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Dear PoPville – Skiing Suggestions

by Prince Of Petworth — January 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm 89 Comments

Dear PoPville,

I was wondering if we could get a discussion going about skiing and living in DC. There are several ski mountains within two hours of DC and I would love to hear what PoPville thinks is the best montain for night skiing/ after work trips.

We had a general skiing discussion back in 2010 but does anyone have any specific suggestions for night skiing or after work trips?

  • dat

    The three closest – Whitetail, Libert, and Roundtop all have night skiing (until 10pm), but they are mediocre at best (even for an intermediate skiier). That said, Whitetail is probably the best.

    If you’re willing to go a little further, Snowshoe and Seven Springs are much better, but too far for an evening/after-work trip.

    • Anon

      I agree with this. Whitetail is ok if you’re learning and want to get some practice in, but otherwise not worth it. Better to save up and go out west.

      • Sad to say, there are no good options for skiing around here. Vermont & Maine can be good, but you’re right – Go west young man (or woman).

        • Anonymous

          I wouldn’t ski around here if it was free. It’s just not worth the time – for me. If you are with some fun people who all aren’t very good skiers you can have a good time – but not because of the skiing. When you do factor in the costs it’s really not worth it. 20 seconds of skiing and 40 minutes of waiting / lift rides. Vermont has some worthwhile mountains if you get good conditions but your best bet is to spend a little more and go out west for anyone intermediate on up.

    • que

      So, if making the 3+ hour drive (a hell of a lot closer than VT) which is best? Seven Springs, Wintergreen, Snowshoe, ?

      • Anonymous

        They are all terrible if you are a half way decent skier/rider. The runs are short, the lift lines are long, and terrain is intermediate at best. As others have said, save up and make the trek out west or north to Vermont (though Vermont has long lift lines, is freezing cold, and can be icy)

        • que

          I’m well aware that east coast skiing sucks, but after making the trek to Stratton and Smuggler’s Notch the last few years and finding it to be hardly worth the time/cost, I’m curious to know which of our close-by options can least meet my need to get on skis once this season when a trip out west isn’t possible.

          • dat

            I like Seven Springs for a weekend trip. We go there once or twice with my group of friends and rent a ski-in/out condo for a reasonable price.

          • Anonymous

            Snowshoe is 4.5-5 hours away (longer if there is a storm). It is hardly worth the time or cost either. If your only goal is to get on a mountain, go to Whitetail and save yourself the time and cost (in lodging). Snowshoe is not worth the drive.

          • Jack

            WISP in Deep Creek Lake, MD

            very easy 3 hour drive, quality skiing for East Coast standards. Comparable to 7 Springs, but easier to get to in my opinion. I am from Pitt and have gone to both all my life there and since living here.

  • Anonymous

    My wife doesn’t ski. I need a ski partner. Anyone want to join me for a trip to Tahoe, my treat! 😉 Dat has got it right. The closeby ones are hardly worth it, the run is over before it begins, they are so short.

    • I’ll be in Tahoe for a week in two weeks! Can’t wait!

    • That Man A

      If you are sending me out there let me know where to sign up…

      • Tobin

        Ditto to that! On related note, perhaps we could get together a ski group on here? I don’t have any friends around here who ski 🙁

  • Anonymous

    Timberline and Cannan in WV are also tons of fun. Great small town feel and local bars. Snowshoe is a bit too far and owned by Intrawest (chain resort)

    • Anonymous

      As a CA transplant, I definitely agree that the brest closest option is Canaan Valley in WV. They have 2 downhill resorts to hit up- Timberline and the state park, and 1 xc place- White Grass which has excellent tracks and trails, and great food and hippy atmosphere. You can also xc in the state park. If you are staying there you can head out to the b&B the Fiddler’s Roost and stay there and catch some jug bands at night next door at the Purple Fiddle (also a cafe). The towns of Davis and Thomas are also fun to kick around. And if you haven’t been out to the Dolly Sods for backpacking, you are truly missing out. God’s country- West- by-God Virginia!

    • Anonymous

      I went to Cannan once and it was fun. You have to take advantage of the other activities the area has to offer (ice skating, sledding, local bars) because the skiing gets boring fast, but it’s a decent enough place for a weekend winter trip.

    • Anonymous

      The trip up to Canaan Valley keeps getting faster, as well. They’re building a new superhighway (U.S. Route 48) across eastern WV, so it’s smooth sailing most of the way!

