trip for a few family, mostly beginner and adv. beginner level. We'd like to book the Thanksgiving package.

Thanks,

Jane
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 20, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,935 posts
Snowshoe has not had a Thanksgiving opening since 2001. However, the year before that (2000), it opened with 31 trails.

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=577&mode=search

warren
September 21, 2004
Member since 07/31/2003 🔗
485 posts
Jane,
I have to agree with John. That early in the season is iffy at best. I've generally had much better luck with the Winter Kick-Off weekend. This year that's 12/10 - 12/12. Even with this weekend, I had to cancel one year when on 12/6 (my daughter's birthday) it was 70 degrees on the mountain with nothing but grass for coverage (not ususally the case at that point)
What do other folks here think, would Seven Spings, Wisp, etc further north be a safer bet for her?

-Warren-
snowcone
September 21, 2004
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Snowshoe = Thanksgiving = ski = NO! If you want to go up to just get away for the weekend, that's fine, but do not plan on skiing, the odds are heavily against it. Even out west at the biggie resorts (with the exception of places like Copper) the snow coverage is pretty sparse up until the 2nd week in December.

SS generally has a pretty liberal cancellation policy in effect up until the Christmas holidays. As I recall, it's a 48 hour cancellation option; after 3rd week in December that policy changes to 21 days. You can call reservations to verify. I think the policy is pretty good indication that the SS management think the pre-xmas snow options are pretty weak.

We have found that the third week in December at SS is generally the first weekend that everything is open, including Western Territories (expert runs), far Northern Tract and Silver Creek (beginner runs).

I think all of our local hills have similar problems for early season coverage. Seven Springs seems to be in an unofficial competition with SS to see who can get the most acreage open the earliest. Wisp does its own thing and seems to be first in coverage out of the smaller local hills. We haven't skied Canaan or Timberline so I don't have any early season experience on their slopes.
JR
September 21, 2004
Member since 01/1/2003 🔗
276 posts
I'm pretty sure I was up at Snowshoe 2 seasons ago ('02/'03) the day after Thanksgiving for about 4 slopes top to bottom. Nothing to brag about but nothing to sneeze at either when you haven't been on a board for months. While Wisp was open last year before Snowshoe, they had to close because of the weather and the only slope they had open was the football field sized bunny slope if memory serves correctly. They are generally about a week behind Snowshoe by the time they get a few real runs open. Canaan and Timberline are generally the last ones open. Timberline loves to put down some serious base before they open. I think Canaan usually beats them. I'm surprised someone hasn't invested in one of those Snow Magic machines that makes snow at 60 degrees so that they could get at least one slope open by a guaranteed date. Seems like if you could develop a reputation for having Thanksgiving skiing every year you could get people making a tradition out of it and make some serious cash. Especially since alot of people in WV have all week off to deer hunt.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 21, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,935 posts
I have to agree with Snowcone on skiing before the third week of December in this region. Timberline does not even try to compete for an early season opening. Instead, it generally opens on the third week of December, usually with 2-3 trails top to bottom. White Lightning is always first, followed by Salamander, followed by Dew Drop. Sally is a tough slope to cover so if temps are warm, it takes the resort a long time to get Sally finished and move equipment to other trails.

Snowshoe always works on the Basin first, then Silver Creek, and last but not least, Western Territory.

7 Springs focuses on Wagner and Stowe and then North Face Slope.

Your best bets for early season skiing are Snowshoe, 7 Springs, and Wisp--colder west of the Allegheny Front air + robust snowmaking = the best bet for early season action.

I went to 7 Springs on 9 December of last season and had a blast:

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=350&mode=headlines
janej
September 22, 2004
Member since 09/20/2004 🔗
42 posts
ok. It will be a no go for Thanksgiving. The refund policy is pretty good. But it would be too much hassle for a big group to rearrange. Now I am researching Christmas time. I will start another thread.
snowcone
September 22, 2004
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
FYI ... janej :

If you are looking into Snowshoe (or any local resort for that matter) for Christmas you might want to make your reservations earlier rather than later, especially with a large group. That way you have more of a choice of lodging; ie., better larger condos, adjacent rooms etc. Snowshoe is pretty much booked by mid November for the Christmas holidays.
warren
September 22, 2004
Member since 07/31/2003 🔗
485 posts
Snowcone,
Booked by mid-November? They have been taking reservations since early August. I'll bet many of the units are already booked

-Warren-
Cliff
September 22, 2004
Member since 09/21/2004 🔗
22 posts
I use to work at snowshoe so here is my experence 01/02 opened on DEC 10th 02/03 opened Nov 21st and got a foot of snow on thanksgiving 03/04 opening day was Dec 5th take it from me i use to live and work there all i can suggest is to keep your eye on there website
andy
September 22, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004 🔗
175 posts
Play the odds..SS will be open this thanksgiving.I remember a great thanksgiving there & they threw in a turkey dinner!They had huge mounds of snow that they could have groomed out but were waiting for a thaw.Look every winter there is the cold thaw cycle.If the cold part hits just before T-giving..your skiing.When i skied SS at T-giving it was at the end of a cold spell.It would have been better the week before.I think these highland ski areas could consistently open sooner weather wise just not moneywise
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