This season around DC has almost been the year without a winter so far. And it had been almost a month since I'd skied... so I was really jonesing for some snow.
Usually I ski Virginia, or Southern PA... but West Virginia has been getting some colder weather, and got 7" of snow of Thursday, so I headed out to Canaan Valley today.
It was clear and sunny most of the way there, but the last half hour or so looked more like this :
It took about 2:45 to get there... about the limits for a day trip for me.
The lodge is pretty standard... they've done some remodelling over the years, but it's basic. Rentals and lockers downstairs, cafeteria upstairs.
In addition to the lodge (backside shown here on the left) there's the newer ski school building, and the bar/restaurant... the modern buildings on the left and right respectively here.
When I arrived, only the beginner lift was running. Apparently they waited to groom until early morning, in order to make more snow, and two groomers broke down, which delayed the opening. Once they opened the main lift about a half hour later (I think about an hour late overall), they really hadn't groomed much, which was nice. There was a few inches over hardpack, and in a few places the combo of natural and blown snow was some ankle deep powder. Not often you get a powder day - even a small one - in the mid-A!!
Main lift with snow coming down and folks waiting for it to open :
View of the end of the long green run down from the top. They never opened it, and the main lift was marked "No Beginners". It was not an easy day to be a beginner at Canaan Valley, since they also didn't groom one of the main beginner runs on the beginner lift. Though I guess it was great for a beginner powder lesson.
I got on the lift a few mins after it opened. I guess the line of folks that had been waiting all came down around the same time :
The slopes were generally uncrowded despite pretty limited runs open. I usually skied right on to the lift.
The lack of grooming was nice in places... the snow was very light, as it's been in the single digits to teens there.
Although this run beat the crap out of my bases. You can't see it, but there are a lot of rocks at the top.
Once the snow stopped, the sun struggled to get out.
View from the top in the overcast day... it actually got sunny later.
This is the bar/restaurant... I had the chili and pretzels... it was good.
With guns going most of the day, there were some lower vis areas..
The guns left whales as far as the eye could see... scattered everywhere, but this is along the main run under the lift:
The sun came out!! This is a view across Canaan Valley itself (as opposed to the ski resort).
The requisite PugSki sticker shot!
One more sunny view...
Mid-day grooming! They had the groomers out all afternoon...
All in all, I only skied about 12K of vertical. The snow was very soft, and it was a beautiful morning, and a fun afternoon. This weekend they are expecting 8-12" more real snow, and if they get everything prepped the whole mountain may be open.