SPRING SKIING AT SNOWSHOE

 

 

I kept receiving news about all the new snow falling at Snowshoe in West Virginia. Springtime is one of my favorite times to ski, so I packed up my car and headed to the wilds of West Virginia. When I checked the directions on their web site, I noticed that they had changed. They were now directing people to use a new route that takes advantage of the new highway that the State was building to replace the old Rt. 55.They are building the new sections of Rt. 55 along the mountain ridges and are eliminating the really ‘hairy” switch-back sections by bridging the valleys. This route is not only quicker but the view is spectacular. They are turning this double black diamond road into a mellow blue.

Accommodations
I arrived and was delighted by my accommodations. They had arranged for me to stay at the new Seneca Lodge which is centrally located, has underground parking and is very nice. My studio condo had cooking facilities and big fireplace. After checking in, I dined on some really fine grilled tuna at the Foxfire Grill, had a couple of drinks and then headed to bed so I would be fully rested for a great day of skiing.

Skiing
The next day, I was up early and on the slopes. The conditions were really great. They had groomed the spring snow overnight so the snow was fast and the corduroy firm. I was skiing on my Volkl 724 Pros and they were the perfect skis for the conditions that I found that day. These are an all-mountain ski that perform well in powder, hard-pack, ice and bumps.

I zoomed down Grab Hammer to Grab Hook and got right on the chair because the line was so short on the Ball Hooter chair. I kept riding that chair because of the short lift line and had fun doing my thing on Ball Hooter, Grab Hammer and the other trails served by that chair. As the morning progressed, more people were using that chair but the Singles Line was always short and I never had to wait more than a few minutes.

As noon neared, I decided to head over to the Western Territory street and sample the snow on Shay’s Revenge and Cup Run, two “expert” runs that I really like. I zoomed down Shay’s Revenge but was disappointed to find the lower part closed. It was bumped up and looked icy. The wind was blowing harder on that side of the mountain, so I just took a couple of runs and then headed in for lunch in Yodeler’s Pub. They had a brisket sandwich that looked good and tasted even better. This sandwich tasted so good that I showed up the next day for another one!

After lunch where I had some interesting conversation with the folks at the bar, I headed back to the slopes. The snow had softened up as the day progressed and I did a few bump runs down the top of Choker. I even checked out some of the easier runs as the day progressed and had a really enjoyable time.

Stats
Snowshoe has 57 slopes and trails a 1,500 ft. vertical with the longest run being 1 ½ miles. They have 2 terrain parks, 2 terrain gardens and a half pipe. There are 2 high-speed quads, 2 fixed quads, 7 triples and a couple of surface lifts. I managed to ride all the chair lifts and even ski in a couple of the terrain parks.

After a great day of skiing, I went back to my room and took a little rest before dinner. Because Snowshoe is a “destination resort” and an up-side-down mountain, most of the accommodations are ski-in, ski-out. My lodge was just a sidewalk and one building away from the chair unloads on the top of slope . . . how easy is that?

I did take some time to check out all the new facilities at Snowshoe. I peeked in Village Bistro and decided to try this new restaurant for dinner. I had a steak and the meal and service were fine. They have done a lot of building at Snowshoe and the millions they have spent has really improved this resort. They rebuilt and expanded the village, created new trails, and the result is that Snowshoe is the best ski resort in the Mid-Atlantic region.

After a stake at the Bistro and a few Margarettas, I was off to bed because I planned to be up early and do some serious skiing.

The next day, the sun was out, it was a little warmer and there was less wind. It looked to be another excellent day of spring skiing in West Virginia. I skied all the trails that I had skied before and had a real blast. The snow was excellent and I met lots of very friendly skiers from as far away as Western Canada, Florida and the Carolinas, as well as locals and people from the D.C. area.

I think I hit all 57 trails at Snowshoe and skied some of them several times. I liked the bumps on the expert trails, enjoyed the groomers and even had some fun looking good on the easy stuff.

Lunch
I was disappointed to find Yodeler’s Pub closed but wound up eating a great burger at the Junction where the female ski bum behind the bar took good care of me. After lunch I went back to the slopes to do some serious cruising. One of the nice things about an up-side-down mountain like Snowshoe is that there is an entire village on the TOP of the mountain where you can enjoy up-scale dining when you stop for lunch, instead of the below-par cuisine found at many ski area base lodges.

Snowshoe has something to offer skiers of all levels, including a seasoned expert like myself. Beginners will enjoy all the easy trails and will benefit form the expert instructors in the ski school. Intermediate skiers will be challenged by the slopes and expert skiers can have fun there too.

Snowshoe has turned into a 4-season resort and now that the road has improved, I will have to visit there more often. If you are in the Mid-Atlantic, put Snowshoe on your ski vacation list. I guarantee you will enjoy yourself there, I always do.