  • On a related note, do any of these places offer snowshoeing or cross country skiing?
    I have a fear of careening down mountains.

    • White Grass XC in Davis, WVA. It’s fantastic.

    • xcbb

      Liberty/Whitetail/Roundtop don’t have XC or snowshoe. Wisp does, places out in WV probably do too, but nowhere close enough for a quick trip. I looked into it last year after doing XC in Colorado and was pretty disappointed.

    • k

      If you go down the road from Timberline, you can go cross-country skiing at White Grass in Canaan. It’s pretty good!

  • dcskibunny

    I highly recommend Wisp for the combination of quality, smaller crowds, and distance that make it the best option for me. It’s nowhere near as big as Snowshoe, but for short trips I’ve enjoyed it so much more than Whitetail or Liberty. The way I see it, the extra time you spend driving to Wisp would be time you would spend in the lift line at a crowded place like Whitetail. Also, Wisp has good food that’s a normal price that you would pay at a regular cafeteria and not the ridiculous prices of Whitetail.

    • Meeek

      I actually went to Wisp recently for the first time and was quite disappointed. Spent majority of the time in the lifts and not enough skiing. The slopes were short and not very exciting.

  • WST

    I’ve been to most in the area and my preference is Whitetail for the simple reason that they have a bump run. Every other resort in the area is afraid of moguls. They also have a decent terrain park if that’s your thing. I usually go 2-3 days around here each Winter and then save up for a few trips out West.

    • mili

      Not true, Snarky. I was at Liberty on Saturday and saw 2 mogul runs under lift #9, short but bumpy. As for the overall quality, there aren’t many runs, but they’re fun and the snow was pretty great!

  • Snarky

    The lowdown on Liberty: The one major advantage that it has over all the other ski hills (let’s call them what they are – they ain’t resorts and they ain’t mountains), is that it’s close. How close? About 1hr from the 270 split on the Beltway to parking the car near the slope. The backside of the hill is usually better in terms of less crowds and marginally more interesting (albeit very short) runs. Plan to go on a weekday if you can to keep costs and lines down. If you go with any expectations beyond the basics you will be disappointed, however if you just want to go downhill on snow (or fake snow) it should fit the bill.

  • Anon X

    I think this whole “there’s no good skiing around here” or even worse nowhere on the east coast is ridiculous. If you’re a very serious expert skier its probably valid, but if you’re just looking to have some fun and are a once in a while hobbyist, even if you’ve been doing it for some time, there will be places that you will enjoy for what they are.

    I get sick of people, of dubious skiing background, perpetuating the meme that the skiing around here is not worth going to and you should just “save up” and go out west. Thats a great strategy, but if you have to save up to do it, you’re basically saying 1 time going to Breckenridge or Whistler is equivalent to 5-7 times going to Snowshoe. I just dont think thats valid.

    if you have the means to make it to Breckenridge from the East Coast whenever you want to get away for a few days, fine – but if you just want to ski, find a place around here that you like and fits your style/experience and just go for it. We’re not training for the olympics, we’re just trynig to have fun.

    I’m far from an expert skier, but many of my friends who are far more serious than I about the sport agree with this advice and we’ve talked about it numerous times.

    Going to Whitetail for an overnight or Snowshoe for a long weekend isnt comparable to Whistler… but, on the otherhand, there’s a lot to like about going to snowshoe too.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think it’s necessary to go West, but I do think the options for day trips near DC are pretty terrible.

    • Anonymous

      First off, going to Breck (or somewhere else out west) for one trip is better than going to Snowshoe 6-7 times. Second, if you are going to Snowshoe 6-7 times, you can def. afford a trip out west. A weekend lift ticket at Snowshoe is $84/day this year, which is basically the same cost as going out west on much better mountains. The cost of lodging will be roughly the same too. So essentially the cost differential comes down to driving to WV v. flying to CO/UT/CA. With gas prices, you are prob looking at $100+ in gas, so why not spend ~$250 more and get a flight west. The flight will take you about the same amount of time as it takes you to drive to WV.

      • Anonymous

        More like $50 in gas, unless you have some enormous gas-guzzler of a vehicle. I do 3-hour weekend trips to visit family all the time and it’s around $45 in gas.

