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HV vs. Laurel vs Blue Knob for Sunday on President's Day weekend
15 posts from 8 users
Updated 4 months ago
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5 months ago

Hello,

Which should my father in-law and I do?  He is a great skier and I started five years ago.  I can handle blacks without risking my life :) 

We typically hit up HV because they live in Indiana PA.  However, all the talk of Laurel has me thinking… and BK seems interesting (I don’t know what either will have open but weather conditions seem to be favoring).  I know HV will have everything open but will be the busiest of the three (and we have done that place around 10 times). 

Where should we spend Sunday morning (4 hours of skiing). 

Thoughts?  Much appreciated.

-Tim

5 months ago

If you are looking for a balance between open terrain and crowds, Laurel is your mountain.

5 months ago

I think it depends on what kind of weather the area ends up having.  Blue Knob’s trying to repair the damage from last week - they’re back up to 12 runs.  Thing about BK is that aside from Stembogen, there isn’t much more black they can open without a good bit of natural snow.  Lower High Hopes and Extrovert are the only other runs that have snowmaking on them, and they haven’t seemed to have gotten to the point where they can make snow on either of those.  BK will likely add a few more runs that were open, but honestly, I don’t see them opening Lower HH or Extrovert for this weekend.

LM looks like they only have snow guns on 9 or 10 runs (others can correct me or elaborate) with snowmaking on them, but they do have Wildcat with snowmaking, so you have challenge there.

HV has the most trails open and will have the most variety available, but will also be the least challenging.  They also have the strongest base of the 3 and seemed to take the least damage last week.  You’ve been there, so you’ll know what to expect.

So I think it’ll depend on what you’re wanting.  If you want more challenging terrain, and can go with more iffy conditions, I think LM or BK will be great.  If you want a more consistent and more chill experience, HV will be the better choice.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
5 months ago

If you’ve never been to Laurel Mtn that might be fun for four hours and it seems to be slightly closer to Indiana, PA.   It could be a tie between LM and BK over which has the most trail variety given that recent mixed weather may have damaged both to a degree.  Agree that HV’s superior snowmaking would raise their trail count.  Both LM and BK ought to have manageable crowds on Prez Weekend.  See here for report on what it was like last year:  http://www.dcski.com/articles/1554

5 months ago

I’ll be based out of HV on annual Prez Day weekend trip.

Have never had big crowds at HV on my days there. Doubt I’ll run up to Laurel since it doesn’t seem that fresh snow is pending.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
5 months ago

Timothy.grasso wrote:

Hello,

Which should my father in-law and I do?  He is a great skier and I started five years ago.  I can handle blacks without risking my life :) 

We typically hit up HV because they live in Indiana PA.  However, all the talk of Laurel has me thinking… and BK seems interesting (I don’t know what either will have open but weather conditions seem to be favoring).  I know HV will have everything open but will be the busiest of the three (and we have done that place around 10 times). 

Where should we spend Sunday morning (4 hours of skiing). 

Thoughts?  Much appreciated.

-Tim

Since you know what HV has to offer, seems like a good opportunity to explore some place new.  Will make the decision easier in future years.

For context, I explored all the ski areas within a half-day drive of my house near Raleigh before deciding to make Massanutten our home mountain worth investing in a season pass.  That was when my daughter was in elementary school and we were limited to weekends, including 4-day holiday weekends.  I would drive about an hour longer past Wintergreen to get to Massanutten because of the differences in terrain, lighting, lodging, etc.

5 months ago

Have you considered the Highland Ticket? It will give you HV, Laurel and 7S. I don’t know how long you will be staying but there are two options. There is the Friday 9 am to close Monday for $283 and there is the Friday 4 pm to Monday close for $257. Both rates are for the adult ticket. It can be purchased at any of the three resorts. If you choose this option I would ski either HV or Laurel on Saturday and Sunday then hit 7S on Monday. This should give you the least crowded conditions. You will feel like you have Laurel all to yourself on any day. I haven’t been to HV on a holiday weekend for years but camp is a season pass holder so he should know.

If Laurel is listing 9 or 10 trails open what you can expect is 3 major routes down the mountain with a 4th option if you ski Upper Wildcat then, on skiers left, look for Last Chance which merges with Lower Broadway. Last Chance is pretty flat so carry your speed to get back to Broadway. Broadway and Innsbruck both use Deer Path as the run out back to the chair. Deer Path is upper novice/very low intermediate pitch. Lower Wildcat is a real black diamond, 60% grade or 30+ degree pitch on the very bottom. It is steep but is also is groomed. You can check it out on the chair ride back up. All 4 options give you a lot of time on your skis utilizing all 760 vertical feet of the mountain. To give you an idea of the acreage and types of trails at Laurel, I would compare them to 7S’ North Face Slope, Boulder Trail, and Yodeler Trail with Lower Wildcat being much steeper than North Face and Broadway less steep than Yodeler and Innsbruck less steep than Boulder Trail. Laurel needs at least a foot of natural snow to open the rest of the mountain, perhaps more if it is a dry powder. Laurel Run will be the first natural snow slope open but if Dream Highway is not open you will either ski Lower Wildcat or skate or walk out on Last Chance to get to the bottom.

5 months ago

Thanks for the great feedback/information.  Since we know HV very well, we will try Laurel!  It should be a great time and fingers crossed for a good snow before Sunday.  

 

We have a two year old, so my wife is letting me take Sunday morning off! :). Can’t wait for family ski weekends in the near future.

5 months ago

Timothy.grasso wrote:

We have a two year old, so my wife is letting me take Sunday morning off! :). Can’t wait for family ski weekends in the near future.

Been there! Takes a little work to get family ski weekends organized but it is well worth the effort. My kids are 13 and 10 now and I am so grateful to be able to ski with them.

5 months ago

Thanks for all of the advice, already highlighed my map of open routes!  Excited to try something new! What trails does the webcam show?  I assume ski top and tame cat?

Family skiing will be important.  My wife is a really good skier and forced me to learn (I think I enjoy it more than she does).  My son is pretty advanced so may be ski school when he is 3!  

Thank you again for all of the help!

5 months ago

Web cam shows Tame Cat and Ski Top. Keep in mind that you can get to Laurel only from Rt. 30 to the Laurel Summit Rd. across from the phone towers. The ski area is about 3 miles back on the right. Look for the stone gate house. If your GPS tells you otherwise, do not listen. All back roads are not open or maintained in the winter.

5 months ago

And detailed “expert” directions!  Thank you, looking forward to Sunday morning at Laurel!  

4 months ago

Loved every minute of Laurel!  We got there at 8:30 and parked right in the front.  Thank you for all of the great advice!!

 

Got the first chair and hit up Wild Cat for our second run.  During the first two hours, Wild Cat was soft and warm..  as the day went longer, the cold and the wind picked up and WildCat got hard and icy.  My father in-law and I both saw the potential of the natural runs and can’t wait to go back. Best half day of skiing in a long time.  I think I got in 11 runs in 2 hours before stopping at 11am for lunch. 

4 months ago

I’m glad you liked it. Yes, the natural snow runs take you right back to skiing in the 1950s and 60s. I hope we have a chance to ski those again this year. You have to get it while you can. I’m sure you’ve read Jim Kenney’s Firsthand Report: http://www.dcski.com/articles/1574. It’s worth a second look.

4 months ago

Oh, one last thought. I had my children on skis at age 2. Believe me, in the long run it is worth every minute. My son took me skiing today and bought the beer!

Conditions were great today, about as blue bird as we get around here. It was all firm cord that soon gave way to a nice light granulated surface. Wildcat was fast and fun. It was all silky fast and fun today.

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