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Given all the snow, Has Anyone Gone Skiing?

by Prince Of Petworth February 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm 19 Comments


It was right after the 1988 Calgary Olympics that I first tried skiing and fell in love with it. So given the great Vancouver Olympics and all the snowfall we’ve received where is the best place near DC to go skiing? A friend of mine went to Whitetail about 1.5 hours from DC (you can get directions here.) She writes:

“The skiing was great, all groomed trails, some icy spots, but then it started to snow!! Not the top, but near the best conditions/snow I’ve skied in this area. Had there been less, or no ice, I would have said this was the best conditions. Got a bit pricier in the past few years tho… $59 for 8 hour pass. We all had our own skis.”

Anyone have any recommendations for the best local skiing options?

  • cookietime420

    Had some friends go to whitegrass cross-country place in wva. I might go this weekend. They said it was the best skiing they’ve ever done, and that includes skiing out west. It’s 4+ hours away though….

  • Mal

    I always go up to Blue Mountain (www.skibluemt.com) in Danielsville, PA. Definitely a hike from here, but I grew up about 15 minutes from Blue, so it’s my go to mountain. Blue’s pretty decent, and it has a vertical of 1,082 ft. FWIW, I just started snowboarding in the past two years.

    I’m definitely thinking of trying out Whitetail in the near future though, I’ve heard it’s one of the better ones around.

  • Hank

    headed to Snowshoe tonight… its worth the drive. Its in WV and its set up great. Snowshoe is owend by the same company as Whistler in BC. Intrawest. They have dumped alot of money up there. Its gonna be a good time.

  • Fig Newton

    we’re headed to Wintergreen this weekend. Hope it will be my best east coast skiing experience.

  • Snowshoe is probably the best skiing on the east coast, but Canaan Valley and Timberline in WV are closer and not as crowded.

  • Favorite spot harkens back to the last blizzard when we broke into the National Zoo to sled down the hill behind the tigers’ lair. We didn’t get far, and rangers lacked a sense of humor, but it stays with me.

  • Rob

    I realize this is horribly snobby, but they could have 20 feet of snow and it still wouldn’t be worth it. There is nothing challenging and the runs last about 45 seconds.

    • Ah

      I don’t think you’ll find anyone claiming the area ski hills compare to Colorado, Utah, or even Vermont, but you can’t exactly (or affordably) take day trips to those places.

    • lynzele

      Irony. I was in Colorado at Winter Park during our latest storm. My flight back to DC was canceled twice and I ended up having to stay in Denver an extra 3 days. Many of the Colorado hills are suffering from below average snow. There were icy spots on the hill and in one or two places I saw particles of grass poping to the surface…sadly, neither CO or DC is happy with their snow or lack there of this winter.

  • Matt

    It was crazy, but a friend and I went skiing in Rock Creek Park… downhill skiing. Granted, it’s not Utah or even White Tail, but I skied there from my house during the storm. We used touring skis (optional free-heal/fixed heal) and had a blast. There are some great drops near Ross Drive and near the Rockefeller house dropping down to Beach Drive. With this much snow, it’s still possible to get some decent turns in. It’s free and local. I made a video and posted on YouTube, not sure if the link will come through, but: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC_m8WmA8SQ

  • Anonymous

    http://www.whitegrass.com, great cross country ski area near Davis, WV. They are getting an epic amount of snow this year, over 200 inches already. No one ever regrets taking a weekend trip there. Whitegrass is an experience in itself. but Timberline and Canaan Valley Resort are located close by if you wanted to downhill ski as well.

  • MK

    Rock Creek Park down the entrance off of 16th Street by the Carter Baron and also Ridge Road and Ross Drive heading to Beach Drive have some steep dropoffs past the riding stables and the nature center. It’s nothing to real skiers but to a chicken like myself it was steep enough.

  • Anonymous

    Well, in another life, my better half and I were instructors/guides/coaches out west where it is rowdy in a way that could never be comparable to what’s around here. We recently got some good input from this site on our real estate decision. So … whitetail is pretty decent for what it is. We briefly worked for Liberty, owned by the same group. Liberty has the better ski school. Either one is probably worth a trip for night skiing from the district, but they are both overpriced and their employees are criminally underpaid.

    Whitegrass is fun if you are proficient in backcountry travel and comfortable skiing in all conditions.

    Snowshoe is, of course, owned by Intrawest. It is NOT the best skiing on the east coast by a long shot. Intrawest is notorious for McMansion type condo development. They dump money into the terrain park and snowmaking, but their real estate ideas could easily be nauseating to many of the people on this blog.

    • Richard Liquor

      We’re talking about the actual skiing experience, not the stupid ass real estate. If that’s how you judge Snowshoe, then no, it probably doesn’t have the nicest McMansions on the east coast.

  • JL

    Compared to whitetail and timberline and Canaan…. Snowshoe is by far the best in the mid-atlantic. Yep, it’s almost five hours away. But worth it.

    I also made it there for the last blizzard. 30 inches of fresh powder helps, but the size and variety of snowshoe kicks ass.

  • I’m surprised no one mentioned Ski Roundtop between York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. the best thing about it is you can easily drop by Baltimore (Fells Point or Federal Hill) on the way back for dinner.

  • Anonymous

    Hidden Valley, PA. 3 hour drive. Decent lift lines. Not as many non-ski activities and not as many runs as Seven Springs which is a short drive away, but the smaller crowds and better snow quality is 100% worth it.

  • chrisnhamp

    I second the Whitegrass cross country ski recommendation in Canaan Valley, WV. We were there during the last snow storm. It’s not that far away, and there is tons of snow up there. Also, the cafe is really great, so you won’t go hungry.

  • spookiness

    It’s kind of a dump, but I like Blue Knob. It’s the “anti-Intrawest” kind of place. Last time I went they had a $25 all-day special on Tuesdays!

    Rustic, dilapidated, a non-DC crowd kind of place.


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