        • Anonymous

          If a 3 hour trip (6 hours round trip?) costs $45, how would a 5 hour trip (10 hours round trip) cost only $50? Doesn’t really matter anyway. Say it costs only $50 to drive round trip to Snowshow. You can fly from DC to CO for $300 so the difference is still ~$250. If you are a beginner and want to ski green circles, sure, stay around here and pocket that 250, but if you are an intermediate or expert, having no lift lines (getting twice as much time actually skiing), long runs, smaller crowds on the slopes, etc. is well worth the $250. Oh, and I didn’t even mention how much better it is to ski/ride in waist deep powder than icy groomers.

          • Anonymous

            I was going by what someone above said about it being 3 hours away. If it really is 5, then yeah, it’ll be more than a $50 round trip, but $100 is still an exaggeration.

          • Anon X

            you still have to pay for gas (plus a rental car). I’m unaware of a ski-in/ski-out airport in Colorado. or California, for that matter.

      • ah

        That’s how I look at it as well. I think lodging and lifts are a bit more, but not so much as to be significant (<20%).

        That said, airfare, car rental, and time are not insignificant nor is a trip to Colorado for some night skiing.

        I just wouldn't put most of my skiing budget towards trips to local hills.

      • xcbb

        Also you can ski for free the same day as your boarding pass in at a few resorts in Park City. You have to register on their website first and it’s only good certain dates. As far as I know they’ve done this the last few years.

      • Anon5

        Snowshoe is 225 miles from the District. My car will go more than 45 miles on a gallon of diesel fuel, which costs about $4. Ergo it would take almost exactly 5 gallons of fuel to get down there, and 5 to get back. Total roundtrip cost = $40.

      • Anon X

        My math on 6-7 times was because airfare and rental car would more than pay for several trips to any of the local places.

        The point of what I was saying is: for many people, going out west is a once in a while luxury – not even a once a year thing. Some people dont ski at a level that they would enjoy the extra benefits of being out west. Combine these two things and there’s no reason for skiing snobs to look down on local options for what they are. We dont have as good of white water rafting, sky diving, chocolate, coffee, tex mex, or pizza either. However, do you always go to Seattle when you want a cup of coffee?

        The problem with this blog is that whenever someone asks “whats the best in the DC area?” the conversation immediately turns to “The DC area sucks you have to go thousands of miles away to do it right”. Well, asshole, that wasnt the question, but thanks for the superfluous information.

        Long story short: if you want to go for a 2-3 day weekend go to Whitetail. if you want to go to a 3-4 day weekend go to Snowshoe. If you want to spend a ton of money and more time and get far superior skiing (and a far superior resort experience) go to any number of places out west. Or better yet, go to Switzerland or Austria.

        • AK

          Hahaha, like how the first response to the “best Chinese food in DC” query is a restaurant in China?

          I agree with you and would add that time off work is another big factor. It’s really easy for my friends and me to plan a couple of day trips a year up to a local mountain, much easier than it would be to arrange a trip out west for which everyone would need to coordinate time off work.

        • Anonymous

          It’s pretty typical. Everybody in DC wants you to believe that they’re a subject matter expert on everything, and that every place you’ve never been to is far better than here.

    • – California is wonderful, you can go to the beach in the morning and ski in the afternoon.

      – Sounds tiring.

      Thanks to Basil Fawlty

    • Anonymous

      “I think this whole “there’s no good skiing around here” or even worse nowhere on the east coast is ridiculous. If you’re a very serious expert skier its probably valid, but if you’re just looking to have some fun and are a once in a while hobbyist”

      Anyone that has skied more than like twice in their life will probably get very bored very quickly skiing the hills of the eastern seaboard. Novices might have fun.

      • Anonymous

        Eastern seaboard is a bit too broad. Definitely the mid-atlantic. I am an advocate of skiing out west, but the mountains in Vermont are big and have very technical terrain. Double blacks at Stowe will keep the most advanced skier entertained. The downside is they are cold, icy (though powder can be found in the woods), and often have longer lift lines.

    • Anonymous

      My problem with most east coast skiing is less the level of challenge (which can be an issue depending on your skill and experience level) than the lack of quality natural powder. I know some west coast spots are struggling this year with powder, but you really can’t compare Rockies snow with anything on the east coast. I like Killington, VT and it has plenty of challenge and generally good natural snow, but it’s not the same as Vail or Park City.

      That said, I’m nostalgic for Seven Springs and Hidden Valley because I learned there and skied them a lot in my youth. I wouldn’t kid myself into thinking it’s great skiing, but it can be fun, and I’ll probably introduce my kids to skiing or snow boarding in the Laurel Mountains.

      • Anon5

        Snowshoe averages 180 inches of snow per year at the summit of their 4,848- foot peak.

        Killington averages 250 inches of snow per year at the summit of their 4,241-foot peak.

        That’s not exactly a huge difference.

        • Anonymous

          Killington has a vertical drop of over 3000 ft and 141 trails. Snowshoe has a vertical drop of 1,500 (and that is only on the 2-3 trails on the backside) and 60 trails…that is a huge difference. Clearly, you have never been skiing on a real mountain.

          • Anon5

            I’ve been to Jackson Hole twice, Breck twice, Killington twice, Park City, The Canyons, Whitetail, Snowsnoe, Liberty, Roundtop, and Snow Summit. Jackson Hole is by far the best of all the resorts I’ve visited.

            Killington has a much larger overall vertical than Snowshoe, because only because it is comprised of several different hills. Killington actually lacks any really huge hills.

            The K-1 Killington Lodge is at 2,500 feet; Killington Peak is at 4,241 feet for a max potential vertical of just 1,741.

            The greatest gain in elevation of any single chairlift at Killington is 1642 feet. That is the gondola which runs from the K-1 lodge to Killington Peak.

            Jackson Hole has a continuous vertical of 4,139 feet.

      • TMD

        Anonymous: East coast skiing makes you burly, powder makes you soft.

    • anon

      it sounds like you’re mad at reality. that’s not really worth being mad at.

  • That Man A

    Yea, pretty much everyone summed it up…

    i typically take a trip to white tail or liberty once a week after work for a little night run

  • Anony

    The Poconos make a nice weekend trip.

    Camelback is only around 4 hours away.

    • Anonymous

      Yes to this. I grew up near the Poconos, and they’re a million times better than these other places people are suggesting.

    • Anonymous


      • primate erotica


  • Anonymous

    Save your money and go to the Rockies later. That’s my advice.

  • lolabolt

    When conditions are favorable, I really really really LOVE Blue Knob. It is mad small, but when there’s natural snow, there are lots of fun runs. When there’s not natural snow, and you’re left to the runs that have snowmakers, it’s kind of whack.

    • kwest

      Blue Knob is a great little ski area – some of the toughest terrain in the mid-Atlantic. Only 1000 ft vertical, but that’s longer than most places. It’s a no frills place for people who like to ski. 3 hours one way – I used to do it in a day trip from DC, but it’s a stretch.

    • randomduck

      Agreed on Blue Knob: when natural snow is plentiful, it’s a wonderfully challenging, mid-size mountain, with a lot of glades and natural features to keep skilled skiers satisfied.

      Otherwise, for a true after-work fix, Liberty or Whitetail work just fine. For a weekend, look to Snowshoe, the Canaan Valley, Wisp or Seven Springs – and to New England if you can fly somewhere.

      I grew up in Utah, so I was spoiled for big mountains and plentiful snow. These days, I’ve come to respect the fact that there is ANY skiing within a couple hours of DC. Yes, big mountains are great, but the challenge is what you make of it.

  • Anonymous

    This thread is making me sad. I’ve only skiied once (in the Poconos) since I moved to DC seven years ago and was wondering if I should give the local places a chance. I guess I’m not alone in believing there is no place to take a day trip from here that’s worth the trouble.

    • AK

      No, don’t be sad! You should still go! My friends range from first-timers to former racers and instructors, and they’ve all had fun at Liberty, Whitetail and Roundtop. Will you be disappointed if you’re expecting Colorado-style verticals and powder? Yep. Are the people claiming they can’t possibly wring a bit of enjoyment out of a few hours on a local mountain overly dramatic fun-killers? Yep.

  • So I know this is sort of off topic, but skiing related:

    After skiing for some 20+ years on the East Coast my wife and I are heading to Salt Lake City over Valentine’s for four days of skiing for my first trip west! We are staying in the city and haven’t picked any mountains yet. Neither of us board and I’ve heard Alta is great. Any other suggestions?

    • Rob

      There are no bad choices out there. The best thing is that sometimes snow dumps on alta/snowbird and other times on solitude/powder mnt and other times on the Canyons/PCMR/Deer Valley. Depends on what you like.. Canyons is HUGE (read: wide) so it has tons of varied terrain and it’s big plus is that if you and your wife are different levels, most lifts drop you off where they are a ton of different level ways down to the same lift base. Alta isn’t as friendly to mixed.

    • Anonymous

      Seconding the recommendation for Canyons. I tore up my ankle there and everyone from the ski patrol to the conceirge was SO NICE and concerned. And because I did it before noon, I got half the price of my lift ticket back. Just be careful because the drive down the mountain into SLC can be pretty hairy if it’s snowing.

    • Hi Honey! Funny you commented – I was going to ask for advice about Utah ski places too 🙂 Looking forward to spending our 8th year together on the slopes! Anyways, I agree the snow hills aren’t the greatest in this area but if you have a good attitude you will have a good time! I am a big fan of Wintergreen, VA which is about three hours away.

    • Anon

      I’m a snowboarder so haven’t been to Alta, but Snowbird is fantastic and so are PCMR and the Canyons. Brighton and Solitude are good as well. You can get discount lift tickets at the ski shops in Salt Lake — try Canyon Sports or Utah Ski & Golf.

    • utskier

      Obidly, congrats on getting out to the Wasatch to ski. You’ll have fun no matter where you go. That said, I grew up at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta and Snowbird’s canyon), and have skied many 60+ day years up and down the wasatch range, and would be happy to share some long-winded opinions 🙂

      Where to ski while there for your absolute best experience depends on a few things: your ability; whether you care about great lodges/food/amenities; what kind of skiing you like; and your tolerance for crowds.

      My favorite resort is Snowbird (I used to work there, so I’m also biased). it is in my opinion the best balance of terrain, amenities, crowds, etc. The tram will get very crowded on good days, but you can almost always find a lift with short-ish lines. If it’s a sunny day and you’re an intermediate skier, you can spend all day back in Mineral Basin and have run after run of smiles. If you’re an advanced skier, go play on Gad II where you’ll always be able to find pockets of powder, good tree skiing and bumps, if that’s your thing.

      Alta (pronounced with a short “a,” not an “aw.” This is the Utah skier’s out-of-towner pet peeve equivalent of standing on the left of a DC escalator) is classic but I think overrated. There is great terrain and after a good dump it always has amazing snow, but it is crowded with a bunch of lifer season pass holders that know all the best runs and good snow doesn’t last long at all. And if you don’t know where the good runs are and aren’t willing to get in the lift line at 6:30 on a powder day, it’s going to be tracked out before you get there.

      If you’re more interested in the pampered skiing, groomed runs, great food, etc, you cannot do better than Deer Valley (Park City comes in second). I’ve skied in a lot of places in a lot of conditions and never found a better place to spend a day skiing groomers and then have a great meal. It is as relaxing as a day of skiing can be.

      If what you’re really after is as much skiing as possible, I cannot recommend Snowbasin, Solitude, and Sundance enough (in that order). The amenities are lacking, though Snowbasin has beautiful lodges, but the terrain is great, the snow is usually good, and the crowds are tiny. At Snowbasin, even on a blue-bird powder day, you can often ski right onto a lift. These are the resorts that feel like locals’ places. Here it’s about the skiing, not the apres-ski.

      But like I said at the start of this I’m-clearly-bored comment, you’ll have fun anywhere. And to go slightly back on-topic on the off chance the OP reads this, I’ve skiied around here a bit too (Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, and Snowshoe). While I laugh everytime I pull into the parking lots at how tiny the hills are and how bad the snow usually is, I’ve had a blast at each of them. Because: skiing.

  • dk

    I invite all of you to please save up and head to colorado, I’ll take up the extra space at Whitetail. I am pretty new to snowboarding but travel with skiiers/snowboarder of extremely varied levels (college ski team to first timers) and Whitetail has been SO FUN. Granted with more time and money, vermont was even more fun and EVEN more time and money colorado is a fantastic getaway, but for taking a day trip to whitetail and paying half the lift prices of colorado, i dig it. Last season no where was good, but last weekend saturday I had a blast at Whitetail. (Downside, dry resort, bring a flask)

  • I always hated 7 Springs. I always found night skiing there to be pretty icy. If we are just talking locally, I would say stay awy from the 3 nearby and go a little further… either hidden valley, blue knob or snow shoe.

    We tend to just go out west for a week with a bunch of people which helps keep the cost down and is usually gives me enough of a ski fix. Perhaps PoP should help organize one 🙂

  • jburka

    It’s just adorable to see all the people slagging off the local options and telling the OP to head west. Not everyone can do that. And even if they can, there’s nothing wrong with getting in a couple of days locally for practice or for fun. I go west for a week or two every season, and consider myself an expert skier (double blacks, trees, etc.) but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my trips to Whitetail or even Liberty. It may be cliche, but it’s a hell of a lot more fun to be skiing there than it is to be sitting at my computer at work!

    Of the three closest, Whitetail is the best and actually has a half-way decently vertical (a little shy of 1000′. Yes, I’d rather have a 4k vertical. I can live with this, though.) Liberty’s not bad. Roundtop is pretty shallow, which is also the issue with Wisp. If I’m going any farther though, without heading west, I’d just as soon take the time and effort to hit Killington. The Beast of the East can be killer when the snow’s good.

    • Anonymous

      generally agree about staying sharp . If nothing else, local options will prepare you for lesser conditions elsewhere. As much as I like Killington too, the snow is just not as glassy and soft as Rocky Mountain snow. It can also be miserably cold

  • Anon

    Blue Knob up in PA is prolly the most “Advanced friendly” resort nearby.. My group of friends goes out west every year to ski and the only local mountain we hit up to tune up for that is Blue Knob.. still short runs/slow lifts.. but it actually has some semi-steep/tight lines that make it worth it.. plus it’s an old school “bring a lunch” type place that makes you feel like you went back in time.

  • sanmerauldon

    Colorado, Utah, and Vermont don’t qualify as “within two hours of DC” so STFU about them.

    • Anonymous

      Neither is Snowshoe, Seven Springs, Wintergreen, Wisp, or anywhere in the poconos, but you don’t seem to have a problem with people talking about them. The options within 2 hours are pretty limited.

    • lol

  • shipdoggg

    Hit up Whitetail/Liberty if you’re looking to just get some time on the slopes for an evening or day trip. 7 Springs is the best for a closer wknd trip. It has the best park features “The Streets” than the rest. Wisp has a decent park as well.

    MidAtlantic skiing is about warming up for bigger mountains, getting some turns, or having fun with friends and partying in a house/condo. It’s what you make of it.

    Head west if you want to push yourself, get more vert, better snow, or variable terrain. Mt Baker is off the hook right now!!! Revelstoke and the rest of the PNW as well.

    Every fall check out the latest ski films hosted by DC Adventure Films on Facebook to get you pumped for the winter.

  • Anon5

    Here’s the bottom line:

    The best ski area within 2 hours of the District is Whitetail. They have the biggest vertical and fastest chairs of the three ‘local’ mountains.

    Liberty is a smaller hill with some VERY slow lifts, but it’s a fine place to learn.

    The only other place I would recommend on the East Coast is Snowshoe.
    My reasons are as follows:

    Snowshoe has a peak elevation of 4,848 feet, higher than any other ski area east of the Mississippi. They receive 180 inches of natural snow per year, which is the same as Stratton, VT. The terrain is pretty good, especially Cupp Run (designed by Tommy Moe). Furthermore I like Snowshoe because it is a reasonable drive from the District and it is relatively inexpensive and unpretentious.

    Personally I would avoid New England altogether, mostly due to the weather and snow conditions, which always seem to suck. Also, it’s a long drive to get up there, and the resorts are full of New Yorkers.

    • Anonymous

      Beech Mt. in NC has an elevation of over 5,500 feet. Not suggesting anyone go there, but I do believe that is the highest on the east coast.

  • Kerry

    My boyfriend and I are taking a trip in February. Neither of us have ever skied before so I’m pretty excited/nervous. We were thinking of going to Wintergreen Resort in VA. Anyone have any experience with this place?

  • Carrie

    OP, in case you weren’t clear, everyone else on this thread is a total badass.

    Assuming you’re one of us mere mortals who can still enjoy yourself if you’re not being chased down a double black by an avalanche, the local mountains are a great, convenient place to enjoy skiing. I like both Whitetail and Liberty. As previously stated, they’re close, and Whitetail has a decent vertical. They both have nice facilities (fast lifts, good snowmaking). Whitetail has more challenging, steeper terrain, and I’ve generally found better conditions at Liberty. Aim for weeknights or mornings and the crowds aren’t bad.

    FWIW, the longest lift lines I’ve ever encountered (1 hour plus) were at Snowshoe, and Whitetail has a similar vertical drop to most of PA with better snowmaking.

  • nolan

    This is my first season down here, moved from Boston. I grew up in New England, and have been skiing/riding the east all my life as well as taking trips out west. I know big mtns and big hills, and there’s one bottom line: unless you’re practicing on a race team or are a novice to intermediate, the places to ski within 3 hours of DC will bore you within an hour. There are so many people on this thread that are hung up on pride, either for the mid Atlantic or the west. It’s really is simple; if you are above an intermediate and don’t want to waste your money, then take weekend trips north or extended trips west. Swallow the cost gracefully because you chose to live in the mid-atlantic. Paying to ski/ride a hill for an experienced skier/rider is just a waste of money, in my opinion. I mean, did anyone move to DC thinking they’d be able to saciate their skiing/riding appetite weekly?

  • Asti

    Although farther totally worth it, as Snowshoe has the best skiing in this area. They get more snow, higher elevation, you can ski from December until sometimes April and you can not beat the convenience of ski in/ski out essentially from every property located at Snowshoe. And if you like the apres ski aspect, you got it here. Don’t forget they are building that highway and although only halfway completed, it has already taken about 40 minutes off the trip. So hopefully once complete that would be another 40 minutes and then for sure no more than 4 hours to get to Snowshoe. What takes so long is the mountain roads you take and if you get behind a slow driver, your driving time with rack up. We are actually heading there this weekend and as always very excited. We have a condo there, so if anyone is interested in renting, let me know!

    • Anonymous

      I’m interested in renting…

    • Tobin

      I’m interested in renting. Can you provide details or a website?

    • yes, please give more renting info. thanks! available Feb 14-17?

    • Asti

      If interested in renting, you may contact me at Astrid4158 at gmail dot com

  • Anon

    I had provided some information earlier in this thread about the Quick Start program in Park City and where to get discount lift tickets in SLC, but I didn’t think it was appropriate to mention here that I have a condo in Park City that I rent out. Now that I see the post about the condo in Snowshoe, I figure why not throw it out there. If anyone is interested, maybe PoP could put us in touch.

  • WDM

    Snowshoe, snowshoe, snowshoe! I was up there the last week of December. I’ve been to most area mtns, including 7 Springs and all those other “ski resort destinations” that are all but jokes for anyone that’s ever been skiing before. Snowshoe has consistently good conditions and they were great and had lots open when I was there. Even Western Territory was open, which is their most demanding section and usually won’t open until later in the season. Travel up can be harrowing, BE PREPARED. That said, don’t let that dissuade you from visiting. If snowing or rainy take your time and they do a good job of road maintenance. Windy one lande roads lead you from VA into WVA after you get off 81 but plenty of places to pass those slower cars. Cell service gets spotty! ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU GET OFF 81 and then is lost completely unless you have at&t and that only works in certain points on the mtn. PRINT OUT DIRECTIONS there and back so you are not dependent upon Cell Towers/DATA…Its not a sketchy drive, but it could absolutely become one in the blink of an eye should you underestimate the route. (cue deliverance music). 4WD is preferred but I took a camry up there no problem. 4-5 hrs from the DMV with no traffic. 4 if you’ve been there before….and miss traffic heading west. If you like skiing or boarding and don’t want to buy a plane ticket, this is your best bet for sure I’m no spokesman but this mtn has provided my friends and I with countless great boarding adventures and if you want to maximize you riding and experience, do Snowshoe WV.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for including the obligatory “cue the Deliverance music” reference when referring to West Virginia. If you knew anything about the area to which you’re referring, you’d realize that those particular stereotypes don’t even make sense, but since you clearly don’t, I’ll just point out that it’s fucking offensive.

      As to the original question, Snowshoe is fine, but it is somewhat expensive for what it is. The drive is closer to 4 hours but once you get past Seneca Rocks, the roads can get a little dicey depending on the weather. My recommendation would be Canaan Valley. It’s closer (3 hours with the new section of highway in place) and far cheaper (around $30 for a lift ticket). In addition, Davis/Thomas is a really wonderful little area with some great local restaurants and bars. The Purple Fiddle is one of my all-time favorite bars and Mountain State Brewing Company has solid food and local beer. But if you do enjoy it, keep it to yourself and just comment on how nice West Virginia is. Otherwise, we’ll soon be overrun with assholes who still think that their Deliverance joke is somehow still culturally relevant and hilarious.


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